EARLY EXPLORERS IN YELLOWSTONE
Needless to say the following locations are most precious. They contain the ruins and remnants of the parks earliest history. Every year fewer and fewer of these sites remain because of thoughtlessness in the backcountry by souvenir hunters and reckless hikers. If you do stumble upon one of these remarkable places; make detailed notes of your exact location and TAKE ONLY PICTURES!!! These are among the most interesting sites in the backcountry, lets keep them that way! They give us a glimpse into mans brief history in Yellowstone. It also is amazing to find these hidden treasure that lay undisturbed for a century or more at a time. This list is a few of the more interesting I have been to or know of: (Due to the sensitive nature of these sites, only general location descriptions will be given)
There is a point along the lake shore between Breeze Point and the mouth of Solution Creek that is thought to be one of the camps of the Washburn-Langford-Doane in September 1870. It is suspected that this was where they camped while trying to find Truman Everts. The only evidence left today are old blazes on the trees and an old wood pile.
CARVINGS & INSCRIPTIONS
THE NATURAL BRIDGE
JOSEPH'S COAT SPRINGS
When the original dimensions were laid out for Yellowstone National Park, it became necessary to construct three stone monuments from which to measure off of in order to determine the park's eastern, southern and western borders.
In the Organic Act that created the Park, it was said that the Park's boundary should be set out as follows:
The tract of land boundary is...commencing at the junction of Gardiner's River with the Yellowstone River, and running east to the meridian passing ten miles eastward of the most eastern point of Yellowstone Lake (the Southeast arm near the mouth of Beaverdam Creek); thence south along said meridian to the parallel of latitude passing ten miles south of the most southern point of Yellowstone Lake (at the bottom of the South Arm); thence west along said parallel to the meridian passing 15 miles west of the most western point of "Madison" lake (actually Shoshone Lake).
What all this means is that today there are still three original monuments that were constructed by one Lt. Bromwell for the purpose of determining the original park boundaries. The first is near the mouth of Beaverdam Creek; the second is at the bottom of the South Arm of Yellowstone Lake; and the third is at the western end of Shsohsone Lake near the Geyser Basin. All three still stand today.
THE EAST BOUNDARY
THE THREE STATE MONUMENT (MONTANA-WYOMING-IDAHO)
It took me over 10 years to discover the apparent answer in a dusty old diary from 1874. Alonzo V. Richards was the first man to survey the western border of Wyoming. His diary contained the following description of a monument that he and his men constructed in Yellowstone in the summer of 1874.
Having been instructed by the Hon. Commission of the General Land Office to establish a monument at the intersection of the 34º of West Longitude with the crest of the Rocky Mountains, for the corner of the Territories of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, and having ascertained by means of Barometric reconnaissance that this is the highest point of said range of mountains, upon said 34º of West Longitude, I therefore established said corner of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana territories at this point. Diligent search was then made in every direction for several miles, for a stone from which to construct a monument, but nothing was found that could be worked or handled. All the stones large enough, being boulders, so very hard that our tools, made expressly for the purpose, either made no impression or were instantly broken.
I therefore set a prime post, 11 ft. long by 15 in. dia. 3 ½ feet in the ground, marked as follows:
On north face-- 34º W. L. 1874 On the south face—246m-56chs.-lns. On the east face—“Wyoming” On the southwest face—“Idaho” On the northwest face—“Montana” (being squared 2 ft. at upper end in the shape of a pentagon) Deposited a stone in bottom of pit, in which this post was set, marked “A. V. R.” with several charred blocks, raise conical mound of earth and stone 4 ft high, 7 ft in diameter, with a pit in the corner of each of the three territories, 3 ft. square 2 ft. deep. Then placed on the top of the mound on the east side a flat sandstone, marked “Wyoming” another on the South West side marked “Idaho” and one on north side marked “Montana.”
WYOMING BORDER MARKERS
THE TERMINAL MONUMENT
According to Hill:
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