View Full List of National Register: Wyoming Listings

View Full List of National Register: Wyoming Listings

Fort Yellowstone National Historic Landmark


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Fort Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park's historic and current administrative headquarters, lies in the northwestern part of the park, just east of the famous natural geothermal formations known as the Mammoth Hot Springs terraces. The layout of Fort Yellowstone is that of a typical western army post. A group of substantial two-and-a-half story double officers' quarters form an ''Officers' Row'' opposite an open parade ground to the west. The historic army headquarters and guard house lie at the south end of the post, facing a portion of the original road from Gardiner. Barracks for enlisted men are located in the second row of housing, while cavalry stables and noncommissioned sergeants' quarters are found behind the troop quarters. Storage and service buildings are present in the southern part of the post. The last building erected by the army at Fort Yellowstone, the chapel, is located at the extreme southern end of the administrative area. North of Officers' Row, across the wide esplanade that leads from the northern entrance road into the part headquarters, are the office and residence of the U.S. Engineer, while the jail and office of the U.S. Commissioner lies west of the parade ground. The Fort Yellowstone district encompasses the intact historic components of the army post developed during the 1886-1918 period to facilitate the protection and preservation of the area's natural features and wildlife.

Fort Yellowstone is significant under National Landmark criteria as the headquarters of the U.S. Army during its administration of Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone was established in 1872 as the nation's first national park. Army cavalry troops were dispatched to the park in 1886, after fourteen years of underfunded and understaffed civilian administration had failed to protect its natural features and wildlife. The military established a headquarters tent camp at Mammoth Hot Springs, which evolved into Camp Sheridan (1886-1891) and Fort Yellowstone (1891-1918). While troops were used in other national parks, the army's thirty-two years in Yellowstone marked the military's longest and most extensive presence. In no other park was an official army fort established.

Fort Yellowstone is also significant under National Landmark criteria for the principles and policies toward conservation and national park stewardship developed by the army during its administration of Yellowstone National Park. In the process of carrying out day-to-day administrative tasks in the park, the military commanders promulgated rules and regulations that constituted a philosophy of conservation, that defined the nature, characteristics, and management of national parks. During the army regime in the park, wildlife was defended and even saved from extinction, and geothermal and other natural features were protected from vandalism and destruction.



Date Added to Register:
Thursday, July 31, 2003
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Smithsonian Number: 


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