Historic photo shop offering views of Yellowstone’s first photographers

If your summer travel plans include Yellowstone National Park, the country’s first national park has something new to see.

Not that the old things, such as Geyser Basin, Old Faithful and the wolf packs, are boring, but last week the park opened to the public the historic Haynes Photo Shop at Old Faithful.

Frank J. Haynes and his son Jack were the first photo concessions in the park and ran the shops for 84 years, from 1884 to 1968.

Frank Haynes first visited Yellowstone in 1881 while working as a photographer for the Northern Pacific Railroad. He returned every summer and in 1884 secured the first commercial concessions in the park.

The shops sold hand-colored Yellowstone postcards, some that are collectors items today, guidebooks, photos and other souvenirs cherished by generations of visitors.

In 1887, Haynes was hired as the first photographer to give a winter’s view of Yellowstone. Even though he almost perished during the trip, he returned with the first images of a snowbound Yellowstone National Park.

Today, hundreds of tourists visit the park in the winter, traveling in the comfort of heated snowcoaches to comfortable hotels, thanks in large part to the views Haynes gave the world at a time when few people visited the park even in the summer.

The National Park Service, through a partnership with the Yellowstone Park Foundation, has restored the Old Faithful Photo Shop, first built by Jack Haynes in 1927.

Now known as the Old Faithful Haynes Photo Gallery, the building’s mission is twofold: honoring the Haynes family and helping raise funds for the park.

By mixing technology with a vintage look and feel, the space invites tourists to step back in time and imagine Yellowstone in the early 1900s.

Learn more at http://www.ypf.org.


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