Yellowstone Forever

June 15, 2011

A New Life for the Haynes Photo Shop

Haynes Photo Shop at Old FaithfulPlans are underway for a gathering place that pays tribute to the photographic legacy of Yellowstone National Park. Millions of annual visitors walk by the historic Haynes Photo Shop at Old Faithful, unaware of its storied and interesting past. The Yellowstone Park Foundation will breathe new life into the building, and offer new ways to enjoy Yellowstone images.

The original Photo Shop was built in 1895, prior to the construction of the Old Faithful Inn, and was located in the approximate vicinity of what is now the Inn’s front parking lot. That building was disassembled in the mid-1930s. In 1926, park photographer and postcard salesman Jack Ellis Haynes applied to the National Park Service for permission to erect his new building near what was then the Old Faithful Campground. The current structure is what remains of the retail building that was “new” in 1927.

Haynes Photo Shop interiorIn recent years, the building has been used for storage, and for a staff dormitory in a wing that was added.  In 2009, the National Park Service presented a proposal to assign the Haynes Old Faithful Photo Shop to the Yellowstone Park Foundation. The Foundation’s board accepted the offer, which involves rehabilitating, caring for, and operating the building. Since then, the Park Service paid for the removal of the dormitory wing and for the building to be relocated to a new foundation on a site near the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center.

With few exceptions, the building retains exterior integrity as an example of the rustic “log-out parkitecture” that was prevalent in western National Parks during the decades following the creation of Yellowstone.

The Yellowstone Park Foundation adoption of the facility will serve many purposes: It will protect a building of historic significance; it will provide a place to share the legacy of the Haynes Photo Shop and photography in Yellowstone; and it will serve as a venue for YPF to meet and greet park visitors and tell the story of citizen stewardship in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Photography: Yesterday and Today

Visitors at Old FaithfulMost historic photographs in the park’s massive museum collection – as well as memorabilia such as postcards and posters – are currently hidden away from visitors at the Yellowstone Heritage & Research Center in Gardiner, Montana.  There simply isn’t enough space to display this treasure trove of images. 

The interior of the Haynes Photo Shop will enable visitors to get a glimpse back in time by viewing rare old photos of the park, and also enjoy and share their current photos and memories. 

Just as it was a century ago, an important part of a trip to Yellowstone still involves capturing the experience with a camera.  Ideas being considered for services include a facility for visitors to instantly print digital photos, email digital photos to friends and family, and post their photos on YPF’s website for all to enjoy.

The Foundation is fundraising for the $4 million needed for construction, exhibits, and operations of the historic shop.  We are accepting contributions specifically designated for this project. The new space is expected to open in the summer of 2013.

See some other Old Faithful Area highlights>>


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