As leaders in concessions development in Yellowstone from 1884 to 1962, Frank Jay Haynes and his son Jack Ellis Haynes constructed many buildings for their enterprises. Among the few that remain, the stores at Old Faithful (1927) and in Mammoth Hot Springs (1929) were most important to the primary Haynes business of taking, developing, and selling photographs. By helping Yellowstone gain international recognition for its natural wonders, the Haynes’ photography promoted both tourism in the West and the idea of a national park.
The Old Faithful building is an example of the rustic style that was becoming popular in western parks, while the Mammoth building displays a transitional architectural style influenced by the Crafts movement, a departure from more traditional revival styles prevalent in Mammoth that was unrelated to the rustic architecture prevalent elsewhere in the park.
F. Jay Haynes first photographed Yellowstone National Park in 1881 to publicize the Northern Pacific Railroad. Encouraged by Superintendent Philetus Norris, who wanted to promote park visitation, Haynes built stores on land leased in Mammoth Hot Springs in 1884 and at Old Faithful in 1897. After he retired, his son Jack took over the business, and in 1927 built stores, called photo or picture shops, in the Mammoth and Fishing Bridge campgrounds, and a larger facility near what was then the Old Faithful Auto Camp. Eventually, 13 Haynes stores were opened in hotels or their own buildings.
The 1927 Old Faithful store, designed and constructed in two months by contractor George Larkin, had living quarters on the second floor over a photo finishing operation as well as a retail shop. A two-story dormitory for Haynes employees was added in 1951, and an addition to the rear of the building several years later.
The Mammoth Hot Springs facility, designed by Fred Willson and completed in 1929, served as the headquarters for the Haynes photographic business in the park. It included a dormitory, an overnight photo finishing service, and retail space that carried an assortment of photographs, books, camera film and other supplies. The drive-through canopy acknowledged the growing influence of the automobile on architectural design.
Jack Haynes operated the family business until his death in 1962. After running the company for another five years, his wife Isabel sold it to Hamilton Stores, owned by the Povah family. After most of the Old Faithful building was moved in three pieces and reconfigured near the newly constructed Snow Lodge in 1971, Hamilton Stores renovated the dormitory and added a front porch. Nearly all of the exterior materials on the original store are still present or have been replaced in-kind. By 1998, the original Snow Lodge had been razed and a new Snow Lodge opened immediately adjacent to the Hamilton Store.
When the Hamilton Stores contract expired in 1999, the National Park Service purchased the buildings at Old Faithful and Mammoth. The Old Faithful store detracted from the appearance of the new Snow Lodge, and after considering several alternatives, in 2009 the National Park Service dismantled the dormitory and moved the original portion of the building to a site near its original location. The Yellowstone Park Foundation now occupies the old Photo Shop. Its former site has been landscaped as public open space.
Except for the stairway, nearly all of the exterior materials in the Mammoth building are original. Finishes and fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms date from the 1950s to the 1970s; most of the other interior materials are original.
Last updated: June 22, 2016