Historic Vehicle Collection
Yellowstone's Historic Vehicle Collection is not open to the public because of safety concerns.
Yellowstone National Park’s historic vehicle collection currently includes thirty horse-drawn and motorized vehicles. They range from stagecoaches operated by the Yellowstone Park Transportation Company (later the Yellowstone Park Company) and Monida and Yellowstone Stage Company (later the Yellowstone-Western Stage Company), to early Yellowstone Park Transportation Company touring cars, buses, and service trucks, to National Park Service scooters and a fire engine. Also represented in the collection are numerous human-powered vehicles, including fire hose carts and handcarts, or “Mollys” used by hotel maids and bellboys.
The vehicle collection is one of the largest in the National Park Service. Currently housed in an historic structure (a former Yellowstone Park Transportation Company structure built in 1925 to replace the original transportation facilities destroyed by fire), it is hoped that a more suitable storage/exhibit facility will eventually be constructed, possibly as a wing of the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center. The vehicle collection is currently not open to the public.
The majority of the vehicles were received from TW Recreational Services, Inc. (successor of the Yellowstone Park Company) in 1991. Others have been added to the collection (such as the Willy’s fire truck) when they became obsolete or surplus to National Park Service needs. Volunteers performed initial cleaning of the vehicles, and the Yellowstone Association and Yellowstone Park Foundation have also provided funding for preservation and conservation efforts.
More recently, some federal funding was provided for extensive preventative conservation treatment (cleaning and stabilizing some of the vehicles) by National Park Service staff. Some of the vehicles have been loaned to other museums and institutions for special exhibits, and the entire collection was the focus of a segment in “Hidden Yellowstone,” a film aired by the Discovery Channel.
Historic Vehicles in Yellowstone's Collection