PAST Foundation Executive Director Annalies Corbin giving initial
instructions to the project field crew.
The Marshall Hotel was built on the Firehole River in
Yellowstone in 1884. The hotel formed the center of the first "tourist town"
built in a national park, as as such can be thought of as the "granddaddy"
of the tourist facilities that exist today at Canyon, Yellowstone Lake and
The hotel survived only until 1891, when it was replaced by
more luxurious facilities at other locations. Nevertheless, it represents an
historic milestone in the development of Yellowstone National Park because
it is directly linked to the park system's fundamental purpose -- to provide
for the enjoyment of park resources and values by people of the United
Until recently, what was left of the Marshall Hotel was
believed to have been destroyed by later development at the site. In
1993-94, however, archaeologists discovered that traces of the
long-demolished hotel still remained. The archaeologists also discovered a
unique and unanticipated source of artifacts -- the remains of trash dumped
in the nearby river by the hotel's occupants. Although the site of the hotel
and its outbuildings is deemed relatively safe from vandalism, the same is
not true of the artifact assemblage in the river, which has been extensively
The Marshall/Firehole Hotel Underwater Archaeology Project
was organized as a joint effort between the National Park Service and the
PAST Foundation, funded by a
NPS-Intermountain Region Challenge
Cost Share grant. Participants included
archeologists and volunteers from Yellowstone National Park,
the National Park Service Midwest Archeological
East Carolina University and the
Lincoln, Nebraska Public Schools
Focus Program School.
Project objectives were to
identify the range and locations
of archeological resources at the site;
determine apparent functional
associations when possible;
reconstruct the hotel's
landscape/land use plan;
identify past and current park,
public, and natural impacts;
provide an educational opportunity
for the public to participate in and learn about archeology.
We appreciate your visiting this
website, and hope to be able to share some of the history and adventure of
the Marshall Hotel and the early days of Yellowstone National Park.