Friday, October 7, 2011

Historic Yellowstone

Hauling freight to Yellowstone in the early days.

The Yellowstone Historic Center museum was one of our stops on our recent trip to Yellowstone. I'd visited it on earlier trips to West Yellowstone, and was eager to do so again. The museum is housed in the old Union Pacific railroad depot, so many of its exhibits relate to that era. It also has a couple of old vehicles that were used to transport early visitors through the park. If you like to ride snowmobiles, you'll enjoy looking at early snowmobiles on the museum's front porch.

I took in a couple of the movies the museum shows regularly throughout the day. One was the one about the 1959 Hebgen earthquake which created a lake when a mountain came tumbling down. I remember driving by the site a year or two after the earthquake happened, when the devastation was still new. There's a visitor center there now, but it was closed for the season when we stopped there on this trip.

This movie talks about the volcanic and seismic activity taking place at Yellowstone today. Scientists said hundreds of earthquakes happen there every day, and that another one of the magnitude of Hebgen is going to happen, but nobody knows when. I never felt any earthquakes during the week we were in Yellowstone, but I know from my days in Alaska, where earthquakes are a common occurrence, a person two feet away from you will feel the earth shake while you may not feel anything.

We also enjoyed the movie on the train Montanans put together for the state's 1964 centennial celebration. It was a pretty cool event, with more than two dozen train cars crossing the country to the New York World's Fair. The movie also included interviews with many of the people involved in the project.

You can read more about the museum here.

The fine print
The Federal Trade Commission requires me to tell you that I received a complimentary ticket to the museum, in case the $4 (senior rate) ticket would influence what I wrote about it. It didn't. I've been to the museum before and I'll go again.

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