Margaret Jane M. Harris
The History of the 1880-1891 Marshall/Firehole Hotel, Yellowstone National Park and Conservation Methods for Artifacts from a Thermal Riverine Environment.
(Under the direction of Dr. Lawrence Babits) Department of History, March 2004.
The purpose of this thesis is to provide a history of the 1880-1891 Marshall/Firehole Hotel, Yellowstone National Park, and the methods for conserving artifacts from a geothermal riverine environment. The Marshall/Firehole hotel received Yellowstone National Park's first interior hotel concession. It is an important example of an early Western tourist facility prior to establishing grander accommodations in Yellowstone after 1883. Artifacts from this site remain in the nearby Firehole River. The Firehole River begins as a freshwater stream, but receives substantial thermal input as it flows through Yellowstone's major geyser basins. It is therefore described as a thermal riverine environment. Thermal input alters the Firehole River's composition, adding dissolved salts, and creates a unique aqueous environment that differs from fresh and oceanic water. This thesis identifies conservation methods for artifacts from this unique type of aqueous environment.