Spectacular bird’s-eye view of Yellowstone National Park

“Painted by J[ack] E[llis] Haynes” [attribution in ink], YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. St. Paul: J. E. Haynes, undated but ca. 1909-10.
Chromolithograph, 24 ¾”h x 36 5/8”w at printed border plus title and margins, sheet size 29 ¼”h x 40 ¾”w. Three expertly-mended edge tears at right, one extending a few inches into printed image. Rectangular-shaped chip to lower-right edge, now expertly reconstructed and all-but invisible.

A spectacular chromolithographic bird’s-eye view of Yellowstone National Park by Jack Ellis Haynes, second-generation holder of the concession to produce and sell photographic souvenirs of the Park.

The view depicts Yellowstone as seen from the south, with the Park’s major geographical features, roads and grand hotels clearly labeled. The large size, the dizzying perspective, the outsized-treatment of the mountainous background, and the strong color all combine to create a most dramatic impression.

“While the view is undated, some of the elements included provide insight into the time period this was created. The Oregon Short Line (OSL) Railroad reached the West Entrance in 1907. The U[nion] P[acific] depot there was completed in 1909. This helps date this view to 1909-1910. Additionally, the depiction of the Canyon Hotel illustrates that structure as it appeared in 1909-1910 prior to the major renovation by architect Robert Reamer which began in the Fall of 1910.


“The prominence of the West Entrance in this illustration also relates to the Haynes’ interests in that section of Yellowstone where Frank J. Haynes operated the Monida and Yellowstone Stage Company from 1898-1913, when it became the Yellowstone-Western Stage Company, which operated through 1916. Stage operations were discontinued in 1917 with the introduction of automobile travel. Also to be noted are the cultural features missing on the map, which substantiates the focus on the West Entrance. Looking closely at the northern border, both the Roosevelt Arch and the Northern Pacific Railroad depot in Gardiner, Montana are missing from this view.” (unpublished communication from Tamsen Hert, Librarian, Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections, University of Wyoming Libraries, Aug. 2022)

The ink inscription “Painted by J.E. Haynes” appears just above the lower-right neat line, with the name repeated and a St. Paul imprint very faintly printed in the image at lower left. Jack Ellis Haynes (1884-1962) was a photographer and second-generation holder of the concession to produce souvenir photographs, maps and other images of Yellowstone for sale at the park. He operated a network of concession stands within the park, as well a photographic and printing studio, with additional printing performed at a facility in St. Paul, Minnesota. Haynes was not an artist, however, and the identity of the actual artist is not known.

Rarity and references
As of September 2022 I am aware of institutional holdings at the Library of Congress (with the Union Pacific logo), Yale, and the University of Wyoming (purchased from this firm). A private collector of my acquaintance is aware of another two in private hands. OCLC 54634059 (Yale only).