Filed Under West Yellowstone

Madison Hotel and Cafe

The Forest Service granted Jess Pierman a special-use permit to build a hotel and restaurant here in 1910. A large tent accommodated guests until the present hotel was under construction in the fall of 1912. Doll Bartlett began cooking for Pierman in 1910, saving much of her weekly ten-dollar paycheck. Her husband Roxy drove the stage between Monida and West Yellowstone. By the time the hotel was under construction, the Bartletts had saved enough money to buy the business, which they ran until Roxy died in the 1920s. Doll continued to run the hotel with her second husband, George Pickup. The two-story rectangular plan is of simple log construction with saddle-notched corner timbering and a prominent front dormer. The original six upstairs rooms, warmed by a cut stone fireplace in the downstairs lobby, catered to rail and stage travelers. Each room had a pitcher, a wash basin, and a chamber pot. Water came from a well across the street. The hotel expanded, adding fourteen rooms in 1921 and a bar and dance floor soon after, but there was no running water until the 1930s. In 1923, President Harding was a guest and antiquated registers show that many Hollywood greats, such as Wallace Beery and Gloria Swanson, enjoyed the hospitality of the Madison Hotel. Log support columns and beams, wood floors, light fixtures, the stone fireplace, and many of the room furnishings are original. Although not the first hotel in West Yellowstone, the Madison is the only hotel that remains from this early period when tourism was in its infancy.

Images

Madison Hotel and Cafe
Madison Hotel and Cafe Madison Hotel and Cafe (PAc 91-51 West Yellowstone R09 F31). Front view of the building, facing north on Yellowstone Avenue. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: Sept. 1980

Location

139 Yellowstone Avenue, West Yellowstone, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Madison Hotel and Cafe,” Historic Montana, accessed March 5, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/612.