Originally built on roughly 1000 acres of riverfront property in 1977, stock broker and money manager for the Johnson and Johnson Family Trust, Louis Hubshman Jr relocated his family from New York, and raised his kids on the banks of the Yellowstone River. He also established the Old Saloon which is still running in Emigrant. The most notable feature of the original lodge was Calamity Jane’s personal toilet, which came from Bill Hickok’s establishment in Livingston. Louis sold the lodge to his friends Gloria Johnson Applegate (1924-2003) and husband Nelson Applegate. Gloria is the daughter of the prestigious Lambert and Evelyn Johnson and grand-daughter of Edward Mead Johnson, co-founder of the famed Johnson and Johnson company. She was an accomplished sport fisher and held several world records, mostly spending her time on big-game fishing in the Atlantic.A prehistoric tipi ring, a lithic scatter of basalt point tips, and obsidian flakes (used for knives and weapons) were found at a 30 meter occupation area just across the river in the SW corner of section 4. Also nearby, on the east side of Fridley Creek in section 4, 18 scrapers, tips and flake artifacts were found near a prominent bison jump sight. In section 5, across Highway 89 to the west of the lodge, a small stone ring and lithic scatter were found atop a basalt terrace; flakes of obsidian and burnt bones were found at the presumed lookout and camp area for the Emigrant Bison kills. The Charles Kinsey collection of these artifacts is displayed at the Gallatin County Courthouse in Bozeman, and the sites are chronicled by G. W. Arthur in the Montana Archaeological Society Memoir No 1 (pp. 16-27, 1962).
By United States standards, Montana was one of the last states settled by Europeans; but there were people here thousands of years before Columbus “discovered” America. Archaeological evidence exists which indicates human presence on our area for more than 10,000 years. One of the most famous finds is north of Livingston, called the Anzick site, where the oldest human remains of a “Clovis” infant were found. The river valley held abundant food resources and were natural travel routes for these early hunter-gatherers.
Prior to its recent history, the lodge was part of various ranches located in Paradise Valley, beginning with the most famous and first ranch established in the valley in 1868 - the Old Bottler Ranch at Six Springs. Fred Bottler, one of Montana’s first entrepreneurs settled across from Emigrant Gulch where miners worked their claim.
These early inhabitants were semi-nomadic and ranged over considerable territory during their annual migrations of the “open range”. These early “north americans” primarily foraged for edible plant materials and hunted ungulates including wapiti, white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep and bison. Some of them were known for intelligently harvesting multiple bison at the same time by running them over “buffalo jumps”, such as the ones located near the lodge. They left behind signs of their existence on and around the lodge.
Bottler’s ranch was strategically located on the way to Yellowstone Park, which was quickly growing in worldwide reputation for its steaming geysers and remote wilderness. He raised grain, vegetables, pigs, cows and even produced butter with a small water wheel. In the days before train travel, he was the last “grocery store” on the way to Yellowstone Park. Bottler was also an innkeeper, guide and commercial hunter...and he knew the area so well that his services were used by government-sanctioned expeditions between 1869 and 1872. He climbed Electric Peak in 1870 with Philetus Norris, who would become the second Yellowstone Park Superintendent. Famous people of the day stayed at his place and depended upon his knowledge of the area, such as F. V. Hayden and The Earl of Dunraven. Even infamous people stopped off at Bottler’s, such as Truman Everts who survived 37 days lost alone and emaciated in Yellowstone Park until he was found by mountain men who mistook him for a bear they were tracking. Unlike so many early settlers in the area, Bottler died a wealthy man on his ranch in 1917.
Bottler’s homestead and the 1860’s were a turning point in the history of Paradise Valley. It represented the beginning of government’s role in exploring the legendary stories of what they would soon declare to be “Yellowstone National Park”.
Ferdinand Hayden, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, led an expedition to Yellowstone at the urgings of Nathaniel P Langford, who had participated in the 1870 expedition into Yellowstone led by Henry Washburn (1832-1871), Surveyor General of Montana Territory. The Washburn Expedition was partially subsidized by Jay Cooke's Northern Pacific Railroad which had an interest in promoting Montana Territory. Although Yellowstone had earlier been explored by John Colter in 1808 and in the 1820's by Jim Bridger their tales were generally not believed because of their reputations for exageration.
The Crow Indians named the Yellowstone River “E-chee-dick-karsh-ah-shay” (Elk River) and the early French trappers called it “Roche Jaune” (Yellow Rock). Lewis and Clark would eventually travel west along the Missouri River in 1805 and on their eastward return, Captain William Clark and the Corps members passed just 30 miles north of the lodge in July of 1806.
During the mid to late 1800’s, homesteaders and farmers moved into the area in increasing numbers. John Bozeman and John Jacobs explored and established a new travel route - the Bozeman Road - for pioneers heading to Montana from the Oregon Trail. Established in 1863, this “road” left the Oregon Trail near present-day Casper, Wyoming and crossed Bozeman Pass and Gallatin Valley on its way to the Madison Valley and the gold fields beyond. On their way, a party of emigrants travelled with a wagon train across the plains and landed in Emigrant gulch near the lodge (which you can read about on the historical sign adjacent to the lodge as you enter the property). They explored the gulch and discovered gold. A mining boom followed. The Bozeman trail lost its usefulness by 1869 with the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad through southern Wyoming. Ranching became the primary land use, until recent years where tourism and second home development is starting to take hold.
Moving forward in time, many different Native American tribes utilized the Gallatin and Yellowstone Valleys after the Pelican Lake culture. Most notable were the Shoshoni, who may have been hear as early as 1200, and then the crow, who were present by 1600. All of these cultures were nomadic and moved with the seasons as food sources shifted. During the summer months, the valley was a route to the eastern plains to hunt buffalo.
The Washburn Expedition was quite modest, consisting, of Washburn, Langford, Walter Trumbull son of U.S. Senator Lymon Trumbull of Illinois , S. T. Hauser, President of the First National Bank of Helena, T. C. Everts, former U. S. Assessor, four others, and, in the words of Trumbull, "two packers, and two unbleached citizens of African descent." For transport each man had his own horse and the packers had 9 mules. The two "unbleached citizens" were apparently cooks. The army provided a military escort consisting of Lt. G. C. Doane of the Second Cavalry, 1 sergeant and 4 privates, 2 extra saddle horses and 5 pack mules. Equipment for scientific observation was even more modest consisting of a thermometer, an aneroid barometer, and several pocket compasses. What scientific observations that were made were by Lt. Doane.
Washburn was by education and training a lawyer. During the Civil War he served in the Indiana Volunteers and at the end of the war brevetted as a major general. He subsequently was elected to Congress from Indiana, but due to tuberculosis did not stand for re-election. Instead, he obtained the appointment as surveyor-general of Montana in the hopes that the clear air would be healthful. As an indication of the isolation of Montana it took from May 26, 1869 until August 12 to complete the journey from Indiana to Montana.
In 1871, Langford published a two-part article, "The Wonders of Yellowstone," in Scribner's Magazine which described the expedition, the area and the potential for tourism via Cooke's proposed railroad. Langford noted: "By means of the Northern Pacific Railroad, which doubtless will be completed in the next three years, the traveler will be able to make the trip to Montana from the Atlantic seaboard in three days, and thousands of tourists will be attracted to both Montana and Wyoming in order to behold with their own eyes the wonders here described."
Since the expedition did not include either an artist or photographer, Scribner's employed its chief illustrator, Thomas Moran, to enhance the crude sketches that had been provided with the manuscript. Additionally, Cooke sponsored a lecture tour for Langford. As a result of Langford's and Cooke's efforts, Congress appropriated $40,000 for Hayden to undertake a professional expedition.
Dr. Hayden had conducted earlier governmental expeditions into the Rocky Mountains, both before and after the Civil War. In 1869, he led an expedition along the Front Range to Denver and Sante Fe. The following year, 1870, he received an appropriation of $25,000 to lead a 20-man expedition to South Pass, Fort Bridger, Henry's Fork, and back to Cheyenne.
Thus, as a result of interest in Yellowstone generated by Langford and Cooke, Hayden began the organization of an expedition to Yellowstone. The new expedition utilized many of the same personnel as were included in 1870. In addition to the $40,000.00 appropriated by Congress, additional help was provided by the Army at Fort D. A. Russell. Free transportation was furnished by the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads. Included within the expedition were professional artists, an agricultural statistician and entomologist, topographers, botonists, a meteorologist, a mineralogist, and a zoologist. Dr. Hayden was by avocation a geologist. The Hayden Expedition's photographer was William Henry Jackson (1843-1942) briefly discussed with regard to the Oregon Trail.
In 1869 Jackson became a freelance photographer taking photos between June and September along the newly completed Union Pacific Railroad. Jackson's photography came to the attention of Hayden, who offered him the position of photographer for the 1870 Expedition, however, without pay. Jackson was, thus, also included in the 1871 Expedition. As a result of the photography on the Expedition, Jackson's career was assured. In 1879, he opened his own studio in Denver. In 1894, he did a world tour. At the turn of the century, he did a number of photos both in the Rocky Mountain area and in the Southeast for the Detroit Publishing Company. Notwithstanding the Washburn Expedition, William Henry Jackson, was the first to photograph Old Faithful in eruption.
In the organization of the expedition, Hayden was not one to overlook the politics. He was prompt in getting out his reports from earlier trips, thus, maintaining public interest. He included in the 1871 venture the sons of two members of Congress. Others in the 1871 Expedition included Clinton Hart Merriam who, at the time, was only 16 years old and Scribner's artist Thomas Moran, after whom Mt. Moran is named. Merriam later became a founder of the National Geographic Society.
Moran became interested in Yellowstone as a result of his work on the illustrations for Langford's article in the magazine. As a result Moran volunteered to be included in the expedition at his own expense (with the assistance of Scrbner's and a $500.00 loan from Jay Cooke), notwithstanding that he had never ridden horseback before and was so scrawny that he often had to use a pillow on his saddle. To the right is a photo of Moran - heralded by his counterparts as a good fisherman - near Mystic Lake by modern day Bozeman.