Fort Yellowstone

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Fort Yellowstone (1886-1918) - Established 17 Aug 1886 as Camp Sheridan by Captain Moses Harris, Company M, 1st U.S. Cavalry and named after General Phil Sheridan. Designated as Fort Yellowstone on 11 May 1891. Abandoned in 1918 and turned over to the National Park Service.

Fort Yellowstone Officer's Quarters
Fort Yellowstone 1909 Double Cavalry Barracks now the Park Administration Building
Fort Yellowstone 1909 Bachelor Officer's Quarters now the Park Visitor Center


Fort Yellowstone 1891 Guardhouse
Fort Yellowstone 1897 NCO Quarters

In 1886 men from Company M, 1st U.S. Cavalry, Fort Custer, Montana Territory under Captain Moses Harris came to Yellowstone to begin what would be more than 30 years of military presence in Yellowstone.

When Company M arrived in August 1886, they lived in temporary frame buildings at Camp Sheridan, established at the foot of the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. After enduring five cold, harsh winters, the cavalry realized there was no end in sight to this assignment. Therefore, in 1890, Congress appropriated $50,000 for a permanent post.

The first buildings of Fort Yellowstone were finished by late 1891. As more troops were needed, more buildings were constructed: officers' quarters, guardhouse, headquarters, barracks for enlisted men, stables for their horses, and non-commissioned officers' quarters. In 1909, Scottish masons began constructing sandstone buildings here - among them the Albright Visitor Center (then the Bachelor Officers' Quarters) and the administration building (then a two-troop barracks for 200 men). The Chapel, the final building constructed during the Army's tenure, was also constructed of native sandstone. The stone from these buildings was obtained from a local quarry between the Gardner River and the Mammoth Campground.

In 1910, at the height of the Army's presence in Yellowstone, there were 324 soldiers stationed here - plus some families and numerous civilian employees. These troops staffed not only Fort Yellowstone but were stationed throughout the park in small details at various outposts.

--from National Park Service--

Fort Yellowstone Partial Commanders List (edit list)
Assumed Relieved Rank Name Cullum Notes
1891-02-14 1897-06-23  Capt. Anderson, George S. 2374 These are the dates given in Cullum's Register, overlapping the next.
1896-11-05 1897-03-15  Capt. Erwin, James B. 2848 Dates also given in Cullum's Register.
1899-03-15 1899-06-23  Capt. Wilder, Wilber E. 2672
1899-06 1900-07  Capt. Brown, Oscar J. 2692
1900-07-19 1901-10-28  Capt. Goode, George William 2873
1901-05-08 1907-07-12  Capt. Pitcher, John 2634 While commanding post, he was promoted to Major on Dec. 9, 1901.
Dates are formatted in yyyy-mm-dd to sort correctly.
The Cullum Number is the graduation order from the United States Military Academy by year and class rank and links to a page for the officer on the website version of the Cullum Register. Listings without a Cullum Number indicate that the person was not a graduate of the United States Military Academy.

Current Status

Yellowstone National Park. Many of the original fort buildings are in use as park facilities.

Location: Park Headquarters, Yellowstone National Park, Park County, Wyoming.

Maps & Images

Lat: 44.97568 Long: -110.69775

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 6239'

See Also:



Visited: 9 Jul 2015, Sep 1998

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