Today I wandered into the Mammoth Hotel Map Room and became mesmerized instantly upon entering. A wood inlaid map, seventeen feet by ten feet tall, dominated one wall of the room. The 2,544 pieces on the map had been crafted from fifteen different types of wood from nine countries, and took five months to assemble. California’s puzzle-like piece is constructed of burl redwood, my home state of Massachusetts of Brazilian Rosewood.
The map, designed in 1937 by Robert Reamer, has an odd assortment of obscure cities that were once central to railroad routes. Kings Canyon is labeled as its original name, General Grant National Park, and the error of Maryland’s capital being labeled Baltimore, noticed by a visitor a few months after its installation, remains uncorrected to this day. (Mr. Reamer suggested a solution of moving the actual capitol to Baltimore to the insulted Marylanders.)
Coincidentally, Reamer, who is considered the early inspiration for the rustic style now known as “parkitecture”, also designed my home. In Yellowstone alone he designed the Old Faithful Inn, the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, and the Lake Yellowstone Hotel—just to name a few.
My home, the Lockwood Residence, was built for Yellowstone Park Transportation Company (the early concessionaire in the park) executives in 1926, and then Superintendent Albright found it “satisfactory in every respect.” One of my co-workers, Ruth Quinn, has written a fascinating book on Reamer, called “Weaver of Dreams: The Life and Architecture of Robert C. Reamer.”
Freezing, arctic weather update: this morning it was -13F.