Christine Barne’s petite gem of a book offers an insider’s look at the history of one of Glacier Park’s landmark structures, situated on the eastern edge of the park. Built in 1913 and financed primarily by the Great Northern Railway, Glacier Park Lodge’s architecture reflected the “Americanized-Swiss plan,” using massive logs shipped from the Pacific Northwest on specially built railroad cars.
A spacious lobby, with rows of columns and balconies, reminiscent of Swiss chalets, gave the hotel an international feel. Japanese lanterns hung from the ceiling in the lobby and hotel workers sported costumes ranging from kimonos to Bavarian-style dress.
Louis Hill, president of the railway at the time, envisioned a grand hotel with a rustic look to it, but offering luxurious amenities – eventually those included a swimming pool and golf course.
A blend of historic and contemporary photographs by Fred Pflughoft, David Morris and Douglass Dye gives a flavor of the lodge then and now. Barnes also mentions other chalets built to house park guests, although only a few of these structures remain today.
To commemorate the lodge’s 100th birthday, current executive chef Joe Santangini shares recipes from the Great Northern Dining Room. Check out the mouthwatering Montana Sundae! To further your knowledge of Glacier, a bibliography, useful websites, and travel information are included in the book.
Barnes, who lives in Bend, OR, is the award-winning author of numerous books on historic lodges in U.S. and Canadian national parks, and was a senior consultant and historian for the companion PBS series, “Great Lodges of the National Parks” and “Great Lodges of the Canadian Rockies.”
– Judy Shafter