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Survey of the Lower Geyser Basin In Yellowstone Park

Detailed Map of the Lower Geyser Basin of Yellowstone, shortly after the conclusion of the Nez Perce Campaign of 1877 and the appointment of Philetus W. Norris as the second superintendent.

The map presents a large scale and comprehensive look at the region, from the East Fork of the Firehole River and the Rosette Geyer in the north to Fairy Fall and the White Creek area in the south centered on Firehole River.

The area includes topographical features, geysers and several early roads, including the Howard Road to Yellowstone River (constructed in 1877 during the Nez Perce campaign, under the direction of General Oliver Otis Howard) and the Norris Wagon Road, one of the earliest projects of Norris.

As its first real superintendent, Philetus Norris constructed roads, built a park headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs, hired the first “gamekeeper,” and campaigned against hunters and vandals. Much of the primitive road system he laid out remains as the Grand Loop Road. Through constant exploration, Norris also added immensely to geographical knowledge of the park.

Norris’s tenure occurred during an era of warfare between the United States and many Native American tribes. To reassure the public that they faced no threat from these conflicts, he promoted the idea that Native Americans shunned this area because they feared the hydrothermal features, especially the geysers. This idea was fabricated, but the myth endured. 

The Geyser regions shown include:

  • Sentinel Group
  • Butte Group
  • Fork Group
  • Camp Group
  • River Group
  • Fairy Fall Group
  • Thud Group
  • Fountain Group
  • Fissure Group
  • White Dome Group

J.E. Mushbach was a surveyor-geologist from Virginia. His diary (July-October 1878) describes his trip across the country from Virginia to Wyoming; and his experiences as a member of the 1878 F.V. Hayden Expedition to Yellowstone National Park and the Snake River area of Idaho in 1878.

Condition Description
Edge & fold splits, repaired on verso with archival tape.