You Won’t Believe The Story Behind This Train Hotel
The Holiday Inn at 315 Yellowstone Avenue is one of the most notable and memorable hotels of West Yellowstone. If you’ve ever been to the area, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen the place. Just as noticeable as the hotel is the restaurant, The Branch Restaurant, and Bar.
This joint is known as one of the best restaurants in the spot to frequent for a tasty meal. If you’ve been to the area, there’s a good chance you know the place. If you haven’t, it’s something worth checking out, and you’ll see why. Between these two well known public places, there’s a secret hidden in between the restaurant and the hotel: The Oregon Short Line.
The rail was built in 1903, intended to be an executive rail car for the Vice President of The Union Pacific. In 1903, when it was built, it cost around fifteen grand. Not too bad right? Well actually, if you factor in inflation, that’s over $400,000 in 2016 money! You can definitely tell that it took quite a bit of money when you explore the rail car, however.
There is an extreme amount of detail within the wooden structures. This was common in building around this time, but the designers of the car paid especially close attention to the rail car, as it was intended for a VIP. The rail car has a long history of being given and regifted to other important people. Among those people was the superintendent of the Oregon Short Line as a retirement gift. After he used it, several people even ended up using the space as a summer home!
Eventually, two residents of the car, Clyde and Linda Seely, discovered the true origins of the summer home they frequented. Over the years, the place had been covered in coats of paint and changed drastically from when it was originally created. The couple decided it was best to attempt to restore it to its original beauty. They then moved it back to its original home and decided to build the Holiday Inn around it!
Guests of the hotel are now able to take self-guided tours of the original structure. It truly is a beautiful site and piece of history. Had it not been discovered to be a historic piece, it might just still be sitting as a summer home. But now, people are able to see and enjoy the beautiful antique furniture and gorgeous woodwork that fill the car.
It’s crazy to think that the train car had been moved around so often and specially painted over so frequently. But with a lot of hard work and good craftsmanship, it was able to make it back home in its original state. It truly is a beautiful site and amazing that it’s able to live out the rest of its life as a historical monument. The design from top to bottom is absolutely stunning and is a reminder just how much our times have changed.