Mary Logan Nolan Fort Yellowstone Photographs
Creator: Mary Logan Nolan
Dates: 1904-1914 and n.d.
Quantity: 2 inches
This collection documents Mary Logan Nolan’s time working as a laundress at Fort Yellowstone from 1912-1915.
Mary Logan Nolan (1886-1948) moved to the remote Fort Yellowstone when she was twenty-five years old in 1912. She made the move from Fort Snelling, a Minnesota army base now located in what is now St. Paul, where she worked as a laundress. She heard that Fort Yellowstone needed a laundry team, and she traveled alone to a new opportunity. While there, Mary and the laundry team, who worked six days a week in a row of buildings near the back of the fort called Suds Row, provided laundry services for 360 cavalry troops stationed there. In 1916, the fort was decommissioned by the military because the area was transitioning to the newly formed National Parks Service.
Mary moved to Bozeman, Montana, in 1916 and married Earl Nolan. By 1918, they had two young children, and moved to St. Paul because of a family health emergency. They decided to stay permanently in the area. Their oldest child, Nellie Mae, died of diphtheria in 1920, and a year and a half later, Mary and Earl divorced. Mary continued to care for her son, James, and worked as a laundress. She died in 1948 from long-term complications from rheumatic fever that she experienced while working at Fort Yellowstone.
Scope & Content Note
This collection contains 68 photographs that depict Mary Logan Nolan’s experience working as a laundress at Fort Yellowstone from 1912-1915. Most of the photographs were taken by Nolan, but there are also modern printed images of a map of the fort in 1912, Colonel Lloyd M. Brett who was the Commander at Fort Yellowstone from 1910-1916, and a colorized image of the fort in 1912. Also included is an unpublished biography of Mary. This biography is housed in the accession folder of the collection and can be accessed upon request.
The collection came organized into five groups: arrival and first year, work, recreation, wildlife, and Fort Snelling military. These groups were maintained, and the item-level organization was also maintained.
The Arrival and first year (1904, 1912, and n.d.) series contains photographs of Mary Logan during 1912.
The Work (1913 and n.d.) series contains photographs of Mary and her laundry team members.
The Recreation (1912, 1914, and n.d.) series contains photographs of Mary and her friends from Fort Yellowstone exploring the region and enjoying time away from work.
The Wildlife (1912 and n.d.) series contains photographs of local wildlife including bears and deer. There are also three photographs of Mary feeding a bear.
The Fort Snelling military (1912 and n.d.) series contains photographs of cavalry exercises and various military personnel.
Yellowstone National Park
The Mary Logan Nolan Fort Yellowstone Photographs was donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 2019 by Rick Nolan.
The Mary Logan Nolan Fort Yellowstone Photographs is the property of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Materials, even if owned by the NCWHM, may be protected under third party copyright. It is the patron’s responsibility to research and secure any such additional copyright and pay any required fees or royalties. It is not the intention of the NCWHM to impede upon any third-party rights, and the NCWHM cannot be held responsible if the patron is involved in legal action due to violation of third-party copyright claims.
Restrictions on Access
The Mary Logan Nolan Fort Yellowstone Photographs has no restrictions and is available for research. If you are interested in researching the materials, please contact the Dickinson Research Center to make an appointment.
Mary Logan Nolan Fort Yellowstone Photographs, 1912-1914 and n.d., Box # Folder #, Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Click the blue links to see the images in the collection. If you are interested in high resolution images for publication or personal study, please contact the Dickinson Research Center at email@example.com