Author: C.C. Clawson
A Ride to the Infernal Regions
Yellowstone's First Tourists
"Notes on the way to wonderland -- or, -- a ride to the infernal regions!" So began a unique travelogue in the September 9, 1871 issue of 'The New North-West', a Deer Lodge, Montana newspaper. In a series of 17 articles, Calvin Clawson, the newspaper's editor, recounted a horseback trip he and five companions made in August 1871 to what would become Yellowstone National Park.
Unlike previous expeditions, this small group did not have a scientific mission. Instead, having heard of Yellowstone's wonders, they simply wanted to see the sights. Thus they became Yellowstone's first tourists Their three-week trip was full of adventures and mesmerizing scenery. Along the way they encountered Indians, wild animals, and the famous Hayden Expedition.
Until now the Clawson trip had been largely unknown and never accessible in book form. Montana history writer Eugene Lee Silliman discovered the original newspaper articles and researched the trip and its members. His detailed introduction provides an excellent description of each member of the group and the circumstances surrounding their trip. In addition to its historical significance, Silliman notes that A Ride to the Infernal Regions is "a good read" with well-crafted descriptions and a flair for story telling.
In his foreword, Yellowstone historian Lee Whittlesey recommends that readers "curl up somewhere in a warm place, pretend it is 1871, and enjoy C.C. Clawson's fascinating tale of pre-stagecoach Yellowstone."
Forgotten account of Yellowstone’s first tourists makes a good story
Yellowstone’s first tourists enjoyed the “infernal regions”
A missing piece of Yellowstone National Park’s history comes alive in a new book called “A Ride to the Infernal Regions: Yellowstone’s First Tourists.”
The book is based on a series of articles in 1871 and 1872 in “The New North-West,” a Deer Lodge, Montana, newspaper. Written by the newspaper’s editor, Calvin C. Clawson, the 17 articles describe a three-week sightseeing trip that Clawson and five companions made in August 1871 after hearing about the area’s wonders.
Lavishly annotated with historical information by Deer Lodge, Montana, history writer Lee Silliman, the book provides a lively description of traveling through the park by horseback and visiting the park’s geyser basins, canyons, and lakes. Along the way the small group encountered bears and other wildlife, visited the famous Hayden Expedition, and outran a band of hostile Indians.
Yellowstone National Park historian Lee Whittlesey praised the book for its contribution to Yellowstone literature. “It’s a great job,” Whittlesey said. “It’s an outstanding publication that fills a big void.”
Until now the Clawson trip had been largely unknown and never accessible in book form. Silliman discovered the original newspaper articles and researched the trip and its members. His detailed introduction describes each member of the group and the circumstances surrounding their trip. A dozen historical photos enhance the text.
“In addition to its historical significance, “A Ride to the Infernal Regions” is simply a good read,” Silliman said. “Clawson has well-crafted descriptions and a flair for story telling.”
In his foreword to the book, Whittlesey recommends that readers “curl up somewhere in a warm place, pretend it is 1871, and enjoy C.C. Clawson’s fascinating tale of pre-stagecoach Yellowstone.”
Other Yellowstone National Park titles:
Yellowstone: A Land of Wild and Wonder | Wrecked in Yellowstone | Yellowstone Ranger
Rough Trip through Yellowstone | Yellowstone Has Teeth | Women in Wonderland
What I Saw in Yellowstone | Yellowstone Bears in the Wild | Yellowstone Wolves in the Wild | The Yellowstone National Park Cookbook | Yellowstone View Watching Yellowstone & Grand Teton Wildlife | Yellowstone Memories: 30 Years of Stories & Photos | A Ride to the Infernal Regions: Yellowstone's First Tourists | The Light of Spring | The Comfort of Autumn | Silence & Solitude: Yellowstone’s Winter Wilderness | Silence & Solitude: Yellowstone’s Winter Wilderness - DVD | The Abundance of Summer: The Seasons of Yellowstone