Women in Wonderland Lives, Legends, and Legacies of Yellowstone National Park

ByElizabeth A. Watry


Betsy Watry tells the tales of a dozen women, some of whom had short-lived adventures in Yellowstone National Park, but most of whom spent decades as rangers, scientists, interpreters, and entrepreneurs, shaping the Park’s physical and cultural landscape. This is a wonderful ‘hidden’ history, full of surprising stories, grounded in intensive research and written with charm.”
—Dr. Mary Murphy, historian and author of Hope in Hard Times

“For so long, Yellowstone National Park has needed a book about the women who stood and today stand tall in its history. At long last, Elizabeth Watry has produced it. Women across the nation should celebrate this book for its noteworthy contribution to women’s history, as we professional historians do.”
Lee Whittlesey, Park Historian, National Park Service, —Yellowstone National Park

“To read about Yellowstone National Park too often means viewing it through the eyes and exploits of men. By sharing the experiences and contributions of women who visited, lived, and worked in Yellowstone, Elizabeth Watry places women front and center in the Park’s wondrous history. Women in Wonderland is sure to become a treasured resource.”
—Diane Smith, author of Letters from Yellowstone

“In this well researched and consistently engaging book, Elizabeth Watry treats us to a long overdue celebration of some remarkable people who lived through remarkable times while making the Yellowstone experience better for all of us today.”
—Paul Schullery, author of Mountain Time and Searching for Yellowstone    

“Betsy Watry’s Women in Wonderland is not only a meticulously researched biography of 12 individual women and their ties to Yellowstone National Park but is also a history of westward expansion, the National Park Service, and Yellowstone itself. For anyone interested in Yellowstone, the rare photographs and wealth of source materials are reason enough to own and read this delightful book.”
—Judith L. Meyer, author of The Spirit of Yellowstone


Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-60639-029-0
Author: Elizabeth A. Watry

Women in Wonderland is "Yellowstone Insider's" first book recommendation!

"This meticulously researched history is engaging and empowering for men and women alike—the stories of spirit are truly the stuff of legend."

—Kate Beaudoin, Outside Bozeman, Spring 2012 issue

"Women in Wonderland" profiles undaunted women in Yellowstone’s history

Twelve women who made their mark on Yellowstone National Park are described in a highly praised new book, “Women in Wonderland: Lives, Legends, and Legacies of Yellowstone National Park” by Elizabeth (Betsy) Watry.

"Most (of the women in the book) spent decades as rangers, scientists, interpreters, and entrepreneurs, shaping the park’s physical and cultural landscape,” said Dr. Mary Murphy, Montana State University historian and author of “Hope in Hard Times.” “This is a wonderful ‘hidden’ history, full of surprising stories, grounded in intensive research and written with charm."

The women rangers in the book include Marguerite “Peg” Arnold, an intrepid adventurer who drove a Harley Davidson motorcycle from Philadelphia to Yellowstone in 1924 and was the first woman to become a permanent ranger in the National Park Service. Also featured is Dr. Mary Meagher, an expert on Yellowstone’s bison and overall park ecology, who blazed a path for women scientists in the park service. Among the early pioneers in the tourist trade were sisters Anna Trischman Pryor and Belle Trischman with their “Devil’s Kitchenette,” and Ida “Mom” Eagle of the Eagle’s Store in West Yellowstone.

Diane Smith, author of "Letters from Yellowstone," said the book "places women front and center in the park’s wondrous history" Paul Schullery, author of "Mountain Tim" and “Searching for Yellowstone,” called it a “consistently engaging” book, and Yellowstone historian Lee Whittlesey praised the book “for its noteworthy contribution to women’s history." The book includes numerous black and white photographs of the women and their lives in the park.

Watry holds a master’s degree in history from Montana State University and is the co-author of "Images of America: Yellowstone National Park” and “Ho! For Wonderland: Travelers’ Accounts of Yellowstone, 1872-1914."

The book sells for $19.95 and is available at bookstores or from Riverbend Publishing, 1-866-787-2363.

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