Friday, June 28, 2013

History of the Lamp Shades of Lake McDonald Lodge

The original lamp shades in Lake McDonald Lodge were crafted in 1927 by members of the Blood Indian Tribe, for the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Park, Canada. The lamp shades hung in the Prince of Wales Hotel until moved to the Lake McDonald Lodge in 1960, when both hotels underwent remodeling. By 1982, the lamp shades were showing signs of deterioration and were in need of repair. Montana artist, Kay Storms, was commissioned to reproduce the shades.  

Some pieces of the original shades were salvaged and framed ot protect them from further deterioration.  Several of these pieces of art are being offered to the public. These pictographs tell many stories from the lives of the Indians during the early 1900's and by offering these fragile works, they hoped to help in some small way to save a piece of a proud and vanishing culture that not only shares our distant past, but also our distant future. The remnants are numbered and are guaranteed to be an authentic piece of the original lamp shades, salvaged by Kay Storms.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Glacier Park Lodge Celebrates 100 Years

Louis Warren Hill, Sr.
After the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, there was phenomenal growth in railway development.  Railroads began to connect the dots not only from the Pacific to the Atlantic, but to destinations that would link people to the wonders that lie inside our continent.  Louis Hill, president of The Great Northern Railway, saw the trend of other railways being built to destinations such as Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon, and decided that he too wanted to bring passengers to a destination unlike any other—to “The Crown of the Continent.” 

Although the Great Northern Railway was a portal for passengers to travel from the East to the West, there would be great need for an extensive tourist development project in the Park in order for visitors to move about the park. Glacier Park Lodge symbolized the entrance into Glacier Park, connecting guests from the Great Northern Railway, and as the gateway into the vast roads, trails, and vistas through the transportation of the red buses.   In March of 1912, work began on the Glacier Park Hotel site. The building was inspired by the Forestry Building constructed for the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon.

Construction of Glacier Park Lodge in 1913
The Great Northern commissioned Samuel L. Bartlett of St. Paul, Minnesota as the architect for the Glacier Park Lodge, but Hill controlled every major aspect of the design, having temporarily stepped down from the presidency of the Great Northern to oversee the Glacier hotel projects. The large 40-ft Douglas Fir trees used for the interior columns were transported by train from the Pacific Northwest, where the 500-800 year-old trees were harvested. The trees had to be imported because trees rarely grow to that size in Montana.

48ft-Colonades that were imported from the Pacific  Northwest
Glacier Park Hotel was originally built with 61 guest rooms, beauty and barber shops, a plunge pool in the basement, steam heat, and few private baths.  Just one year after the initial opening, in the winter of 1913-1914, the Great Northern Railway built the Annex, now named the Great Northern Wing, adding 111 bedrooms. The nine hole golf course was added in1928, becoming the first golf course in Montana.  In 1960, the Great Northern Railway divested itself of hotels and sold Glacier Park Lodge to Glacier Park, Inc., then operated by Don Hummel. Hummel then sold Glacier Park, Inc. to Dial Corporation in 1981. (VIAD Corp spun off from Dial in 1996)

On June 15th 1913, Glacier Park Hotel opened its doors to the public for the first time, and guests began arriving to explore the furthest reaches of Glacier National Park.  It wasn’t until a week later, on June 22nd, that a party was thrown to celebrate the opening of the hotel.  The event entailed a free meal at the hotel, entertainment by local Blackfeet, and dancing to music by the Kalispell Elks Club band.   Exactly one hundred years later, (known now as) Glacier Park Lodge, shared their centennial anniversary with the public in similar fashion.

Hundreds gather for the rededication ceremony in the front lawn of GPL
The rededication ceremony began in the front lawn of Glacier Park Lodge, where the Flathead Valley Community Band greeted guests as they began to trickle in from the lodge, buses, and their vehicles.  The flag raising ceremony was performed by four United States Veterans of War and the Star Spangled Banner was performed by Darel H. Porter II, who is a porter for Glacier Park Lodge for over 20 years and sings the Star Spangled every morning at the lodge.   The “Welcome to Glacier Park Lodge” song was performed by three prior Glacier Park Lodge employees circa the 1960s and 70s and then Amy Croover, official from Senator Jon Tester’s office, spoke on his behalf in sending his celebration wishes.

Joe Fassler, Board Chairman for Glacier Park Inc.(GPI), and Ron Cadrette, Vice President of GPI, outlined the history of the lodge over the last century.  They also detailed the contributions that GPI has made in order to create the same atmosphere and experience to the guests as the first guests who walked through the doors 100 years ago.  We were also joined by Jim Kipp, Blackfeet Member, who then shared his words on the “Oral History of the Ceded Strip.” 

Guests await to enter the Great Northern Dining Room
The crowd was then welcomed to the Great Northern Dining Room, where a complimentary barbeque lunch was being served and musical entertainment was provided by Four Roses & a Thorn and a woodwind quintet.  Other activities in the lodge included, Christine Barnes, author of Glacier Park Lodge: Celebrating 100 Years, who offered book signings in the lobby, old jammer stories were told at the fireplace, and historic tours were provided around the property to guests.  An edible cake replica of the lodge was served in the lobby and BrassWerks soon followed with their performances. 

A private dinner was offered to 155 guests who were served the exact menu that was used in J.J. Hill’s seventy-fifth birthday party, held in Glacier Park Hotel in September of 1913.  The menu included,“Going-to-the-Sun” canap├ęs, mountain trout meuniere, parisienne potatoes served with claret, Montana beef tenderloin with fresh mushrooms, and stuffed bell peppers. While guests enjoyed their meals, Jack Gladstone, Blackfeet Nation Singer and Poet, crooned the crowd with songs about American Indian mythology and history.

Glacier Park Lodge’s Centennial Celebration marks the beginning of a series of similar centennial celebrations for GPI.  Next year, Lake McDonald Lodge will celebrate their centennial and Many Glacier turns 100 in 2015.  The National Park Service also celebrates their centennial anniversary in 2016, when the Going-to-the-Sun road reconstruction is projected to be completed.   

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Harvestfest Dinner Series - June Dinner

The Harvest Dinner Series is a great opportunity for the folks to try the local flavors from Terrapin Farms.  June 27th marks the first of four of the dinners for the next four months, and will showcase different menus for each event.  September 20th will be the final and largest event for the season, and will encompass for farms, and activities.  If you plan to join, make sure to reserve tickets fast, as there is limited seating!

Call 406-862-3000 for tickets

Glacier Park Lodge Centennial Celebration

Monday, June 3, 2013

Canadian Insurance for Massage Services



                                                         21a Grouse
Most Canadian employers health care plans include coverage for Massage Therapy.  Unlike many insurance plans in the US, they do not typically require a prescription from a medical doctor.  They do require that you pay for the service, and submit a receipt including the name and address of the facility where the massage was performed, name and registration (license) number of the Therapist giving the massage, date of service, and amount paid.  Upon submitting the receipt, most insurance companies will reimburse the amount in full.  Many insurance companies have $1000-$3000 limits on Massage Therapy, and many people do not even come close to using it up.  Remedies Day Spa provides print outs for services including all of the pertinent information needed to submit Massages purchased for reimbursement, and has locations on at The Spa at Grouse Mountain Lodge, and in East Glacier at the Glacier Park Lodge.  
For more information call 406-863-9493 

spa menu
Download The Spa Menu 

June Calendar

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In honor of our Glacier Park Lodge Centennial Celebration this month, our calendar is of the pristine grounds of the lodge.  The Centennial Celebration is on June 22nd and the complimentary public event will be from 11am to 2pm.

Activities include: rededication ceremony, an all-American BBB, photo booth, cotton candy, live music, and birthday cake.

10:30am—11am: Music by the Flathead Valley Community Band 
11am: Flag Raising Ceremony 
11:15am: Introduction by Ron Cadrette, GM/Vice President , Glacier Park Inc., of James J. Hill 
 12:30pm—2:00pm: Complimentary BBQ Lunch served in the Great Northern Dining Room, with individual performances by members of the Flathead Valley Community Band                
*No Reservation is required to participate*

To download the desktop wallpaper calendar, just follow these simple steps to get this wallpaper on your computer:

Click on whatever aspect ratio your monitor uses (16x9 or 4x3) and the picture will enlarge.
Right click (or ctrl click on a mac) and select the option "Save image as..." This will allow you to save it to your desktop or where ever is handy.
Locate the image you just saved on your computer, open it and right click on the image. Select "Set as desktop background" and you're finished!

If you need a different size to fit your desktop properly, please leave a note in the comments and we'll add that size to the options.

Lake McDonald Lodge

Lake McDonald Lodge is one of the most iconic lodges in Glacier National Park, with its close proximity to popular attractions such as Apgar Village, Avalanche Lake, and the Trail of the Cedars.  The lodge is also a widely used transfer station for visitors who choose to take a shuttle, or one of the historic red "jammer" buses up to Logan's Pass on the Going-To-The-Sun Road.  The entire complex at Lake McDonald Lodge consists of 14 structures, with cabin accommodations  2 two-story motel units, a restaurant, an auditorium, several support buildings for employee housing, and a general store.  
Lake McDonald in the 1920's and taken by R.E. 'Ted Marble
The lodge was built by homesteader George Snyder, in 1895 as the smaller Glacier Hotel, with locally available materials, such as red cedar and native stone and built to replicate the rustic architectural styles of the other buildings in the park. The property was sold in 1906 to John Lewis, and in 1913, architect, Kirkland Cuttter was hired to design the new hotel constructed by the Great Northern Railroad over the winter of 1913-1914. A partial renovation was was made in 1980, but many of the original features still remain.  Walking in the front entrance you'll notice the cedar pillars holding the upper balcony are the original logs used in the photograph on the left.   Because there was no road to the lodge until 1921, the "front" faces the lake-shore to greet guests who arrived by boat. 

Swing for Glacier Gala Event
 The main lodge was declared a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 28, 1987.May 24th, 2013 marked the 99th time the Lake McDonald Lodge had opened its doors by holding its 10th annual Swing For Glacier Gala Event. The event benefited three non-profit organizations; The Glacier Institute, Glacier National Park Conservancy, and Glacier National Park Associates. The event began at Belton Chalet, with a beer and wine reception, and where then the historic red Jammer buses drove guests to Lake McDonald Lodge for scenic boat rides, swing dancing, silent auction, and a buffet dinner.  

With the lodge's ever-growing popularity and destination for group events and weddings, the lodge is expanding in order to accommodate more guests.  Two cabins that were once used for employee housing will now be converted into guests rooms for the first time.  The cabins have been nearly completely renovated on the inside to provide wheelchair access, updated plumbing, windows, accents, and safety features.  The cabins can either be rented out as an entire unit or by individual rooms and will be ready as early as July of 2013.  Both cabins have spectacular views of either Lake McDonald or Snyder Creek.  

Cabin being renovated for additional guest rooms
Next year marks the centennial anniversary for Lake McDonald Lodge, and while many renovations and restructuring continue to evolve in order to keep the property safe and accessible, the location manager, Tood Ashcraft, makes certain to keep the historic and traditional integrity in place.  In touring the grounds with Todd, he described how he learned many of the hand-me-down traditions that they still use with the employees and guests today.  During the summer, the bellmen hold tours to the guests and can describe the history and traditions in an interactive tour at the lodge in further detail.  

Next time you find yourself in Glacier National Park, stop at Lake McDonald Lodge and learn the history and traditions and walk around to view the paintings by Charles M. Russell, go on a boat tour on Lake McDonald, or just enjoy sitting in the rocking chair in front of the fireplace.  No matter what the activity, make this lodge a definite stop along your trip, and it will not disappoint, as the history and traditions are so rich and still run deep with in the property, the staff, and the guests.

View from the dock at Lake McDonald Lodge

To view more information or to book a room with Lake McDonald Lodge, visit