Cooke City, Montana

 Photo Gallery



  Cooke City On Fire


The Whitehouse
Early Hotel and restaurant

 Can you identify these folks?


Bear on Bistro Roof

The Cosmopolitan Hotel

1976 Promotion Card

  Pig Daze Celebration 1997




A collection of Cooke City Postcards


 cooke city snow















I went to school with Jim Griffin ( Doc Griffin's) son, and had the privilege of working 4 summers for Doc at Beartooth Lake from 1958 through 1961. This was before U.S. Forest Service turned the land at Beartooth Lake into a general recreation use and Doc lost the lease on the land. Doc moved the cabins/coffee shop/lodge/boathouse to his property at Cooke Pass. I'll never forget those summers at the lake - superb fishing, hunting, hiking and the most spectacular scenery I've ever seen. I remember taking the diesel power plants the 24 miles into Cooke City for repair as this was our only form of electricity at the lake. The drives down to Red Lodge to get mail, Laurel for the cabin laundry and Billings for supplies, every other week, were quite an adventure. Doc always had a vehicle that was acting up and the trips often kept us on the edge of suspense as to whether we would get there or not. Unfortunately, Doc was killed in an accident on his Cooke City property one fall as he was preparing his trailer for return to Southern California.

 Attached are few scanned photos from way back. You can see Beartooth Butte in a couple of photos. One from where the old coffee shop used to be at the lake and the other from Highway 212 headed up over the summit to Red Lodge. The picture showing Pilot and Index peaks is looking south from Hidden Lake (golden trout). The picture with the 4 gents shows Jim Griffin on the right, me on the left, Doc behind me (wearing a hat) and Dick Newby (photo from 1958) with a bunch of fish that Jim and I had to clean.

Valerie Wisenhunt, I took a greyhound bus from Boston to Billings and worked in Cooke City for about six weeks in the summer of 1968 for Mrs. Nordquist who owned the Nordquist Cabins. It was my first introduction to rustic living and being 21 years old, it was quite an eye-opener for a "city girl". I didn't get to see much of the area as I was working all day cleaning the cabins for the guests that would arrive each evening.


 I've often wondered whatever happened to the cabins and to Mrs. Nordquist, but never knew how to find out. I've attached a picture that I took of some of the cabins that were part of the Nordquist cabins in 1968. I have a few others if anyone is interested.

 Down on Main Street.

Frazer Automobiles. These two remnants of a bygone era are parked in a vacant lot along Cooke City's main drag. An old gas pump set at $0.21 per gallon sits next to them

My name is David Kapral, my friend, Jim Coletta and I were in Cooke City for about a month in August of 1963, as part of a full summer Western fishing trip. We had $500. each for the trip, and we only spent three nights of the summer out of the tent The people in Cooke City, and everywhere in Montana were wonderfully friendly, and a month in Cooke City wasn't enough!
To the Pictures: We have Sam and Betty from the Cooke City General store. Prior to the Sinclair station, there was a much smaller gas station, and I don't remember everybody's name sitting on the Jeep, but the Blond haired young man was named Donnie, and the tall youngster next to him was Odie, as I recall. There were two Rangers who frequented our camp [just about Breakfast time, every day]. One was named Joe Israel, and the one with a hand on my shoulder by my 1955 VW bus is Jack Chapman. That was a neat vehicle it had no gas gauge, but that was considered a "feature," not an oversight. Getting it up to 55 mph was possible, on straight runs and any downhill road. It went through everything, however.


 The picture of Donnie and the man and boy was part of a rescue mission: the Man was a dentist trying to get up Granite Peak when his jeep got stuck. We walked out and got Donnie, who pulled him out. the Mountain pictures are at the lake at the base of the summit of Granite Peak. It had a considerable cutthroat population at the time. As I said the time was August, and that's when we got hit with the snow.

 This picture was taken in June of 2002 in Silvergate. We just happened to be eating in the restaurant on our last day, and this was a treat. Hope you enjoy.

Bryan Peake
Oklahoma City, OK


 Mike Kay. In 1986 I rode a bicycle over Beartooth Pass. It was a great experience. The climb to the top from the Red Lodge side was brutal, but the downslope to Cooke City is a ride you will never forget! It was early summer as you can tell by the snow. The wind was chilly and the sun was bright. This must be one of the most beautiful places on earth. These are old photos that didn't scan very well, but should give you an idea of the absolute grandeur of the pass.


 Copyright 2005 Michael J. Kay
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author

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