My grandfather was an early prospector in this town. The town ceased to exist November 22, 1971 and the site is now an open pit copper mine over a mile in diameter. This picture was taken on the main street in 1914.
Very charming. The two large vehicles are White Motor Buses possibly surplus Yellowstone. Model 15-45's. Someone has taken the large trunks off and cut off the brackets that support them. The light color and black trim suggest YPC. The Park auctioned buses off from time to time and many were used to transport workers.
This scenario would not fit the 1914 time frame so the picture was taken later or the buses are not what I am thinking.
Great picture at any rate. Thanks for sharing it.
Here are a few photos of this street and area a few years later.
Bingham looks alot like butte MT. which I assume would be closer to the YNP busses.
Ok after looking at Jim's pictures it doesn't look so much like Butte, I rescind my last statement.
"It's a butte."
"No, it's a mound."
"And a right purty one, too."
Many of the earlier Yellowstone Park tour busses were destroyed by fire, something like 70 of them in a single barn style building.
Here's a picture of the barn fire:
The red bus above is on a post card from the Forney Museum CO. Labeled a 1913 White and used in Glacier. It has a canopy Top similar to the one on the right in Norman's photo. As all the White buses I had seen were '16 or later I had thought this might be an error but it may support the 1914 photo date. This would preclude them from being from Yellowstone.
Royce is right about the fire. March 30, 1925. My info says 53 Buses, 22 Touring cars and 6 Trucks were lost but 75 were heroically saved. Mine, Bus 199, was either one saved or in another building. I had not seen that photo.
Colors are difficult in black and white photos. The buses in Royce's photo should have been yellow.
At the time my grandfather staked his claim, they tunneled into the mountain. He died at age 46 from lung disease caused by the dust in the mine.
They used to have boarding houses for the miners and there were many mines in the area. It is quite probable that they would use those vehicles to transport miners to the mines if the boarding house was not within walking distance. Makes good sense. Unfortunately everyone in my family who would know more about this era have already passed, and I was born in California. I have only been to Bingham 3 times. The first time was in 1948 and the street looked very much like in the picture except the street was paved. Very narrow and parking only allowed on one side.
My uncle worked in a precipitation plant where they used acid and water to extract copper. I did tour that plant. Next time I was there, I went to the visitors center and could see the area where my family had lived way across the pit mine. No one lived there at that town. The last time I was there, even that area was gone. The pit just keeps growing.
Wonder who owns the mine now?
Kennicott Copper. They bought out all the small mines and made the big pit. Our family would have had millions of dollars by now if we had taken stock in the company, but unfortunately my grandfather died in November 1925, and in February 1926 there was an avalanche which killed my grandmother. There were 5 children and the oldest brother got custody of 3 of his younger sisters which included my mother. When the company bought them out, they took cash so he could support the children. He was just 21 and all the other family members lived in Finland. They used all the money for living expenses. Those who did take the stock did very well.
Tough luck, Norm. Reminds me of a Swedish proverb; "When it rains manna from heaven, the poor one doesn't have a spoon"