Creator: Binoniemi, Mary


Provenance Note: The Mary Binoniemi Letters were donated to Special Collections by Ron Lerner in January of 2000.


Historical Note: Mary Binoniemi, who lived in Minnesota and Oregon, worked in Yellowstone National Park in 1910s at Mammoth Hot Springs. During that time, she became romantically involved with John H. Mattie, who was working at the Norris Hotel in the summer of 1910. They probably later married and moved to Oregon.


Content Description Note: The Mary Binoniemi papers consist of ten letters. Most of the letters are written to Mary from John Mattie. The letters are mostly personal although some fellow workers and their activities are discussed. He mainly tells of his feelings for her, and in the last letter written from Oregon, addresses her as "my dear wife." One letter is written in an unidentified foreign language. One additional letter addressed to Mary from the Cottage Hotel, Yellowstone National Park, is from her friend Mrs. Wilfred Brunell and contains news about the staff working there in the summer of 1910. The only letter written by Mary is to John, September 2, 1910, written from Bozeman, Montana. The letter describes the hotel and preparations for the Sweet Pea carnival in the town. One other letter, dated Hibbling, Minnesota, December 14, 1909 is from a friend of Mary's named "Zwick" and discusses only personal news. The last letter in the collection was written to John from Everett S. Hatcher, Company E, 21st United States Infantry who wrote from Manilla, Philippine Islands, on May 22, 1911. Hatcher apparently also worked in the park and mostly discusses his current service duties, including "trouble with the Natives" in the Philippines.

Updated: 5/28/09