Creator: Matthews, Bernice K., 1911-1998


Provenance Note: Scrapbook of Yellowstone National Park photographs and memorabilia created by Bernice Koch was purchased from Eraanteeks (an eBay vendor), Scottsdale, Arizona, on April 5, 2004


Historical Note: Bernice K. Koch, originally from Breese, a small town in southern Illinois, graduated from Carlyle High School in 1929. Bernice spent four summers working in Yellowstone National Park, from 1931 to 1934. It is known she worked at the Old Faithful Lodge and probably served as a waitress. Following her summer employment at Yellowstone, it is likely she spent at least part of her adult working life in Missouri. Bernice married a man named Matthews (first name as yet unknown) and eventually passed away in the retirement community of Sun City, Arizona on November 18, 1998, at the age of eighty-seven.


Content Description Note: The collection consists of a scrapbook kept by Koch during the summers of 1931-1934 documenting her experiences as a Yellowstone "savage," the popular nickname given to seasonal workers in the park. The scrapbook contains dozens of pictures glued in place; twenty-one loose and unidentified pictures, several of which may be from Yellowstone; an autograph book signed by other Yellowstone savages; a letter from a fellow worker; and miscellaneous items which include railroad ticket stubs and three rather unique documents written on toilet paper.

Updated: 8/3/09