Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2011


Great Plains Quarterly 31:2 (Spring 2011).


Copyright © 2011 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska.


The turn from the nineteenth to the twentieth century saw the conclusion of the Great Northern Railway (1893) and the birth of Glacier National Park in Montana (1910), two events so tightly interrelated through the family of railroad tycoon James J. Hill and his son Louis W. Hill that they would come to be automatically associated in the minds of many twentieth-century Americans-especially the prospective middle-class tourists from the metropolitan East who were following the Hills' promotional exhortation to "See America First" and experience a tamed version of western wilderness at Glacier Park: outdoor adventure and close contact with what was deemed the remnant of a prior era, the Indian included. In the course of these campaigns, Louis Hill engaged a number of visual artists-painters, graphic artists, photographers, and filmmakers- to create lasting and iconic images to be associated with the Park.