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Yodeler Motel - Red Lodge, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 45° 10.847 W 109° 14.842
12T E 637698 N 5004528
Quick Description: As yet the only National Register Historic Place we have yet stayed in, the Yodeler is a motel that began life as home to Carbon County coal miners.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 4/27/2019 5:03:04 PM
Waymark Code: WM10F8D
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member ZenPanda
Views: 0

Long Description:
Built in 1909 as a brick 8-unit apartment building for coal miners, of which there were many in the area at the time, in 1961 and 1962 the building was renovated and became a motel. Local lore has it that the apartments, located in the Yugoslavian section of Red Lodge, were built specifically to provide housing for Serbo-Croatian miners employed at the nearby Rocky Fork Coal Company mine. Built with no discernable style, when remodeled, a chalet style office was added to the north end of the building, in keeping with the ski motif adopted by the motel in an attempt to attract skiers who came to Red Lodge to avail themselves of the Red Lodge Mountain ski area.

We knew that the Yodeler had been entered in the National Register before arriving in Red Lodge, so we decided this had to be our roosting spot in the town. Luckily, they had rooms available at the time and we checked into one near the centre of the building. It's a nice motel, especially so for a 110 year old building and, for the fact that it's a historic site alone, we recommend it to anyone in search of accommodations in Red Lodge. While we had no pets with us, we noted that they are a "Pet Friendly" motel. Following are some of the features/amenities of the Yodeler.

Pet Friendly We love animals, and your furry friends are always welcome to stay at The Yodeler! Each pet is just $10 a night with a limit of 2 pets per room. Let us know if your pet will be traveling with you, so we can guarantee one of our pet friendly rooms for you.

Steam Sauna – Hot Tub After a day of exploring the town, hiking or skiing, our in-shower steam saunas and hot tub are a relaxing treat. Most guest rooms have the in-shower saunas, but be sure to request it when making your reservation. Our hot tub is in an attached, outdoor gazebo and is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ...

Green and Clean We run a high efficient, solar hot water boiler system. All of your hot water and radiant heat are solar powered. We have Tesla and electric car charging stations available to our guests for a small $12 fee. We also have recycling bins in every room at The Yodeler to cut down on waste...

Extras Ski/Snowboard Waxing Room ? Bicycle Rack ? Vending Machines ? Motor Wash Area ? Tesla & Electric Car Charging Stations ? All rooms are nonsmoking and have free WiFi, fridge, recycling bins, microwave, coffee maker, & extra pillows.
From the Yodeler Motel

YODELER MOTEL

Red Lodge was at the heart of a tourism boom in the 1950s when the federal Mission 66 program brought improvements to national parks. Visitors by the hundreds traveled over the stunning Beartooth Highway to Yellowstone Park. The Yodeler Motel, once one of several busy nearby hostelries during the “golden age” of motels, is Red Lodge’s most unique roadside inn. Its architectural layers illustrate its history first as an apartment building and later as Red Lodge’s first and only theme motel. Daniel O’Shea originally built the complex as an apartment building for working-class families in 1909. Residents were primarily European immigrants who worked in the Rocky Fork Coal Company’s nearby East Bench Mine. After the closure of the mines in the 1920s, many of its tenants stayed in Red Lodge to help build the Beartooth Highway during the Great Depression. For a short time beginning in the 1940s, a grocery store occupied the north end of the building. In 1961, local building contractor Al Sloulin purchased the property and transformed the simple brick apartments into a Bavarian-themed motel. Its guest rooms, large chalet entrance, decorative scrolled woodwork, historic signage, and southern German motifs continue to appeal to tourists and skiers who come to Red Lodge to enjoy the area’s recreational and scenic opportunities. The Yodeler Motel and its unique architecture symbolize Red Lodge’s history, first as a hard-working mining community and melting pot of different ethnic groups, and, more recently, as a popular destination for visitors from around the world.
From the NRHP plaque at the building
Yodeler Motel
All 24 of the motel guest rooms have been remodeled since 1962. The rooms are simple and lack any distinctive features. The office/reception area, however, has not been altered since its construction in 1962. It features open beam ceilings, a flagstone fireplace with a distinctive clock embedded in the overmantel with “The Yodeler” functioning as clock numbers. The clock also appears to be made of stone. Walls in the office area feature distinctive varnished tongue-and-groove pine to give the appearance of a Bavarian chalet. The reception desk, which sports an upholstered facing below the desk, sits to the left as one enters the office. The interior sports a ski motif keeping with the theme of the motel.

Never a franchise operation, its current design reflects its origin as a privately owned “mom and pop” operation. The Yodeler looks much as it did when remodeled into a motel in the early 1960s. The conversion of the apartments using the original building footprint, into a motel resembling a Bavarian ski chalet was, and is, unique in the town of Red Lodge.

James “Yankee Jim” George discovered extensive coal deposits in the upper Rock Creek drainage in 1866. Its remoteness, lack of a market for the product, and location within the Crow Reservation, delayed its exploitation for over two decades. In 1887, a cartel of Bozeman and Helena businessmen formed the Rocky Fork Coal Company to mine the fossil fuel at the site of a tiny stage stop settlement on the Meteetsee Trail called Red Lodge. By late 1887, the company’s owners made an arrangement with the Northern Pacific Railway (NPRR) to construct a branch line from Laurel, 44 miles south to Red Lodge and the coal mines. Completed in April 1889, the Rocky Fork & Cooke City Railway sparked an expansion of coal mining in the region, especially after the line was acquired by the NPRR the following year.

Red Lodge originated as a stage stop on the Meteetsee Trail in 1884. The establishment of the Rocky Fork Coal Company mines on the east and west benches bracketing Rock Creek along with the arrival of the railroad sparked a boom in the settlement by 1888. The railroad brought hundreds of immigrants and their families to the remote community to mine coal, thereby creating a working class, cosmopolitan town rich in its ethnic diversity. By 1900, Red Lodge boasted a population of 2,152 Americans, English, Irish, Germans, Italians, Slavs, and Finns, the largest ethnic group in the community.

The expansion of NPRR and ACM operations in the early twentieth century resulted in the continued growth of Red Lodge as the increasing demand for coal maintained the city’s boom economic conditions. By 1910, the population of Red Lodge more than doubled to 4,860 people. The demand for Red Lodge coal steadily increased until 1919, when a series of strikes, coupled with an economic depression, initiated a decline in the demand for Red Lodge coal.
From the NRHP Registration Form

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