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Great Colt 1878 Frontier Revolver And Documents
With Interesting Yellowstone National Park History

This old-time pistol has quite a history. It is a British proofed Colt 1878 Frontier revolver in caliber .455 Eley.
It is serial number 9169 so it was made in 1882. It belonged to Carroll T. Hobart, a very colorful person, who
had the first lease on over 4000 acres at Yellowstone National Park and built the National Hotel there.
Hobart worked for the Northern Pacific Railway for 10 years and was made Superintendent of the
Yellowstone Park Branch in 1881. The railroad, chartered by Abraham Lincoln in 1864, was to build a
northern route across the Country from the Great Lakes to Puget Sound. In 1882, the Railway was running
its line close to the fledgling Yellowstone National Park and wanted to get in on the tourist traffic. Carroll.
Hobart, then of Fargo, Dakota Territory, and two other businessmen, were able to obtain the first private
lease in Yellowstone from the Government consisting of  4400 acres, a monopoly on the Park concessions
and almost unlimited use of Park resources for their operations. They formed the Yellowstone Park
Improvement Company. Hobart was the general manager and his group built the National Hotel at
Mammoth on credit.  Financial problems caused by undercapitalization forced the company to go bankrupt
in 1885, whereupon Hobart opened up several rustic hotels at the Lower and Upper Geyser Basins with former
Park Superintendent Robert Carpenter. Apparently, he was able to lease back the National Hotel for a dollar
a year and did very well financially. Among other exploits, Hobart was accused by the Government of killing
buffalo to feed his workers, but this was never proved, and also of cutting timber without authorization. The
pistol is still in the possession of the family. The buyer will receive a notarized affidavit from the owner
explaining the line of ownership of the revolver, the pistol’s original British holster, several photograph of
Hobart and two original letters signed by him. There is much written about him and some of this material
will also go to the buyer. Some of the accounts of the political wrangling that went on in government circles
are fascinating. A large volume of his personal papers and items are in the Yale University Beinecke Rare
Book and Manuscript Library, Yale Collection of Western Americana. This presents a great opportunity for
further research. The piece itself has seen a good bit of wear but still functions perfectly and has an excellent
bore. The remaining blue is about 50%. There is a chip out of the right grip. The holster has some scuffing
but is in good condition. This historic piece be the centerpiece of any Yellowstone or Western memorabilia
collection.                                                                                                            Price on request.