Madison Hotel and Cafe

137 Yellowstone Ave., West Yellowstone, Montana


Madison Hotel & Cafe

Photo taken by David Jones in October 2019




"The Forest Service granted Jess Pierman a special-use permit to build a hotel and restaurant here in 1910. A large tent accommodated guests until the present hotel was under construction in the fall of 1912. Doll Bartlett began cooking for Pierman in 1910, saving much of her weekly ten-dollar paycheck. Her husband Roxy drove the stage between Monida and West Yellowstone. By the time the hotel was under construction, the Bartletts had saved enough money to buy the business, which they ran until Roxy died in the 1920s. Doll continued to run the hotel with her second husband, George Pickup. The two-story rectangular plan is of simple log construction with saddle-notched corner timbering and a prominent front dormer. The original six upstairs rooms, warmed by a cut stone fireplace in the downstairs lobby, catered to rail and stage travelers. Each room had a pitcher, a wash basin, and a chamber pot. Water came from a well across the street. The hotel expanded, adding fourteen rooms in 1921 and a bar and dance floor soon after, but there was no running water until the 1930s. In 1923, President Harding was a guest and antiquated registers show that many Hollywood greats, such as Wallace Beery and Gloria Swanson, enjoyed the hospitality of the Madison Hotel. Log support columns and beams, wood floors, light fixtures, the stone fireplace, and many of the room furnishings are original. Although not the first hotel in West Yellowstone, the Madison is the only hotel that remains from this early period when tourism was in its infancy." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 13, 1983
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Rustic
Areas of significance
Commerce; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Hotel; Restaurant
Current functions
Specialty store; Restaurant
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • October 26, 2019: New photos from David Jones
  • July 15, 2019: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical information