Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge is an unforgettable building, so important to the Northwest that Southern Pacific even based the lounge car on the Shasta Daylight on the timber-framed structure’s interior. Northern Pacific tries to capture the place in this postcard, but whoever hand-colored the photo has obviously never been there. After all, this is timberline, which means pretty much everything above this point is bare rock or snow–so why is the mountain green?

Click image to download a PDF of this postcard. Click here for an OCR version.

Below is a “real photo” postcard of Timberline Lodge, postmarked 1939, by Sawyer’s–the same photo company that invented and made View-Masters. The NP postcard is clearly based on this photo. I can’t find any recent color photos taken from the same spot, and I suspect construction of the lodge’s parking lot has obscured the location from which the photo was taken.

Click image to download a PDF of this postcard.

Instead of a photo from the same spot, I was able to capture a helicopter-view screen shot from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, which starts out showing a car driving through Montana’s Glacier Park to Oregon’s Timberline Lodge which is supposed to represent a hotel in Colorado. In any case, it clearly shows that the colors in the NP postcard are highly imaginary.

The back of the postcard has the older Northern Pacific “Yellowstone Park Line” herald and notes that NP is the “route of the Streamlined North Coast Limited.” That train began, of course, in 1948 while the older herald was replaced in the Summer 1953, timetable, so this postcard dates to somewhere between 1948 and 1953.

Since updating Adobe Acrobat, I’ve been “OCRing” (optical character recognition) all PDFs even if they have only a few words on them. Unfortunately, Acrobat has a bad habit of rotating files if it thinks the words aren’t perfectly horizontal. This means that PDFs that I’ve carefully laid out end up with large white bars on one or more sides. In the case of this postcard and some other items in the future, you can download the plain version or the OCRed version, or both, as you prefer.

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