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MS 429 - Camp Monaco Tree Removal Collection



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MS 429 - Camp Monaco Tree Removal Collection, 1994-1994 | McCracken Research Library

By Samantha L. Harper

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Collection Overview

Title: MS 429 - Camp Monaco Tree Removal Collection, 1994-1994Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Minter, James B.

Extent: 2.0 Boxes

Date Acquired: 01/01/2013

Subjects: Albert I, Prince of Monaco, 1848-1922, Cody, William F. (William Frederick) 1846-1917, Yellowstone National Park

Languages: English


This collection consists of several newspaper articles as well as 140 photographs documenting the process of removing the Camp Monaco Tree from its original site in the Shoshone National Forest after it was killed by the 1988 Yellowstone National Park Fires

Collection Historical Note

Camp Monaco, 1913

In 1913, H.S.H Albert the Sovereign Prince of Monaco came to the United States. Though informal, his visit marked the first by a sitting European head of state. As part of his informal tour, Prince Albert came to Wyoming as a guest of Colonel Abraham Archibald Anderson, former Special Superintendent of the Teton and Yellowstone Forest Reserves, to check on some oil investments and to hunt.  After hunting at Anderson’s ranch near Meeteetse, Wyoming, the Prince and his party accompanied William F. Cody into a wilderness area just outside Yellowstone National Park. They camped amidst “wild rugged beauty.” Along with trout, grouse, finches and eagles, the setting’s “profusion of life” included “elk and deer in the dark timber, moose along the marshland [and] mountain sheep in the rocky crags at skyline.” The site would become known as “Camp Monaco.”  According to William F. Cody who was interviewed about the adventure when he came out of the backcountry,

“The camp is pitched in a semi-circle about a pine tree that is five feet in diameter. The prince’s tent is beneath the giant tree, and the camp is in the most picturesque spot I have ever seen.”

In addition to ruling Monaco, Prince Albert was a scientist and outdoorsman. During this hunting trip, he combined both of these passions. The hunting party totaled sixteen members, but Prince Albert yearned to hunt alone with guide Fred Richard, in order to experience the western wilderness in its full glory.  Despite objections from his personal bodyguard, Prince Albert hunted independently with Richard, successfully bagging a bull elk and a black bear during the trip. He photographed each specimen, and had his personal taxidermist prepare the skins that were sent back to Monaco for museum preservation.  Albert’s 1913 hunting trip in Wyoming became a highlight for the 63-year-old prince, and he spoke fondly of it. In a letter Albert wrote Anderson after returning to Monaco, he assured him that the trip would “remain in my memory under a shining light.” Albert and his guide, Fred Richard, made plans to hunt together the following year in Alaska. Unfortunately, the First World War began in Europe in August 1914, and they never made this second trip.  Though bark grew in around the sign on the tree, the mark was a historical landmark for nearly 80 years. In 1988, devastating fires swept through Yellowstone National Park and stressed the 300-year-old tree. By 1993, the U.S. Forest Service confirmed that the tree was dead.  With the help of the U.S. Forest Service, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and an area lumberjack, the two-ton tree trunk was airlifted from the original site to the museum to be preserved. It is currently on display.  With the help of the U.S. Forest Service, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and an area lumberjack, the two-ton tree trunk was airlifted from the original site to the museum to be preserved. It is currently on display.


Subject/Index Terms

Albert I, Prince of Monaco, 1848-1922
Cody, William F. (William Frederick) 1846-1917
Yellowstone National Park

Administrative Information

Repository: McCracken Research Library

Acquisition Source: Susan Dunning

Acquisition Method: Gift

Preferred Citation: Camp Monaco Tree Removal Collection, MS 429, McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Series 1: PapersAdd to your cart.
Folder 1: Certificates – USDA to Jim MinterAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Contact Information for people involved in projectAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Newspapers – Billings Gazette, September 25, 1993Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Newspapers – Billings Gazette, January 26, 1994Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Newspapers – Cody Enterprise, January 26, 1994Add to your cart.

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