Mattie Culver Gravesite and Marshall-Firehole Hotel

A short 30-yard walk that starts near the west side of the Nez Perce Picnic Area restroom and heads south takes you to this well-marked gravesite surrounded by six posts and iron fencing. A white headstone marks the burial place of Martha “Mattie” Shipley Culver, wife of E.C. Culver. Mattie was 32 years old when she died of tuberculosis on March 2, 1889. She and her husband Ellery had spent the summer of 1888 in the park working at the Marshall-Firestone Hotel, which was located a short distance south of the gravesite. (Reference: Nan Weber, “Mattie: A Woman’s Journey West”. Published by Homestead Publishing) If you look very closely, you can still find remnants of the past – broken glass, ceramic plates and cups, old rusty nails and tin cans – discarded from the hotel and blacksmith shed over a century ago. Directly across from where the hotel once stood, and across the Fountain Flat Drive road, is a scattering of red bricks, the remains of the hotel’s bathhouse. It once stood over the geothermal feature still present. A close observation of the landscape can reveal the path of the old wooden pipe that also delivered warm water to the hotel across the way.

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