Queen's Laundry Bathhouse

On a sinter slope in the Lower Geyser Basin miles from any other structure, the bathhouse at Queen’s Laundry Spring was one of two buildings constructed by Superintendent Philetus Norris in 1881. It is the only building that remains from the first era of civilian park administration (1872–1886) and the first building in a national park constructed by the government for public use. According to its National Register listing, the Queen’s Laundry bathhouse represents the “earliest recognition that providing for visitor accommodation was a legitimate use of federal funds within a National Park.” It also turned out to be the first step toward what became a conflict between accommodating visitors and leaving the park’s thermal features intact.