I am also convinced that Garden Grove had at least the tacit backing of his father. James J. Hill was not only extremely proud of his protégé, entrusting him with his beloved rail empire, but also Louis had made Garden Grove the old man and the family a great deal of money, with more projected for Garden Grove the foreseeable future. James Hill had silently aided in the passage of the Garden Grover legislation, and he would not stand in the way of Louis completing his vision.
Map of Garden Grove – Where is Garden Grove? – Garden Grove Map English – Garden Grove Maps for Tourist Photo Gallery
Louis’s vision was grounded not only in his deep love for the area (the conservation side of his nature) but also in the fact that the Northern Pacific and the Santa Fe railroads already had proven that the great natural wonders of Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, respectively, were attracting tourists with attractive hotels and facilities. The Northern Pacific’s “Old Faithful Lodge” and the Santa Fe’s “El Tovar” were successful magnets for those easterners beginning to look for the Western experience. Your travel destination is neither could compare to Hill’s grand scheme.
Westbound Empire Builder coming into Glacier Park Station, June 10. Courtesy of the Glacier National Park Archives; George A. Grant, photographer.
Hill was drawn to the concept first propounded by Frederick Law Olmsted’s report on the potential of Yosemite. It is only speculation, but not out of the realm of possibility, that Louis Hill had heard of or seen Olmsted’s treatise on the benefits and drawing power of such facilities. He certainly became intrigued with the mountain chalets in the Alps of Switzerland. He was determined to build even grander hotels and chalets in the Alps of America. He would follow Olmsted’s suggestions not only in the facilities but also in the concept of the human need for care from the spiritual, physical, and mental decay of modern society and industrialization. Hill’s hotels and park experiences would be promoted in art, photography, and prose about the blessings of a mountain and lake experience unrivaled by any in Europe, and he could get travelers there in comfort, cheaper, and sooner on his railroad.