Dot Island

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Dot Island is a tiny island in Yellowstone Lake, located in the entrance to West Thumb Bay midway between Rock Point and Wolf Point, northwest of Frank Island. It was named by the Hayden Survey team in 1871 because of its small size of less than 1/2 mile in width (appearing as a mere "dot" on the map).

In 1896, E. C. Waters, one of the park's early concessioners, operated an animal "zoo" comprised of bison and elk kept in pens on the island. Mr. Waters had apparently fashioned together a raft of some type and floated the animals, obtained from outside the park, to the island (there are anecdotal reports that some of the elk swam back to shore at one point). He'd charge them to ride his boats and would stop at the island to show them the animals. This practice continued until 1907, when the park's superintendent ordered him to release the animals.

Dot Island has also been referred to as Elk Island in some early writings/journals from the days when the small zoo was operated upon it.


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