NPSHistory.com

Copyright, Randall D. Payne
JOHN DAY FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT, Oregon




National Park Service History Electronic Library

The NPS History Electronic Library is a portal to electronic publications covering the history of the National Park Service (NPS) and the cultural and natural history of the national parks, monuments, and historic sites of the U.S. National Park System. The information contained in this Website is historical in scope and is not meant as an aid for travel planning; please refer to the official NATIONAL PARK SERVICE Website for current/additional information. While we are not affiliated with the National Park Service, we gratefully acknowledge the contributions by park employees and advocates, which has enabled us to create this free digital repository.

View Park Archives
Select Park Name or Region

This month launches a new way to access park-specific content. Each park now has its own dedicated Web page that consolidates all of the content for that park on a single page. The text of the park's brochure (as the photographs and artwork are copyright-protected) begins the page, followed by its Brochures/Trading Cards (hidden by default, click on the arrows to expand), Documents (an expanded selection of documents, thanks to eTIC and IRMA), Handbooks/Books (this feature is only partially implemented — full implementation by year's end) and Videos (more coming). The View Park Archives selection above is the quickest way to access this content for a specific park, as well as from the existing Park Archives —> Historical Documents menu. We hope this will make it easier to find information for your 'favorite' park. Feedback is ALWAYS welcomed; you can Email us at info[AT]npshistory[DOT]com.



New eLibrary Additions
Featured Publication
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Planning for a Changing Climate: Climate-Smart Planning and Management in the National Park Service
(2021)

Planning for a Changing Climate: Climate-Smart Planning and Management in the National Park Service (2021)

COVID-19 pandemic impacts on conservation research, management, and public engagement in US national parks (Abraham J. Miller-Rushing, Nicole Athearn, Tami Blackford, Christy Brigham, Laura Cohen, Rebecca Cole-Will, Todd Edgar, Elizabeth R. Ellwood, Nicholas Fisichelli, Colleen Flanagan Pritz, Amanda S. Gallinat, Adam Gibson, Andy Hubbard, Sierra McLane, Koren Nydick, Richard B. Primack, Susan Sachs and Paul E. Super, extract from Biological Conservation, Vol. 257, 2021)

Forest fire history of Desolation Peak, Washington (James K. Agee, Mark Finney and Roland de Gouvenain, extract from Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 20 No. 3, 1990)

Lake Chelan Kokanee Spawning Grounds Surveys 2012: Final Report (Barry G. Keesee and Lance M. Keller, January 2013)

Balancing Energy Options in Stehekin, Washington (Jessica G. Kirchhoffer and Philip C. Malte, June 2003)

Lower Stehekin River cutthroat and rainbow trout spawning surveys, 2009 NPS Natural Resource Data Series NPS/NOCA/NRDS-2010/111 (Hugh Anthony and Reed Glesne, November 2010)

Cultural Landscape Report for Hampton National Historic Site — Volume I: Site History, Existing Conditions, Analysis & Evaluation (Christopher M. Beagan, 2014)

Cultural Landscape Report for Hampton National Historic Site — Volume II: Treatment and Record of Treatment (Christopher M. Beagan, 2014)

Research trends in U.S. national parks, the world's "living laboratories" (Jelena Vukomanovic and Joshua Randall, extract from Conservation Science and Practice, March 2021)

Resistance to Slavery in Maryland: Strategies for Freedom Special History Study (Cheryl Janifer LaRoche, March 2007)

Cultural Landscape Report: Lockwood House, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (Heritage Landscapes, June 2006)

Scenic Stream to City Sewer: Dock Creek from 1682 to 1849 (Bill Double, February 2013)

Campground Study: A Report of the Committee to Study Camping Policy and Standards, Region Four (1959)

A Brief History of Lincoln City, Indiana (1988)

Commercial Fishing on Isle Royale 1800-1967 (Lawrence Rakestraw, 1968)

Historic Mining on Isle Royale (Lawrence Rakestraw, 1965)

Black Writers in New England (Edward Clark, 1985)

Natural Resource Condition Assessment, Dinosaur National Monument NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/DINO/NRR-2021/2245 (David S. Jones, Roy Cook, John Sovell, Matt Ley, Jill Handwerk, Hannah Shepler, John Kemper, David Weinzimmer, Carlos Linares and B. Maynard, April 2021)

Administrative History, Fort Sumter and Fort Moultie National Historical Park, Charleston, SC (Beatrice Burton, Megan Taylor Shockley and Orville Vernon Burton, November 2020)

Black Lives and Whitened Stories: From the Lowcountry to the Mountains — A Historic Resource Study of Black History at Rock HIll/Connemara (David W. Whisnant and Anne Mitchell Whisnant, November 2020)

In Plain Sight: African Americans at Andersonville National Historic Site: A Special History Study (Evan Kutler, Julia Brock, Ann McCleary, Keri Adams, Ronald Bastien and Larry O. Rivers, December 2020)

Cultural Landscape Report, Phase 2: Oakland Plantation, Cane River Creole National Historical Park (Suzanne Turner Associates, LLC, April 2021)

Genetic Analysis and History of the Mount Wanda Olive Orchard at John Muir National Historic Site Final Report (April 1, 2021)

Telling Time at Grand Canyon National Park: 2020 Update NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/GRCA/NRR-2021/2246 (Karl Karlstrom, Laura J. Crossey, Allyson Mathis and Carl Bowman, April 2021)

Cultural Landscape Report: Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek (The Jaeger Company, January 2013)

Cultural Landscape Report: Lincoln Home National Historic Site (Quinn Evans Architects, June 2014)

Washita (Mary Jane Warde, 2005)

Historic Resource Study: Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Oklahoma (Jerome A. Greene, September 2001)

African Americans at Los Alamos and Oak Ridge: A Historic Context Study (September 2019)

History of the Plutonium Production Facilities at the Hanford Site Historic District, 1943-1990 (June 2002)

Cultural Landscape Report Environmental Assessment, President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site, Hope, Arkansas (Bahr Vermeer Haecker Architects, OCULUS, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., Historic Resources Group, Inc., Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., April 2014)

An Update Report on the NPS 1979 New Area Study, Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico (December 15, 2009)

National Park Service Geologic Type Section Inventory, Northern Colorado Plateau Inventory & Monitoring Network NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/NCPN/NRR-2021/2252 (Tim Henderson, Vincent L. Santucci, Tim Connors and Justin S. Tweet, April 2021)

National Park Service Geologic Type Section Inventory, Chihuahuan Desert Inventory & Monitoring Network NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/CHDN/NRR-2021/2249 (Tim Henderson, Vincent L. Santucci, Tim Connors and Justin S. Tweet, April 2021)

National Park Service Geologic Type Section Inventory, Eastern Rivers and Mountains Inventory & Monitoring Network NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/ERMN/NRR-2021/2248 (Tim Henderson, Vincent L. Santucci, Tim Connors and Justin S. Tweet, April 2021)


NPS Geologic Type Section Inventories
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Northern Colorado Plateau
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Chihuahuan Desert
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Eastern Rivers and Mountains
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Rocky Mountain
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Greater Yellowstone
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Sierra Nevada

River of History: A Historic Resource Study of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (John O. Anfinson, 2003)

Historic Structure Report: Malus-Beauregard House, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve (Joseph K. Oppermann-Architect, April 2021)

Historic Structures Report: Longmire Cabin, Mount Rainier National Park (Part I) (Benjamin Levy, January 30, 1968)

Historic Structures Report: Paradise Inn, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington (David E. Snow, 1979)

Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative Administrative History (Eppley Institute for Parks & Public Lands, January 2021)

Great American Outdoors Act Legacy Restoration Fund for National Parks: Economic Impacts of Fiscal Year 2021 Funding NPS Natural Resource Data Series NPS/NRSS/NRDS—2021/1319 (Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Lynne Koontz, March 2021)

Spotted Owl Monitoring in Olympic National Park: 1992-2016 NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/OLYM/NRR— 2017/1530 (Scott Gremel, October 2017)

Rivers, Rails & Roads: Transportation During the Cherokee Removal, 1837-1839 (Middle Tennessee State University Center for Historic Preservation, November 2020)

Assessment of Rangeland Ecosystem Conditions in Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Arizona U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020-1040 (Michael C. Duniway and Emily C. Palmquist, 2020)

Cultural Landscape Report: The Historic Trails of Rock Creek Park (Deana R. Poss and Frances McMillen, February 2013)

Cultural Landscape Report of Crater Battlefield, Petersburg National Battlefield, Petersburg, Viginia (Timothy W. Layton, 2017)

The Mission 66 Program at Rocky Mountain National Park: 1947-1973 (Maren Thompson Bzdek and Janet Ore, 2010)

Recreational Demonstration Projects (1933)

Ranger: The Journal of the Association of National Park Rangers (Vol. 36 No. 2, Spring 2020, ©Association of National Park Rangers)

Minidoka Chronicle

Adjusting (Daniel Quan Design, 2017)

First Impressions: August, 1942 - December, 1942 (Daniel Quan Design, 2017)

Holding our Breath: December, 1941 - July, 1942 (Daniel Quan Design, 2017)

Life Behind the Fence: 1942-1945 (Daniel Quan Design, 2017)

Minidoka Will Always Have Meaning (Daniel Quan Design, 2017)

Moving On: What Comes Next? 1944-1945 (Daniel Quan Design, 2017)

Serving Our Country: 1942-1945 (Daniel Quan Design, 2017)

Junior Ranger Booklets: California-ZephyrCoronadoDeath ValleyHawai'i VolcanoesLewis and Clark (Ages 5-8)Lewis and Clark (9-12)Lewis and Clark (Ages 13+)NavajoPecosVicksburg


Alaska

An Ethnohistory of the Chisana River Basin (Norman Alexander Easton, 2021)

200 Years of Terminus Retreat at Exit Glacier 1815-2015 NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/KEFJ/NRR—2016/1341 (Deborah Kurtz and Emily Baker, November 2016)

Exit Glacier Area Plan: Environmental Assessment and Glacier Management Plan Amendment (May 2004)

Quo vadis, Alsek? Climate-driven glacier retreat may change the course of a major river outlet in southern Alaska (Michael G. Loso, Christopher F. Larsen, Brandon S. Tober, Michael Christoffersen, Mark Fahnestock, John W. Holt and Martin Truffer, extract from Geomorphology, Vol. 384, March 17, 2021)

"Respect the Land — It's Like Part of Us": A Traditional Use Study of Indland Dena'ina Ties to the Chulitna River and Sixmile Lake Basins, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve (Douglas Deur, Karen Evanoff and Jamie Hebert, 2018)

Image interpretation and Classification of Land Cover Change in Lake Clark and Kenai Fjords National Parks Between 1954 and 2009 NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/SOPN/NRR-2014/866 (Mark J. Burchiel, Bonnie L. Maffitt, Andy G. Robertson, Dave D. Rokus and Kevin J. Stark, October 2014)

Below the Surface: Fish and Our Changing Underwater World (Alaska Park Science, Vol. 19 No. 1, June 2020)

Connections to Natural and Cultural Resource Studies in Alaska's National Parks (Alaska Park Science, Vol. 7 No. 1, Summer 2008)

Alaska Park Science (Vol. 1 - 19, 2002-2020)

A New Species of the Conodont Amydrotaxis from the Early Devonian of Southwestern Alaska Alaska Department of Natural Resources Professional Report 117 (Norman M. Savage and Robert B. Blodgett, extract from Short Notes on Alaska Geology 1995, 1995)

Emsian (Late Early Devonian) Fossils Indicate a Siberian Origin for the Farewell Terrane Alaska Department of Natural Resources Professional Report 118 (Robert B. Blodgett, extract from Short Notes on Alaska Geology 1997, 1997)

Late Devonian (Early Frasnian) Conodonts from Denali National Park, Alaska Alaska Department of Natural Resources Professional Report 119 (Norman M. Savage, Robert B. Blodgett and Phil F. Brease, extract from Short Notes on Alaska Geology 1999, 1999)

Fossil Locality Map for the Healy A-6 Quadrangle, South-Central Alaska Alaska Department of Natural Resources Report of Investigations 2000-5 (R.B. Blodgett and K.H. Clautice, 2000)

Silurian aphrosalpingid sphinctozoans from Alaska and Russia (J. Keith Rigby, Matthew H. Nitecki, Constance M. Soja and Robert B. Blodgett, extract from Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, Vol. 39 No. 4, 1994)

Chulitnacula, a new paleobiogeographically distinctive gastropod genus from Upper Triassic strata in accreted terranes of southern Alaska (Jenaro L. García-Alcalde and Robert B. Blodgett, extract from Journal of the Czech Geological Society, Vol. 46 No. 3-4, 2001)

New Lower Devonian (upper Emsian) Myriospififer (Brachiopoda, Eospiriferinae) species from Alaska and northern Spain and the paleogeographic distribution of the genus Myriospirifer (Jirí Fryda and Robert B. Blodgett, extract from Journal of the Czech Geological Society, Vol. 46 No. 1-2, 2001)

Late Early Devonian (Late Emsian) eospiriferinid brachiopods from Shellabarger Pass, south-central Alaska, and their biogeographic importance; further evidence for a Siberian origina of the Farewell and allied Alaskan accreted terranes (Robert B. Blodgett and Arthur J. Boucot, extract from Senckbenbergiana lethaea, Vol. 79 No. 1, November 29, 1999


Eyewitness Series
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The American Side of the Line: Eagle City's Origins as an Alaskans Gold Rush Town As Seen in Newspapers and Letters, 1897-1899
Chris Allan
(February 2019)
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As the Old Flag Came Down: Eyewitness Accounts of the October 18, 1867 Alaska Transfer Ceremony
Chris Allan
(2018)
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A Rough and Tumble Country: Juneau's Origins as Alaska's First Gold Mining Boomtown As Described by Eyewitnesses, 1880-1881
Chris Allan and Mark Kirchhoff
(2020)
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Of Gold and Gravel: A Pictorial History of Mining Operations at Coal Creek and Woodchopper Creek, 1934-1938, Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Chris Allan
(2021)

The American Side of the Line: Eagle City's Origins as an Alaskans Gold Rush Town As Seen in Newspapers and Letters, 1897-1899 Eyewitness Series No. 1 (Chris Allan, February 2019)

As the Old Flag Came Down: Eyewitness Accounts of the October 18, 1867 Alaska Transfer Ceremony Eyewitness Series No. 2 (©Chris Allan, 2018)

A Rough and Tumble Country: Juneau's Origins as Alaska's First Gold Mining Boomtown As Described by Eyewitnesses, 1880-1881 Eyewitness Series No. 3 (©Chris Allan and Mark Kirchhoff, 2020)

Of Gold and Gravel: A Pictorial History of Mining Operations at Coal Creek and Woodchopper Creek, 1934-1938, Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve Eyewitness Series No. 4 (Chris Allan, 2021)


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Historic Structure Report: Glacier Bay Lodge Complex Historic District
Kathleen Wackrow
(2018)
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Historic Structure Report: Field Laboratory — Brooks Lake, Alaska
Kathleen Wackrow
(2018)
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Historic Structure Report: Patterson-McDermott Cabin
Kathleen Wackrow
(2018)
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The Dawn of Aviation around Lake Clark Pass 1927-1960 with the Diaries of Helen Beeman Denison 1943-1952
John B. Branson
(2020)

Historic Structure Report: Glacier Bay Lodge Complex Historic District (Kathleen Wackrow, 2018)

Historic Structure Report: Field Laboratory — Brooks Lake, Alaska (Kathleen Wackrow, 2018)

Historic Structure Report: Patterson-McDermott Cabin (Kathleen Wackrow, 2018)

The Dawn of Aviation around Lake Clark Pass 1927-1960 with the Diaries of Helen Beeman Denison 1943-1952 (John B. Branson, 2020)


Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site

Historic Furnishings Report/Historical Data, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site — Volume I: Public and Private Rooms (John G. Waite Associates, September 2015)

Historic Furnishings Report/Historical Data, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site — Volume II: Service Areas and Appendices (John G. Waite Associates, September 2015)

Historic Furnishings Report/Historical Data, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site — Volume III: Implementation Plan (John G. Waite Associates, September 2015)

Historic Structure Report, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site — Volume I: Executive Summary, History, and Record of Treatment (John G. Waite Associates, October 2018)

Historic Structure Report, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site — Volume II: Introduction to Physical Investigation; Exterior, Sub-Basement, Basement (John G. Waite Associates, October 2018)

Historic Structure Report, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site — Volume III: First Floor (John G. Waite Associates, October 2018)

Historic Structure Report, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site — Volume IV: Second Floor (John G. Waite Associates, October 2018)

Historic Structure Report, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site — Volume V: Third Floor and Attic (John G. Waite Associates, October 2018)


Proposed Park Studies

Walden Pond and Woods Special Resource Study (September 2002)

Michigan Maritime Heritage Special Resource Study (August 2019)

Lincoln Highway Special Resource Study/Environmental Assessment (May 2004)

Suitability/Feasibility Study: Benjamin Harrison Home, Indiana (June 1992)

Reconnaissance Survey/Study of Management Alternatives, Ka Iwi Shoreline Study, Oahu, Hawaii (1993)

Māhā'ulepū, Island of Kaua'i Reconnaissance Survey (February 2008)

Study of Mangement Options: Vermejo Ranch, New Mexico/Colorado (1979)

Feasibility Study: Stonewall Jackson Lake Draft (June 1988)

Study of Alternatives: Mount Etna Iron Furnace Complex, Southwestern Pennsylvania (April 1990)

Finger Lakes National Heritage Area Feasibility Study Draft (March 2021)

Pike National Historic Trail (NHT) Feasibility Study: Draft Route (November 6, 2020)


U.S. Forest Service

Juneau Trails: Recreation Opportunity Guide (1985)

Common Alpine Plants of Southeast Alaska (O. Wayne Robuck, March 1989)

Common Plants of the Muskegs of Southeast Alaska (O. Wayne Robuck, July 1985)

Insects and Diseases of Alaskan Forests R10-TP-140 (Edward Holsten, Paul Hennon, Lori Trummer, James Kruse, Mark Schultz and John Lundquist, 2008)

Alaska Trees and Shrubs Agriculture Handbook No. 410 (Leslie A. Viereck and Elbert L. Little, Jr., 1972)

Mosses and Liverworts of the National Forests In Alaska R10-RG-179 (September 2008)

Wildflowers of the National Forests in Alaska R10-RG-201 (March 2012)

Mushrooms of the National Forests in Alaska R10-RG-209 (February 2013)

Common Trees of Alaska R10-RG-222 (October 2014)

Ferns of the National Forests in Alaska R10-RG-182 (June 2010)

Lichens of Alaska's South Coast R10-RG-190 (Reprint April 2014)

History of Teton National Forest (Esther B. Allan, 1973)


Gordon Chappell, compliments of John West
(John West photo)

Gordon S. Chappell
(1939-2021)

Gordon Chappell, former Regional Historian for the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service in San Francisco, died on April 13, 2021. Gordon was a significant chronicler of narrow gauge railroad history; his interests also included Civil War and Indian War history.

Gordon wrote Rails to Carry Copper, a detailed history of the Magma Arizona Railroad and many studies for the National Park Service, including Steam Over Scranton: The Locomotives of Steamtown and An Oasis for Railroaders in the Mojave: The History and Architecture of the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad Depot, Restaurant and Employees' Hotel at Kelso, California, on the Union Pacific System.

Gordon retired from the National Park Service in 2012. He co-wrote the following article with Susan Kraft which appeared in CRM (Vol. 22 No. 10, 1999).


Historic Railroads in the National Park System and Beyond

Railroads and national parks have rolled through history hand in hand since 1883, when the first national park, Yellowstone, was a decade old. In that year, the Northern Pacific Railroad completed a spur line from Livingston to Cinnabar, Montana, near the northern edge of the park. Eventually, four other railroads would bring the "dudes" to the park's other entrances or nearby gateway communities.

The close, often interdependent, relationship between parks and railroads began even before the first train arrived at Cinnabar; indeed, it started before the national park idea had fully taken shape. Agents of the Northern Pacific warmed to the notion of setting Yellowstone aside as a public park, seeing in this historic development a clear opportunity for profit. Once the park was established, the railroad went about promoting and facilitating travel to and through the legendary but little-visited destination. The results of their efforts included fleets of deluxe vehicles and luxurious park lodging, most notably, perhaps, the Old Faithful Inn.

This story was repeated, with different casts of characters, at existing and future national park areas throughout the West. And, as in Yellowstone, marketing by railroads would play a key—some would argue overpowering—role in the early history of visitation to the parks. The Great Northern Railway built its main line from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Coast just south of Glacier National Park in 1893. The Great Northern also undertook development of an impressive array of lodging in and near Glacier, including the magnificent Many Glacier Hotel.

The Land of Geysers, Northern Pacific

Far to the south, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and its Arizona subsidiary, the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad, Western Division, had just recently emerged from bankruptcy. Nevertheless, an enterprising Arizona businessman proposed a branch line to the Grand Canyon. His efforts paved the way—literally laying much of the track—for the Grand Canyon Railway. Development of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon as a destination resort for tourists quickly followed. The Santa Fe System erected a large, rustic hotel, El Tovar, virtually on the rim; a reproduction of a Hopi Indian pueblo, Hopi House, as a sales outlet for southwestern Indian arts and crafts; and sundry other facilities, roads and trails. Then the railway—through its allied Fred Harvey Company, which operated the tourist facilities—successfully lobbied for the establishment of Grand Canyon National Park.

There were other motives for railroad building that had little to do with tourism. The Southern Pacific Railroad lobbied Congress for the creation in 1890 of Sequoia National Park, but its main goal was to deny the timber in the park to local markets, forcing them to import from railroad timberlands in Oregon over a much longer—and more profitable—haul for the railroad. That same year, Congress created Yosemite National Park, surrounding the vaunted Yosemite Valley, which had been granted to the State of California for park purposes in 1864. Some years later, the Yosemite Valley Railroad would construct a line from Merced to El Portal (literally, "The Gateway,") a settlement just west of Yosemite's main entrance. The Yosemite Valley Railroad would haul many a trainload of visitors to the park until torn up for scrap following World War II.

Still other railroad projects came at the urging of the National Park Service itself. A direct request from NPS Director Stephen T. Mather led the Union Pacific Railroad, during the 1920s, to develop tourism to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Zion, and several other Utah parks. A Union Pacific subsidiary, the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, constructed a branch line from Lund to Cedar City, Utah, where its motor coaches collected and hauled tourists to the North Rim, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, and Cedar Breaks National Monument. Another Union Pacific subsidiary, the Utah Parks Company, built lodges, inns, and other facilities at these parks.

Each and every one of these railroads produced, over a period of more than a half century, literally tons of promotional literature. Artistic posters, paintings, folders, brochures, pamphlets, booklets, and even books promoted visits to Americas great national parks. Today, such railroad ephemera and art are prized by railroad buffs and national park enthusiasts alike, and comprise some of the more interesting and colorful items in many a National Park Service museum collection.

The great railroad systems were not the only ones interested in the parks, however; the intermediate regional systems and even short lines jumped on board as well. In Colorado, the narrow gauge Rio Grande Southern Railroad and the Denver & Rio Grande Western promoted and offered tourist rates to Mancos, Colorado, for those wishing to visit the famed Anasazi ruins at nearby Mesa Verde. The Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad ran north to south through the valley east of California's Death Valley, and the narrow gauge Death Valley Railroad actually reached over the Greenwater Range into Death Valley itself. Beginning in 1927, officers of the mining company that owned these railroads, the Pacific Coast Borax Company, began maneuvering to create a Death Valley National Monument. By the time the monument was established in 1933, the company had organized the Death Valley Hotel Company, which constructed the Furnace Creek Inn and converted other facilities to hotels. Eventually, the company converted its old Greenland Ranch, which had raised fodder for the famous 20-mule teams, into the resort now called Furnace Creek Ranch.

Yellowstone National Park, Union Pacific

The connections between railroads and national park areas can seem limitless. The Alaska Railroad, built by the Department of the Interior itself, crosses Denali National Park, while a ride on the White Pass & Yukon Route enriches the visitor experience at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Skagway. A Mammoth Cave Railroad once hauled tourists to that underground wonder, and the little Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railway had a branch line down which a "gravity car" traveled into Muir Woods.

Urban and suburban parks have railroad history in abundance as well. Lowell, Massachusetts, had a street railway, which the National Park Service has partially reconstructed for the benefit of visitors to Lowell National Historical Park. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is an important part of the cultural landscape at Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area in Ohio. The electric railroad at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Presidio Railroad at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco are other examples.

Furthermore, quite a number of parks have within them the abandoned grades of railroads dismantled long ago. These include the narrow gauge mining railroad between Searchlight, Nevada, and the Colorado River, in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and the Hetch Hetchy Railroad (used for dam building) that once penetrated Yosemite.

In recent decades, the National Park Service has acquired several areas that specifically commemorate and preserve railroad history. Golden Spike National Historic Site in Utah preserves the place where, on May 10, 1869, the first transcontinental railroad was completed by the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads. The rich history of the immigrants who built Americas railroads is reflected in archeological remains at the site. Immigrants are also key to the story at Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site in Pennsylvania, where the railroad was part of a canal system. Steamtown National Historic Site, also in Pennsylvania, celebrates the era of the steam locomotive on American railroads.

Still other sites deserve consideration by the NPS. The East Broad Top Railroad in southern Pennsylvania, for example, is a wonderfully preserved slice of narrow gauge railroad, complete with locomotives, cars, track, tunnel, bridges, a shop building complete with all its belt-driven machinery, and other structures.

The stories of many of these railroads are covered in the pages of this issue of CRM. But the history of railroads in the United States extends beyond the areas protected by the NPS, of course. As this special issue demonstrates, railroads are a thread woven throughout the fabric of American life, and their legacy—be it trains which are still operated, long-abandoned tracks, archeological remains, works of art and architecture, or simply the stories of those who remember the ways they changed lives—lives on all around us.



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