NPSHistory.com

Copyright, Randall D. Payne
PU'UKOHOLĀ HEIAU NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE, Hawai'i




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.

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nps logo          NPS EMPLOYEE MEMORIAL
by Jeff Ohlfs, updated June 2021



New eLibrary Additions

Featured Publication

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American Covenant: National Parks, Their Promise, and Our Nation's Future
(Michel A. Soukup and Gary E. Machlis, 2021)

Projected Effects of Climate Change on Birds in U.S. National Parks (October 2019)

Project Briefs for Each Park Unit Investigated (by park name)

An Interview with Historian Merrill J. Mattes on Scotts Bluff, Agate Fossil Beds, Grand Portage National Monuments and Other Areas (interviewed by Ron Cockrell, Littleton, Colorado, May 24-25, 1983, June 3, 1983, revised October 1983)

Opening the Road to Chesler Park: How Al Scorup Inadvertently Helped Create Canyonlands National Park (Clyde L. Denis, extract from Utah Historical Quarterly, Vol. 88 No. 2, 2020; ©Utah State Historical Society)

Badin-Roque House Preservation Study, Cane River Creole National Historical Park (Sparks Engineering, Inc. and EnvironMental Design, July 26, 2018)

Sierra Nevada Network White Pine Monitoring: 2019 Annual Report NPS Natural Resource Data Series NPS/SIEN/NRDS-2021/1330 (Johnathan C.B. Nesmith, June 2021)

San Juan Island National Historical Park: An Environmental History (Christy Avery, 2016)

Year in Review 2020: Great Basin National Park (2020)

Lehman Caves...Its Human History: From the Beginning Through 1965 (Keith A. Trexler, 1966, revised 1978)

The Long Road to Restoration: An Administrative History of Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site (Sara Patton Zarrelli, April 2021)

Catoctin Mountain Park: Administrative History Update (Elise Elder-Norquist, December 2020)

Cultural Landscape Report: Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail 85% Draft Submittal (WLA Studio, June 2021)

National Park Service Geologic Type Section Inventory, Appalachian Highlands Inventory & Monitoring Network NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/APHN/NRR-2021/2278 (Tim Henderson, Vincent L. Santucci, Tim Connors and Justin S. Tweet, July 2021)

National Park Service Geologic Type Section Inventory, Klamath Inventory & Monitoring Network NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/KLMN/NRR-2021/2286 (Tim Henderson, Vincent L. Santucci, Tim Connors and Justin S. Tweet, July 2021)

National Park Service Geologic Type Section Inventory, Mediterranean Coast Inventory & Monitoring Network NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/MEDN/NRR-2021/2279 (Tim Henderson, Justin S. Tweet, Vincent L. Santucci and Tim Connors, July 2021)

RANGER: The Journal of the Association of National Park Rangers (Vol. 36 No. 3, Summer 2020, ©Association of National Park Rangers)

National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form: National Park Service Mission 66 Era Resources (Ethan Carr, Elaine Jackson-Retondo, Len Warner Rodd L. Wheaton, John D. Feinberg and Carly M. Piccarello, March 2015)

Draft Historic Buildings Strategy, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (July 2021)

Periodic Semi-Permanent Snow Bed Variability at Lava Cliffs and Alpine Visitors Center, Rocky Mountain National Park: Selected Years (D.E. Glidden, updated July 2021)

National Park Service Badges (Harpers Ferry Center, 2021)

Elk Monitoring in Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks: 2008-2017 Synthesis Report NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/NCCN/NRR-2021/2284 (K.J. Jenkins, B.C. Lubow, P.J. Happe, K. Braun, J. Boetsch, W. Baccus, T. Chestnut, D.J. Vales, B.J. Moeller, M. Tirhi, E. Holman and P.C. Griffin, July 2021)

Zion-Bryce Nature Notes

1929: Vol. 1 — August, No. 1September, No. 2October, No. 3

1930: Vol. 2 — June, No. 1July, No. 2August, No. 3September, No. 4

1931: Vol. 3 — June, No. 1July, No. 2August, No. 3September, No. 4

1932: Vol. 4 — April, No. 1June, No. 2June, No. 3July, No. 4August, No. 5September, No. 6

1933: Vol. 5 — May, No. 1June, No. 2July, No. 3August, No. 4September-October, No. 5November-December, No. 6

1934: Vol. 6 — January-February, No. 1March-April, No. 2May-June, No. 3July-August, No. 4September-October, No. 5November-December, No. 6

1935: Vol. 7 — March, No. 1June, No. 2September, No. 3December, No. 4

1936: Vol. 8 — March, No. 1June, No. 2September, No. 3December, No. 4

A General Index to Zion-Bryce Nature Notes, 1929-1936 (Hazel Hunt Voth, 1938)

Final General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (Visitor Management and Resource Protection Plan), Zion National Park (January 2001)

Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook: 2021 Edition (2021)

The Development of Geological Studies in the Grand Canyon Miscellaneous Publications of the Department of Malacology, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia No. 17 (Earle E. Spamer, June 1989)

Featured Publication

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A RIVER'S MANY FACES
Depictions of Life on the Yukon River by Charles O. Farciot and Willis E. Everette, 1882-1885

Eyewitness Series No. 5 (Chris Allan, 2021)

A River's Many Faces: Depictions of Life on the Yukon River by Charles O. Farciot and Willis E. Everette, 1882-1885, Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve Eyewitness Series No. 5 (Chris Allan, 2021)

Inventory of Cultural Resources in The Chilkoot and White Pass Units of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park University of Washington Reconnaissance Report No. 40 (Caroline D. Carley, 1981)

Trends in abundance of common passerine species in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, 1997-2019 NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/CAKN/NRR-2021/2282 (Jeremy Mizel and Jared Hughey, July 2021)

Loon occupancy dynamics in Western Arctic Parklands, Alaska, 2011-2018 NPS Natural Resource Report NPS/ARCN/NRR-2021/2280 (Jeremy D. Mizel, Melanie J. Flamme and Joshua H. Schmidt, July 2021)

Lower Cimarron Spring (Wagon Bed Springs) Camp Site: National Historic Landmark (NHL) Boundary Study (October 1994)

Mapping Battlefields: Survey and Inventory (2012)

Recreation effects on wildlife: a review of potential quantitative thresholds (Jeremy S. Dertien, Courtney L. Larson and Sarah E. Reed, extract from Nature Conservation, Vol. 44, May 28, 2021)

Selections from the Historic American Buildings Survey

Georgetown Commercial Architecture: Wisconsin Avenue Selections from the Historic American Buildings Survey No. 3 (1967)

Georgetown Architecture: The Waterfront Selections from the Historic American Buildings Survey No. 4 (1968)

Georgetown Residential Architecture: Northeast Selections from the Historic American Buildings Survey No. 5 (1969)

Georgetown Architecture: Northwest Selections from the Historic American Buildings Survey No. 6 (1970)

Georgetown Architecture Selections from the Historic American Buildings Survey No. 10 (1970)

Tocks Island National Recreation Area: A Proposal (1965)

Cultural Resource Overview for the Mendocino National Forest and East Lake Planning Unit, BLM, California — Volume I: Ethnography & Prehistory (Helen McCarthy, William R. Hildebrandt and Laureen K. Swenson w/Martin A. Baumhoff and David L. Olmsted, July 1982)

Cultural Resource Overview for the Mendocino National Forest and East Lake Planning Unit, BLM, California — Volume II: History (Robert Docken, Albert L. Hurtado, Maryln Lortie, Charles A. Litzinger and Paul Howard, July 1982)

History of the Toiyabe National Forest: A Compilation (2009)

Division and Restoration: A Brief History of Forestry on the Quinault Indian Reservation (Jake MacDonnell, April 2021)

       NPS REFLECTIONS


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THE ROADS OF ZION

In the last four years there have been sixteen miles of new modern highway constructed in Zion National Park, at a total cost of approximately $1,750,000.


The East Rim Road

The East Rim Road (Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway) was constructed from the administrative area in Zion up Pine Creek Canyon, through the tunnel approximately one mile long, and then over the top of the East Rim to the old eastern park boundary. The completed road is 8.5 miles in length, with an additional 8.6 miles built by the State of Utah, which is now included within the present park boundary. The section below the tunnel, which is 3.5 miles in length, is a series of switchbacks, six in number, which are so located along the talus slopes that there are 3.5 miles of highway located and constructed in an area of less than one quarter square mile.


Artwork from Zion-Bryce Nature Notes, Vol. 4 No. 1, April 1932

This is a very spectacular road project and has been called one of the boldest pieces of engineering work that has been attempted in highway construction.

The tunnel was driven along near the face of the cliff and a series of galleries cut into the face of the cliff to the center line of the tunnel and construction operations carried on in either direction. The sheer cliffs made the work of the engineers very difficult. Barred by these cliffs from proceeding in the ordinary way, the survey for the tunnel was made entirely by triangulation. Survey points along the opposite cliffs were established by means of ropes and cables and the position of the galleries was determined from these points. Construction equipment was carried over the cliffs to the gallery sites and the hard rock men invaded the sandstone walls. Gradually they drifted into the side of the mountain to a predetermined point and the main bore was worked in both directions.


Postcard of men in tunnel window, c1930

The highway bore inside of the mountain,is 5,613.2 feet long, 16 feet high and 22 feet wide, The elevation at the west portal is 4,834 feet, and 5,115 feet at the east portal.

Approximately three years time was included in the construction of the East Rim Road and tunnel.

           Text from Zion-Bryce Nature Notes, Vol. 4 No. 1, April 1932
Asst. Supt. T. C. Parker


Postcard of car on Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, c1935

The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway

A road designed to go where no road—and few people—had gone before, the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway was the outgrowth of improvements in road-building technology, increased funding, and the persistence of the National Park Service and the Union Pacific Railroad.

In 1923, and again in 1925 and 1926, state engineer Howard Means and Bureau of Public Roads engineers B.J. Finch and R.R. Mitchell located and surveyed the improbable route up Pine Creek Canyon, through the Navajo sandstone cliffs to the eastern plateau, then across the slickrock country to join with U.S. Highway 89 near Mount Carmel.


Historic American Engineering Record, 1994

The 25-mile project was a joint effort three years in the making. The National Park Service allotted $1.5 million to build the first 8.5-mile segment from today's North Fork Virgin River Bridge, up the talus slopes along Pine Creek in seven switchbacks, and through the cliffs with a 5,613' tunnel to the park's east boundary. This segment included the North Fork Virgin River Bridge, which was widened in 1960 but otherwise retains its historic integrity, and the beautiful masonry Pine Creek Bridge, which remains unaltered since its completion in 1930.

The State of Utah completed the remainder of the road to Mount Carmel Junction as a federal aid project at a cost of more than $400,000. This segment continued from the slickrock drainage of Clear Creek to the high plateau before dropping to U.S. Highway 89 just south of Mount Carmel, and featured the state-designed concrete Co-op and Clear Creek bridges, both replaced in 1993. With the supervision and engineering expertise of the Bureau of Public Roads, the result was a remarkable highway with scenic vistas and the longest vehicular tunnel in the western United States when it was completed in 1930.


Historic American Engineering Record, Brian Grogon, 1993

The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, a road segment between Utah Highway 9, completed the southwestern circle tourism route with a touch of engineering magic. It is useful to think of the circle's roads as evolving from Indian footpaths to pioneer wagon roads to well-engineered modern highways. The evolution has continued since 1932 with Interstate 15 replacing Highway 91 and the completion of Utah Highway 14 in the late 1950s. All of the circle roads have been realigned or widened and paved with asphalt, but the routes and scenery continue to thrill and bedazzle millions of annual visitors to the region's national parks, monuments and forests.

           Text from Highways in Harmony: Southwest Circle Tour Roads and Bridges
Michael F. Anderson, 1994


East Entrance Sign (1933 and 2009). Courtesy National Park Service.


The Valley Road

The Floor of the Valley Road, beginning at the bridge near headquarters area, traverses the main Zion Canyon to the Tomple of Sinawava. Zion Canyon is a very narrow gorge above the Temple and the gorge will not lend itself very readily to road construction past its present terminus.

This road has no outstanding features but it carries the tourist on a delightful trip through the scenic part of Zion.

           Text from Zion-Bryce Nature Notes, Vol. 4 No. 1, April 1932
Asst. Supt. T. C. Parker


Valley road after grading and bank sloping, c1932. Courtesy Zion National Park, Museum Catalog Number ZION 7230.

Zion's Floor of the Valley Road

In 1909, President Taft proclaimed Mukuntuweap National Monument (after 1919, Zion National Park.) Six years later Congress appropriated $15,000 for construction of a park road, the first appropriation allotted to the new reserve. This first automotive road into Zion Canyon was completed in 1917. It extended about 5 miles north from the old south entrance station at today's North Fork Virgin River Bridge to the Weeping Rock area. This road and other developments, including the Wylie tourist camp near today's Zion Lodge, an improved access road from LaVerkin, and automobile stage service from the Union Pacific Railroad depot at Lund, Utah, opened the monument to automotive tourism. The road was replaced in 1925 by the $70,000 "Government Road," a well-engineered, gravel-surfaced highway running 7.5 miles from the south entrance station to the Temple of Sinawava. This new scenic automobile road—in conjunction with regional road construction, the Union Pacific's 1923 branch line to Cedar City, and the railroad's new hotel and lodges at Cedar City, Zion, and Bryce Canyon (all completed by 1925)—inaugurated a new era for circle route tourism. The Government Road was realigned in 1932 and named Floor of the Valley Road (now called Zion Canyon Scenic Drive), which currently carries nearly a million vehicles per year into the heart of Zion Canyon.

           Text from Highways in Harmony: Southwest Circle Tour Roads and Bridges
Michael F. Anderson, 1994


Work Projects Administration Poster, c1938


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