• America's First

    Devils Tower

    National Monument Wyoming

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First Fifty Years - The 1940s & 50s

Ray H. Mattison, Historian
National Park Service
1955

In 1947 Raymond W. McIntyre, the present incumbent, succeeded Joyner as Superintendent of the monument. McIntyre, a native of North Dakota, was Park Ranger at Glacier National Park immediately prior to entering on duty at the Tower. He had previously served in the capacity of Ranger at Mount McKinley National Park in Alaska and a Ranger with the U. S. Forest Service.

Increased visitation following World War II has brought new problems to the National Park Service in the administration of the monument. From 1946 visitor totals jumped from 35,551 to an all-time high of 100,919 in 1954. This great increase in visitor use of the area had brought about a critical need for additional facilities. These included improved and enlarged camping facilities, additional housing for monument personnel, more trails, additional water and sewer developments and more interpretive facilities.

The problem at Devils Tower National Monument was not unique. The increased travel to all of the National Park Service areas since World War II brought about similar needs elsewhere for expanded facilities and services. Assuming that this travel would continue to increase in the next decade as it has in the past, the Director in 1955 launched "MISSION 66". By this program, a long-range planning project for the National Park Service was begun to meet the needs of the Nation in the year 1966, the Golden Anniversary of that agency. The purpose of this program was "to make an intensive study of the problems of protections, public use, interpretation, development, staffing, legislation, financing, and all other phases of park operation, and to produce a comprehensive and integrated program of use and protection that is in harmony with the obligations of the National Park Service under the Act of 1916," under which the organization was established.

Did You Know?

Close up of Devils Tower's columns

The columns that create Devils Tower can be 4, 5, 6, or 7 sided. Some geologists believe the last column fell 10,000 years ago.