Before creation of the monument could be approved, final boundaries had to be determined. While Pectol continued his campaign to include more of the Sulphur Creek and Fremont River drainages, Toll and Patraw worked on refining and down-sizing the western border. Shortly after Patraw's 1935 report, Toll recommended (with Patraw's concurrence) that the recently improved, graded state highway right-of-way from Chimney Rock to Fruita should be the boundary line. This line was proposed to avoid "complications of construction or maintenance" along Utah Highway 24. From this point on, the northern perimeter of the highway's right-of-way would become part of the western boundary until a minimal expansion in 1958 absorbed the entire road. 
By mid-1936, Pectol was still proposing additional boundary ideas, even during a long and serious illness that almost cost his life. By this time, however, National Park Service officials were trying to finalize the boundary; additional, unsurveyed parcels were no longer desired, especially if they included private or grazed lands.  The only new section added was about three miles of red cliffs and mesa-top northwest of Chimney Rock to the Fishlake National Forest boundary. This included the southern edge of Meeks Mesa, which retained a few traditional grazing privileges. 
Toward the end of 1936, Fish Creek Cove was eliminated and the Fremont River section scaled back. In October, National Park Service Archeologist Jesse Nusbaum visited the archeological sites in Fish Creek, determining that "it was undesirable to place this section within the proposed monument" due to the extensive diggings and vandalism there. It was also recommended that the Fremont River segment be limited to the actual gorge, placing the western line just east of Carcass Creek. 
By the end of 1936, all known correspondence relating to the creation of Capitol Reef National Monument ended. It was now time for the Washington office to finalize boundaries and prepare a presidential proclamation. Why this took until the end of July 1937 is unknown, but a tremendous backlog of proposed areas may have been a factor. A multitude of new parks and monuments, mostly in the Southwest, were under investigation throughout 1936 and 1937. Besides the troubles with the Escalante proposal, there were also the additions to Dinosaur National Monument and the Kolob Canyon area north of Zion National Park to be considered in Utah. Organ Pipe and Kofa Mountains in Arizona, as well as a couple of sites in New Mexico, were also under investigation. Adding to the turmoil of these investigations was the unexpected death of Roger Toll in a automobile accident in the spring of 1936. The Capitol Reef proposal would have to wait its turn. 
The Department of the Interior finally submitted a form of proclamation to President Roosevelt at the end of July. The scientifically and beautifully unique geology of the Waterpocket Fold was the dominant reason expressed to the president as to why Capitol Reef should be set aside as a national monument. The report to Roosevelt said:
Mentioned as a contributing factor were the "archeological remains of the Basketmakers."
Grazing interests and the concerns of private landowners in Fruita were also addressed. To insure proper protection for the new monument, all previous land withdrawals were revoked by the Secretary of Interior. This included the Federal Power Reserve sites, the 120 acres withdrawn by the State of Utah in 1930, and 3,480 acres which had been reserved for stock driveways. The secretary also signed an order excluding all monument lands from the grazing districts, thereby prohibiting grazing on any portion of the new monument. In return, the proclamation would include special regulations to accommodate the livestock drives through the area, specifying:
As for the security of private lands, the proclamation specifically protected all valid, existing rights. The approximately 1,880 acres in private ownership, mostly in Fruita, were therefore not immediately affected by the establishment of the monument. 
The final boundary was very similar to that agreed upon by Patraw, Toll, and Pectol a year earlier. Capitol Reef National Monument would be 37,060 acres, approximately 58 square miles. Its dimensions were about 18 miles from the northwest tip to the southeast corner. It was roughly two to five miles wide. The only major change was elimination of the Fremont River gorge west of Fruita. Also added were small sections of land selected so that the road between Fruita and Capitol Gorge would lie almost entirely within the monument boundaries and Sections 5 and 29, Township 29, Range 7, so that the eastern boundary was a straighter line. Fruita remained within the monument, as did the southern half of Meeks Mesa. Capitol Reef, the heart of the Waterpocket Fold down to the Wayne-Garfield County line, was the backbone of the newest unit of the National Park Service (Fig. 22).
On August 2, 1937, Capitol Reef National Monument was officially established. At the dedication ceremony on September 25, an optimistic future for Capitol Reef was predicted by every dignitary and supporter. Gathered at Echo Rock in Grand Wash were, among others, Gov. Blood, Rep. Murdock, Frank Martines and Ray Carr of the ACCSU, National Park Service Regional Director Kittredge, and Superintendent Patraw. The master of ceremonies was, of course, Ephraim Pectol, who after more than a decade of persistent work had finally seen his dream come true. 
Predictably, the elected officials spoke of the opportunities for economic stimulus that the new monument would mean for Wayne County and all of Utah. They voiced the need for rapid development of roads and tourist facilities so that visitors from around the country could come and enjoy the scenic splendors around them. The link between Capitol Reef's establishment and improved roads was again a prominent theme, just as it had been at the 1925 celebration. Gov. Blood declared:
Blood also spoke of the need to preserve the archeological artifacts that were being stolen and vandalized across the state. Perhaps most interesting, however, is Blood's reference to the need for federal help in preserving, as well as developing, the monument's resources. He predicted:
Thus, it seemed that at least the governor was willing to listen to the National Park Service plans to protect this fledgling national monument. Few of the local residents, however, realized just how long it would take to develop and implement those plans.
Regional Director Kittredge, the highest ranking federal government official in attendance, spoke of the need to preserve the "primitive naturalness" of the national parks, alluding to damage from overgrazing as he declared:
Kittredge tempered these remarks by speaking of the need and desire to develop roads and trails in the monument, but before such development could be made, he stressed, there must be a comprehensive study of the area. "We cannot afford to go into this new region," he declared, "before a scientific study has been made of objectives which must be reached and those which must not be disturbed. ["105]
For Pectol and the other early promoters of Wayne Wonderland, the need for planning was probably forgotten in the jubilant celebration of their achievement. Pectol and the others surely believed now that the monument was established, the roads would be built and the tourists would come. Yet, history of the monument's creation might have foreshadowed the delays and struggles struggles to come.
From the earliest attempts at promotion through the abortive state park movement, the local boosters acted independently, on their own. No one had heard of, much less visited, their Wayne Wonderland due its isolation. Once the National Park Service began to investigate the area, there were continual delays due to boundary questions, far-reaching distractions such as the Escalante National Monument proposal, and the opposition from local ranchers.
The isolation of Capitol Reef would continue until a paved road was finally built through the Fremont River canyon in the early 1960s. The physical barriers of the Waterpocket Fold and the Colorado Plateau would prevent a fast, through highway from being constructed until then. Because the physical barriers prevented access, National Park Service development was also slow in arriving. When development plans and expansion were finally ready to breach these barriers, the old opposition from ranchers and other multiple-use proponents once again emerged. The crossroads at which Capitol Reef found itself in the late 1960s was first encountered in the struggles to create the national monument in the 1930s. The cast had changed, but the issues and problems remained the same.
For an account of the growth and evolution of National Park Service management of Capitol Reef from 1937 turn to Chapter 5; or continue on to read of the monument's expansion in the 1950s and late 1960s, and its establishment as a national park in 1971.
2 Alfred Runte, National Parks: the American Experience (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979, revised 2nd ed., 1987) 82-105, is a thorough treatment of the beginning days of the National Park Service and its attempts to attract wealthy tourists.
4 Anne Snow, Rainbow Views: A History of Wayne County, 4th ed. (Springville, Utah: Art City Publishing, 1985) 79, gives a good account of early road-building in Wayne County. Also see Dwight King, "The Blue Dugway," Utah Historical Quarterly 49 (Winter 1981): 66-67, for a flavorful description of travel on the Blue Dugway; and Angus M. Woodbury, A History of Southern Utah and Its National Parks (published by author, 1950) 205-209, for a comparative account of road building and development around Zion and Bryce Canyons.
19 Ben Thompson to Moskey, 19 February 1937, Box 1, Folder 5, Capitol Reef National Park Archives; 97, General Land Office Township and Range Plats, Book 57, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, RG 49, National Archives - Suitland, Maryland. State archivists searched through official state and governor's records and correspondence, but found nothing in reference to this land withdrawal.
27 Allen to Horace Albright, 15 July 1931, File NPS-100, Accession #79-60A-354, Cont. #63179, Box 1, Records of the National Park Service, Record Group 79 (RG 79), National Archives and Record Center - Rocky Mountain Region, Denver (hereafter referred to as NA-Denver).
42 Barry Mackintosh, The National Parks: Shaping the System (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, 1991) 10-59, passim; John Ise, Our National Park Policy: A Critical History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1961) 339-354.
58 Ibid. The accompanying map to the 1934 Toll report (#9) found in the Capitol Reef National Park Archives gives slightly larger boundaries than those listed in the actual report. This enlargement could be an incorporation of Toll's final suggestions.
64 Ibid. If the monument were to be created with such boundaries, it would have looked somewhat like a rectangle eight miles by eight miles, with a northwest arm extending out to Chimney Rock, a shorter eastern extension along the Fremont River, and a jog around the private lands of Fruita. The size would be roughly 32 square miles.
66 "Recreational Report of Utah, Preliminary Staff Reports, Utah State Planning Board," Series 1154, State Planning Board, Independent Commissions, Reports 1934-1941, Utah State Historical Society Archives, 5.
78 P. P. Patraw, "Report on Proposed Wayne Wonderland National Monument," August 1935, Box 1, Folder 2, Capitol Reef National Park Archives. This report also contains the first known naturalist's report regarding the proposed monument since the Powell survey in the 1870s.
83 Johnathan Scott Thow, "Capitol Reef: The Forgotten National Park," (Utah State University Master's Thesis, 1986) 47, uses the local paper, the Richfield Reaper, as his source regarding the unpopularity of the name.
90 Toll to Patraw, 16 December 1935; Tillotson to Director, 18 December 1935, File NPS-100, 79-60A-354, Box 1, RG 79, NA-Denver. "Notes on Proposed Escalante National Monument," April 1936, Series 1171, Utah Economic Resources 1930-49, Utah State Historical Society Archives, contains an NPS-generated map that shows the Capitol Reef boundaries within the proposed Escalante National Monument.
93 Toll to Patraw, 19 August 1935 and Patraw to Toll 22 August 1935, Box 11, Entry 20, RG 79, NA. Pectol's desire to include the Sulphur Creek and Fremont drainages to the west may be in part due to the extensive archeological exploration he had done in those areas for many years.
99 Presidential Proclamation, "Establishment of Capitol Reef National Monument," Proclamation 2246, Federal Register 2, No. 151, 2 August 1937: 136. The impact of grazing on the monument is described in Volume II, Chapter 12.
Last Updated: 10-Dec-2002