MOUNT RAINIER NATURE NOTES
Built by Elcain Longmire whose father, James, discovered these
mineral springs in 1883.
In the late summer of 1883 P.B. Van Trump, a representative of the
U.S. Geological Survey named Bayley, and James Longmire made an ascent
of Mount Rainier. This was the third successful climb, it having been
scaled twice before, in 1870.
On the return trip, the party camped on the Nisqually River bar at
about the site of the Longmire public camp grounds. The next morning,
while rounding up their horses which has strayed during the night, James
Longmire discovered the marshy meadow and noticed the warm, mineralized
waters that bubbled from the earth. He then conceived the idea of a
health resort, and returned later that same fall to establish his
homestead. In the following year, cabins and trails were built, and
finally the first roads, then a hotel. Photographs of the Longmires and
their first hotel may be seen at the Museum.