Nature Notes

Vol. XI September -- 1933 No. 7

Milestones in the Historical Development of Mt. Rainier National Park

1592 - Supposed discovery of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which links Puget Sound with the Pacific, by the Greek mariner of the same name. calendars
1774 - Juan Perez, in the service of Spain, sailed north along the coast of California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia to 54 degrees north latitude. His is the first definitely established journey into waters bordering the State of Washington. A high peak in latitude 48 degrees and 10 minutes (Mount Olympus) was named Santa Rosalia by Perez - being the first geographical feature in Washington to receive a name by a civilized man.
1775 - On July 14 of this year two Spanish vessels under command of Bruno Heceta and Bodega E. Quadra sailed northward to 47 degrees north latitude where a landing was made. This was the first time a white man had touched Washington soil. The spot was on Destruction Island which was named Isla de Dolores (Island of Sorrows) by Quadra because a group of men who he had dispatched to land in a small boat at that point were attacked and killed by animals.
1787 - Captain Barclay of the Austrian East Indian Company, accompanied by his young wife, sailed into and explored the Strait of Juan de Fuca. He did not penetrate eastward to Puget Sound, however. Mrs. Barclay was the first white woman to see these shores.
1792 - On May 8 Captain George Vancouver of the English Navy, having sailed through the strait of Juan de Fuca and anchored near its eastern end, saw a "snowy mountain . . . which after may friend Rear Admiral Rainier, I distinguished by the name of Mount Rainier". Vancouver was the first white man to see "The Mountain".
1833 - On May 30 Archibald McDonald of the Hudson's Bay Company with "four men, four oxen and four horses after a journey of fourteen days" from the Columbia River arrived at the site of Fort Nisqually which was the first settlement on the Puget Sound country. A young man, Dr. Tolmie, accompanied the party.

On September 2 Dr. William Fraser Tolmie achieved the "summit" of a snowy peak immediately under Rainier". He was on a botanizing expedition from Fort Nisqually and had thus entered the region now included in Mount Rainier National Park - being the first white man to set foot on park soil. The "snowy peak" is today known as Tolmie Peak.

1857 - July 8-21 inclusive were the days that Lieut. A. V. Kautz and his small party from Fort Steilacoom, an American Army post on Puget Sound, were making their attempt at the summit of Mount Rainier. Kautz did not actually succeed in reaching the summit but his attempt is one of the historic high spots of Mount Rainier. July 15, 1857 was the day on which Kautz and his party made the actual climb of Mount Rainier from his base camp near timberline.
1870 - August 17 Hazard Stevens and P. B. Van Trump succeeded in making the first successful ascent of Mount Rainier.

In October of the same year S. F. Emmons and A. D. Wilson of the United States Geological Survey also succeeded in reaching the summit of Mount Rainier. These men were unaware of the fact that Stevens and Van Trump had climbed the mountain. They are therefore credited with making the second successful ascent.

1883 - Discovery of mineral springs on southwest slope of Mount Rainier by James Longmire in August and establishment of a homestead claim about these springs by Longmire in the fall of the same year.
1884 - Construction of the first permanent buildings in the area now known as Mount Rainier National Park by the Longmires at Longmire Springs. Construction of the first trail into the area.

Construction of the first road into the area now in the park by the Longmires. The road ended at Longmire Springs.

1890 - August 10 of this year Fay Fuller, a school teacher of Yelm, Washington at the time, made an ascent of Mount Rainier. She was the first woman to reach the mountain's summit.
1899 - On March 2 Mount Rainier National Park was created by Congress - the fifth of our national parks.
1904 - In this year two government road surveys - one under Zug which sought an approach to "The Mountain" from the eastern part of Washington and one under Ricksecker who surveyed the present Paradise Valley Highway route - were undertaken.
1906 - Ricksecker's route being accepted construction of this road was begun.
1911 - In August of this year President William Howard Taft visited Mount Rainier National Park. An attempt was made to drive the President to Paradise Valley but the car bogged down in the mud of the uncompleted road and was then hauled into the valley by a team of mules.
1912 - In August of this year the first car reached Paradise Valley under its own power.
1916 - Establishment of the National Park Service as a bureau of the Department of the Interior for the purpose of administering the National Parks. Stephen T. Mather was appointed the first Director.
1933 - Celebration of the 100th anniversary of Dr. Fraser Tolmie's visit to this region.
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