Among the additions to our historical files, of the past few weeks, are several old photos depicting the appearance of Longmire in the early days and the characters which played such an important part in the pioneer drama of "The Mountain". These photos were loaned by Mrs. Maud Longmire Shaffer, of Tacoma and among them were several old prints of James Longmire and his pioneer wife who, in 1883, began the establishment of the first permanent settlement in the region now known as Mount Rainier National Park. Photographic copies were made of these photos and slides will be made from our negatives in the near future so that the thousands who enjoy the park today may appreciate the hardships which these first settlers endured in helping to make today's advantages possible.
When opportunity knocks - so goes the story - one must lose no time in grabbing the forelock of that lady of fortune. But when she knocks here in the park the usual procedure is to rush for the movie camera. To appreciate this story in its entirity one must understand that, although there is hardly a family here at Longmire that does not feed one or more raccoons almost every evening, photographic attempts in the past met with little more than mediocre success. So you may well imagine that opportunity was literally battering down the door one afternoon when, for some reason or other, a family of 'coons decided to partake of a snack in broad daylight at the home of Ranger Frank Greer. The result was a fine series of movies which have been spliced into our bird and mamal reel for presentation to audiences in the future on our regular evening programs.
Incidently we were able to make some fine movies of that interesting bird, the Ptarmigan, during the past summer. "Shots" of the Ptarmigan, in summer plumage, nesting were made last June near Sunrise. Later in the fall, when this bird was about midway between the grey of summer and the pure white of winter (for the Ptarmigan follows the styles for protection's sake) four were found near the Skyline Trail in the Paradise section. These, too, were recorded by the camera's lens and will be shown in our programs.
JAMES LONGMIRE (1820-1897). Sketched from an old photo loaned by Mrs. Maud Longmire Shaffer of Tacoma, Washington -- his granddaughter.
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