Another "era of development" for the Monument began
with the advent of MISSION 66, a ten-year conservation program for the
National Park System which proposes to develop and staff these parks so
as to permit their wisest possible use, maximum enjoyment for those who
use them, and maximum preservation of the scenic, scientific, and
historical resources which gave them distinction. The program commenced
July 1, 1956 and is to be completed in 1966, the fiftieth anniversary of
the establishment of the National Park Service.
"Mission 66" at the Monument included
construction of new foot trails and the paving of old ones such as the
trail from the Museum to Scotts Spring. Historian Harris points the way.
John W. Henneberger|
When Historian Potts left on July 28, 1957. , Earl R. Harris was transferred to
Scotts Bluff from Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota. Late
that same year, Superintendent Anderson was notified of his promotion
and transfer to Harpers Ferry National Monument, West Virginia. He left
on January 25, 1958  and was
succeeded by John W. Henneberger 
who had been stationed at Olympic National Park, Washington. On March
23, 1958. clerk-stenographer Louise Ridge was promoted to the position
of Administrative Assistant at the Monument.
The planning of the MISSION 66 program for Scotts
Bluff had been accomplished during Superintendent Anderson's tenure
between 1955 and 1957. Construction activities, land acquisition, and
boundary revision proposals were carried out during Superintendent
Henneberger's tenure of office with the exception of the electrification
and improvement of the water supply system which was completed by I. H.
Peters of Alliance, Nebraska on September 23, 1957.
A "package" development in 1958 included construction
of a second residence at headquarters, a two-stall addition to the
utility building, and a new 460-seat amphitheater, or "campfire circle,"
for summer evening interpretive programs. This is located directly
behind the visitor center. Also included was a concrete vault in the
basement of the visitor center for protecting valuable Jackson material
and other artifacts and items. Other improvements included in the
package contract were air conditioning of the visitor center,
construction of wood fences, terraces and walks, and bituminous
surfacing of driveways at headquarters.
In 1958, Harry F. Berggren & Sons was awarded the
contract for paving the trail from headquarters to Scotts Spring and
from the parking lane in Mitchell Pass to the Jackson campsite. Under
this contract, existing summit trails were improved and a new one
constructed from the parking area there to a "south summit"
Historian Harris showing original
Conestoga Wagon to Monument visitors in July, 1959. Wagon was purchased
by the Oregon Trail Days committee of Gering, and the Oregon Trail
Museum Association. |
Wayside exhibits and interpretive signs were
installed along the newly constructed trails and at other key points on
the summit during the summer of 1959. These included the Hiram Scott
memorial marker, two routed aluminum signs and nine routed wood signs.
MISSION 66 also called for the seeding and planting of grass, trees, and
shrubs at head quarters and this project was completed in 1959 by day
The Andresen Construction Company of Scottsbluff was
the general contractor for the majority of these construction projects
and this work continued from April 4, 1958  to October 31, 1958.  Total cost of the MISSION 66 program
was $92,466.40. (This figure does not include cost of installation of
new exhibits and cases in the Visitor Center.
The revision of exhibits in the Visitor Center was
started in 1960. Exhibits were completed in the fall of that year in the
History Wing and the name of the wing was changed officially to the
"Oregon Trail Room." The name of the "Paleo" or "Prehistory Wing" was
also changed to the "Landmark Room" and 1962 will complete exhibit
revision for this room.
On-to-Oregon Cavalcade camped at Scotts
Bluff National Monument, May 26, 1959. |
Conservation programs under MISSION 66 at the
Monument included soil and moisture work for erosion control on the
summit and at Mitchell Pass, Visitor use is heavy at these two places
and causes much "human" erosion. Although removal of the Bureau of
Reclamation power line through Mitchell Pass is a part of MISSION 66, it
is not anticipated that this will be completed until near the end of the
The National Park Service is responsible for
preserving the Oregon Trail ruts and maintaining the natural setting
consistent with the period of Trail use. To enable the Service to do
this, Monument boundaries should include sufficient lands to insure the
protection or restoration of the scenic integrity of the principal
bluffs and adjacent landmarks such as Dome Rock, the Badlands, and the
North Platte River. To accomplish this objective, a boundary revision
study, which had been going on for many years, was completed in 1959.
This work was done by the Boundary Studies Section of the Division of
Recreation Resource Planning in the Region Two Office. A bill,
introduced by Congressman Don McGinley of the Fourth Nebraska
Congressional District on March 2, 1960, would have put these boundary
proposals into law. However, some controversy concerning a section of
this bill which would have changed the designation of the National
Monument to a National Historic Site, caused delay and no action was
taken. The bill, minus the designation change, was reintroduced and
passed in 1961 in the 87th Congress, by Congressman David Martin.
Two important land acquisitions were made during this
period, however, and both are in line with the proposal. The first of
these was the purchase of 27.43 acres of land within the proclaimed
boundary in the northeast section of the Monument known as the
"badlands." Title to this land was received on April 10, 1959, when
$1,500.00 was paid to Mrs. Sadie Hise, owner. 
The second purchase concerned about 20 acres of land
comprising the east half of Dome Rock. The Oregon Trail Museum
Association bought this historically important acreage from Mr. and Mrs.
Charles Gering for $2,000.00 on June 3, 1959.  This land will become part of the
Such a boundary revision would be the fourth since
the original proclamation of December 12, 1919. Others were: Executive
Order of May 9, 1924 ,
eliminating 160 acres from the reservation located in the southeast
section; the Proclamation of June 1, 1932 , adding certain lands along the east
boundary of the Monument, including Scotts Spring; and the Proclamation
of March 29, 1940 , adding
certain lands along the north Boundary of the Monument, including
certain islands in the North Platte River.
Harold R. Jones|
All of these revisions, deletions, additions, and
purchases have changed the total acreage of the Monument several times.
On February 1, 1960, Scotts Bluff National Monument contained a total of
3,451.52 acres of land, 2,198.78 of which are federally owned. 
Substantial progress has been made on the staffing
and fiscal portions of the MISSION 66 program of the Monument. During
the 1956-1969 period the Monument staff was increased with the creation
of a permanent Forman ICartetaker position. Edward Wolf who had
held a similar position on temporary basis was reassigned to the
full-time position on August 25, 1958. Adequate appropriations were
given the Monument to maintain the facilities that were constructed so
that the Monument has an adequate staff and sufficient funds to properly
protect, interpret, and maintain the Monument land and facilities.
All the uncompleted phases of the MISSION 66 program
for Scotts Bluff National Monument except the removal of the Bureau of
Reclamation transmission line through Mitchell Pass are expected to be
accomplished by 1966.
Mr. Henneberger was notified of his transfer to the
Region IV office, San Francisco, California, in late December, 1961, and
was succeeded by Harold R. Jones in March, 1962. Mr. Jones had been
stationed at the Region II office, Omaha, Nebraska. He previously served
as Ranger at Rocky Mountain, Wind Cave, and Yellowstone National