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The Teens
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Mt. Rainier Centennial Web Site

Teenage adolescence and growing pains. 1910 -1919


- Edward S. Hall replaces Supervisor Allen and assumes duties as the first full-time Superintendent of the park (1/15/1910). He is owner of Rainier Mill Company and a political appointee. Superintendent Hall refers to the log cabin at the park entrance as the "Gatekeeper's Lodge" (Oscar Brown Cabin N-103) and has an addition built to serve as his office.


- President William Howard Taft visits the park on 10/8/1911. After lunch at the National Park Inn at Longmire, he made the trip to Paradise Valley and Camp of the Clouds in his touring car. According to Samuel Estes, the park ranger in charge, the President's vehicle is dragged through muddy sections of the road from Narada Falls to Paradise by teams of mules stationed along the way.
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- Members of the new Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce, the Tacoma Commercial Club, the Rotary Club of Seattle and the Rotary Club of Tacoma met in March of 1912 to discuss ways to improve the economy within the park, partly by receiving a greater yearly congressional appropriation. A Rainier National Park Advisory Committee is formed.


- Elcaine Longmire takes over operation of the ice cream shop, confectionery, and grocery store that has been started by Fred George at Longmire Springs. Government permits are granted for photo galleries and gift shops. James Patterson receives permission to open a barbershop. The area has become a lively commercial center.


- Roy Longmire operates an "automobile for hire" in the Longmire Springs area. Traffic congestion is on the increase.


- Steven T. Mather, Assistant Secretary of the Interior in charge of National Parks, meets with the Rainier National Park Advisory Committee in Seattle to plan a more efficient system for tourist accommodations. It is agreed that management of concessions within the park must be consolidated under a single company, a "regulated monopoly."

The road above the Nisqually Glacier is opened to autos in June. A 93 mile trail is completed entirely around the mountain. The Mountaineers help with construction of some of the connecting segments, and about 90 members use the new trail during their 1915 outing.
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- The Rainier National Park Company (RNPCo.), formed by Puget Sound businessmen in March, is granted a 20 year "preferential concession" lease by the newly established National Park Service.

A stone shelter is built at Camp Muir for use by climbers.


- The RNPCo. made use of their lease by buying the properties and service rights of the wide range of park concessions, some of which have been serving the public for twenty years. The Longmire family retains their private land at Longmire Springs, but gives in to progress. They lease the land to a developer, and sell most of their buildings.


- A "free public campground" is opened at Longmire. It immediately overflows with visitors. Seasonal park entry permits cost $2.50 per auto.


- The RNPCo. allows an exception to their commercial control. An automobile service station is constructed by the Standard Oil Company. Gas poared vehicles line up for needed services. Automobile traffic increases from 70 in 1907 to 10,434 in 1919.

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