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Mt. Rainier National Park Centennial Timeline
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Mt. Rainier Centennial Web Site

The Roaring Twenties, planning for a rich future. 1920 -1929


- During the busy summer park service personnel consist of the superintendent, a chief ranger, two park rangers, five temporary rangers concentrating on traffic duty, three temporary rangers at outpost stations, one clerk, two telephone operators, one lineman, one road foreman with a crew of at least six laborers, a trail crew foreman with a crew of two to ten men, one warehouse clerk, one truck driver/mechanic, one carpenter, and one cook. Most live in tents. During the winter the force drops to the superintendent, the chief ranger, one park ranger, and one clerk. Permanent housing is needed.


- Approximately 500 climbers make it to the top of Mount Rainier. On September 7th Edward J. Hamilton of Buckley and Lenore Allain of Auburn marry on the summit.


- Electric lights are installed in the Longmire Campground before the summer crowds start arriving, and a Ski Tournament is held at Paradise Valley during the 4th of July three day weekend.

The National Park Service starts providing Nature Guides, answering daytime questions and giving slide show lectures on weekend evenings.


- The new Superintendent, Major Owen A. Tomlinson reports a total of over one hundred thousand visitors. 27,655 cars and 123,708 people enter the park that year.

Bridge access is built across the Nisqually to a new Longmire campground, and another new campground is built 6.7 miles inside the White River entrance.


- An effort is made to encourage winter use of the park. The road is kept open to Longmire during the winter of 1923-1924, and sporting events are arranged.

The road from Longmire to Paradise is opened to unrestricted traffic on 6/25/1924. A road is completed during the summer from the Carbon River entrance to Cataract Creek, a point near the snout of the Carbon Glacier. Road improvements provide easy park access for all Puget Sound residents.


- With the Longmire road open for the second consecutive winter season, the park is advertised as an all-year playground. Toboggan slides, four-horse sleighs, and dog teams are provided by the RNPCo. at Longmire.


- The National Park Inn, built at Longmire by the railroad twenty years earlier, is completely destroyed by fire. Its annex building is immediately modified and put to use as the Inn that is still in use today.


- Travel doubles in five years. Over 200,000 visitors enjoyed the reduction of automobile entrance fees from $2.50 to $1.00 per vehicle. More people are served with less formality. The dining room at Longmire is converted to cafeteria service to accommodate crowds more quickly.


- Planning for future growth is introduced. The Mountaineers, National Park Advisory Board, and other planners help the park service develop a long range plan that allows for increases in buildings, roads and trails, while setting aside "road-less areas" in the north and southwestern parts of the park. The Longmire Administration Building is constructed. An attempt is made to seek a balance between development and preservation, a task that continues today.


- The RNPCo. is having financial problems. They propose building an aerial tramway from the Nisqually Glacier Bridge to a new hotel site on the glacier rim near Paradise in order to attract more visitors. The park service does not concur.

The ten year old Standard Oil gas station at Longmire is torn down and a rustic station run by the Associated Oil Co. is built to service the public. This building is still standing and is currently converted to a transportation exhibit.
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