Historic Resource Study
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1855-1856Olympic Peninsula lands were ceded by the native American groups to the United States government in three separate treaties. In exchange for most of their land, the Indians received three reservations, money and schools as well as other aid for a period of twenty years. (Roloff 1934; 223-24)
1876John Muir, American naturalist, advocated a national investigation of United States forest wastage which brought about the conservation of publicly owned forest lands (Ingham 1955, 1).
ca. 1889John Muir possibly suggested the creation of a national park in the Olympic Mountains after he visited the area in late 1889 (Morgan 1955, 196-63).
ca. 1890Judge James Wickersham, explorer of the eastern sections of the Olympic Mountains in 1889 and 1890, suggested the creation of a national park. He wrote: "A national park should be established on the public domain at the head waters of the rivers centering in these [Olympic] mountains. . . . [It] should be 30 miles wide, north and south, and 40 miles, east and west . . . containing 768,000 acres" (Wickersham 1961, 6).
1890Lieutenant Joseph O'Neil, leader of the 1885 and 1890 expeditions into the Olympic Mountains, suggested the possibility of a national park in the interior of the Olympic range. At the conclusion of O'Neil's 1890 expedition he reported: "While the country on the outer slope of these mountains is valuable, the interior is useless for all practicable purposes. It would, however, serve admirably for a national park" (U.S. Congress 1896).
189722 February. Olympic Forest Reserve, containing 2,188,800 acres and encompassing the entire central portion of the Olympic Peninsula, was created by President Grover Cleveland. The U.S. Department of the Interior was charged with the responsibility of administration [Proclamation No. 27, 29 Stat. 901] (Ingham 1955, 1).
19007 April. Olympic Forest Reserve was reduced by 264,960 acres by presidential proclamation [31 Stat. 1962] (Ingham 1955, 1).
190115 July. Olympic Forest Reserve was reduced by an additional 456,900 acres by presidential proclamation [32 Stat. 1981] (Ingham 1955, 1).
1904The first concrete effort to establish a national park on the Olympic Peninsula was made by U.S. Congressman Francis Cushman of Washington [H.R. 10443, 58th Cong., 2nd sess.] (Ingham 1955, 1). The proposed "Elk National Park" was to contain 393,000 acres (PAEN 1966 7 February). His efforts failed.
1905Olympic Forest Reserve administration was transferred by U.S. Congress, along with all national reserves, from the Department of the Interior to the National Forest Service under the Department of Agriculture (Roloff 1934, 224).
1906Unsuccessful efforts were made to create a game refuge, comprised of 393,000 acres, on the Olympic Peninsula by U.S. Congressman William E. Humphrey [H.R. 15335, 59th Cong., 1st sess.] (Ise 1961, 383).
19068 June. The preservation of American Antiquities Act was passed by the Congress giving the president authority to designate "historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the government of the United States to be national monuments. . . . [34 Stat.] (Roloff 1934, 225).
1907The name Olympic Forest Reserve was changed to Olympic National Forest: all forest reserves, likewise, became known as national forests (Roloff 1934, 224).
1908Congressman William E. Humphrey made a second effort to establish a game refuge on the Olympic Peninsula [H.R. 14037, 60 Cong., 1st sess]. The bill failed (Ise 1961, 383).
19092 March. Mount Olympus National Monument was established by President Theodore Roosevelt [Proclamation No. 869, 35 Stat. 2247] embracing 610,560 acres. The primary purpose was to provide a refuge for Roosevelt elk (Ingham 1955, 1).
191115 July. Congressman William Humphrey introduced a bill to establish "Mount Olympus National Park" that permitted mining, homesteading and salvage logging under specified circumstances [H.R. 12532, 62 Cong., 1st sess.] (Ise 1961, 384). The bill failed.
191212 February. Senator Wesley L. Jones of Washington introduced a companion bill to H.R. 12532 to establish Mount Olympus National Park [S. 5257, 62 Cong., 2nd sess.] (Ingham 1955, 1; Ise 1961, 384). The bill failed.
191217 April. President Howard Taft eliminated 160 acres from the monument by Proclamation No. 1191 [37 Stat. 1737] to relieve homesteader Robert E. Voorhies of legal entanglements caused by the original proclamation (Ingham 1955, 10).
191511 May. President Woodrow Wilson reduced the size of Mount Olympus National Monument by approximately one-half [Proclamation No. 1293, 39 Stat. 1726]. With the advent of World War I some argued that there was an urgent need for timber supplies, including spruce for airplane construction (Ingham 1955, 10—11).
191625 August. The National Park Service was created in the Department of the Interior and given custody of all existing national parks and some national monuments. Mount Olympus National Monument remained under the jurisdiction of the National Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture.
192626 June. Representative Albert Johnson introduced a bill to establish Olympic National Park keeping the existing boundaries of the monument intact [H.R. 13069, 60 Cong.] (Ingham 1955, 14). The bill failed.
19297 January. President Calvin Coolidge excluded one section from the monument, presumably to relieve a homestead claim of a private individual [Proclaimation No. 1862, 45 Stat. 2984] (Ingham 1955, 16).
193310 June. Mount Olympus National Monument was transferred from the National Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, to the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt [Executive Order No. 6166] (Ingham 1955, 17).
193528 March. Representative Mon C. Wallgren of Washington introduced the first of three bills to establish "Mount Olympus National Park." The proposed bill would have abolished the monument and created an enlarged national park of 728,360 acres [H.R. 7086, 74, Cong., 1st sess.]. The bill failed (Ingham 1955, 19).
19363 July. The Olympic Primitive Area was dedicated by Acting Secretary of Agriculture M. L. Wilson. It comprised approximately 239,000 acres and was located entirely within Olympic National Forest, but primarily contiguous to the eastern and southern boundaries of Mount Olympus National Monument. A greater part of this area was later included in Olympic National Park (NFS ONF 1936 10 September; Wood 1968, 84).
193715 February. Representative Mon C. Wallgren introduced a new bill [H.R. 4742, 75 Cong., 2nd sess.] which reduced the size of the proposed "Mount Olympus National Park" by about 142,000 acres and eliminated originally proposed areas in the Bogachiel, Queets and Quinault drainages on the west side. The bill failed (Ingham 1955, 22-23).
1937September. President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the Olympic Peninsula and conferred with political leaders and National Forest and Park Service representatives at Singer's Tavern (Lake Crescent Lodge) to discuss the size of the proposed park.
193829 June. Olympic National Park, encompassing 682,000 acres, was established after Representative Wallgren introduced his third bill in Congress. The bill, as amended, contained a provision permitting the president to later expand the area of the newly created Park up to 898,292 acres by proclaimation [H.R. 10024, 75 Cong., 3rd sess.; Public Law No. 778; 52 Stat. 1241] (Ingham 1955, 23-24; Ise 1961, 389).
1938July and August. At the request of Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, Irving Brant, then chief editorial writer for the St. Louis Star Times, investigated areas that might be added to the Park. Brant made ten recommendations for enlargement of the Park (Ingham 1955, 25-26).
19402 January. President Roosevelt enlarged Olympic National Park by adding 187,411 acres [Proclamation No. 2380, 54 Stat. 2678] (Ingham 1955, 28; Ise 1961, 389).
1940President Roosevelt authorized the Public Works Administration to acquire a strip down the Queets River Valley and along the Pacific Ocean shore (Ingham 1955, 28).
19418 March. The State of Washington ceded exclusive jurisdiction over the area included in Olympic National Park (Gallison Collection ca. 1977).
19426 March. U.S. Congress accepted the State of Washington cession of the jurisdiction. The act made provisions for the protection and regulation of wildlife, property and scenery [H.R. 6559, 76 Cong., 3rd sess.; S. 1333,; H.R. 4336, 77 Cong., 1st sess.; 56 Stat. 135] (Ise 1961, 390-91).
194222 December. Senator Henry M. Jackson reintroduced an earlier bill that provided for the acquisition of private, state and county lands. The bill passed [S. 1511, 76 Cong. 1st sess.; H.R. 7191, 77 Cong., 2nd sess.; 56 Stat. 1070] (Ise 1961, 391).
194329 May. President Roosevelt added 20,600 acres in the Morse Creek watershed at the north edge of the Park, at the request of local Port Angeles residents and public officials [Proclaimation No. 2587, 57 Stat. 741] (Ise 1961, 390).
19459 October. Senator Warren Magnuson introduced a bill to provide prospecting and mining rights for the indefinite future. The bill died [H.R. 7449, 77 Cong., 2nd sess.; H.R. 3084, 78 Cong., 1st sess.; S. 1470, 79 Cong., 1st sess.] (Ise 1961, 391).
194615 June. Secretary of the Interior Julius A. Krug dedicated Olympic National Park at Rosemary Inn on Lake Crescent (PAEN 1946 14 June).
1946-1949Several bills were introduced to Congress to reduce the size of Olympic National Park. They include:
194629 May. Senator Warren Magnuson introduced a bill that excluded about 6,000 acres of privately owned land [S. 2266, 79 Cong.]. The bill died (Ingham 1955, 3).
194726 February. Senator Warren Magnuson introduced a bill that eliminated 18,185 acres in the Quinault watershed [S. 711, 79 Cong.]. The bill died (Ingham 1955, 3).
194724 March. Representative Fred Norman introduced a bill that eliminated 56,000 acres of rain forest including areas in the Quinault Valley [H.R. 2750, 80 Cong.]. The bill died (Ingham 1955, 3).
194724 March. Representative Henry M. Jackson introduced a companion bill that eliminated 56,000 acres of rain forest [H.R. 2751]. The bill died (Ingham 1955, 3).
19477 July. Senator Harry P. Cain introduced a bill that eliminated the same acreage [S. 1240, 80 Cong.]. The bill died (Ingham 1955, 35).
194819 May. Representative Russell Mack and Senator Harry Cain submitted resolutions calling for the creation of a committee to investigate the Park boundaries [H. Con. Res. 203; S. Con. Res. 203, 81 Cong.]. The resolutions died.
194910 January. Senator Harry P. Cain reintroduced his earlier resolution [S. Con. Res. 5]. The resolution died (Ise 1961, 392-93; Ingham 1955, 30-36).
19519 January. Representative Henry M. Jackson introduced a bill to allow for exchange of timber in the Park for private land [H.R. 1197, 82 Cong.]. The bill died (Gallison Collection ca. 1977).
195216 June. Representative Russell Mack introduced a bill to amend the 1916 National Park Service Act (Section 3) to prevent the exchange of real property in a park for park timber. The bill died (Gallison Collection ca. 1977).
19536 January. President Harry Truman added 47,753 acres to the Park, including the Coastal Strip, the Queets Corridor and a section of the Bogachiel Valley [Proclamation No. 3003, 67 Stat. C27]. This acquisition implemented Secretary of the Interior Ickes authorization for use of Public Works Administration monies to acquire sections of the Coastal Strip and the Queets Valley (Ingham 1955, 36-37).
195728 February. Representative Donald Magnuson introduced a bill [H.R. 4964] giving the secretary of Interior authority to exchange surplus national park lands in the Queets Corridor and the Coastal Strip for privately owned lands within Olympic National Park. The bill was amended to exclude 3,536 acres of agricultural land in the Quinault Valley (Gallison Collection ca. 1977).
195729 July. A large portion of the Quinault area was transfered from Olympic National Park to Olympic National Forest by a bill introduced by Representative Russell Mack [H.R. 8931, 85 Cong.] (Gallison Collection ca. 1977).
195811 June. Senator Henry M. Jackson introduced a companion bill [S. 1191] to Magnuson's H.R. 4964, that authorized the secretary of Interior to exchange approximately 6,608 acres of land adjacent to the Queets Corridor and the Coastal Strip for privately owned lands within the boundaries of the Park.
1961The secretary of Interior appointed a committee to investigate the desirability of including Quinault Lake property in Olympic National Park (Gallison Collection ca. 1977).
1976October 21. The secretary of Interior was authorized to include in the Park not less than 200 feet of the shoreline around Ozette Lake, and to exclude from the Park private lands and publically maintained roads adjacent to Quinault Lake. This law also made provisions for the acquisition of privately owned land within the exterior boundaries of the Park and for the transfer of land from any federal agency to the Park [Public Law 94—578, Sec. 320].

References Cited

ca. 1977Gallison, Glenn Collection. Port Angeles, Washington. Historical summary of Olympic National Park.
1955Ingham, Meredith B., Jr. Olympic National Park: A study of conservation objectives relating to its establishment and boundary adjustments. U.S. Department of the Interior. National Park Service. Mimeo.
1966Ise, John. Our national park policy: A critical history. Baltimore Maryland: The Johns Hopkins Press.
1955Morgan, Murray. The last wilderness. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
(NFS ONF) National Forest Service. Olympic National Forest, Olympia, Washington. Unaccessioned historical papers.
193610 September. Brief History of Olympic Primitive Area.
(PAEN) Port Angeles Evening News (Port Angeles, Washington).
194614 June. Dedication of Olympic National Park at Rosemary Inn Saturday afternoon.
19667 February. Move toward area park began early.
1934Roloff, Clifford Edwin. The Mount Olympus National Monument. Washington Historical Quarterly 25, (no.3): 214-28.
1896U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee on Forest Reservations and the Protection of Game. O'Neil expedition. 54th Cong., 1st sess., 7 Janaury, S. Doc. 59. N.p.: N.p.
1961Wickersham, James. A national park in the Olympics . . . 1890. Living Wilderness, Summer-Fall, 5-13.
1968Wood, Robert L. Trail Country: Olympic National Park. Seattle: The Mountaineers.

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Last Updated: 01-Oct-2009