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The story of Jedidiah Smith and Josiah Gregg and their men should have an important role in the interpretation of man and the Redwoods. Jed Smith, explorer and Mountain Man, spent almost two weeks in June 1828 in the area of today's Redwood National Park. While there, he and his men drove a herd of horses and mules through the beautiful and rugged section of the Park, from False Klamath Cove in the south to the approaches to Crescent City in the north. They then skirted the Park, as they rode north and then east, forded Smith River, and ascended the ridge leading toward High Divide. The snail-like progress made by Smith's company, along with the shortage of game, illustrates the difficulties man encountered in penetrating the Redwoods. That they were successful shows the caliber of these men.

Smith's route is known, along with the approximate location of his camp sites, and these have been located on the Historical Base Map. The Smith story is one that should be interpreted at the sites, where the Visitor can see and appreciate the difficulties involved.

Josiah Gregg and his party likewise found the Redwood Creek area difficult. Gregg is also of interest, because he made the first recorded effort to measure the giant redwoods of Humboldt County. Perhaps the giants measured were on Redwood Creek, near The Tall Trees. Like Smith, Gregg should be interpreted on site. As he forded Redwood Creek, near The Tall Trees, perhaps the Service should take advantage of this to tell his story there.

Adequate exhibits space in the Visitor Center should also be allotted to the Jed Smith and Gregg stories.

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004