Rainbow Forest was the heart of the original Petrified Forest set aside by President Roosevelt as a national monument in 1906. One of the earliest facilities in the park was a wood and tar paper shack near where the current museum is located. Looking through the Superintendent's Reports (excerpts below) from 1931 we can discover the construction of the museum—which was the headquarters at the time—and some residences.
June 29 1931
"Contracts are being let for buildings at headquarters in the amount of $21,094 which provide for an Administration Building, three residences, and one tool and implement shed."
July 28, 1931
"The road programs moving along in a very satisfactory manner as is also the building program. Herbert Krienkamp Assistant to the Chief Landscape Architect is making his headquarters here while the building is going on."
Aug 28, 1931
"The building program is going ahead nicely, the walls of the Administration Building, the Custodian's residence and the Tool and Implement Shed are now about ceiling high and the stone work is very pleasing."
Sep 29 1931
"The buildings are about ready for the interior work, the roofs of the Administration Building having been poured and the two wing floors being finished. The bedrooms and living room floors are also finished in house No. 6."
"Thos. C. Vint, Chief Landscape Architect spent two days in the Forest. Mr. F. A. Kittredge was with us one day while Mr. Vint was here and many problems were gone over on the ground while inspecting the new road, bridge, and buildings….
The buildings consisting of an Administration Building, 3 employees quarters, and a tool shop are well along towards completion, the outside being practically finished and they are about half plastered inside. The roofs and floors are finished. On the whole the work is very nicely done and they will no doubt be a credit to the Monument and to the Service. They have been admired by practically all visitors and officials."
Dec 30 1931
The basic facts of Rainbow Forest Museum and area
Last updated: January 17, 2021