Establishing the Park


"The campaign for Rainier was a collaborative effort by many groups and individuals. No single figure stood out as its leader, nor did any single organization coordinate it. More than a dozen scientists, many of whom had climbed the mountain, formed one component of the campaign. They were scattered across the nation, knew one another professionally, and used the opportunity of professional meetings to form committees and prepare memorials to Congress setting forth arguments for the national park. Meanwhile, a few dozen mountaineers, most of whom resided in the Puget Sound area, constituted another component. Their infectious enthusiasm for the mountain, which they communicated in public talks and letters to local newspapers, helped to persuade Washington's congressional delegation that the national park was a popular cause. Three young mountaineering organizations, the Sierra Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and the Washington Alpine Club, added their support. Finally the Northern Pacific Railway had an important and surreptitious effect on park legislation in the late 1890's." --Theodore Catton, "The Campaign to Establish Mt. Rainier National Park, 1893-1899." Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Spring 1997.

"Mr. President, I am convinced that the establishment of the proposed park would confer a great boon upon the people of the United States. Its educational advantages would be of unspeakable value; and as a resort for seekers of health and pleasure it would be unsurpassed. The State of Washington, although a recent addition to our galaxy of American commonwealths, is destined to become within a few years one of the greatest. It will be home of millions of prosperous and worthy citizens.

Now, when we can easily provide, not only for ourselves but for future generations, such a magnificent pleasure ground, sanitarium, and educational object-lesson, shall we let the opportunity pass, particularly when it all can be secured with comparatively little cost?" --Senator Squire, Congressional Record, 1894