National Park, City Playground: Mount Rainier in the Twentieth Century

Paperback | November 22, 2006

byTheodore R. Catton

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The majestic beauty of Mount Rainier, which dominates the Seattle and Tacoma skyscapes, has in many ways defined the Pacific Northwest. At the same time, those two major cities have strongly influenced the development of Rainier as a national park. From the late 1890s, when the Pacific Forest Reserve became Mount Rainier National Park, the evolving relationship between the mountain and its surrounding residents has told a history of the region itself. That story also describes the changing nature of our national park system.

From the late nineteenth century to the present, park service representatives and other officials have created policies, built roads and hotels, and regulated public use of and access to Mount Rainier. Conflicting interests have shaped the decision-making process and characterized human interaction with the park. The Rainier National Park Company promoted Paradise Inn as a destination resort for East Coast tourists; Cooperative Campers of the Pacific Northwest developed backcountry camps for working-class recreationists; Asahel Curtis of the Good Roads Association wanted a road encircling the mountain; The Mountaineers promoted free public campgrounds and a roadless preserve; others focused on managing and protecting the upper mountain. The National Park Service mediated among the various parties while developing their own master plan for the park.

In an engaging and accessible style, historian Theodore Catton tells the story of Mount Rainier, examining the controversies and compromises that have shaped one of America's most beautiful and beloved parks. National Park, City Playground reminds us that the way we manage our wilderness areas is a vital concern not only for the National Park Service, but for all citizens.

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The majestic beauty of Mount Rainier, which dominates the Seattle and Tacoma skyscapes, has in many ways defined the Pacific Northwest. At the same time, those two major cities have strongly influenced the development of Rainier as a national park. From the late 1890s, when the Pacific Forest Reserve became Mount Rainier National Park,...

Theodore Catton is an historian living in Missoula, Montana. He is the author of Inhabited Wilderness: Indians, Eskimos, and National Parks in Alaska.

other books by Theodore R. Catton

American Indians and National Forests
American Indians and National Forests

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9.17 × 5.98 × 0.63 inPublished:November 22, 2006Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295986433

ISBN - 13:9780295986432

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments1. A Tale of Two Cities2. The Campaign to Establish Mount Rainier National Park3. The New Pleasuring Ground (1900-1915)4. Steve Mather and the Rainier National Park Company (1915-1930)5. Through Depression and War (1930-1945)6. The Contentious Years (1945-1965)7. The Search for Limits (1965-2000)8. ConclusionNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

The majestic beauty of Mount Rainier, which dominates the Seattle and Tacoma skyscapes, has in many ways defined the Pacific Northwest. At the same time, those two major cities have strongly influenced the development of Rainier as a national park. From the late 1890s, when the Pacific Forest Reserve became Mount Rainier National Park, the evolving relationship between the mountain and its surrounding residents has told a history of the region itself. That story also describes the changing nature of our national park system.From the late nineteenth century to the present, park service representatives and other officials have created policies, built roads and hotels, and regulated public use of and access to Mount Rainier. Conflicting interests have shaped the decision-making process and characterized human interaction with the park. The Rainier National Park Company promoted Paradise Inn as a destination resort for East Coast tourists; Cooperative Campers of the Pacific Northwest developed backcountry camps for working-class recreationists; Asahel Curtis of the Good Roads Association wanted a road encircling the mountain; The Mountaineers promoted free public campgrounds and a roadless preserve; others focused on managing and protecting the upper mountain. The National Park Service mediated among the various parties while developing their own master plan for the park.In an engaging and accessible style, historian Theodore Catton tells the story of Mount Rainier, examining the controversies and compromises that have shaped one of America's most beautiful and beloved parks. National Park, City Playground reminds us that the way we manage our wilderness areas is a vital concern not only for the National Park Service, but for all citizens.Catton is exceptional at allowing one to view the details through his extensive research and exploration of the history of the making of Mount Rainer National Park…. If you believe (like I generally did) that the initiation and development of a national park… is a relatively simple affair designed around the natural value of the land, then you will find this book an eye-opener. - Natural Areas Journal