Scope and Content
Congress established Mount Rainier as a national park on March 2, 1899, at which time Mount Rainier became the fifth national park in the country. In the early 1900s, local guides, familiar with the rough mountain terrain, began to operate out of a tent camp at Paradise Valley leading groups of people to the summit. With the opening of the highway to Paradise Valley in 1915 and the creation of the Rainier National Park Company in 1916, a more formalized guide service was established in 1917.
The Rainier National Park Company was founded by prominent members of Seattle and Tacoma society for the purpose of developing recreational and tourist facilities in the park. The Rainier National Park Company was responsible for the construction and operation of Paradise Inn which was completed in 1917. During the 1920s and 1930s, the park drew thousands of hikers and mountaineers from all around the world to the mountain's major attractions, including summit climbs and excursions to its famous glaciers and ice caves. Touring the park in "auto stages" on the newly developed scenic roads was another popular pastime and wildlife viewing, including feeding the animals, was encouraged. Additional public campsites and picnic areas were soon added, as well as new tourist enticements such as dog sledding, tobogganing, and horseback tours, with guides outfitted as cowboys.
The album containing this collection of photographs was probably used by the Rainier National Park Company as a promotional tool to draw tourists to Mount Rainier National Park. On the inside of the album is stamped "Ranapar Studio, Rainier National Park Company, Tacoma, Washington." Rananpar Studio was founded by Seattle photographer Asahel Curtis.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of promotional photographs which document the various tourist activities associated with Mount Rainier National Park. Also included are photographs of Paradise Inn and numerous scenic views of the mountain itself and the surrounding parkland. Most of the photographs appear to be from the 1920s-1930s.
Donated by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Dec. 20, 1956 [on album cover].
Processed by Rebekah Dalby, 2002.
The photograph album originally containing the images was no longer intact, and the photographs were therefore removed and housed separately. The album cover and the order of the photographs within the album have been retained.
|Last modified: June 17, 2005|