online book
cover to Family Tree of the National Park System
NPS Family Tree





Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII

current topic Acknowledgements


Family Tree of the National Park System
National Park Service Arrowhead


This account of the growth of the National Park System benefited much from the researches and writings of others and the generous help of many colleagues and friends. It seemed unnecessary to burden the general reader with footnotes and a bibliography but a number of important references are cited directly in the text for those who may wish to delve further into Service history. I gratefully acknowledge here some of the other major references used and assistance cheerfully given me by individual persons.

The Service is greatly indebted to the late Edmund B. Rogers, long-time Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, for compiling with infinite patience and meticulous care 108 volumes of official documents which illuminate the legislative history of the National Park System. Rogers work is entitled History of Legislation Relating to the National Park System through the 82d Congress. One complete set of this voluminous collection of carefully arranged photostats, with helpful chronological tables and lists, is on deposit in the Departmental Library, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. Mr. Leonard Bikowski, Librarian, was most helpful in providing me with access to this invaluable collection, which I used extensively. Readers should know that some years ago the Service distributed two duplicate sets of the Rogers collection among the regional offices and the parks where relevant volumes should still be available for consultation by interested persons.

On a smaller scale, but indispensable, is a body of documents compiled by former Assistant Director Hillory A. Tolson entitled Laws Relating to the National Park Service, the National Parks and Monuments (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1933). Two supplementary volumes cover legislation enacted in later years—Supplement I, July 1933 through April 1944 (Thomas Alan Sullivan, comp.) and Supplement II, May 1944 to January 1963 (Hillory A. Tolson, comp.). Thomas Alan Sullivan also compiled Proclamations and Orders Relating to the National Park Service up to January 1, 1945 (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1947). These helpful volumes, and in some cases later unbound supplements, are available in the Service's central and regional offices and many parks. While not so widely available the Annual Reports of the Director of the National Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior are full of valuable historical data. The Service's information publication entitled National Parks & Landmarks: areas administered by the National Park Service and related properties as of January 1, 1972 is a mine of useful knowledge, updated every two years.

One of the most useful secondary works is John Ise, Our National Park Policy, A Critical History (Baltimore: John Hopkins Press, 1961). This work is especially valuable on the earlier periods and through World War II. It contains detailed histories of each of the national parks established before 1960. Another valuable study is Paul Herman Buck, The Evolution of the National Park System in the United States (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1946). Two indispensable books are Robert Shankland, Steve Mather of the National Parks: Third Edition, Revised and Enlarged (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970) and Donald C. Swain, Wilderness Defender: Horace M. Albright and Conservation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970). A special aspect of Service history is described in Ronald F. Lee's The Antiquities Act of 1906, published by the Service in 1970. The author has in preparation a general history of the national military parks and national memorials which has also provided useful data for the present account.

There are many histories of individual parks—books, pamphlets, articles, manuscript histories—far too many to list here. Examples range from Louis C. Cramton's Early History of Yellowstone Park and Its Relation to National Park Policies (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1932) and Carl P. Russell's One Hundred Years in Yosemite (Yosemite: Yosemite Natural History Association, 1957) to such recent productions as Harley E. Jolley's The Blue Ridge Parkway (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1969). There are excellent though little known histories of the Washington Monument, the Statue of Liberty, and many other historical areas. For years the Division of History has actively encouraged the writing of administrative histories of parks lacking such accounts and two or three appear each year. It is to be hoped the Service will compile and issue a bibliography of these and other contributions to Service history as an encouragement to research and understanding. It would make a good Centennial project.

Perhaps the single most informative element in this publication is the Family Tree chart itself. I am indebted to Vincent Gleason and his colleagues, particularly Dennis McLaughlin for developing my initial sketch into the expressive work of graphic art which accompanies this publication. I am also indebted to Mr. Gleason for suggesting the format of the book. Bruce Hopkins provided valuable editorial assistance on the galley proofs and all the later stages of production, and Linda Meyers aided on design and layout.

I benefited much from the generous and knowledgeable help of a number of colleagues and friends. I am indebted to Chief Historian Robert M. Utley for carefully reading and skillfully editing the entire manuscript. Assistant Director Theodor R. Swem also read the manuscript and offered suggestions which substantially improved the accuracy of its later portions. John R. Vosburgh, Chief, Branch of Features, reviewed the entire text and his knowledge saved me from a number of errors. Members of the Director's Centennial Advisory Committee encouraged me to complete and publish the Family Tree, particularly former Directors Horace M. Albright and Conrad L. Wirth, former Associate Director Eivind Scoyen and the Honorable Ben Reifel, long-time Representative in Congress from South Dakota. Others to whom I am indebted for advice and help include Frank Barnes, Harthon L. Bill, Chester L. Brooks, William C. Everhart, Cornelius W. Heine, Ruth Anne Heriot, T. Sutton Jett, Stanley McClure, Bruce J. Miller, Franklin R. Mullaly, Murray H. Nelligan, George A. Palmer, John D. R. Platt, Horace J. Sheely and Frank Ugolini. Mrs. Sharon Anderson, my secretary, aided me in compiling the numerous chronological tables in the text and typed the entire manuscript with great care.

Publication of the Family Tree at this time was made possible through the wise counsel of my long-time colleague and friend, Herbert E. Kahler, the help of his associate, Robert J. Smentek, and the generous support of the Board of Directors of the Eastern National Park and Monument Association.

Lastly, I express my special appreciation to Director George B. Hartzog, Jr. for encouraging me to undertake this publication and for providing me with the opportunity to complete it. He read the first draft of the manuscript in its entirety and offered valuable suggestions. His continuing support made the publication possible.


Last Modified: Sat, May 12 2001 10:08 am PDT

National Park Service's ParkNet Home