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Rainier History: Mt. Rainier History
Wednesday, January 28 @ 18:15:28 PST by drew (8442 reads)
Washington TriviaTimeline 5000 B.C. - 1800s

For thousands of years, Taidnapam, Upper Cowlitz, Yakama, Nisqually, and Puyallup tribes live in the foothills of the mountain they call Tahoma. They fish, hunt, and gather berries and herbs on its lower slopes. However, because they have a great reverence and awe for Tahoma, they never go near its summit. In the 1700s, European and American newcomers bring diseases that decimate the tribes. Only small groups remain when American settlers homestead near the peak in the 1800s.
  • 1792 British explorer Captain George Vancouver names the mountain Mount Rainier for his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier. (Rainier never visited his namesake peak.)
  • 1833 Dr. William Tolmie, a Scottish physician at nearby Fort Nisqually, organizes an expedition to gather medicinal herbs. Guided by five Native Americans, he is probably the first white man to venture into what is now the park.

  • Late 1850s James Longmire, an early Washington Territory settler who farms near Yelm Prairie, establishes the rough-hewn Packwood Trail. He guides many aspiring mountain climbers on this route from the Pacific Coast to Mount Rainier's slopes.

  • 1857 Army lieutenant August Valentine Kautz and his party travel for eight days to climb the summit. His Nisqually guide becomes snow-blind, his companions give up, and despite his perseverance, he is just 400 feet shy of the summit. However, he proves that Mount Rainier can be climbed.

  • 1870 General Hazard Stevens and Philemon Van Trump make the first well-do*****ented ascent of Mount Rainier. For more information on that intrepid group, click here.

  • 1883 At age 63, James Longmire climbs to the summit with Philemon Van Trump and George Bayley. On the trip, Longmire's horse wanders from camp to a mineral spring on Mount Rainier's south side. When Longmire discovers his horse, he decides then and there to return to the idyllic spot. In 1884, he and his wife build Mineral Springs Resort, Mount Rainier's first hotel.

  • 1890 Fay Fuller, a schoolteacher from a small town near Olympia, becomes the first woman to climb the mountain. As visitation rises, a campaign is led to protect Mount Rainier by establishing it as a national park.

  • 1899 Led by local communities and supported by scientific and conservation organizations, including the National Geographic Society, the campaign triumphs. President McKinley establishes Mount Rainier as the the nation's fifth national park.

  • 1911President William H. Taft travels to Paradise in the first automobile to reach the area. (The auto has to be towed by horses the last several miles.)

  • 1916 A trail system encircling the mountain, known today as the Wonderland Trail, is completed.

  • 1929 "The Greathouse Accident" occurs when an entire six-person climbing party falls into a deep crevasse after sliding down Mount Rainier's upper slopes. Ranger Charlie Browne leads efforts to save the injured climbers and recovers the bodies of a guide and client. He is awarded the first citation for heroism ever given by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

  • 1930s The Civilian Conservation Corps builds and repairs many park buildings, trails, and bridges, which are still used today.

  • 1940s The U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Ski Division trains on Mount Rainier during World War II.

  • 1962 Mount Rainier is the training ground for the successful American expedition to Mount Everest.

  • 1981 Project Pelion, a large group of climbers with disabilities, sets out to climb to the summit. It includes 7 visually impaired members, 2 hearing-impaired members, a one-legged Vietnam War veteran, and an epileptic member. Of the 11 members of the group, 9 reach the summit. The highest death toll in U.S. climbing history occurs when an ice avalanche on Ingraham Glacier kills 11 members of a 29-member climbing party.

  • 1990 8,335 climbers attempt to reach the summit of Mount Rainier, and 4,534 are successful. "The Mountain" continues to be a mecca for climbers and sightseers from around the world.

(Read More... | Score: 4.75)

Random Photos
This is the trailhead on the PCT for the Heartbreak Ridge trail up Table Mountain. This trail has some really steep sections.
This is the trailhead on the PCT for the Heartbreak Ridge trail up Table Mountain. This trail has some really steep sections.
From: Table Mountain, WA

From: Mt. Rainier Wonderland Trail 2004

From: Timberline Trail 2004

Some rocks along the road make an interesting pattern with the snow.
Some rocks along the road make an interesting pattern with the snow.
From: Barlow Butte, OR

From: Panorama Point, WA

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One Day like Today...
1881 President Garfield succumbs to shooting wounds

Eighty days after a failed office seeker shot him in Washington, D.C., President James A. Garfield dies of complications from his wounds.
Born in a log cabin in Ohio, Garfield was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives while serving as a Union colonel in the Civil War. He later became a U.S. senator and in 1880 was unexpectedly nominated as the presidential candidate of the Republican Party. Successfully appealing to his humble roots, he was elected the 20th U.S. president over his Democratic opponent, General Winfield Scott Hancock. On July 2, 1881, only four months into his administration, President Garfield was shot as he walked through a railroad waiting room in Washington. His assailant, Charles J. Guiteau, was a disgruntled and possibly insane man who had unsuccessfully sought an appointment to the U.S. consul in Paris. The president was shot in the back and the arm, and Guiteau immediately surrendered.

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