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greg
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PostThu Nov 29, 2007 11:16 am 
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geobob wrote:

My father grew up in Bremerton and was a boy scout in the late 1920s and spent quite a bit of time at Camp Parsons. That's what got him started hiking in the Olympics and it continued in the 1930s after he had finished with the scouts.

Possibly he knew some of my family, my gramps was a Bremerton cop through that period, my mom grew up there, so did my uncle, who did tons of hiking and climbing in the Olympics in the '30s and '40s. Another relative was one of the first operators of the giant crane at PSNS that I believe is still there.
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geobob
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PostThu Nov 29, 2007 4:53 pm 
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Here's an Olympic National Park map from 1974 that shows the locations of shelters in existence then.  I took a digital photo of the map on the floor in my living room using only natural light and some shadows appear, but hopefully it's still acceptable.

I think it's interesting that two shelters are shown in the vicinity of Elk Lake on the trail to Glacier Meadows; I only remember one but that doesn't mean there weren't two!

74 ONP Shelters
74 ONP Shelters

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RodF
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PostThu Nov 29, 2007 8:24 pm 
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geobob wrote:
I think it's interesting that two shelters are shown in the vicinity of Elk Lake on the trail to Glacier Meadows; I only remember one but that doesn't mean there weren't two!

Thanks, geobob!  Looking over this map prompted me to read Leissler's book more carefully.  It says there were two shelters at Olympus Guard Station, two at Low Divide, and that the Stony Point shelter was 0.2 miles south of the shelter adjacent to Elkhorn Ranger Station on the Elwha (they were not one in the same).

HJT wrote:
Interesting map geobob. I noticed that it shows a shelter between Lost Pass and Cameron Pass at Three Sons Camp. When I was last there, I don't remember seeing a spot big enough that could have had a shelter.

I'm pretty sure that's the Upper Cameron shelter.  Note that it's depicted as lying about two miles north of the faint green line of the Lost River.  Wood places it at 5400' elevation at the lower end of Cameron Basin, 1.3 trail miles below Cameron Pass.

(I found one cryptic reference on the web to a primitive lean-to shelter above Lost Pass (presumably at Three Sons?), but haven't found anything to verify that.)

HJT wrote:
I also noticed that it doesn't have the Belview Shelter on the map.

"On the south edge of the second meadow stands the broken down Belview Shelter, destroyed by an avalanche." - Robert L. Wood, "Trail Country" (1968) page 195.  That'd explain why ONP removed it from the 1974 map.

greg wrote:
Also, not sure how relevant this is, but there used to be a shelter at Scott's Bluff on the north beach hike, I stayed in it once in the 70s.

Thanks.  It's listed as Scott Creek camp in Molvar's book, and in my list.
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geobob
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PostThu Nov 29, 2007 10:49 pm 
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I was doing some research on the Low Divide Chalet and came across the following link that might be of interest.  It's a chronology of the Upper Quinault valley.  It appears that the Low Divide Chalet was constructed in 1927.

http://www.usbr.gov/pmts/sediment/projects/Quinault/report/Appendix%20N_Historical%20Timeline.pdf

I also want to pass along the following link, which contains quite a bit of historical information about ONP.

http://www.freewebs.com/elderbob/ELDER/ONP_HISTORY.html

Enjoy!

As a side note, I am in no way related to or connected with "elderbob".

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geobob
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PostThu Nov 29, 2007 11:37 pm 
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I stumbled upon this during my internet wanderings and thought I'd post it to add to the verbage previously posted about the "shelter issue" (mostly concerning OPA).

http://www.peer.org/docs/wa/laitnerletter.pdf

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greg
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PostFri Nov 30, 2007 6:47 am 
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Interesting anecdote to the Quinault area history is that the last wolf ever seen on the Olympic Peninsula was killed in the upper valley I believe around 1920. I think that corner of the park is still the wildest area on the peninsula.
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RodF
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PostFri Nov 30, 2007 7:33 am 
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geobob wrote:
I stumbled upon this during my internet wanderings and thought I'd post it to add to the verbage previously posted about the "shelter issue" (mostly concerning OPA).
http://www.peer.org/docs/wa/laitnerletter.pdf

It's of idle interest to note that PEER opposed the means (helicopter, prefab) but pursued and got a decision essentially forbidding the ends (replacing any shelter in wilderness destroyed by either nature or man).  The few remaining shelters now appear to be living on borrowed time.

I really don't think that was Congress' intent in creating the Olympic wilderness, but as this letter says, "there's no repeal by implication".  Congress didn't say "save the shelters", but if they did, we still could save the few remaining...

(I personally think steel footbridges like this over the Elwha are far more "intrusive" into the wilderness than an historic little cedar shelter tucked under the trees... but no one (including me!) is objecting to them.)
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geobob
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PostFri Nov 30, 2007 11:08 am 
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I came across this article this morning and thought I'd pass it along.  Even though it dates from 2005, I thought it might provide additional perspective on how the 1988 Wilderness Act is in practice impacting the park.

http://www.commondreams.org/news2005/0804-03.htm

In particular, I found the following italicized text (which I have cut and pasted from the newsletter) interesting:

“This decision resolves a long-standing, contentious issue at Olympic,” said Donna Osseward, president of Olympic Park Associates, “and it's a landmark victory for Wilderness everywhere.”

Since the National Park Service manages 44 million acres of Wilderness, more than any other federal agency, this decision could have widespread significance.

“The Court strongly reaffirmed the agency's paramount responsibility to preserve the Olympic's wilderness character,” stated George Nickas, executive director of Wilderness Watch. “And that means the wild and primitive character of the land, free of permanent improvements or other modern conveniences.”


I find it alarming that these groups are pushing such an extreme application of the Wilderness Act.  Their position to preserve the park "free of permanent improvements or other modern conveniences", could be applied to the existing trail system and could be used to argue that ongoing trail maintenance is in violation of the Act.

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RPBrown
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PostFri Nov 30, 2007 9:58 pm 
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I stayed (actually slept in) the Lower Cameron shelter on two occasions.  Once around 1974 (I was just a little kid) and again around 1984.  It was very clean as far as shelters go with a gravel floor and pole-style bunk beds.  I think it's the only shelter I've ever slept in.  I remember the Upper Cameron shelter in 1974  but it was gone in 1984.  As I recall (don't quote me on this) it was just slightly upstream from where the Grand Pass trail intersects the Cameron trail.

The Belview shelter was hit by an avalanche.  I remember seeing it in the 1970's and it was listing pretty bad then.  There was also a shelter at Sundown but the Park Service tore it down.  You can still see the logs from it in the outlet of the lake.

I'm almost positive the Low Divide Chalet was hit by an avalanche (that came down from Mt. Seattle) not too long after it was built.   I remember reading somewhere about a pack service that packed people in there and there was a bed & breakfast style operation for a while.
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geobob
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PostSat Dec 01, 2007 12:10 pm 
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Here's a link to a photo of the Low Divide Chalet in 1940.

http://content.lib.washington.edu/cgi-bin/docviewer.exe?CISOROOT=/mtn&CISOPTR=1997&CISOSHOW=1810

So it appears that the chalet was in existence from 1927 to at least 1940.

I wonder who built and operated it.

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RPBrown
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PostSat Dec 01, 2007 4:07 pm 
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Here's a reference I found for the Low Divide Chalet.  It's from a book Exploring Washinton's Past:  A Roadmap to History.  I'm on a computer at work (that doesn't work) so I'll just post what it says and I quote,

"As early as 1929 the Olympic Chalet Company, owners of the developments proposed a landing field for planes at the Low Divide, beside the chalet, and also considered damming an alpine lake to create a big enough body of water for seaplanes to land.  The Great Depression bankrupted the company and an avalanche destroyed the chalet"

The article went further to state that later, in 1931 the Olson Brothers of Quinault built the Enchanted Valley.  So, the Low Divide Chalet was first.

Pretty amazing huh?  I'm pretty sure I read the same thing on a plaque many years ago probably near the Low Divide.  So, think about the type of planes that would be utilized in 1929...maybe Ford Trimotors, various monocoupes, Curtis Aircraft etc.  That was long before Cubs came along.  They're obviously talking about damming up Mary or Margaret Lake.  The Low Divide is a huge, broad saddle so having a landing strip up there isn't inconceivable .

HJT, by logs in the outlet of Sundown I mean they are sawed at both ends, with notches cut (used for a cabin) and large spikes sticking out.  I think the Park Service probably burnt a little of the shelter and tossed the rest in the lake.
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Dane
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PostSat Dec 01, 2007 4:30 pm 
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Enchanted Valley Chalet doesn't count as a shelter either.

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geobob
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PostSat Dec 01, 2007 4:48 pm 
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Interesting info about Low Divide.  I wonder when the Olympic Chalet Company went bankrupt?  The Low Divide Chalet still existed in 1940 and from the photo appears to be in use.

I posted scanned images of a brochure for the Olympic Recreation Company in the thread "early scout hikes in the olympics" a while ago.  I don't know the date of the brochure, but at that time the company was operating Graves Creek Inn on the east fork of the Quinault and was building the Enchanted Valley Chalet.  Here's a picture from the brochure of the Graves Creek Inn.

Graves Creek Inn
Graves Creek Inn

I believe the "elderbob" website that is linked earlier in this thread has some info about the history of the Olympic Recreation Company.

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geobob
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PostSat Dec 01, 2007 5:03 pm 
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Here's the link to the the portion of the elderbob website that discusses the Quinault (for a more proper reference, I think this information is taken from "Historic Building Inventory, Olympic National Park, Washington" by Gail E. H. Evans, 1983).

http://www.freewebs.com/onphistory/ELDER/QUINAULT_AREA_1.html#EL1

Also, I've cut and pasted below (in italics) the part from the website that discusses the Enchanted Valley Chalet and the Olympic Recreation Company:

"Constructed in 1930-31, the Enchanted Valley Chalet was built by the Olympic Recreation Company, one of two private investment companies that sought to develop the recreational potential of the interior Olympic Mountains. Beginning in 1926, five Olson brothers (who later incorporated as the Olympic Recreation Company) from Quinault Lake, vied with the Hoquiam/Aberdeen-based Olympic Chalet Company for Forest Service approval to develop the North Fork Quinault River drainage. Initial disapproval by the Forest Service prompted the Olympic Recreation Company to turn their attention to the main fork of the Quinault River, where the Forest Service later granted the Olson brothers permission to establish two guest lodges. One at the mouth of Graves Creek (on the Quinault River) and the other near the headwaters of the main fork of the Quinault, thirteen miles from the end of a road. Construction of the Graves Inn began in 1929. One year later, the Enchanted Valley Chalet was initiated. Several residents of the southern Olympic Peninsula contributed to the completion of the chalet. Elvin Olson supervised the construction of the log structure and packed materials such as bricks, mortar, and equipment by horse over the thirteen-mile trail. Tom E. Criswell, assisted by his son, Glenn, built the two-story building, and Tom Criswell fashioned much of the furniture. The Knack Manufacturing Co. of Hoquiam, Washington produced the window frames. In 1934, Ignar and Herbert Olson devised a special sled for transporting a bathtub to the remote building. For the next decade the Enchanted Valley Chalet was a much-advertised and favored destination point, or stopping place, for numerous individual and groups of hiking and horse parties that ventured into the southern Olympics. Despite the national economic Depression, which severely debilitated recreational pursuits throughout the US, the chalet survived. In 1943, in the midst of World War II, the chalet was closed to the public and established briefly as an Aircraft Warning Service outpost. In 1951, the National Park Service purchased the holdings of the Olympic Recreation Company. Two years later the chalet was reopened for public use. Limited maintenance allowed deterioration and vandalism to take its toll on the structure. In the early 1980s the second floor of the building was closed to the public. During the summers of 1983 and 1984 the Park Service cooperated with Olympians hiking club of Hoquiam/Aberdeen to stabilize and rehabilitate the chalet."

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ScottM
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PostSat Dec 01, 2007 7:35 pm 
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I had never realized the vast amount of shelters that once existed until I read "Early Hiking in the Olympics 1922-1942" by Paul Crews.  In those years very few commercial tents were produced and backcountry travelers relied on these shelters.  In reading his book you get a sense of how important these shelters really were.
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