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Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques

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avatar Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
September 30, 2009 07:56PM
Here is an interesting challenge:
Just this past year, I found a memorial plaque in Sequoia (not a place one would expect). At the time, I did not really appreciate the significance and actually thought it a strange monument for a park in a strange location. The Burns' Vol 4 National Parks Documentary describes the existence of these and the significance:

Bronze plaques honoring Mather were placed in numerous national park units beginning in 1932. Inscriptions on the plaques read:

Stephen Tyng Mather July 4, 1867 - January 22, 1930. He laid the foundation of the National Park Service, defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be developed and conserved unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good that he has done.


Can anyone identify the locations the Stephen Mather Memorial bronze plaques in other national parks?



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 01, 2009 07:34AM
The Mather plaque in Yosemite is at Happy Isles along the trail on the first large island. Set in a BIG rock, hard to miss. I have seen them elsewhere, such as Yellowstone at Madison:

http://www.yellowstone.net/visitorcenters/madison.htm

and (I think) Grand Teton and Glacier, but cannot recall specifics. I have seen some web info that the Glacier plaque is at Logan Pass (the VC, probably?)Where is the Sequoia plaque, if I may ask?

Here is one at Cabrillo NM in California...

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/expatriate/2009/09/pic-of-the-day-stephen-t-mather/

Here is a quote from a web article about improving the nature trail at Zion (into the Narrows) - this paragraph suggests that the Mather plaque lies along this trail. I know I have seen the Zion Mather plaque before, but I did not recall this location...

"The [nature trail] labels now in use are small, easy to move, carry away, or bend. Each week along a Nature Trail equipped with such signs, one constantly finds labels moved to new locations by helpful visitors or playful pranksters. Here at Zion I have even found one such sign posted conspicuously along the roadside as far as seven miles from the park. Such labels invariably serve as foot rests or rock targets, and are often found either badly scratched through the paint. Obviously there was little in the appearance of the sign to promote a feeling of respect for it. By comparison, the Mather Plaque, found along the same trail, is unmarred and attempted abuse or defacement of it has not been noted."

An article from a book about the Mt. Rainier Tipsoo Lake plaque:

http://tinyurl.com/ye6dmpf

Grand Canyon Mather Point plaque photo:

http://tinyurl.com/ycj7ehq

Thanks,
Bruce



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2009 08:06AM by bpnjensen.
avatar Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 01, 2009 09:28AM
Thanks Bruce,
I haven't been able to locate the Glacier one on the internet (although there is a picture of it via PBS)

The road to Cresent Meadow just past the fallen tree tunnel has an almost invisible stone monument with a plaque just off the road (about 10 feet), I believe. I wonder what the significance is for the location, as the site seems quite anomalous. I am 99% certain that it is a Mather plaque. There may be a road sign like "memorial plaque" or something like that. Unfortunately, it is so "private" that there seems to be an accumulation of bathroom evidence around it.

Any idea how many total plaques exist still?

We have so far:

Yosemite
Yellowstone
?Glacier
Cabrillo
Zion
Grand Canyon
Sequoia
?does Kings Canyon have another?

Presumably they are in all the parks in existence when Mather died.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2009 09:32AM by Frank Furter.
avatar Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 01, 2009 09:50AM
Quote
Frank Furter
Thanks Bruce,
I haven't been able to locate the Glacier one on the internet (although there is a picture of it via PBS)

The road to Cresent Meadow just past the fallen tree tunnel has an almost invisible stone monument with a plaque just off the road (about 10 feet), I believe. I wonder what the significance is for the location, as the site seems quite anomalous. I am 99% certain that it is a Mather plaque. There may be a road sign like "memorial plaque" or something like that. Unfortunately, it is so "private" that there seems to be an accumulation of bathroom evidence around it.

Any idea how many total plaques exist still?

We have so far:

Yosemite
Yellowstone
?Glacier
Cabrillo
Zion
Grand Canyon
Sequoia
?does Kings Canyon have another?

Presumably they are in all the parks in existence when Mather died.



The one in Kings would be somewhere in the four square miles of what was then General Grant National Park:
http://gorp.away.com/gorp/resource/us_national_park/ca/pro_sk4.htm

If anyone needs more precise information as to the area to search, I happened upon this link while doing a search for information pertaining to the extent of the General Grant National Park:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/usc_sec_16_00000080---a000-.html

A visual:
http://www.nps.gov/archive/seki/ggvc.htm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2009 10:23AM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 01, 2009 04:08PM
Another location:
In Acadia National Park, bronze plaque at the Cadillac Summit Loop Trail (#33), at the trailhead and near the parking lot of Cadillac Mountain, commemorates Stephen T. Mather.


Pictures in Flickr suggest plaques in Chamizal National Memorial and Carlsbad Caverns National Park.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2009 04:34PM by Frank Furter.
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 03, 2009 09:11PM
Another - Bent's Old Fort - Stephen Mather Plaque photo
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 03, 2009 09:21PM
And another, Mt. Rainier NP:
Mather Plaque - MRNP

...and Glacier at Logan Pass:
Glacier Mather Plaque

At the new Grand Teton Visitor Center (?), Moose, WY...or is this somewhere else, like Jenny Lake?
Grand Teton Mather Plaque

Here is the Chamizal N Memorial plaque, El Paso, TX:
Chamizal Mather Plaque

At Guadalupe Mts. NP - but where? VC?
Guadalupe Mts. NP Mather Plaque



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2009 09:35PM by bpnjensen.
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 03, 2009 09:39PM
Quote
bpnjensen
And another, Mt. Rainier NP:
Mather Plaque - MRNP

...and Glacier at Logan Pass:
Glacier Mather Plaque

At the new Grand Teton Visitor Center (?), Moose, WY...or is this somewhere else, like Jenny Lake?
Grand Teton Mather Plaque

Here is the Chamizal N Memorial plaque, El Paso, TX:
Chamizal Mather Plaque

At Guadalupe Mts. NP - but where? VC?
Guadalupe Mts. NP Mather Plaque

Petersburg National Battlefield Park, VA:
Petersburg NBP Mather Plaque

Bryce Canyon NP outside VC:
Bryce Canyon NP Mather Plaque

The plaque at Rocky Mountain, but where?
Rocky Mt. NP Mather Plaque



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2009 09:43PM by bpnjensen.
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 03, 2009 09:50PM
So - looks like we have:

Yosemite
Yellowstone
Glacier
Cabrillo
Crater Lake (presumed - was displayed at Rim Village through 1941)
Zion
Grand Canyon
Sequoia
Possibly (?) Kings Canyon in association with Grant Tree?
Acadia
Chamizal
Petrified Forest
Bent's Old Fort
Rocky Mountain
Grand Teton
Guadalupe Mountains
Petersburg National Battlefield
Bryce Canyon

...a reference to the Mather Plaque at Death Valley NP - Furnace Creek:
Death Valley Mather Plaque

...and I just discovered that the Big Bend NP plaque can be found along the Window View trail, a 1/4 mile easy loop that starts at The Basin parking area.

...and at Allegheny Portage NRHS, PA
Allegheny Portage Mather Plaque

Wind Cave receives Mather Plaque in 1959 (check that year):
Wind Cave Mather Plaque

Next? smileys with beer



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2009 10:22PM by bpnjensen.
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 03, 2009 10:32PM
A note from Lava Beds NM regarding a possible Mather plaque:

Mr. Jensen:

Lava Beds was not declared an NPS monument until 1933 (it was a Forest
Service monument for 8 years prior), so I don't believe we have such an
item; at least there is not one on display anywhere. Perhaps our cultural
resources specialist can reply to you if he knows of one in our collection.

Cheers,
Ranger Kale
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Kristin "Kale" Bowling
Lead Park Ranger, Interpretation
Lava Beds National Monument
P.O. Box 1240 / 1 Indian Well Hqtrs.
Tulelake, CA 96134
ph: 530-667-8112
fax: 530-667-2596


...and one from Great Basin (Lehman Caves) which does not quite jibe with what we have heard so far, especially noting that other pre-1930s NMs have them:

Hello Bruce,
Great Basin National Park did not become a "park" until 1986. Before that it had been a National Monument since 1922. We are one of the places that did not get a Stephen T. Mather plaque because (I'm assuming) they only gave them to National Parks and not National Monuments during that time. I hope this information helps. Thank you for your inquiry.
Park Ranger, Jenny

Anybody recall if Muir Woods NM or Pinnacles NM has one?
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 03, 2009 10:48PM
Here's a GOOD ONE! From 1991, the Diamond Jubilee Year for the NPS ~ Presumably, the parks listed below now have these plaques SOMEWHERE...

From Diamond Jubilee 1991:

SERVICEWIDE REDEDICATION
OF AN IMPORTANT BRONZE PLAQUE

In 1931, two years after the death of NFS
first director, Stephen Tyng Mather, artist
Bryant Baker completed a bas relief
sculpture incorporated on a bronze tablet,
the text of which commemorated Mather's
contributions:

He laid the foundation of the National
Park Service, defining and
establishing the policies under which
its areas shall be developed and
conserved, unimpaired for future
generations. There will never come
an end to the good he has done.

The next year, on July 4, 1932, the 65th
anniversary of Mather's birth, the tablet
was mounted and dedicated in several
national parks. In 1991, Ranger Hank
Schoch, Colorado National Monument, is
orchestrating the production of the new/old
tablets with the original foundry, Gorham
Bronze, now located in South Carolina. It
will be particularly popular in parks where
the original has disappeared and areas not
in existence at the time of the original
installations. The rededication of the
plaque will coincide with ceremonies
commemorating the 75th Anniversary of
the organization Mather helped to found.

Rededication of the Mather plaque will
appropriately remind employees and
visitors of the spirit symbolized in the
original bronze tablets. NFS areas
participating in the rededication include:

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Guadalupe Mountains National Park,
Texas

Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

Chamizal National Memorial, Texas

Santa Monica Mountains National
Recreation Area, California

Colorado National Monument,
Colorado

Pipe Springs National Monument,
Arizona

Rocky Mountain Regional Office and
Denver Service Center

Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS

Boston NHP

Ft. Clatsop NMEM

Golden Spike NHS

Petersburg NB

Gettysburg NB

Carlsbad NP
avatar Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 04, 2009 05:06AM
Bruce,
You really got into this! Great work!
I wonder if ANYONE knows where or how many plaques are around. Sounds like they are more widely distributed than just pre-1930 parks.


I found this in archives of New York Times:

MATHER IS HONORED BY PARK LEADERS; Mrs. Roosevelt Unveils Tablet at Bear Mountain to Park Service Founder. ICKES PAYS HIGH TRIBUTE ' His Love of Nature and Hu- manity' Gave 'Great System of Outdoor Recreation.' MATHER HONORED BY PARK LEADERS

Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
May 28, 1933, Sunday
Section: FINANCIAL NEWS BUSINESS NEWS, Page N1, 1166 words
BEAR MOUNTAIN, N.Y., May 27. -- On a high, tree-grown point overlooking the Hudson, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt unveiled this afternoon a bronze tablet in memory of Stephen Tyng Mather, first director of the National Park Service. [ END OF FIRST PARAGRAPH]


I couldn't figure out what was at Bear Mountain. This may be close to a military academy (?West Point) as the only federal property in the area. Didn't get the whole article. I wonder it the original Stephen Mather Appreciation Committee is still funding these.



http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20816F63E5C16738DDDA10A94DD405B838FF1D3&scp=6&sq=stephen+mather+memorial+&st=p



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2009 08:56AM by Frank Furter.
avatar Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 04, 2009 08:20AM
From an article:

Upon Mather's death, the Park Service erected bronze plaques in every park with the words: "There will never come an end to the good that he has done."



Old Dude
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 04, 2009 03:09PM
Quote
mrcondron
From an article:

Upon Mather's death, the Park Service erected bronze plaques in every park with the words: "There will never come an end to the good that he has done."

A-yupp, those are the ones we're after! We have the impression that there were about 80 or so plaques that would have been distributed in that initial shot in 1932-33, maybe a few stragglers as the Depression wore on. It is unlikely that ALL of them remain mounted, but it is hard to say how many are currently displayed, lost, stolen, in storage or otherwise forgotten. A list of NPS units, in order of establishment and dated, would be nice to have, although it is also critical to remember that many NPS units started life as Forest Service units under Pinchot and Co., and many did not get transferred to the NPS until much later...so any list would need to be very specific about which of these things started life as Interior Department units instead of Ag Dept. If the list of those "80" showed many still as NFS units, the initial strike of the plaques could be much less than 80.

FWIW, I am not sure (yet) if Muir Woods NM has a Mather Plaque, but is has a comparable and nicely displayed Gifford Pinchot plaque that I'd just love to spit on whenever I see it.
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 04, 2009 03:12PM
I just called Muir Woods NM.

They do not have a Mather Plaque at this time, either displayed or stored.

Likewise, Pinnacles National Monument. Being carved from a National Forest, it may have started life in 1908 as a NM under the USFS instead of Interior, so that might explain that deficit.

Drat! :-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2009 03:17PM by bpnjensen.
avatar Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 04, 2009 04:43PM
Quote
bpnjensen
I just called Muir Woods NM.

They do not have a Mather Plaque at this time, either displayed or stored.

That they know of...
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 05, 2009 07:06AM
Quote
eeek
Quote
bpnjensen
I just called Muir Woods NM.

They do not have a Mather Plaque at this time, either displayed or stored.

That they know of...

Kee-rect. I wonder how many of these things - and other wondrous items - are just stashed away in vaults somewhere, out of sight and mind.
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 05, 2009 09:17AM
From JoAnn Blalock at Craters of the Moon NM in Idaho, which was a NM starting early in the 20th Century:

In response to query about the Mather Plaque...

"Good question....

No, we do not have one of these plaques and I am not sure if we ever did.

I have asked our Cultural Resource specialist to respond to you if she
discovers any more information about these."

Again, Like Pinnacles and Lehman Cave, this area may have started life as a National Forest NM, in which case such a plaque may not have been awarded to it.
avatar Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 08, 2009 07:17AM
How about this:

So what do you think of a series of bronze memorial plaques in National Forests for Gifford Pinchot:

Gifford Pinchot
He laid the foundation of the National Park Forest Service, defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be developed and conserved unimpaired ,denuded or abused for future generations. There will never come an end to the good exploitation that he has done initiated.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 13, 2009 09:27AM
A new response with considerable good information:

>>Mr. Jensen,

I had a conversation with the park superintendent about this just the other
day. There is no Mather plaque here at Joshua Tree and to my knowledge,
there never has been. Following Mather's death in 1930, a private group
organized an effort to memorialize Mather and they funded the creation of a
series of plaques in his honor that were placed in NPS sites in existence
in 1932. The web link below describes the installation of the Mather
plaque at Crater Lake NP in that year. Since Joshua Tree was not
established as a national monument until 1936, apparently no plaque was
ever made for this park.

However, that doesn't explain the one at Death Valley (est. 1933) or
Cabrillo National Monument (transferred to NPS from the War Department in
1933). Mather had family connections to the US Borax Company which may
explain why Death Valley has a plaque since the Borax Company in closely
tied to that park's history. Horace Albright also worked for the Borax
Company as well as for Mather so there may be some connection there.
Albright was instrumental in bringing former War Department sites into NPS
in 1933 so Mather plaques may have been produced for some or all of these
sites at the time.

In any event, Joshua Tree has never received a Mather plaque.

I hope this helps answer your question. Thanks for your interest in Mr.
Mather. He remains an iconic figure within the National Park Service,
almost 80 years after his death.

Joe Zarki
Chief of Interpretation
Joshua Tree NP<<
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 13, 2009 11:25AM
Here is a link:

National Park Units in chronological order of authorization

The first 66 or so appear to have been under the aegis of the NP system by 1932, which would suggest that those 66 +/- may have received the initial batch of Mather Plaques.

On this list are at least a few places that were authorized on or before 1932 who have claimed to have no plaques.

Note: On this list, at least four units I can find were initially "national park units" under DOI before 1932 and then abolished at some point to become either state or private areas. These include Sully's Hill NP in ND, Shoshone Cavern NM in WY, Lewis & Clark Cavern NM in MT, and Papago Saguaro NM in AZ. It is conceivable that some of these non-DOI units may still have Mather Plaques if they were originally issued.

Bruce



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/13/2009 11:31AM by bpnjensen.
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
January 12, 2010 12:41PM
The plaque at Pipe Spring National Monument (NOT "Pipe Springs" by the way) is beautifully located on the Monument's short trail up the Vermillion Cliffs. No wondering about why it's here -- Mather was very impressed with the historic old fort, and actually helped buy it with his own money.

From the plaque, you look out over an area larger than Yosemite NP, and can see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Probably one reason Mather was so taken with the site.

There were 52 National Parks and Monuments when Mather retired in 1929, so that is probably some indication of how many plaques there are. On the other hand, several parks and monuments listed above were not in the system at the time; so perhaps the plaques have multiplied.

There are also plaques at the Mather Homestead, in Darien, Connecticut. And the Stephen Mather Memorial Grove in the University of California Botanical Garden. (Mather considered UCB one of the foundations of his Service, the HQ for education and resource science.)

I wonder if Harper's Ferry Center has a listing of the Plaques?
avatar Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
January 12, 2010 03:10PM
Quote
rangerdon
d.

There are also plaques at the Mather Homestead, in Darien, Connecticut. And the Stephen Mather Memorial Grove in the University of California Botanical Garden. (Mather considered UCB one of the foundations of his Service, the HQ for education and resource science.)

I wonder if Harper's Ferry Center has a listing of the Plaques?

Are you referring to the UC Berkeley Botanical garden? If so, I missed it in spite of spending 7 years in Berkeley two lifetimes ago!

This thread may be the most comprehensive list dealing with Mather plaques conveniently available anywhere! I smell a book or magazine article here.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
January 12, 2010 03:53PM
Yep. In the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, in the Mather Grove. Left side of Centennial Drive as you head uphill toward the Lawrence Hall.

You missed it because both UC and NPS seem to keep the UC-NPS connection somewhat under their hats. But if you go online and look for the proceedings of the first NPS Naturalist Conference, in 1929, which was held in Berkeley, you should find a photo of the original Chief Naturalists in uniform on the steps of Hilgard Hall. The NPS offices were in room 133 of Hilgard. It's pretty clear that Mather wanted UCB to be the intellectual underpinning of the NPS....

Cheers,
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
January 12, 2010 03:55PM
also, I don't know that Burns did much with the UC connection, although I've not seen the entire program.... if not, he missed a critical part of NPS history...

A good idea for an article, indeed!

RD
avatar Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
January 12, 2010 08:30PM
Quote
rangerdon
A good idea for an article, indeed!


Whoever might write one based on this thread, Bruce (bpnjensen) better be made co-author based on all the work that he has done to compile information. (My recommendation would be first author.)
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
January 16, 2010 09:49PM
My appreciation, but not necessary - I am just happy to know where the darn things are! Now I may have to go hunting for that UCB plaque :-)
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
July 04, 2016 02:07PM
Ahem!
Do you live in a house made with lumber with a concrete foundation? Sit enjoying a classic book (on paper) seated in a wooden chair? Drink water from a municipal water source on Forest land,perhaps? Then perhaps you should not be too awfully uppity about your dependence on products that come from National Forest lands.

Gifford Pinchot, America's first academically trained forester, was instrumental in curbing the runaway glut of harvest of virgin forest by private timber companies & railroads, developing the concepts of conservation, watershed protection and sustained yield. Many National Park sites, federal and state recreation areas and state parks would not have resources to enjoy if it were not for these important tenets.

Wilderness IS important. National Park sites ARE important. Places that are totally OFF-LIMITS to humans are important (and practically non-existent.) But it is better to have conservation of the resources we have to have (that house made of lumber,etc) than NOT. Many of Mather's ideas of developing the National Parks for the public might not be welcome today...like the Tioga Road. Places like my beloved Yellowstone simply DO NOT HAVE THE STAFF & FUNDS to manage the waste, defend their structures from fire or provide lodging/meals/medical assistance to the millions that visit...they depend on waste transfer stations (on Forest land adjacent to the Park) and services/fire support from their Gateway community partners, like West Yellowstone, Montana.

Nasty statements like yours about Pinchot makes you sound like you're a selfish, poorly informed person, not a partner in the important stewardship and love of the planet...which includes helping our resources be managed more carefully, using recycled products and limiting our waste, adverse effects and numbers. Certainly that's not what you intended, is it? (I don't want to think that of you.)

Regards,
E. Dustin Dunbar AICP
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
November 07, 2016 01:45PM
Centennial update on Mather Plaques

Plaques dedicated this year:
6/26/16 Redwood NP (in storage pending a new visitor center)
8/25/16 Joshua Tree NP--displayed
8/25/16 Saguaro NP--displayed
8/25/16 Independence NHP (6th Valley Bronze casting, March 2016)--displayed
2 "lost" plaques were "discovered " after 25 years. While trying to locate an electrical short in the historic Archeology Museum at Mesa Verde, 2 plaques were found in a dark basement closet, new, still in their sealed shipping crates dated 5 July 1991 (!). Currently crated in storage at Mesa Verde, these plaques for Hovenweep NM and Yucca House NM are pending dispositions.
The Blue Ridge Parkway plaque at Linn Cove was determined to be cast in aluminum or similar lightweight silver metal rather that statuary bronze (weighs around 40#). It is from an early casting--either 1930 or 1959--and may well be a "trial piece"(?).
The 1930 Haleakala plaque is back on display in front of the headquarters visitor center along with their Biosphere Reserve plaque.
Big Cypress NPres and Walnut Canyon NM plaques are each awaiting display.

69 known castings to date
3 are "lost" or otherwise unaccounted for
4 are in long term storage
1 is in private ownership
2 awaiting display
59 are on display as of 11/7/16
avatar Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 04, 2009 03:25PM
Here are a couple of additional sources of information, a book and the transcript of a radio broadcast:

Steve Mather of the National parks‎ - Page 287
by Robert Shankland - Nature - 1951 - 326 pages
Mather dragged out his old files and reviewed all of his favorite projects with
his old confederate. He still had a good deal left. At the recommendation of ...
Snippet view -


-----------

National memorial broadcast in honor of Stephen Tyng Mather as sponsored by the Bohemian Club of San Francisco through the courtesy of the National Broadcasting Company, July 10, 1932.
National memorial broadcast in honor of Stephen Tyng Mather as sponsored by ...‎ - Page 1
by Bohemian Club (San Francisco, Calif.) - 1932 - 19 pages
Plaques also were unveiled in the Sand Dunes State Park in Indiana, the
Palisades Interstate Park in New York-New Jersey, and on the Mather Memorial
Parkway ...

These resources can be searched for locations near you via Google books and "find in a library" link that uses WorldCat website to map the request to libraries near your geographic locality (zip or IPA, I assume).



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 04, 2009 03:37PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Here are a couple of additional sources of information, a book and the transcript of a radio broadcast:

Steve Mather of the National parks‎ - Page 287
by Robert Shankland - Nature - 1951 - 326 pages
Mather dragged out his old files and reviewed all of his favorite projects with
his old confederate. He still had a good deal left. At the recommendation of ...
Snippet view -


-----------

National memorial broadcast in honor of Stephen Tyng Mather as sponsored by the Bohemian Club of San Francisco through the courtesy of the National Broadcasting Company, July 10, 1932.
National memorial broadcast in honor of Stephen Tyng Mather as sponsored by ...‎ - Page 1
by Bohemian Club (San Francisco, Calif.) - 1932 - 19 pages
Plaques also were unveiled in the Sand Dunes State Park in Indiana, the
Palisades Interstate Park in New York-New Jersey, and on the Mather Memorial
Parkway ...

These resources can be searched for locations near you via Google books and "find in a library" link that uses WorldCat website to map the request to libraries near your geographic locality (zip or IPA, I assume).

Great stuff! Thanks! Looks like State Parks here and there may have been the beneficiaries too.

Here is the Yosemite Nature Notes from July 4, 1932, on the commemorative program placing the Mather Plaque.
Yosemite Nature Notes July 1932
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 04, 2009 03:01PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Bruce,
You really got into this! Great work!
I wonder if ANYONE knows where or how many plaques are around. Sounds like they are more widely distributed than just pre-1930 parks.


I found this in archives of New York Times:

MATHER IS HONORED BY PARK LEADERS; Mrs. Roosevelt Unveils Tablet at Bear Mountain to Park Service Founder. ICKES PAYS HIGH TRIBUTE ' His Love of Nature and Hu- manity' Gave 'Great System of Outdoor Recreation.' MATHER HONORED BY PARK LEADERS

Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
May 28, 1933, Sunday
Section: FINANCIAL NEWS BUSINESS NEWS, Page N1, 1166 words
BEAR MOUNTAIN, N.Y., May 27. -- On a high, tree-grown point overlooking the Hudson, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt unveiled this afternoon a bronze tablet in memory of Stephen Tyng Mather, first director of the National Park Service. [ END OF FIRST PARAGRAPH]


I couldn't figure out what was at Bear Mountain. This may be close to a military academy (?West Point) as the only federal property in the area. Didn't get the whole article. I wonder it the original Stephen Mather Appreciation Committee is still funding these.



http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20816F63E5C16738DDDA10A94DD405B838FF1D3&scp=6&sq=stephen+mather+memorial+&st=p

This is actually kind of fun Head roll

It is worth remembering that the notable "Mather Plaques" are not the only plaques erected for Mather at various places. There are others that contain only text and some modest description of why Mather is important, such as at the Tioga Pass entrance station and various other places. The "tablet" described above may or may not be the image-bearing Mather Plaque we know and love. Might be worth a bit more research.
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 04, 2009 03:23PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Bruce,
You really got into this! Great work!
I wonder if ANYONE knows where or how many plaques are around. Sounds like they are more widely distributed than just pre-1930 parks.


I found this in archives of New York Times:

MATHER IS HONORED BY PARK LEADERS; Mrs. Roosevelt Unveils Tablet at Bear Mountain to Park Service Founder. ICKES PAYS HIGH TRIBUTE ' His Love of Nature and Hu- manity' Gave 'Great System of Outdoor Recreation.' MATHER HONORED BY PARK LEADERS

Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
May 28, 1933, Sunday
Section: FINANCIAL NEWS BUSINESS NEWS, Page N1, 1166 words
BEAR MOUNTAIN, N.Y., May 27. -- On a high, tree-grown point overlooking the Hudson, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt unveiled this afternoon a bronze tablet in memory of Stephen Tyng Mather, first director of the National Park Service. [ END OF FIRST PARAGRAPH]


I couldn't figure out what was at Bear Mountain. This may be close to a military academy (?West Point) as the only federal property in the area. Didn't get the whole article. I wonder it the original Stephen Mather Appreciation Committee is still funding these.



http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20816F63E5C16738DDDA10A94DD405B838FF1D3&scp=6&sq=stephen+mather+memorial+&st=p

Here is something about Bear Mountain State Park, which obviously (from the text) had strong connections to Roosevelt's New Deal Era CCC programs...
Bear Mountain State Park

...and some more here...
Bear Mountain History and ties to Mather's NPS...

From this text, it is not hard to "connect the dots" and come up with a reason why a Mather Plaque of some kind would have been placed there.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2009 03:29PM by bpnjensen.
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
July 04, 2016 01:30PM
Just a little FYI regarding the 1991 casting of the Stephen Mather plaque. It was a great JOINT effort between the Cooperating Association and the NPS.

I served as the partner to the NPS as Executive Director of the Colorado National Monument Association (CNMA) in 1991. Having grown up in the gateway community of West Yellowstone, I was very familiar with Yellowstone's Mather plaque at Madison, overlooking the meadow where the Madison River begins under National Park Mountain. It was the CNMA that arranged for a Mather plaque to be returned to Gorham Bronze to have a mold made.

The Colorado National Monument did not have a Mather plaque, even though it was established in 1911 as Colorado's first national park unit. Our Chief of Interpretation/Chief Ranger Henry A., 'Hank' Schoch and I had many conversations about how to recognize the 75th Anniversary of the Park Service (8/25/91) and he said a Mather plaque would be a great addition to our Visitor Center at the Saddlehorn area- and our terrific Board of Directors agreed. Finding there was no mold available, I contacted another NPS unit and made arrangement to have the actual cast bronze shipped to Gorham Bronze, to have a Mather plaque cast for us. It was an expensive undertaking, but very important to my mission-dedicated NPS friend to have it done at Gorham, where the original had been cast.

I realized that we might be able to re-coup some of our outlay by offering Mather plaques to other units that were not fortunate enough to have one. Hank's fertile (and fun-loving) brain came up with a marketing strategy for the awards banquet at the Cooperating Association conference soon to be held. He said we should get fortune cookies with special marketing messages inside them about our Mather plaque offer. (Stephen Mather was a masterful marketing genius, and I believe he would have been proud!) So, I found a source, had messages like 'There's a Mather Plaque in your future!' baked into them and got the ribbing of a lifetime from folks in the Associations and Service alike.

I believe there were 13 cast. The CNMA was able to recoup the cost of the mold and the round trip shipping of the loaned bronze. It is just another way that the partner organizations have served the public by underwriting important interpretive projects in the NPS system. May there truly 'never be an end to the great work' that needs to be done.
Happy Birthday, NPS!

Dusty
E. Dustin Dunbar AICP, (CNMA Executive Director 1991-98)
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
February 13, 2010 08:28AM
Pipe Spring National Monument, established as Stephen Mather's "Pet Project" in 1923, has a Mather Plaque. I believe that it was Mather's personal interest in a place which determined where the plaques would go.

By the way, this site may list all plaques: http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=27206

Ranger Don
avatar Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
February 13, 2010 04:30PM
Quote
rangerdon
Pipe Spring National Monument, established as Stephen Mather's "Pet Project" in 1923, has a Mather Plaque. I believe that it was Mather's personal interest in a place which determined where the plaques would go.

By the way, this site may list all plaques: http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=27206

Ranger Don

I have looked at that site before but couldn't find a comprehensive listing of Stephen Tyng Mather plaques. That site is where it SHOULD be but doesn't appear to be very complete.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 10, 2015 10:43AM
I am also a Mather, descendant of Richard Mather, first of line of Mather's from England and therefore a distant relative of Stephen T. Mather. As I travel the country, in truck and trailer, I am visiting sites of his memorial plaques. My research found that It was designed by a world class sculpturer, Bryant Baker. In 1932 his family and friends established the Stephen Mather Memorial Fund, which commissioned numerous bronze plaques honoring Mather's accomplishments and installed them in national park units.When he retired in 1929, Mather had a position of being Director for 12 years, and 52 NP and NM total. On July 4, 1932, 16 parks had ceremonies and dedications of these new plaques, including Yosemite. A second generation of plaques was made in 1958 (14); and a third generation was made in 1986-91. I have attached list of all Memorial Plaques that I can find in the US. Please feel free to add additional ones and locations to these submitted. Thank you. Jeff L. Mather

List of Stephen T. Mather Memorial Plaque Locations, alphabetically by state


Alabama
Alaska
Denali NP
Arizona
Grand Canyon NP-So. Rim, Mather Point and No. Rim, front of visitor center
Casa Grande Ruins NM-Coolidge in Pinal Co., from West Ruins Drive
Petrified Forest NP-Giant Logs Trail behind Rainbow Forest Museum
Pa Pago Suguaro NM
Pipe Springs NM-on monument’s short trail up the Vermillion Cliffs or at wayside exhibit
Arkansas
Hot Springs
California
Sequoia NP-road from Tunnel Log to Crescent Meadow
Yosemite NP-Happy Isles along the trail on the first large island
Lassen NP
Cabrillo NM, San Diego, at visitor center
Kings Canyon NP-General Grant area
Whiskeytown NRA-along Brandy Creek Trail, 2015
Death Valley NP-Furnace Creek
Santa Monica Mountains NRA
Univ. of Berkeley-Botanical Gardens Redwood Grove, left side of Centennial Drive toward Lawrence Hall
Yosemite NP-Tioga Pass entrance
Colorado
Rocky Mountain NP-Madison Junction, behind Ranger Station
Rocky Mountain Regional Office of NPS
Colorado NM at Fruita
Bent’s Old Fort NHS-La Junta
Denver Service Center Office
Mesa Verde NP
Connecticut
Mather Homestead at Darien
Delaware
Florida
Big Cypress NP
Everglades NP-outside the Ernest F. Coe visitor center
Georgia
Hawaii
Haleakia NP
Hawaii Volcanos
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Sand Dunes State Park
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Mammoth Cave NP-visitor center
Louisiana
Maine
Acadia NP-Cadillac Summit Loop Trail (#33) at Summit, Mount Desert Island
Maryland
Berlin-Rte 611, 3 miles south of National Seashore Lane
Massachusetts
Boston NHP
Michigan
Isle Royal NP-Rock Harbor
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Glacier NP-Logan Pass
Lewis & Clark Cavern NM
Nebraska
Scotts Bluff NM-Gehring
Nevada
Great Basin NP-Lehman Caves or some vista point on Wheeler
Ridge
next to Seren View Point and is located in White Pine County,
New Hampshire
New Jersey
Palisades Interstate Park in NY and NJ?
New Mexico
Carsbad Caverns NP
New York
Bear Mountain State Park-at zoo, just south of the Bear Mountain Bridge on a tree overlooking the Hudson River
North Carolina
North Dakota
Sully’s Hill NP
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Crater Lake NP
Ft. Clatsop NMEM
Oswald State Park
Pennsylvania
Allegheny Portage NRHS
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Wind Cove NP-outside visitor center, 1932
Tennessee
Texas
Guadalupe Mountains NP
Chamizal NM-El Paso on wall
Big Bend NP-Window View Trail at The Basin parking lot
Utah
Zion NP-nature trail (Mission 66 visitor center)
Bryce Canyon NP
Arches NP
Golden Spike NHS-Brigham City
Vermont
Virginia
Shenandoah NP
Petersburg National Battlefield, at visitor center
Gettysburg National Battlefield
Great Trails NP-above Mather Gorge
Blue Ridge Parkway-Vinton
Washington
Mt. Rainier NP-at Longmire
Mather Memorial Hwy (401)
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Yellowstone NP-Madison Junction, 1932
Grand Teton NP-visitor center, Moose WY or Jenny Lake
Shoshone Cavern NM
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
October 14, 2015 10:59AM
Current (10/14/15) accounting of all known & documented Mather Memorial Plaques

CA
Cabrillo NM
Death Valley NP
General Grant NP plaque (storage @ SEKI)
Humboldt Redwoods SP --"Redwood Hwy plaque"
Joshua Tree NP (2016)
Lassen Volcanic NP
Redwood N & SP's (2016)
Santa Monica Mtns. NRA (lost)
Sequoia NP
U.C. Berkeley campus--Botanical Gardens
Whiskeytown NRA 8/22/15
Yosemite NP
AZ
Casa Grande Ruins NM
Grand Canyon NP, North Rim
Grand Canyon NP, South Rim
Petrified Forest NP
Pipe Spring NM
Saguaro NP (2016)
Walnut Canyon NM (2016)
CO
Bent's Old Fort NHS
Colorado NM
Mesa Verde NP
NPS Denver Service Center
Rocky Mtn. NP
Yucca House NM (lost)
UT
Bryce Canyon NP
Canyonlands NP
Golden Spike NHS
Hovenweep NM (lost)
Zion NP
TX
Big Bend NP
Chamizal NMem
Guadalupe Mtns NP
FL
Big Cypress NPres--awaiting display
Everglades NP
HI
Haleakala NP (storage)
Hawaii Volcanoes NP
ND
Fort Union Trading Post NHS
Theodore Roosevelt NP
NM
Carlsbad Cavern NP
Old NPS Region III Bldg, Santa Fe
OR
Crater Lake NP
Ft. Clatsop NMem
WA
Mt. Rainier NP, Longmire
Mt. Rainier NP, Tipsoo Lake --"Mather Memorial Parkway plaque"
WY
Grand Teton NP
Yellowstone NP
AK--Denali NP
AR--Hot Springs NP
ID--The Idaho plaque (private)
IL--Mather High School (Chicago)
IN--Indiana Dunes NL (former Dunes SP plaque)
KY--Mammoth Cave NP
MA--Boston NHP (lost)
MD--Assasteague NS
ME--Acadia NP
MI--Isle Royale NP
MT--Glacier NP
NC--Blue Ridge Parkway
NV--Great Basin NP
NY--Bear Mtn SP
PA--Allegheny Portage RR NHS
SD--Wind Cave NP
VA--Petersburg NB
VI--Virgin Islands NP
WV--Harper's Ferry NHP (former Darien JHS plaque, CT)

Park Service Headquarters, Washington DC

67 known plaques have been cast as of 10/14/15
1930--28 (Gorham Bronze)
1959--14 (Gorham Bronze)
1991--20 (Gorham Bronze)
2015---5 (Valley Bronze)

lost--4
storage--2
awaiting dedication (2016)--4
private ownership--1

The more interesting questions are where the plaques went from each casting (some have moved around), and what happened to the 4 lost plaques--they were received and simply disappeared (all from the 1991 casting)?
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
July 04, 2016 01:10PM
Just a little FYI regarding the 1991 casting of the Stephen Mather plaque. The 1991 casts were made at Gorham Bronze of a NEW mold, as the original had long since been destroyed.

I served as the partner to the NPS as Executive Director of the Colorado National Monument Association (CNMA) in 1991. Having grown up in the gateway community of West Yellowstone, I was very familiar with Yellowstone's Mather plaque at Madison, overlooking the meadow where the Madison River begins under National Park Mountain. I spent alot of time in 'my' Park and worked at a snowcoach guide for 7 winters. (During the summers, I tried to further the interpretive efforts of the Forest Service, and managed the Earthquake Lake Visitor Center on the adjacent Gallatin National Forest.) It was the CNMA that arranged for a Mather plaque to be returned to Gorham Bronze to have a mold made.

The Colorado National Monument did not have a Mather plaque, even though it was established in 1911 as Colorado's first national park unit. Our Chief of Interpretation/Chief Ranger Henry A., 'Hank' Schoch and I had many conversations about how to recognize the 75th Anniversary of the Park Service (8/25/91) and he said a Mather plaque would be a great addition to our Visitor Center at the Saddlehorn area- and our terrific Board of Directors agreed. Finding there was no mold available, I contacted another NPS unit and made arrangement to have the actual cast bronze shipped to Gorham Bronze, to have a Mather plaque cast for us. It was an expensive undertaking, but very important to my mission-dedicated NPS friend to have it done at Gorham, where the original had been cast.

With one of my degrees is a BFA in metalsmithing I realized that we might be able to re-coup some of our outlay by offering Mather plaques to other units that were not fortunate enough to have one. Hank's fertile (and fun-loving) brain came up with a marketing strategy for the awards banquet at the Cooperating Association conference soon to be held. He said we should get fortune cookies with special marketing messages inside them about our Mather plaque offer. (Stephen Mather was a masterful marketing genius, and I believe he would have been proud!) So I found a source, had messages like 'There's a Mather Plaque in your future!' baked into them and got the ribbing of a lifetime from folks in the Associations and Service alike.

I believe there were 13 cast. The CNMA was able to recoup the cost of the mold and the round trip shipping of the loaned bronze. It is just another way that the partner organizations have served the public by underwriting important interpretive projects in the NPS system. May there truly 'never be an end to the great work' that needs to be done. I still enjoy looking at the plaques in both 'my' Monument and 'my' Yellowstone.

Happy Birthday, NPS!

Dusty
E. Dustin Dunbar AICP, (CNMA Executive Director 1990-98)
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
April 25, 2017 07:53PM
JKW saw this first, but...



Could this (the rock with the obvious rectangular outline) be the former location of the General Grant NP Mather Memorial Plaque (which seems to be in storage currently)? If so, why was it removed--to avoid people walking up to it and trampling the sequoia roots, or to protect it from snow and water damage?
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
July 11, 2017 07:09PM
The dimensions of the cutout in the granite boulder in the Grant Grove fit the Mather Plaque exactly. However, the museum at SEKI was unable to locate any photos of the General Grant Mather Plaque taken any time (?) while it was on display in this location. The plaque was last noted in a Park memo in 1946. A 1930 Mather Plaque which could be none other than the General Grant Mather Plaque is in locked museum storage at Ash Mountain. Graffiti has been scrawled across the front including the date 1934. While in remarkably good shape--almost pristine--it should be professionally repatinated. This has been offered to the Park--both the Superintendent and the Chief of Interpretation--with no appreciable interest expressed. A shipping crate for that purpose has also been supplied to the museum. This plaque could well serve as a master mold for future plaques. It is a lovely historic piece.

To update this website re Mather Plaques:
Camp Mather outside of Yosemite dedicated a new Mather Plaque 7/4/17--150 years on Mather's birthday and 100 years since he was appointed first director of the Nation Park Service in May 1917.
Walnut Canyon N.M. plans to dedicate their new plaque 8/25/17 @ 0900.
Hovenweep N.M. has received their plaque that was lost for 25 years but its disposition remains undecided and still in storage.
Total Mather Plaques: 70
62 are on display (including Walnut Canyon)
5 of these 62 are NOT within the National Park System
3 plaques are "lost" or otherwise cannot be accounted for.
4 are in storage
1 is in private ownership

AJ
Re: Stephen Mather bronze memorial plaques
July 11, 2017 07:36PM
Many thanks for the good work.

Unfortunately, after a generation of hiring and promotion by the Peter Principle, instead of good old Civil Service stiff exams, many NPS managers seem now to lack the enthusiasm for such matters. Fortunately, there are many others who do, so your work is succeeding.

The Mather family is interested in such matters. Somewhere - here? - there's a photo of the unveiling of the Yosemite Mather Plaque, which has been sent to the family.

Keep up the good work,

Cheers,

DMS
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