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Pathways: A Story of Trails and Men (1968), by John W. Bingaman


Acknowledgements

Among all those who have assisted me so generously in writing this book are my colleagues and friends, Mr. Carl P. Russell, Mrs. Carl P. Russell, Mr. Hil Oehlmann, Marie Duncan, and Vi Watson. I also thank the following for granting permission to quote copyright material from their publications: C. Frank Brockman from his “Development of Transportation” and “The Era of Trails” in Yosemite Nature Notes, 1943; Carl P. Russell from his “100 Years in Yosemite”. The Yosemite Natural History Association and its publication “Nature Notes”; James M. Hutchings’ “In the Heart of the Sierras 1888”; Allan Nevins in his “Fremont”. Letters from Gabriel Sovulewski, Francis Farquhar, and Kenneth J. Fryer were a great source of information.

I have been asked many times, “Just who influenced you most?” There were many who have encouraged me and given me a desire to strive for the very best under all circumstances. It was pioneering from the beginning, and it took strength and determination to do and accomplish almost unbelievable odds at times in the first years of my career.

It was men like Stephen T. Mather, first Director of National Parks, and Horace Marden Albright, Assistant Director under Mather and then Director after Mather’s death. I will never forget how Mr. Albright imbued me with the real “Spirit of the Service”. Of course W. B. Lewis, our first Park Service superintendent, who had the responsibility of organizing the park administration, encouraged me. Carl P. Russell, Park Naturalist and later Superintendent of Yosemite, urged me to write about my experiences. His insistence brought about my “Guardians of the Yosemite”. Russell’s death in June, 1967, was a great loss to our heritage. He had added generously to the historical writings of Yosemite and Western Americana. Later came ‘Colonel Charles Goff Thomson, a man of Military experience and a real disciplinarian, who met the challenge of greater park expansion.

I am also indebted to a number of career Yosemite Park and Curry Company officers, such as Mother Curry, her daughter Mary, and Mary’s husband Donald B. Tresidder, who became president of the Company after the death of Mother Curry. Then Hil Oehlmann became General Manager and guided the Company business to a thriving and important concession that functioned through the many years in spite of the difficult problems of administering the needs of more than a million visitors a year. Presently, over two million tourists a year enjoy the park.

Our park superintendents, our rangers, and park employees have played such an important part in the protection and administration of Yosemite National Park. I could not begin to mention all their names. So with the cooperation of all, let us keep the “Spirit of the Service” to maintain the Service in its original form for today and for the generations to come.

The Author


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