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History of the Olympic National Park

1778 CaptainJames Cook, pauses off the NW tip of what he named Cape Flattery because it flattered him with the hope of finding a harbor.
1787 English Capt Charles William Barkley recognized the passage between the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island, and entered it onto his charts as the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
1788 British Capt John Meares named Mount Olympus and sent a party to explore the Strait. (It had been called El Cerro de la Santa Rosalia by the previous Spanish explorers).
1792 Captain George Vancouver thoroughly investigated the strait and Puget Sound, naming Dungeness, Discovery Bay, the Olympic Mountains, Hood Canal and Mt Rainier.
1854 Mt Olympus ascended by 2 white men and 2 natives from Cape Flattery, unconfirmed report.
1855 The Olympic Peninsula was crossed by a shipwrecked crew and passengers in 1855, report also unconfirmed.
1878 Expedition led by Melbourne Watkinson (that's all it says!)
1885 Well-Documented exploration of Olympics in summer by Army Lt Joseph P O'Neil with a party of enlisted men and civil engineers leaving Pt Angeles for the Olympic Mountains. They reached Hurricane Ridge in about a month.
1889 Washington became a state. James Christie volunteered to organize an expedition if the Press would finance it, after the Seattle Press newspaper asked "hardy citizens ... to acquire fame by unveiling the mystery which wraps the land encircled by the snowcapped Olympic range." Geyser Valley discovered and named, even though there were no geysers. In l899 Will and Grant Humes homesteaded in this valley, where their cabin still stands. Charles Gilman and his son Samuel explored the Quinault River Valley and the western slopes of the Peninsula.
1890 Elwha Valley explored by the Press party. Gertie, the party's flat-bottomed boat, was abandoned after being hauled over logjams & towed through icy rapids and deep snow. The bedraggled party crossed Low Divide and headed down the Quinault River, reaching the Pacific Coast 5/20/1890 after six months in the mountains. Another expedition led by Joseph O'Neill accompanied by a group of scientists from the Oregon Alpine Club crossed the Peninsula from the Hood Canal to the Pacific Coast. Part of the O'Neill expedition ascended Mt Olympus in September. Another small hiking party led by James Wickersham met O'Neill's party, and both advocated establishment of a national park.
1897 The Olympic Forest Reserve was established, including most of the area's forested land. Washington State congressman unsuccessfully introduced bills in the early 1900's to establish an elk reserve or a park.
1909 Just before his term ended, Theodore Roosevelt issued a proclamation creating Mt Olympus National Monument within the national forest to protect the summer range and breeding grounds of the Olympic elk.
1933 Mt Olympus and all other national monuments were transferred to National Park Service Administration by President Franklin D Roosevelt as part of his governmental reorganization, which was supported by national conservation organizations.
1937 Representative Conrad C Wallgren sponsored a bill for the establishment of a national park. FDR visited the peninsula and lended his enthusiastic voice to the movement for a national park.
1938 The bill establishing Olympic National Park was signed.
1953 Coastal strip added to the park.
1976 ONP becomes a "Man and the Biosphere Reserve".
1981 ONP designated a "World Heritage Park".
1997 Five million people visited the park.