Folks have been driving up to Mount Rainier since there were wheels to get the up there.
If you’ve been up to Paradise, you’ll see breathtaking views of the mountain and fields of wildflowers. It wasn’t always so beautiful up there, in fact it sounds like it was a three-ring circus up there in the 1920s and 30s.
“In 1923, the laundry and ice cream plant moved from Longmireto Paradise. In 1927, the Rainier Park Boat Company had a boat rental concession and general store at Reflection Lakes. By 1931, 275 cabins and golf course cover the present flower fields at Paradise. There was also a tent city, and snowshoe rental facility, the guide house, photo shop, a horse rental corral and barn, and the “Tatoosh Club” In the summer thers were also boys camps.”
The Mt. View Cafewas part of the Ford building in Eatonville. Rosemarie Van Cleve says that George Van Cleve Sr. (Pappy) built the building intending this portion of the building to a showroom, but then couldn’t get new cars to showcase. His answer? Turn the spot into a cafe until he could get the cars.
The cafe was light and airy and out the back window there was a view of Mount Rainier. During that period. Babes Cafe(Tall Timbers) was pretty much the only other restaurant. Pappy often managed the cafe and was known for rolling the dice for coffee.
The top floor of the building held four apartments. The Van Cleve family lived in one and rented the other three out.
This 1938 postcard shows a glimpse of what skiing looked like at Mazma Ridgeat Mt. Rainier. It looks much the same today.
“Sublime – that’s the word that best describes the view from Mazama Ridge when Mount Rainier emerges from the clouds. In Spanish Mazama means “mountain goat” and though you won’t see mountain goats in the winter months; you might wish you were a goat when you tackle the steepest pitch just below the ridge.” (VisitRainier.com)
The back of the card may describe it even better: America’s Greatest Ski Terrain is to be found in Paradise Valley. This mountain glacier wonderland offers a wealth of ski trails over an immense area of hills and valleys, to points of outstanding scenic beauty.
These loggers are taking a break to appreciate Mount Rainier. Sometimes you just have to. It takes your breath away — even for locals.
We take for granted how easy it is to get up in the hills and over the passes. On Sept 4, 1957 Stevens Canyon Highway was finally opened — 24 years after it was begun — linking the east and west sides of the mountain. In 1960, there was extensive flood damage throughout the Park, including a bunch chunk of Stevens Canyon Rd. (Fact Book About Mount Rainier.)
If you’d like to see a cool video of snow being cleared off Stevens Canyon Rd. at Reflection Lakes, just click HERE.
This press shot was taken for a newspaper story in 1971 and captures how Mountain Rainier towers over the town.
Lots of people have asked me, “Aren’t you afraid to live so close to an active mountain?” Actually, it has never crossed my mind. But for those of who are a little nervous, the mountain is monitored 24/7 for seismic activity. If you’re curious how the state would alert people if anything should start shaking and the evacuation plans, just check out the Mt Rainier Volcanic Hazards Response Plan.
And, if you’d like to purchase the original of this picture, it’s on sale at ebay.
“Built in 1917, the Paradise Inn is one of the oldest elevated mountain resorts in the nation and in 1987 was declared a National Historic Landmark. Over its ninety-some year history, the Paradise Inn has housed a number of famous guests, from Shirley Temple to President Harry S. Truman to the crown prince of Norway, proving that the lovely Paradise Valley landscape is truly fit for a king.” (www.threebearslodge.net)
This early shot of Eatonville shows a big of the downtown with Mount Rainier in the background.
Native American Legends
Native Americans saw mountains and male or female. It turns out that depending on the legend, Mount Rainier could be either.
“The Cowlitzhad two legends . . . First, Mount Rainier (Takhoma) and Mount Adams (Pahto) were the wives of Mount St. Helens (Seuq). A terrible quarrel ensued between the wives and during the course of it, Takhoma stepped on all of Pahto’s children and killed htem. The two women turned into mountains.
“Under the next legend, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens were once separated by an inland sea. They had a fierce fight over who would rule the region, and hurled hot rocks at each other, shot flames form their sujmits and rained ash on the water between them. The birds finally intervened and took Rainier far inland, then peace settled on the land again.” (Per The Big Fact Book About Mount Rainier.)