Arthur C. Pillsbury
                          Foundation

Protecting and Preserving All Life -- By Extending Human Vision

  David Alexander Curry – The Second Mather Target  

  In December of 1914 Stephen Mather had met Horace Albright, two years out of the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts.  Mather had decided he wanted to be named the first Director of what would become the National Park System, and had written, as a kind of application for the job, a letter to Secretary of the Interior, Franklin Lane.  Lane was an alumnus of UC Berkeley himself and had worked part-time as a reporter.   Later, Lane became a New York correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle and went on to become editor and part owner of a newspaper and had become active in politics in California.  By the time he was chosen as Secretary of the Interior for Woodrow Wilson he was a Progressive. 

Mather presented himself as a wealthy businessman who had battled monopolies to establish himself and wanted to use his wealth in the service of America’s natural resources.  Three years earlier Mather and his partner, Thomas Thorkildsen, had sold their holdings in Sterling Borax to Francis Marion Smith, their former employer, whose empire was crumbling.

David Alexander Curry

In Yosemite David Curry was coping with the refusal of the NPS to give him a concession for longer than one year so he could obtain funding to improve Camp Curry, which had begun operations to provide services to tourists in 1899. Curry had begun his career as a school teacher and because of his love of nature been drawn to provide camping experiences first in Yellowstone and then in Yosemite.  Known as ‘The Stentor’ David Curry greeted and said FAREWELL   to his guests, using his loud and ringing voice.  He struggled against the limitations of the concession, which was only allotted annually.   The lack of funding which caused problems for Curry was cited by Mather as the justification for inserting the Desmond Park Services Company (DPSC) into the Valley with an exclusive concession for 20 years. 
 
David Alexander Curry was liked and respected, along with his wife, Jennie.  He put on no airs and his children started work while still young, learning to do each of these well. 
 
Joseph Desmond, who founded the short-lived Desmond Park and Service Company (DPSC) for Mather, had been a supplier to construction camps, including Hetch Hetchy.  The DPSC would be in direct competition with Curry's camps. To help it get started on a good financial footing Mather allowed the DPSC to install bars and sell liquor in the park and turned over army buildings for immediate extra accommodations.  Therefore, Federal assets were provided to subsidize Mather’s self-dealing.
           
Laurence Harris (owner of a tent and outdoor equipment firm) and A. B. C. Dohrmann (a hotel supply company owner), and probably others as well, would be in a position to make quite a profit for their companies too, so they were chosen to sell stock in DPSC.  Mather had emphasized to his guests that all California would benefit by travel to the national parks in the state, but new and finer facilities would have to be built to encourage visitation.         Together, the men forming the Desmond Park Service Company put up $250,000 to get it going, to buy out the Lost Arrow and Yosemite Park Company, and to construct more accommodations. Mather was heavily invested in the DPSC.  His self-dealing began even before he was appointed Director.  These crimes would remain hidden until the facts were published in 1999 with the publication of "Creating the National Parks - The Missing Years," by Horace M. Albright.

The unfairness of this was stunning. This theft by confiscation used the assertion of Federal power as justification.  As is typical of ideological assertions, made without proof, the clear difference between 'proof of concept' by demonstration and theory based on wishful thinking was ignored. But Mather was no ideologue, as is true with psychopaths, he used ideas for his own gain without, himself, believing these ideas to be true.  
 
On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Act creating the National Park Service, a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior, responsible for protecting the 35 national parks and monuments then managed by the department and those yet to be established. 
 
In May of 1917 Stephen Mather achieved his goal to be named as head of the  National Park System(NPS)   Nearly immediately afterward he experienced an ‘emotional breakdown,’ the second in his life.  This was brought on by the realitization his self-dealing was going to be exposed because, despite having funded the DPSC and provided them with every conceivable advantage the company was approaching bankruptcy in 1917.
 
Mather’s crimes, which had resulted in the death of David Curry on April 30th of that same year, 1917 would be revealed because the services to tourists in Yosemite would not be available and Desmond and others would be forced to reveal the facts. 
 
Hysterical, Mather took the problem to the man who had been willing to do anything in his power to help him, Horance Albright.



  
Horace Albright – Second Director of the
                                                             National Park Service

  Without the actions of Horace Albright, who Mather had brought in, as recounted by Albright in his book, “Creating the National Parks – The Missing Years”, top of Chapter Four, “I never referred to Stephen Mather as Steve or even Stephen. He was always "Mr. Mather." That summed up the love and respect I had for the man. He altered my life forever and made me a better man for it. There was an old saying: "These fellas remind me of each other—they're so different." That fit Mr. Mather and me. And yet the longer we were together, the more we melded into one team, an indivisible unit. The relationship we formed in 1914 not only deeply enriched my life, but I believe proved of great significance for our beloved country.
 
It all began in December 1914. By now I was handling most of the work assigned to Adolph Miller's vacated office as well as tasks in Secretary Lane's office on a regular basis, various interbureau problems, and congressional matters. I also was forming plans to leave Washington permanently when the winter was over.”
 
As you read these words you can feel the exhilaration of a man who came from a very different world than the one occupied by Mather of wealth and privilege.  Through Mather, this was a world Albright was about to join. 

Horace Albright

  In December of 1914, then working in Washington DC, Albright, working in the Department of the Interior, met Stephen T. Mather.  After his graduation from UC Berkeley, Albright went to DC as an assistant to his professor, Adolph Miller, who was asked by the Secretary of the Interior, Franklin Lane, to act as his Special Assistant. 
 
In DC, Albright began law school at Georgetown.  In, “Creating the National Parks – The Missing Years,” Chapter Four, begins, “I never referred to Stephen Mather as Steve or even Stephen. He was always "Mr. Mather." That summed up the love and respect I had for the man. He altered my life forever and made me a better man for it. There was an old saying: "These fellas remind me of each other—they're so different." That fit Mr. Mather and me. And yet the longer we were together, the more we melded into one team, an indivisible unit. The relationship we formed in 1914 not only deeply enriched my life, but I believe proved of great significance for our beloved country.”
 
After meeting Stephen Mather, Albright changed his allegiance to Mather from his employment by the Federal government, which made him accountable to the Constitution and the laws of America.  In the subsequent chapters, Albright flatly states he covered up for Mather, who, in "Missing Years", Chapter Thirteen, "Troubling Times," confesses to Albright he and his friends owned stock in the Desmond Company, which he, Mather, had picked to displace the Curry Company.  A licensed attorney, Albright immediately realized this was self-dealing, a felony offense which required him to report the man he loved to authorities.  Instead, Albright covered for Mather who suffered a complete mental breakdown, following the pattern of evasion of consequences he presented in 1903, when Smith began asking questions.
 
Questioned by Secretary Lane, who was concerned about Mather’s instability, Albright lied again, telling Lane, who, Albright said, “had been frank with me in questioning Mather's volatile mood changes. I assured him that Mather was fine, that it was only stress. He had so much on his mind, especially Yosemite.  Desmond had resigned and left a financial disaster behind him.”  Albright’s statement was certainly true.  Desmond was as worried about what was happening in Yosemite.  Instead of telling the truth Albright blamed Desmond, who was in conspiracy with Desmond, focusing on thew financial failure, which may be incompetence but is not a criminal act involving Mather.
 
Desmond, Mather’s front man, was the President of Desmond Park Service Company (DPSC), the corporation in which Mather and his friends were heavily invested.  When Desmond quit, unable to perform tasks which were beyond him, Mather was left with a situation his greed and lack of conscience had created. At the poing David Curry was fighting back, speaking to audiences and showing the movie Pillsbury had provided to him.  
 
From this investment, Mather and friends had confidently expected large profits.  In that expectation Mather had lied about the competence and problems faced by the Currys, struggling every year with an annual contract with the NPS to do business in the Valley. Mather claimed they could not raise capital for improvements.   At the same time he had granted DPSC a 20-year concession. 
 
The Currys had been asking for a long-term contract for years.  Improvements needed, included bathing and sanitary facilities and upgrading of the housing then provided.   If, as would have been reasonable, the Curry Company had a multi-year contract to do business in the Valley, raising capital for this purpose would not have been a problem.  Seeking to steal what Curry had created, Mather gave DPSC a 20-year contract when they had no record of being able to provide services.  This mirrors what Mather had done to Borax Smith, though in the Curry case he must have thought it would be easier. 
 
Also telling, was the asserted belief that the public was not going to be outraged when they discovered this cavalier treatment of people they knew and respected.  The means used to deal with those who got in the way of Mather’s ambitions, violated every principle of law and common decency -  devoid of conscience.  Mather created justifications, slandered his targets, and controlled the flow of facts.  But in this case, he failed.
 
Mather had worked to prepare the ground using his contacts to elites and would extend this by starting organizations which grew out his contacts and status.  But these can catch up with you, over time.  To date, there has been no forensic audit of the lies told during, and after the PR campaign which caused the NPS to come into existence, despite the many problems and the fact the Federal government takes income out of a resource which was intended to provide for all Americans, despite their incomes, a connection to nature.
 
John Wigmore, Dean of the Law School at Northwestern University, was queried by responding his old friend, Franklin Lane, Secretary of the Interior, as to whether he knew Stephen Mather.  Secretary Lane is seeking information on Mather’s character.  At this time Mather was being considered as Director for the National Park System by Lane.  
 
In his response Wigmore says, did, and he later told of his relationship with Mather: “Somewhere around 1900, a young friend of mine, an instructor in chemistry in the University of Chicago, used to do the analysis of samples of borax for Stephen Mather's company. Mather was just succeeding in his independent struggle against the so-called borax trust and his industry was headquartered in Chicago. It must have been through this young chemist, Frank Burnett Dains, that I first made the acquaintance of Stephen Mather.”  Mather had reversed the facts.  Smith was dominant in his market through hard work, persistence and providing what his clients wanted.  These clients were what Mather stole for the benefit of himself and his partner, Thorkildsen.
 
Widmore goes on to outline the meeting he had arranged between Franklin Lane, then Secretary of the Interior, and Mather in Chicago, “So I arranged a luncheon in order that he and Mather could become acquainted, and he could make up his mind whether Mather was his man to take up the administration of the National Park System. Mather's company by that time was very prosperous, and Mather was a highly patriotic admirer of the possibilities of California. I suppose that this was the reason why I thought that he would be a good man to take up the question of improving the National Park administration—that we need more good citizens who are able and willing to relinquish the pursuit of the dollar and undertake public service.”
Albright was the third man at the meeting. 
 
The attitude of the time regarding those in ‘public service’ helps to clarify the arrogance which became an operating principle of the NPS, along with the federal government. 
 
Mather confidently expected by creating a stacked deck in Yosemite to the benefit of DPSC Curry would be forced to sell to him for practically nothing, and so benefit Mather and his friends.  Mather, Albright and later the Park Service, characterized concessionaires in terms which reflected their contempt for anyone who was not exercising the power of governmental authority, showing no concern for the rights and wellbeing of those they harmed.         
 
At the beginning of Chapter Six, Albright writes, “His old enemy David Curry had slammed his foot in the door of a car and, because of diabetes, had contracted gangrene and died in April 1916. He had a bad apple of a son, and soon Mather and Foster Curry were locking horns.”
 
This characterization of Foster Curry reflects a singular lack of compassion and empathy and springs from the bizarre expectation on the part of both Mather and Albright that the Currys would simply allow them to steal the investment they had made in the Valley because they had the power of government.   This demonstrated lack of conscience would become an operating principle of the NPS, as true today as it was then, documented in the book by Paul Berkowitz, "Legacy of the Yosemite Mafia: The Ranger Image and Noble Cause Corruption in the National Park Service" a former ranger who reports on the many instances of this  behavior he discovered and his own involvement in the theft of properties and threats to Americans who refused to hand over their property to the NPS.  
 
The Curry family had struggled with the limitation of a license to do business one year at a time.  Foster knew this.  The Currys were also pressured by the Park Service to provide free services to them; along with paying a hefty fee for the privilege of doing business, even from the time few people a year visited the Valley.  This was the reality the Curry family faced from 1899 until 1918, after the DPSC had failed since they were profligate with their spending and incompetent.  
 
The Federal attitude towards those working to build businesses to support their families and actually provide what the public wants, is no place better demonstrated than in Yosemite. When Mather announced Desmond would be entering competition with them and given a long-term concession - it came as a shock to all concessionaires and the public.  As the months passed, it became obvious Mather would stop at nothing to give Desmond advantages.  These included allowing Desmond to serve alcohol, a privilege denied to Curry; and allowing Desmond to use facilities for which they were not required to pay. 
 
Foster grew up in Yosemite following the family practice of starting at the bottom and learning every job before being advanced.  When Davide and Jeannie Curry started their first summer hospitality destination, which they called Camp 26 when the business his family had built, came under fire by Mather.  Foster had spent his childhood working at Camp Curry as a member of a family enterprise which started in 1899.  By demonstration, he most likely believed the hard work and initiative his parents had showed was universally respected.  He was wrong because he was facing an elite which disparaged those who were not wealthy.  The Currys were school teachers who loved nature and created a place which kept people close to the natural world.  Curry was a camp ground, not a luxury hotel. 
 
In Shirley Sargent’s book, “Enchanted Childhoods,” page 67, the author says Foster, was under the care of his grandparents because his parents were too busy working at Camp Curry.  But Foster loved his time at Curry, “reveled in fishing, carrying wood, running errands for guests, and in emulating his stentorian father in shouting, “ALL’S WELL “ or “FAREWELL” to guests.”  Foster looked up to his father, and also loved him.  Foster was naturally angry, as any son would have been, at the treatment accorded to his father.  Today, if Foster was a veteran, we would recognize his behavior as being caused by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
 
Foster’s emotional problems only began after the trauma of watching his father, and their world, assaulted by Mather and his friends.  Later, his family and others would look for other explanations, but today the reason for his anger and inability to control his reactions should be clear to all of us. 
 
Notice that any humanity and compassion is directed toward Mather, who Albright protects and covers for.  Foster Curry, Mather’s victim, is forced out of the Park in 1921 - by Albright.  If Foster had known the truth about Mather, Desmond, and Albright, he would have sued.  But Albright ensured no one knew.  He was also protecting himself.   
 
Until Yosemite Park & Curry Company was forced out in 1999, the same year Albright's book was finally published.  Before then, there was no way the Curry family could have known about the self-dealing by Mather which exposed the motives and lies told about their business by Mather as justification for his or any legalized monopoly there. 
 
As we age, and if we believe in a just God, it is natural to reflect on earlier events.  Albright’s book is a confession. “Missing Years”, provides an explicit outline for the deceit used to introduce Mather to Franklin Lane, which resulted in Mather being appointed as an Assistant to the Department of the Interior. 
 
In Chapter Four, Albright then reports the conversation between himself and Mather in Chapter 14.  “He even worried about Lane. With the election over, he felt Lane would probably be replaced by a new secretary, who would not be interested in national parks, or, worse, be antagonistic to them—"probably be some citified easterner who wouldn't care a tinker's damn about anything west of the Hudson unless it would be to develop the resources." There was no use in arguing that some of the ideas seemed pretty pessimistic, so I remained silent and listened to these downbeat troubles.
 
For the first time, Mather told me in some detail about his financial involvement with the Desmond Company and the serious trouble it was in, especially since Desmond himself had disassociated himself from it. He confessed that he, along with a few others, was committed to bailing the company out. Of course, I had long known that the whole matter had been kept under wraps, but he seemed unaware that there were possible illegal elements involved. Apparently innocent of the law, the participants had gone along with their plans and agreements until circumstances had forced them into a box.
 
Alarmed and apprehensive, I asked if he would fill me in on details.  After all, I was an attorney and had spent some time investigating the legal angles of their problem. I honored this man, and in his present condition I was fearful that he could bring disgrace on himself, his partners, and the new National Park Service. The more I turned it over in my mind, the more worried I became, and the more questions I asked.
 
He (Mather) suddenly clammed up. He instructed me to forget our meeting and everything that we had talked about. Instead, my concern for him made me press for details, offering any help I could give him. He became very nervous, his voice rising. Suddenly he refused to discuss the matter any further, and he switched to the question of who would run the new service.”
 
Soon after, Mather suffered his timely breakdown, in exact parallel with the previous meltdown in 1903, caused by the increasingly penetrating questions asked by Francis Marion Smith, who he knew full well he was working to destroy financially.  Albright continues to cover for Mather. Dismissing the death of David Curry caused by the stress and injury brought on through the actions of Stephen Mather, Albright’s sympathy continues to be with the man he loves, Mather.  “The whole mess was simply too much for Mather, so he tossed the Curry problem to me…
To solve this, I went to Secretary Lane, knowing he shared my fondness for Mrs. Curry and my sympathy for her difficulty in operating the company and reining in her son. After some discussion, we decided to let Curry matters drift, giving the company a decent franchise of five years and Mrs. Curry an opportunity to plan the future. Lane's only stipulation was that this was his plan, his plan alone, in case Mather got upset by the solution and turned on me.”  Clearly, Secretary Lane had few illusions about the behavior which could be expected of Mather or what a ‘decent’ length of concession would be in financing construction.  If he had known the whole truth, about the self-dealing, Desmond’s lack of experience in construction, and the unrealistic time expectations for building, there is little doubt Mather would not have remained in government service, and also that he would have faced prosecution for self-dealing and wrongful death.   Albright must have realized he could also be charged under the statutes for federal conspiracy.   
 
Albright’s comments reflect his lack of concern for the death of David Curry.  Now, he knows the Desmond Park Service Company is bankrupt and the fraud cannot be finalized by forcing the Curry Family out of the Park.  The special favors accorded by Mather could not overcome their management’s incompetence and Mather’s secret role had violated the law and any code of ethics.  Mary Curry, who had just lost her husband and the father of her children, would, therefore, be permitted a five-year concession; pathetic compensation for the havoc wrought in her life and the lives of her entire family.
 
As is always the case, concealed facts provide understanding of what really happened and its ominous parallels for today.
 
In reaction to the onslaught of attempts to displace Curry, and so profit Mather; David Curry was forced to defend his business.  To do this, he purchased a movie made for him by Arthur C. Pillsbury.  Just as Pillsbury had begun doing to protect the wildflowers from the mowing carried out by the NPS, Curry used a film modified for him by Arthur C. Pillsbury’s Pillsbury Picture Company, to show people the glories to be found in Yosemite.  David Curry also began speaking out to audiences, asking them to contact the Department of the Interior and their representatives in Congress.  This was a freedom guaranteed to Curry under the Bill of Rights.  
 
To Mather and Albright the right of an individual to speak out was an outrage and a problem. Their success depended on secrecy and lies.  Both Mather and Albright blamed Curry for defending what the Curry family had built, while Albright, invested in the idea of ‘public service,’ or being a government employee, was a higher calling than earning an honest living, went along with this assessment. 
 
The mission of America was not National Parks, it was, and remains, recognition of our equal rights to life, liberty and property be it preserved or conserved, and open competition.  
  
It should be noted that in situations where subservient individuals are assisting those with psychopathic characteristics and accept the acts they observe or carry out themselves a term has been coined to provide understandability for those who have generally adhered to culturally accepted standards in their relations with others.  The word is, “Situational Psychopath.” 
 
Thus, Albright remained normal in his relations with his fellow conspirators and his family but modified to accept the practices and standards needed to continue his relationship with Mather, adhering to Mather’s standards.  However, this placed him in the position of violating the law, a danger he chose to deal with by covering up for Mather, then and later.  His justification for this was the “Noble Goals,” which made these crimes necessary.  But no goal gives one the right to ignore the law and stage a cover-up. 
 
It is likely true that Albright never knew how Mather had become wealthy, wondered about Mather’s behavior, or met Thomas Thorkildsen, the partner who had, with Mather, committed the crimes which enriched both of them.    
 
It is possible that discomfort with this contradiction himself impacted him in later life.  These events would have been in his mind when he wrote, “Creating the National Parks – The Missing Years”, finished before his death in 1987 but not published until the year the Yosemite Park & Curry Company (YP&CC) was ejected from Yosemite.  Albright has sacrificed two men, father and son, David Alexander Curry and Foster David Curry, to the need to protect the man he loved, Stephen T. Mather, and himself.   
 
It would not be until the late 20th Century that the nature of psychopathy was understood to be neurological and so not available to alteration through traditional therapy. 

In Chapter 14: Collapse, 1917, Albright details the fact he is in possession of the details of Mather's financial crimes and reports on the ongoing emotional meltdown, a clear attempt to evade accountability for his actions, Mather undergoes.  This took place during the planned conference in Washington D. C., in January of 1917, right after New Years.  With praise which parallels the transfer of ideas from those who originated them to Mather Albright reports, "Stephen Mather had a brilliant conception for this Fourth National Parks Conference. He hoped that the broad inclusion of people from a variety of fields would result in discussions leading to plans and policies for the organization and future direction of the new bureau. It was to be a teaching and a learning experience for all, designed to cover as many spheres of knowledge concerning the national parks as he could find learned speakers—economics, reclamation, roads, sciences from botany to biology, photography, art, education, and even religion. The concept was fascinating, and Bob Yard carried out his chief's ideas superbly. He contacted the participants and suggested the topics for their lectures, and if there was to be a slide show, he chose the pictures to be shown."

Orville Wright was in attendence and to speak on aerial flight to National Parks.  Albright had met him the first night, when Wright assisted him in ejecting an artist who insisted he had been asked to bring his work to the showing of art there taking place.  Albright said of Orville Wright, "Later I discovered who had helped me hoist Mr. Smith out of the National Gallery. It was Orville Wright. At the afternoon session of January 5, he spoke to the conference on "Air Routes to the National Parks. Most of the conferees shook their heads in disbelief at his futuristic ideas, and I decided I'd been dealing with two loonies instead of one that night at the National Gallery." 

It appears the individual who was leading popular education in many of these fields, Arthur C. Pillsbury, was not invited to participate and one must  wonder if Albright suffered any pang of chagrin when reporting his thoughts on air transportation in his book, decades after air rescue and transport had become entirely accepted in the National Parks.  In fact, the first commercial airflight in the US had taken place the same year Albright met Mather. "The first fixed wing scheduled air service was started on January 1, 1914, from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Tampa, Florida," according to the Wiki.  Arthur C. Pillsbury could have told him this, if he had asked.  Pillsbury was a member of the Aeronaut Society and was designing the first air platform aircraft for filming in 1911, according to the records of the San Francisco Aeronaut Society.  Bureaucrats never see the future coming.  If Albright later realized his bureaucratic myopia, he gave no sign of it before his death on March 28, 1987.

In 1919 Pillsbury took for first aerial films of Yosemite from an airplane he hired for the purpose.  See LInk

The Conference continued, and a full report was, naturally, recorded and printed by the NPS.  If this link stops working contact us and we will send you the file, in public domain.  Changing URLs and removing information happens constantly with the NPS.

Albright went on saying, "I honestly don't recall whether it was the evening of January 7 or 8 that my world seemed to collapse. I suppose it's the old saying that we don't remember what we don't want to. My memory comes back in strong with a telephone call about ten o'clock on one of those two evenings. It was E. O. McCormick. He talked rapidly and with a sense of extreme urgency. "Horace, get over here to the Cosmos Club as fast as you can. Something terrible is going on with Steve. For God's sakes, hurry! Run!"

I raced up the stairs, repeated to Grace what McCormick had said, and then literally ran all the way to the club. Hough was waiting for me by the front door. "Steve has totally come apart. He's raving, absolutely insane." I didn't waste time, just told him to take me to Mather."

The second Mather Evasion Meltdown had begun, with Mather receiving the tender attentions of the prominent friends who would continue to make his career of psychopathic crime possible.  

Albright immediately reported to Secretary of the Interior, Franklin Lane, who he allowed to remain ignorant of the crimes Mather had committed.  Instead, as reported in Chapter 15 of Missing Years, Albright told Lane, when Lane asked him if Mather should be replced,  "Mr. Secretary, there is no one else like Stephen Mather. I really believe he will recuperate, although no one knows exactly how rapidly, but no one else should take his place unless it is absolutely necessary. There really isn't anyone on earth like him."

He thought about this and said, "Do you think you can replace him?"

And I replied: "No, I just said there is only one Stephen Mather. I can certainly keep his place open, can surely do all that is necessary in the foreseeable future to try to obtain the necessary appropriations and to organize the National Park Service. That much I can promise you."

"But, Albright, you have told me repeatedly that you were going to leave the department as soon as a Park Service was created. Now what?"

"Well, that's just not in the cards," I said. "Not until the future of the service can be delineated, started up, and assured that plans Mr. Mather and I have formulated can be realized."

The secretary stood, put out his hand, and said: "We'll let it stand at that for the time being. It certainly isn't my choice to replace Steve, and I hope you will convey this to him until I can do it myself. Go ahead with whatever plans you and Steve have made, but just keep me informed. I'll keep everything you have told me today and what may come up in the future close to my chest."


The next months focused on the well being of Stephen Mather entirely.  Albright wrote in Chapter 15, "In the future I assessed Franklin Lane in a different light because of his political intervention on conservation matters, but I always gave him credit for his decision at this time, and I was deeply grateful for his assurances. He could have called on any number of people, under political pressure, to replace Stephen Mather. But his friendship and trust fortunately made him give the right decision in 1917. It certainly gave me the needed boost of confidence.

Then the charade began of hiding Mather's true condition from the public eye. Dr. Weisenburg called to tell me that he had completed his studies of Mather. He said he was worn out, exceedingly nervous, and seriously depressed, which gave the most concern for his recovery.

The seriousness of his illness never got beyond the doctors, Mrs. Mather, Lane, and me. I was part of this conspiracy in 1917, and several other times through the years, to hide his mental problems. I always kept the papers concerning these at my home, in my own personal files. In later years, I often wondered whether I should destroy these records for the sake of his family, but was held back by the thought that, as a historian, I ought to save them. Was I right or not? Well, as I approach my century mark, it seems so far in the past that the whole story should now be related."


It is hard to point to a more deluded bureaucrat, or one entrusted with more power.  Albright had never been anything but a bureaucrat, professionally.  As it still true of bureaucrats, they cannot understand the very different mind-set of entrepeurneurs and visionaries.  Albright's visions would be limited to designing the uniforms for rangers, which work he enjoyed enormously.  

1917 continues to pass and Albright is allowed to see Mather, who requested this,  Albright reports, "I made plans to go to Philadelphia on March 7 and thence on to Devon to see Mr. Mather.  There, Albright describes the conditions Mather is 'enduring'.

"Devon bore no resemblance to a hospital. It was a lovely, large home tucked into green lawns and lush forested land. When I arrived, I was immediately taken down a long carpeted hallway to Mr. Mather's suite of rooms. They consisted of a large, brilliantly sunny sitting room with a rather Spartan but warmly pleasant bedroom painted yellow and a bathroom with tub and massage table branching off to the side. The sitting room was furnished with comfortable chairs covered in pale green, a few side tables, and Mather's own small desk from his Chicago bedroom. The only decorations were two framed pictures of Yosemite, which I learned that Mrs. Mather had relayed to him as a gift from Dusty Lewis. I noticed immediately that the glass had been removed from the frames. I also checked and was relieved to see that there was no evidence of windows with bars. I had dreaded the thought that this free spirit could have been cooped up like an animal."

But elsewhere David Curry was struggling to save what he and his family had built in Yosemite.  Albright mis-reports the date of death for Curry, likely because of his indifference to the impact of his multiplying deceits on anyone but himself and Mather.  

David Curry would die while attempting to save his family's long and productive investment in providing services to the public on April 30, 1917.  The grief of the entire family was palpable, not the least of these were the feelings of Foster Curry, the oldest child and appointed heir for the operation of Camp Curry.  The Curry family struggled on, still limited to one year concessions.  


In his book Albright exposes how thoroughly he and Mather had identified themselves with the work Pillsbury alone had championed and achieved.  In 1912 Pillsbury had shown his first nature movie of flowers blooming to that year's Conference of Park Superintendents, which took place in Yosemite from October 14 - 16.  Immediately after the film was shown the superintendents voted to cease the mowing of the meadows in the national parks.  Mather stole this campaign for nature from Pillsbury, crediting himself with it in the same way he had transferred the campaign for better roads in 1915 from Fisher.  

Albright mentions the preservation of the meadows in Chapter 16, "Hoofed Locusts, 1917" reporting a conversation with Secretary Lane, determined to assist the war effort,  then just started.  " Lane casually added that Wheeler wanted fifty thousand sheep pastured on the floor of Yosemite valley and elsewhere in the park. That did it. For the first time I exploded. "Mr. Secretary, how could you possibly allow fifty thousand 'hoofed locusts' [a John Muir expression] in that beautiful park? It wouldn't recover from an onslaught like that until the next century."

He leaped from his chair, leaned across the desk, and bellowed right back at me: "Albright, you do as you are ordered. Wire Lewis and tell him to open the park to the sheep." I rarely lost my temper, but when I did, I knew how to rein it in. I did so now and reverted to being a lawyer trained to argue and persuade. No use. After a futile half-hour of presenting my case, Lane wouldn't budge.

I took a deep breath and said: "Then, Mr. Secretary, with deep regret, I tender my resignation. I simply couldn't oversee the ruination of park lands that belong to all the American people just for the simple greed of a few."


In this same chapter Albright reports his encounter with someone whose technology is now old enough for him to understand.

Albright remembers, "One day, as I was taking my time getting to the lunch room, an elderly gentleman hailed me to ask where there was a place to eat in the vicinity. He stated that he was a member of the president's War Industries Board, had been at a meeting in the Pan American Building, but now could find no restaurant in the area. I replied that there really wasn't any, but suggested that he come with me to lunch. He agreed if he could pay his own way. I offered my hand, saying, "My name is Albright. I'm with the National Park Service."

He shook my hand, replying, "My name is Edison."

I gasped. "Mr. Thomas Alva Edison?" He nodded, and we proceeded to lunch in our basement, where I proudly introduced him all around.

Several weeks later I once more saw Mr. Edison walking up Eighteenth Street and again asked him to join me for lunch. At first he refused, saying I hadn't let him pay the first time. However, I convinced him that the cost was a trivial amount, so he came along with me. When we reached the lunch room, it was unusually crowded. Even Secretary Lane was present. He usually ate in his own suite. We quickly found seats off in the corner. Secretary Lane got everyone's attention to tell us that we were to be the guests of Judge Sells, commissioner of Indian affairs.Three fine courses were then served: a delicious soup, a tasty steak, potatoes, and some vegetables, and finally a dessert."


It is certainly nice to have an insight on how well bureaucrats managed to live on the funds provided by Americans.

In Chapter 17 -  Summer in the Parks, 1917 -  from "Missing Years," Mather is freed from his life of leisure and joins Albright in a tour of the National Parks. And the problems caused by Mather's criminal behavior in Yosemite just will not go away.  Albright reports, "
My inspection schedule was interrupted by one incident after another. There was an emergency trip to Yosemite when Desmond abandoned his concessions and disappeared to Alaska. There was the crisis of replacing an incompetent supervisor in Crater Lake with Alex Sparrow. Then I attended the Bohemian Club's Hi-jinks at their Russian River camp. This led to invaluable contacts for the Park Service. It also resulted in my having to pass up a golden opportunity to accompany John C. Merriam and Madison Grant on an exploratory trip through the northern redwood country that resulted in the establishment of the Save-the-Redwoods League.

During this time, Mather was regaining his health and taking his first steps into the real world. Accompanied by friends and George McClain of our Washington office, who replaced a male nurse, he had a great time at Sieur de Monts National Monument in Maine and prepared for his trip to the West."


And the story continues  with commentary of Foster Curry and insights on Albright and Mather's other activities. "I then turned to the concession problem in Yosemite. The Desmond Company was a dangerous whirlpool of financial and administrative chaos.

Earlier in the summer, to avoid bankruptcy, I had ordered the closing of Desmond's upper park lodges and the cessation of many services in the valley.
(Nice of Albright to ensure the ramifications of Mather's self-dealing remained undisclosed) The company's reputation was ruined, so I even had the name changed to the Yosemite Park Company. The earlier loan of seventeen thousand dollars and the sixty-percent assessment on all stockholders had been of no use. It had only increased the stake that Mather had in this shady venture.

I had felt from the beginning that it was possibly illegal for him to be involved in a concession licensed by the government. If not, it was surely a conflict of interest. I was fearful of going to Interior's solicitor general to get a definitive legal opinion. Everything hinged on whether, or how soon, it might be dragged into the open. This now seemed not only possible, but inevitable. If a scandal erupted, it could be fatal to Mather's recovery and a terrible blot on the Park Service itself.

A short time later I met Mr. Mather in San Francisco. Although I was overjoyed to see him so physically healthy, his nervous condition appeared when we tried to discuss problems in Mount Rainier and Yosemite.

However, he also recognized the problem and cut our discussion short, saying: "Horace, I'm not up to these difficulties. You have been absorbing them for months and must solve them yourself or with your advisors. Give me a little more time. Then we can talk them over together for decisions. Carry on as you have been doing. Please don't feel I'm letting you down. I just need more time."

He was so magnificent in appreciation of his own difficulties that I was close to tears. All I could do was reassure him that everyone was pulling his oar, would carry on as he would wish us to do, that his Park Service was thriving according to his ideals.

Grace and I stayed in Yosemite until the end of August. I put in many hours with Mother Curry and son Foster, who was pushing his plan to buy out the Desmond Company. I was pretty sure he couldn't get the financial wherewithal.
(Which would hae been no problem if he had given the Curry Company a concession of 20 years, as Desmond had received.) Just in case he could pull off this miracle, I wanted to make it clear beforehand that I couldn't approve of it without Mr. Mather's consent, and he was not well enough to make that decision at this time.

It wasn't all work and no play for the Albright and Lewis families. The girls had been having a great time together. One wonderful excursion for us all was a horseback trip to the Merced Wawona grove of sequoia trees to the south. It was a languid summer day, with easy riding through the beautiful forests, enjoying panoramic views and savoring the cool quiet of upland Wawona, some distance from the floor of the valley.

As usual, Dusty and I got to playing around. The party had dismounted to have refreshments and take a bit of rest. Our wives wandered off to a nearby stream to see if it ended as a waterfall to the valley. Dusty plucked some feathery stalks and stuffed them around his hat, totally covering it. He wrapped one of the extra saddle blankets around himself. Then he crept up on Grace and Bernice, suddenly letting out a wild Indian war whoop and scaring the very devil out of them. Bernice shrieked and promptly slid into the stream. My girl instantly swung with her leather bag, socked him full in the face, and was pulling out her long, venomous hat pin for a final thrust when she recognized her foe. While we husbands waited for a bawling out, our wives lay on the ground helplessly laughing. What a sight—Bernice wet and muddied, Dusty nursing a red and puffy cheek, and Grace still clutching her wicked weapon."


And Albright continues to handle matters for Mather, his beloved friend and mentor and the self-congratulatory chapter rolls to an end.  "A showdown with the Desmond Company was also avoided. I spent too many precious hours in San Francisco with Desmond Company officials. With A. B. C. Dohrmann I cajoled, pleaded, and finally played on his sympathies (Mather's illness) to wring a promise from him that he would try to clean up the operations in Yosemite, manage the finances, and keep the company on an even keel until Mather was well enough to make some decisions about it. I felt I had no right to do anything more than regulate the concession according to existing government policy. Surely I, on behalf of the Park Service, couldn't get myself mixed into the financial and operational end of it when Mather's possible conflict of interest was so deep. Again wait and see.

Before leaving San Francisco to join Douglas White for my first visit to Utah's national park areas, I wrote a long letter to Joe Cotter in Washington. It reveals my state of mind as I struggled with the many challenges of "laying the foundations."

I tell you, Joe, the thing that weighs the heaviest on me is policy making. Organizing this new Service, with few precedents to go by and no one but myself to make decisions is a terrible burden. I always try to think what Mr. Mather would want, but he's not around now and lord knows when he will be. So I'm on my own. I think of myself as an explorer in unknown territory. Each idea I have must be tested, each fork of the trail must be examined. Or maybe it's like constructing a house. I'm at the stage where I am laying the foundations. They are what everything else is built upon. I have no blueprints and no architect. Only the ideals and principles for which the Park Service was created—to preserve, intact, the heritage we were bequeathed. The devil of the thing is the conflicting principles in our organic act. How can we interpret the unrestricted use of the parks for the public and still retain them totally intact for the future? So it comes down to when I make a decision, I lay another brick for the foundation but must always be concerned that it does not impair the construction of the building as it rises. These bricks are setting the principles and precedents for the Service to follow in the years ahead."


Albright also has to continue to babysit Mather, who appears in Washington D. C. to resume his duties as Director, a position to which his meltdown prevented him from being officially appointed.   In Chapter 19: " Light at the End of the Tunnel,"   Albright is surprised when, "(w)ithout warning, Mr. Mather suddenly appeared in Washington on November 5 (1917) and stated that he would resume his normal activities as director of the National Park Service. On the surface, we all deferred to him and gave the impression to the public that he was completely back to normal, but we carefully screened his mail, his phone calls, and everyone who wished to see him. I also made sure Weisenburg's instructions were carried out to the letter: "Let him come to the office and play director but you keep all problems away from him and you do all the work." In view of that, Lane, with Mather's consent, kept me in the position of acting director.

After breakfast and a workout at the gymnasium, Mather would come into his office about eleven o'clock, read his mail (which I had already screened for any problems or disturbing news), and dictate letters to his secretary. Then he would call me in for maybe an hour of discussion, go to lunch with friends, usually at the Cosmos Club, and seldom return to Interior. A favorite pastime was to rummage in the scrapbooks the Albrights had made for him.

I'm not entirely sure what he did most of the afternoons. Various people filled me in that, after a leisurely lunch with him, they might then accompany him to the zoo or the Smithsonian, drive in the country, or stroll along the Potomac. In any case, I was satisfied that he was contented and not involved in anything that might upset his health. I was also careful in letters I wrote to people interested in the Park Service to add that Mr. Mather was back and had enjoyed "a complete recovery." Although I wasn't all that confident, physically he looked healthier every day and appeared to be mentally bright and cheerful.

However, just as suddenly as he had arrived in Washington, he departed. He simply called me in one morning and told me that he was returning to Chicago—"two weeks here, two weeks in Chicago'." No reason, nothing the matter. Only three weeks after his arrival, he pulled out.

That same day I had written Dr.Weisenburg:"He has grown stronger and healthier and is taking a great interest in his work, although he gets the blues once in a while." I added that Mather had been immersed in Desmond Company affairs, and "it is hard to keep him from worrying about them."

Actually, he had gotten so upset over Desmond's affairs, not knowing details, that I finally broke down one day and gave him all the information I had. I feared that his fretting over Desmond's mess would be more detrimental than just plain letting him have the facts. Happily, he worked over the financial sheets, dictated a few letters to Dohrmann, and appeared to be the better for satisfying his curiosity. I took the precaution, though, of letting Weisenburg know what I had done in case Mather's reaction turned out to be adverse."


With Secretary Lane, Albright gave the Currys a five year concession as the DPSC spiraled down to bankruptcy.  This occured while Mather was institutionalized and could not object, which it appears would have been the case.  But it is also clear that Albright's book had not been vetted for errors.  Albright gives the date of April 1916 for the death of David Curry when the date was one year later, occuring while Albright is emeshed in one of many Mather meltdowns.  Mather's 'recoveries' are characterized by continued volitality when previously made agreements are ignored at his whim.  Albright, in describing Mather's behavior persuades the reader neither of the two men are acting rationally. gives a date for his appointment as Superintendent for Yellowstone of July 1, 1919.




 

Albright then saw to the ejection of Foster Curry from Yosemite due to Foster’s insistence on fairness to the Curry Company.  Instead, Don Tresidder, as the husband of Mary Curry, was chosen by Albright to head the Yosemite Park & Curry Company in 1921 and given a concession for five years.  The anguish experienced by Mather's victims, the entire Curry family, caused by the illegal acts of Stephen Mather were covered up by Horace Albright.  In Donald Tresidder Albright found a man after his own heart, one who sought the comforts of prestige obtained by any means possible and glazed with a patina of the delights of status and power.  

In 1919 Albright, apparently without a qualm, removed himself from further direct knowledge by persuading This became a conspiracy to destroy the last of the three victims which would go on until present day.  


 
Mary Curry and Donald Tresidder were married in Yosemite on June 17, 1920.  Seeing Tresidder as an option for leading the Curry Company which would remove the hostile and still outraged Foster Curry, Albright persuaded Jennie Curry, to support Tresidder's sudden elevation to the position of control while her son was ejected from Yosemite.  Tressider would control the YP&CC until his death on January 28, 1948. 

Mary was well known to be shy and retiring and left all decisions to her husband.  The Tresidder’s took over the residence designed and built for Foster at Camp Curry when Foster was forced out the next year.  But six years later they would move into their palatial quarters at the Ahwahnee, where Mary would die in July of 1970. 
 
Immediately after his appointment and before the death of David Curry, Mather’s second threat of exposure took place.  The first had occurred in 1903 as his employer, Francis Marion Smith, the owner of Pacific Coast Borax, began asking questions about the flow of his clients to another company owned by Mather and his partner, Thomas Thorkildsen.  In 1917 the meltdown of the Desmond scheme was well underway.  
 
Along with establishing a federal agency which would follow the guidelines for the abuse of the rights of Americans, and be run as a fiefdom by those in charge, without effective oversight,   The ‘system’ would also experience further problems which can be traced back to its origins in the previous behavior exhibited by Stephen T. Mather. 

But a cover-up, begun by Horace Albright immediately after the elimination of Mather’s next victim, Arthur C. Pillsbury, in 1928. 
 
 
Arthur C. Pillsbury – Where was the Centennial for the First Nature Movie – 1909?



















 
The films, recognizable today as a Nature Movie, was shown in 1909 at the Studio of the Three Arrows, the Pillsbury Studio in Old Village.  This use of film stunned viewers.  In 1910, Pillsbury’s film shows & narration became regular attractions to the Valley, put on several times a week on the porch of the Studio.  As a small child, my dad’s first job was sweeping up the porch in the morning. 
 
The old studio was small and cramped.  Dad told me when he was running the postcard machine there, beginning when he was around 15 in 1918, Ansel Adams, who worked there as a janitor, took the photographic workshops offered, instead of wages. Adams kept tripping over the machine and spoiling post cards, Dad told me.    
 
It was different in the new Pillsbury Studio at New Village. Measuring 40X60 feet, not including the auditorium, the building was designed of granite and logs.  Reynolds described this as, “conforming to the general scheme of architecture for the village.”
 
Pillsbury had received, according to the article, a 15-year concession in the Valley.  This was longer than any business except the Yosemite Park & Curry Company (YP&CC) then headed by Don Tresidder, husband of Mary Curry. 
 
Foster Curry, Mary’s brother, had been forced out of Yosemite in 1921.   David Foster Curry,  born May 9,  1888, he place intended for him in management by a combination of events which had impacted him in the same way a soldiers, serving their country, are so often suffer today.  Foster  displayed the classic symptoms of PTSD.  To cope with these and continue to function he began to drink.  It is today recognized that this is a form of self-medication, associated with PTSD.
 
Any individual with a normal degree of empathy who recognized the outrages carried out by Mather would have questioned the justifications for these crimes and abuses of power.  Albright did understand because he was  directly told Mather had been engaged in self-dealing.  But instead of turning Mather in to the constituted authorities he covered for him.  To protect himself from further revelations, and the impact of Mather’s ongoing crimes, he removed himself from direct contact with the ongoing events by obtaining appointment as the Superintendent for  Yellowstone Park until Mather experienced his third meltdown in 1929, finally dying in 1930.

Albright immediately began the cover-up which continues to this day.  

Albright recognized that to continue the cover-up, and now extend it, he would have to begin a second round of action to save the undeserved reputation of the man he loved, Stephen Mather, from being exposed as having planned the destruction of the Pillsbury Studio in Yosemite and working to further destroy Pillsbury financially through his well-placed friends.    
 
 To obtain the concession Mather had originally promised to Pillsbury in 1915, Pillsbury had, at the direct demand of Stephen Mather, closed his studios in Pasadena and San Francisco, promising to do business only in Yosemite.  It is likely that Mather realized Pillsbury’s very different goals for creating an emotional and scientific connection for Americans with nature, would give him influence and power which would prove threatening to Mather.
 
Pillsbury was different from any other concessionaire in significant ways.  He was a technically oriented genius fascinated by nature.  Raised by two physicians, Drs Harlin and Harriet Pillsbury, he grew up using a microscope.  His parents had brought the first two microscopes in California.  The family had relocated in 1883 to Auburn, CA from New York, where Dr. Harriet had received her medical degree.
 
Pillsbury’s first significant invention was a specimen slicer for a microscope.  The local paper, the Palo Alto Times, reported, on November 28, 1895  “An Ingenious Piece of Work"...and it was for Mr. A.C. Pillsbury, our ingenious young bicycle man, to first introduce one [microtome] of domestic manufacture." Microtomes used to cut insects so they can be seen in microscope."
 
This innovation allowed him to see the hidden world of the microscopic more clearly.  But not to see deeply enough to reach into the infrastructures beyond human vision.  Microscopes at this time could only see dead samples of these structures of life.  Pillsbury wanted to see the living realities.  Doing so would take him until 1925, when he funded, designed, and built the first microscopic motion picture camera.
 
The timing of this attempt to see deeper was not an accident.  Apart from running two businesses and attending college, Pillsbury had returned from Yosemite, a journey made by bicycle with his cousin, Bernard Lane, and a friend, a changed man. 
 
Standing waist-deep in wildflowers  which filled a Yosemite meadow, the crests of the Valley looming overhead, he had experienced, an epiphany, a life-changing moment.  Most visitors look up to the cliffs and to the water flowing over, dropping thousands of feet to shatter into mist and light onto the Valley floor, but Pillsbury saw the flow of life surrounding him in wildflowers.  He wanted to know more about their lives and struggles - but a static microscope could not take him far enough. 
 
After spending the summers of 1896 and 1897 photographing Yosemite Valley and entering into a partnership with Julius Boysen to start a photographic studio, Pillsbury believed he was ready.  But his love of Ella Wing interrupted his plans.   When Ella left him he sold his two businesses and went to the Yukon to film the opening of the mining fields and the troubled transition of the Inuit to a very different culture. 
 
Unlike any other concessionaire, including the Currys, Pillsbury had run successful businesses which provided more than one kind of service to his customers.  To compensate Pillsbury for rendering invaluable services to the Park Service for Mather’s campaign to establish the NSP Mather created the position of Official Photographer for Yosemite and appointed Pillsbury to the position.
 
Mather had recognized the difficulties he faced in achieving his goal for building elite resorts for the larger circle of elite friends he craved.  The answer was an effective national PR campaign utilizing film, which only Pillsbury could provide. 
 
Among these services was a showing of Pillsbury films, accompanied by a lecture presented to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on October 21, 1915, the Washington Post reporting, “Members of the National Press Club and their guests were taken on a tour of Yosemite National Park by Arthur Pillsbury, the California photographer, with the help of the pictures taken by himself of this wonderful country from seemingly impossible points.  Mr. Pillsbury added to these pictures a description of the grandest playground in the world.” 
 
The brief report goes on to mention, “At the conclusion of his lecture, Stephen T. Mather, Assistant Secretary of the Interior, in charge of national parks, spoke of the good roads movement now being conducted by his department.”   Mather was determined to establish himself as Director of a separate agency within the Department of the Interior to run the National Parks, but this would have nothing to do with the roads.
 
But Pillsbury also provided other services from 1915 until Mather had him burned out of Yosemite Valley in November of 1927.  As the Official Photographer of Yosemite National Park, this documented with the brochure produced by Pillsbury.  The brochure includes the text of letters from Secretary of the Interior, Herbert Work and also from Stephen Mather.  
 
Pillsbury both filmed events and took the stills.  Here is one he took for the Opening of the Ranger’s Club in Yosemite in 1920.
 
Pillsbury was responsible for taking photos of VIP visitors to the Valley and also, in many cases, making presentations to these individuals.  As we have seen with the presentation made to the National News Association, he was also showing his films.  These were shown in theaters across the country, to the benefit of the not-yet-official National Park Service and to the Sierra Club, who also received this service.  Every concessionaire questioned comments, privately, on the coercive demands made by the NPS.
 
As reported by Dr. Arthur F. Pillsbury, he had been tasked with finding an appropriate specimen of a Snow Plant for presentation, along with other items, to President Warren G. Harding in August of 1923.  Dad spent three days looking before finding one small and unprepossessing plant.  On returning, just in time for the arrival, he discovered the President had died on August 2, experiencing some relief that the small plant could be replanted. 
 
Another presentation was made to then Crown Prince Gustav Adolf and Crown Princess Louise of Sweden during their visit to Yosemote on their honeymoon in 1926.  The book produced to greet them by Pillsbury included Pillsbury photos of Yosemite.  It was purchased after being decommissioned from the Royal Library of Sweden by Wally Jensen, a descendant of John deWitt, then living in San Francisco.  Jensen took the book to an appraiser specializing in Yosemite memorabilia and art around 1980 and was offered $26,000 cash for the album, which included a calligraphy in gold print made by hand of the Legend of the Lost Arrow.  The text is similar to that of the story as told by Pillsbury.  The book remains in the possession of Wally Jensen today. 
 
Readers of the Mariposa Gazette perused a short biography, with accompanying sketch of Arthur C. Pillsbury. A brief overview of the plucky innovator providing insights from his college years at Stanford University, to plans for the new Pillsbury Studio then being built on what today is the footprint occupied by the Yosemite Visitor’s Center.   The Studio built by Pillsbury included an auditorium with seating for 375 people so that, as was printed in the Mariposa Gazette in 1924 “visitors may have opportunity to view Mr. Pillsbury’s moving pictures.” 
 
The film industry was in its third decade and transforming America and the world.  Pillsbury had purchased his first movie camera the same year he began classes at Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering in 1892. He used that first camera to film sports events while starting two businesses to earn the money to put himself through college.  One of these businesses was a photographic studio, the other Rambler Cyclery, was sold bicycles and also repaired and build new, innovative models and supplied related goods.  Both were very successful, generating the income needed to pay Pillsbury’s expenses and help out his brother, Ernest, who was also at Stanford majoring in PreMed.   


Arthur Clarence Pillsbury

We are now planning to republish the book so it can be appreciated by the public.  A scanned copy of the book in its entirety will be up on line so it can be viewed.  

  
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