San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located in San Francisco, United States. The park includes a fleet of vessels, a visitor center, a maritime museum. The park is referred to as the San Francisco Maritime Museum. Todays San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park was authorized in 1988, the park incorporates the Aquatic Park Historic District, bounded by Van Ness Avenue, Polk Street, and Hyde Street. The historic fleet of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is moored at the parks Hyde Street Pier, the fleet consists of the following major vessels, Balclutha, an 1886 built square rigged sailing ship. Eureka, an 1890 built steam ferryboat, alma, an 1891 built scow schooner. Hercules, a 1907 built steam tug, eppleton Hall, a 1914 built paddlewheel tug. The fleet includes one hundred small craft. The Visitor Center is housed in the parks 1909 waterfront warehouse, located at the corner of Hyde, the City of San Francisco declared the four-story brick structure an historic landmark in 1974, and the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Inside, exhibits tell the story of San Francisco’s colorful and diverse maritime heritage, the visitor center contains a theater and a ranger-staffed information desk. The building was built by the WPA as a public bathhouse. The architects were William Mooser Jr. and William Mooser III, the third-floor gallery is used for visiting exhibitions and in 2005 exhibited Sparks, an exhibition of shipboard radio and radioteletype technology. The Maritime Museum has re-opened after a series of renovations, the Maritime Research Center is the premier resource for San Francisco and Pacific Coast maritime history. Originating in 1939, the collections have become the largest maritime collection on the West Coast, one of these is the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association. The Visitors Center, Hyde Street Pier and Maritime Museum are all situated adjacent to the foot of Hyde Street, the park headquarters and Maritime Research Center are located in Fort Mason, some 10 minutes walk to the west of the other sites.
Opening times and fees for the sites can be found on the parks website. Aquatic Park is a place for open water swimming, both for recreation and training. The South End Rowing Club and Dolphin Club are located in Aquatic Park, WPA murals and sculpture at Aquatic Park — The New Deal Art Registry
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the countrys armed forces. It marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service, many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in rural areas of the American South. People gather on the day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with relatives. There often is a service and a picnic-like dinner on the grounds. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War, the practice of decorating soldiers graves with flowers is an ancient custom. Soldiers graves were decorated in the U. S. before, following President Abraham Lincolns assassination in April 1865, there were a variety of events of commemoration. The sheer number of soldiers of both sides who died in the Civil War meant that burial and memorialization took on new cultural significance, under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves had taken shape.
In 1865, the government began creating national military cemeteries for the Union war dead. The Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper claimed in 1906 that Warrenton, was the location of the first Civil War soldiers grave ever to be decorated, there is documentation that women in Savannah, decorated Confederate soldiers graves in 1862. The 1863 cemetery dedication at Gettysburg, was, of course, in addition, local historians in Boalsburg, claim that ladies there decorated soldiers graves on July 4,1864, and Boalsburg promotes itself as the birthplace of Memorial Day. But more recent researches have pointed to the birthplace of Confederacy as the location of the first post-war Memorial Day type observance, but in 2012 Blight stated that he has no evidence that the event in Charleston inspired the establishment of Memorial Day across the country. Accordingly, Snopes labels Blights claims mostly false, despite this ongoing lively debate, there is an official birthplace. On May 26,1966, President Lyndon B.
Johnson signed the presidential proclamation naming Waterloo, New York, Snopes regards the Waterloo legend as apocryphal. Logan issued a proclamation calling for Decoration Day to be observed annually and it was observed for the first time that year on Saturday May 30, the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle. According to the White House, the May 30 date was chosen as the date for flowers to be in bloom. Memorial events were held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states in 1868, the northern states quickly adopted the holiday
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a United States National Park in northeastern California. The dominant feature of the park is Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world, Lassen Volcanic National Park started as two separate national monuments designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907, Cinder Cone National Monument and Lassen Peak National Monument. The source of heat for volcanism in the Lassen area is subduction off the Northern California coast of the Gorda Plate diving below the North American Plate, the area surrounding Lassen Peak is still active with boiling mud pots, stinking fumaroles, and churning hot springs. Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the few areas in the world where all four types of volcano can be found, the park is accessible via State Routes SR89 and SR44. SR89 passes north-south through the park, beginning at SR36 to the south, SR89 passes immediately adjacent the base of Lassen Peak. A large lodge with concession facilities was located near the south-west entrance, a new, full-service visitor center was constructed in the same location, and opened to the public in 2008.
Near the old location was located Lassen Ski Area. Native Americans have inhabited the area long before white settlers first saw Lassen. The natives knew that the peak was full of fire and water, White immigrants in the mid-19th century used Lassen Peak as a landmark on their trek to the fertile Sacramento Valley. One of the guides to these immigrants was a Danish blacksmith named Peter Lassen, Lassen Peak was named after him. Nobles Emigrant Trail was cut through the area and passed Cinder Cone. Inconsistent newspaper accounts reported by witnesses from 1850 to 1851 described seeing fire thrown to a terrible height, as late as 1859, a witness reported seeing fire in the sky from a distance, attributing it to an eruption. Early geologists and volcanologists who studied the Cinder Cone concluded the last eruption occurred between 1675 and 1700, after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, the United States Geological Survey began reassessing the potential risk of other active volcanic areas in the Cascade Range.
Further study of Cinder Cone estimated the last eruption occurred between 1630 and 1670, recent tree-ring analysis has placed the date at 1666. The Lassen area was first protected by being designated as the Lassen Peak Forest Preserve, Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone were declared as U. S. National Monuments in May 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Starting in May 1914 and lasting until 1921, a series of minor to major eruptions occurred on Lassen and these events created a new crater, and released lava and a great deal of ash. Fortunately, because of warnings, no one was killed, because of the eruptive activity, which continued through 1917, and the areas stark volcanic beauty, Lassen Peak, Cinder Cone and the area surrounding were declared a National Park on August 9,1916. The 29-mile Main Park Road was constructed between 1925 and 1931, just 10 years after Lassen Peak erupted, near Lassen Peak the road reaches 8,512 feet, making it the highest road in the Cascade Mountains
Fort Point, San Francisco
Fort Point is a masonry seacoast fortification located at the southern side of the Golden Gate at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. This fort was completed just before the American Civil War by the United States Army, the fort is now protected as Fort Point National Historic Site, a United States National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service as a unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In 1769 Spain occupied the San Francisco area and by 1776 had established the areas first European settlement, with a mission and a presidio. To protect against encroachment by the British and Russians, Spain fortified the high white cliff at the narrowest part of the bays entrance, the Castillo de San Joaquin, built in 1794, was an adobe structure housing nine to thirteen cannons. Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, gaining control of the region and the fort, following the United States victory in 1848, California was annexed by the U. S. and became a state in 1850. The gold rush of 1849 had caused rapid settlement of the area, military officials soon recommended a series of fortifications to secure San Francisco Bay.
Coastal defenses were built at Alcatraz Island, Fort Mason, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers began work on Fort Point in 1853. Plans specified that the lowest tier of artillery be as close as possible to water level so cannonballs could ricochet across the surface to hit enemy ships at the water-line. Workers blasted the 90-foot cliff down to 15 feet above sea level, the structure featured seven-foot-thick walls and multi-tiered casemated construction typical of Third System forts. It was sited to defend the maximum amount of harbor area, while there were more than 30 such forts on the East Coast, Fort Point was the only one on the West Coast. In 1854 Inspector General Joseph K. Mansfield declared this point as the key to the whole Pacific Coast. a crew of 200, many unemployed miners, labored for eight years on the fort. In 1861, with war looming, the army mounted the forts first cannon, colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the Department of the Pacific, prepared Bay Area defenses and ordered in the first troops to the fort.
Kentucky-born Johnston resigned his commission to join the Confederate Army, throughout the Civil War, artillerymen at Fort Point stood guard for an enemy that never came. Troops soon moved out of Fort Point, and it was never again occupied by the army. The fort was important enough to receive protection from the elements. In 1869 a granite seawall was completed, the following year, some of the forts cannon were moved to Battery East on the bluffs nearby, where they were more protected. In 1882 Fort Point was officially named Fort Winfield Scott after the hero from the war against Mexico. The name never caught on and was applied to an artillery post at the Presidio
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a national park spanning portions of Tuolumne and Madera counties in Northern California. The park, which is managed by the National Park Service, on average, about 4 million people visit Yosemite each year, and most spend the majority of their time in the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley. The park set a record in 2016, surpassing 5 million visitors for the first time in its history. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness, Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. First, Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development, Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada, and the park supports a diversity of plants and animals. The park has a range from 2,127 to 13,114 feet and contains five major vegetation zones, chaparral/oak woodland, lower montane forest, upper montane forest, subalpine zone. Of Californias 7,000 plant species, about 50% occur in the Sierra Nevada, there is suitable habitat for more than 160 rare plants in the park, with rare local geologic formations and unique soils characterizing the restricted ranges many of these plants occupy.
The geology of the Yosemite area is characterized by granitic rocks, about 10 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was uplifted and tilted to form its relatively gentle western slopes and the more dramatic eastern slopes. The uplift increased the steepness of stream and river beds, resulting in formation of deep, about one million years ago and ice accumulated, forming glaciers at the higher alpine meadows that moved down the river valleys. Ice thickness in Yosemite Valley may have reached 4,000 feet during the early glacial episode, the downslope movement of the ice masses cut and sculpted the U-shaped valley that attracts so many visitors to its scenic vistas today. The name Yosemite originally referred to the name of a tribe which was driven out of the area by the Mariposa Battalion. Before the area was called Ahwahnee by indigenous people, as revealed by archeological finds, the Yosemite Valley has been inhabited for nearly 3,000 years, though humans may have first visited the area as long as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago.
The indigenous natives called themselves the Ahwahneechee, meaning dwellers in Ahwahnee and they are related to the Northern Paiute and Mono tribes. Many tribes visited the area to trade, including nearby Central Sierra Miwoks, a major trading route went over Mono Pass and through Bloody Canyon to Mono Lake, just to the east of the Yosemite area. Vegetation and game in the region were similar to that present today, acorns were a staple to their diet, as well as seeds and plants, salmon. In 1851 as part of the Mariposa Wars intended to suppress Native American resistance and he was pursuing forces of around 200 Ahwahneechee led by Chief Tenaya. Accounts from this battalion were the first well-documented reports of ethnic Europeans entering Yosemite Valley, attached to Savages unit was Dr. Lafayette Bunnell, the company physician, who wrote about his awestruck impressions of the valley in The Discovery of the Yosemite. Bunnell is credited with naming Yosemite Valley, based on his interviews with Chief Tenaya, Bunnell wrote that Chief Tenaya was the founder of the Pai-Ute Colony of Ah-wah-nee
Pinnacles National Park
Pinnacles is managed by the National Park Service and the majority of the park is protected as wilderness. The national park is divided by the formations into East and West Divisions, connected by foot trails. The east side has shade and water, the west has high walls, the rock formations provide for spectacular pinnacles that attract rock climbers. The park features unusual talus caves that house at least thirteen species of bat, Pinnacles is most often visited in spring or fall because of the intense heat during the summer months. Park lands are prime habitat for prairie falcons, and are a site for California condors that have been hatched in captivity. Pinnacles National Monument was established in 1908 by U. S. President Theodore Roosevelt, Pinnacles National Park was created from the former Pinnacles National Monument by legislation passed by Congress in late 2012 and signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 10,2013. Native Americans in the Pinnacles region comprised the Chalon and Mutsun groups of the Ohlone people and these native people declined with the arrival of the Spanish in the 18th century, who brought novel diseases and changes to the natives way of life.
The last Chalon had died or departed from the area by 1810, from 1810 to 1865, when the first Anglo-American settlers arrived, the Pinnacles region was a wilderness without human use or habitation. The establishment of a Spanish mission at Soledad hastened the areas native depopulation through disease, archaeological surveys have found thirteen sites inhabited by Native Americans, twelve of which post-date the establishment of the missions. One site is believed to be about 2000 years old, by the 1880s the Pinnacles, known as the Palisades, were visited by picnickers from the surrounding communities who would explore the caves and camp. The first account of the Pinnacles region appeared in print in 1881, between 1889 and 1891, newspaper articles shifted from describing excursions to the Palisades to calling them the Pinnacles. Interest in the rose to the point that the Hollister Free Lance sent a reporter to the Pinnacles. Investors came from San Francisco to consider placing a hotel there. In 1894 a post office was established in Bear Valley, since there was at least one other Bear Valley in California, the post office was named Cook after Mrs.
Hains maiden name. In 1924 the post office was renamed Pinnacles, Schuyler Hain was a homesteader who arrived in the Pinnacles area in 1891 from Michigan, following his parents and eight siblings to Bear Valley. White, was a student at Stanford University, and White brought one of his professors to see the Pinnacles in 1893, dr. Gilbert was impressed by the scenery, and his comments inspired Hain to publicize the region. Hain led tours to Bear Valley and through the caves, advocating the preservation of the Pinnacles, Hains efforts resulted in a 1904 visit by Stanford president David Starr Jordan, who contacted Fresno Congressman James C. Jordan and Needham in turn influenced Gifford Pinchot to advocate the establishment of the Pinnacles Forest Reserve to President Theodore Roosevelt, Roosevelt proclaimed the establishment on July 8,1906
U.S. Route 101
U. S. Route 101, or U. S. Highway 101 is a north–south United States Numbered Highway that runs through the states of California and Washington, on the West Coast of the United States. It is known as El Camino Real where its route along the southern and central California coast approximates the old trail which linked the Spanish missions, pueblos and it merges at some points with California State Route 1. US101 is a major parallel freeway or highway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is an alternative to the Interstate for most of its length, in 1964, California truncated US 101s southern terminus in Los Angeles, as I-5 replaced it. The old road is known as County Route S21 or Historic Route 101 in northern San Diego County, the southern terminus of US101 is in Los Angeles at the East Los Angeles Interchange, the worlds busiest freeway interchange. However, the principal routes were assigned numbers ending in 1. Thus, US101 is treated as a primary, two-digit route with a first digit of 10, rather than a spur of US1, thus US101, not US99, is the westernmost north-south route in the U. S.
Highway System. US101 is called the Oregon Coast Highway in Oregon, and it is called The 101 by Southern Californians or simply 101 by residents of Northern California and Washington. From north of San Francisco and continuing almost to Oregon it is signed as the Redwood Highway though not often spoken of as such outside organizations responsible for tourism marketing. Urban portions of the route in Southern California are named the Santa Ana Freeway, Hollywood Freeway, in 2003, the portion of US101 in Ventura County was named Screaming Eagles Highway in honor of the US Army 101st Airborne Division. Urban portions of the route in the Bay Area are called the James Lick Freeway, Bayshore Freeway, a portion of the route between Cochrane Road in Morgan Hill and SR85 in San Jose is named the Sig Sanchez Freeway. The section of highway between SR-85 in Mountain View and Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto is officially known as the Fredrick E. Terman Highway, Street routings in San Francisco are more commonly referred to by their street names rather than the route number.
Portions of the route between Southern California and the Bay Area are named El Camino Real or El Camino Real Freeway, but such names are used colloquially. In Northern California the section of US101 between Sonoma and Marin counties is referred to as the Novato Narrows because of the reduction from four lanes to two. The route is the Santa Ana Freeway from East Los Angeles to Downtown Los Angeles and it becomes the Hollywood Freeway north of Downtown Los Angeles through the Cahuenga Pass, before turning west and becoming the Ventura Freeway. It is one of two major routes connecting the South Bay and Silicon Valley with San Francisco and the North Bay. It serves as an urban alternative to the rural I-280, as US101 runs through Peninsula cities closer to the Bay and I-280 runs closer to the Santa Cruz Mountains. Through northern San Francisco, US101 remains routed on congested city streets due to freeway revolts and it departs the immediate coast and continues through wine country and Redwood forests until it re-emerges coast-side at Eureka.
In areas where US101 turns inland, SR1 branches off to serve the coastal communities, unlike Washington, California does not sign the long east–west section of US101 between Gaviota and its junction with SR134 and SR170 in North Hollywood as west and east
Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument is at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, California. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28,1542 and this event marked the first time a European expedition had set foot on what became the West Coast of the United States. The site was designated as California Historical Landmark #56 in 1932, as with all historical units of the National Park Service, Cabrillo was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15,1966. The annual Cabrillo Festival Open House is held on a Sunday each October and it commemorates Cabrillo with a reenactment of his landing at Ballast Point, in San Diego Bay. The park offers a view of San Diegos harbor and skyline, as well as Coronado, on clear days, a wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean and Mexicos Coronado Islands are visible. A visitor center screens a film about Cabrillos voyage and has exhibits about the expedition, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the highest point in the park and has been a San Diego icon since 1855.
The lighthouse was closed in 1891, and a new one opened at an elevation, because fog. The old lighthouse is now a museum, and visitors may enter it, the area encompassed by the national monument includes various former military installations, such as coastal artillery batteries, built to protect the harbor of San Diego from enemy warships. Many of these installations can be seen walking around the area. A former army building hosts an exhibit that tells the story of history at Point Loma. The area near the monument entrance was used for gliding activities in 1929-1935. Even Charles Lindbergh soared in a Bowlus sailplane along the cliffs of Point Loma in 1930, markers for these accomplishments can be found near the entrance, and the site is recognized as a National Soaring Landmark by the National Soaring Museum. On October 14,1913, by proclamation, Woodrow Wilson reserved 0.5 acres of Fort Rosecrans for The Order of Panama. To construct a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. In 1939 the Portuguese government commissioned a statue of Cabrillo.
The sandstone statue, executed by sculptor Alvaro de Bree, is 14 feet tall, the statue was intended for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco but arrived too late and was stored in an Oakland, California garage. Then-State Senator Ed Fletcher managed to obtain the statue in 1940 over the objections of Bay Area officials and it was stored for several years on the grounds of the Naval Training Center San Diego, out of public view, and was finally installed at Cabrillo Monument in 1949. The sandstone statue suffered severe weathering because of its position and was replaced in 1988 by a replica made of limestone
National Park Service
It was created on August 25,1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. As of 2014, the NPS employs 21,651 employees who oversee 417 units, the National Park Service celebrated its centennial in 2016. National parks and national monuments in the United States were originally individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior, the movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior and they wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic and historic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational and recreational benefits. This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service, Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS.
On March 3,1933, President Herbert Hoover signed the Reorganization Act of 1933, the act would allow the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. It wasnt until that summer when the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Roosevelt agreed and issued two Executive orders to make it happen. In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the National Park Service, the demand for parks after the end of the World War II had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began Mission 66, New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded. In 1966, as the Park Service turned 50 years old, emphasis began to turn from just saving great and wonderful scenery, Director George Hartzog began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and National Recreation Areas. Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service has managed each of the United States national parks, Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States.
In 1872, there was no government to manage it. Yosemite National Park began as a park, the land for the park was donated by the federal government to the state of California in 1864 for perpetual conservation. Yosemite was returned to federal ownership, at first, each national park was managed independently, with varying degrees of success. In Yellowstone, the staff was replaced by the U. S. Army in 1886. Due to the irregularities in managing these national treasures, Stephen Mather petitioned the government to improve the situation. In response, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane challenged him to lobby for creating a new agency, Mather was successful with the ratification of the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916. Later, the agency was given authority over other protected areas, the National Park System includes all properties managed by the National Park Service
Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in Californias Owens Valley between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independence to the north, it is approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles. Long before the first incarcerees arrived in March 1942, Manzanar was home to Native Americans and miners formally established the town of Manzanar in 1910, but abandoned the town by 1929 after the City of Los Angeles purchased the water rights to virtually the entire area. As different as these groups were, their histories displayed a common thread of forced relocation, the primary focus is the Japanese American incarceration era, as specified in the legislation that created the Manzanar National Historic Site. The site interprets the former town of Manzanar, the days, the settlement by the Owens Valley Paiute. Let us review the main points of the debate, over 120,000 residents of the U. S. A. two thirds of whom were American citizens, were incarcerated under armed guard. There were no crimes committed, no trials, and no convictions, to detain American citizens in a site under armed guard surely constitutes a concentration camp.
But what were the used by the government officials who were involved in the process. Raymond Okamura provides us with a detailed list of terms, lets consider three such euphemisms, evacuation and non-aliens. Earthquake and flood victims are evacuated and relocated, the words refer to moving people in order to rescue and protect them from danger. The official government policy makers consistently used evacuation to refer to the removal of the Japanese Americans. These are euphemisms as the terms do not imply forced removal nor incarceration in enclosures patrolled by armed guards. Hirabayashi went on to describe the harm done by the use of such euphemisms, the harm in continuing to use the governments euphemisms is that it disguises or softens the reality which subsequently has been legally recognized as a grave error. The actions abrogated some fundamental principles underlying the Constitution, the document under which we govern ourselves. This erosion of fundamental rights has consequences for all citizens of our society, some have argued that the Nazi Germany camps during the Holocaust were concentration camps and to refer to the Japanese American camps likewise would be an affront to the Jews.
It is certainly true that the Japanese Americans did not suffer the fate of the Jews in the terrible concentration camps or death camps where Nazi Germany practiced a policy of genocide. Although the loss of life was minimal in Americas concentration camps and Walter Weglyns research concerning Nazi Germanys euphemisms for their concentration camps revealed such phrases as protective custody camps, reception centers, and transit camps. Ironically, two Nazi euphemisms were identical to our governments usage, assembly centers and relocation centers and it might be well to point out, that the Nazis were not operating under the U. S. Constitution. Comparisons usually neglect to point out that Hitler was operating under the rules of the Third Reich
Devils Postpile National Monument
Devils Postpile National Monument is located near Mammoth Mountain in eastern California. The national monument protects Devils Postpile, a rock formation of columnar basalt. In addition, the John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail merge into one trail as they pass through the monument, excluding a small developed area containing the monument headquarters, visitor center and a campground, the National Monument lies within the borders of the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The monument was once part of Yosemite National Park, but discovery of gold in 1905 near Mammoth Lakes prompted a change that left the Postpile on adjacent public land. Later, a proposal to build a dam called for blasting the Postpile into the river. Influential Californians, including John Muir, persuaded the government to stop the demolition and, in 1911. The flora and fauna at Devils Postpile are typical of the Sierra Nevada, dark-eyed juncos and white-crowned sparrows are common in the summer. The name Devils Postpile refers to a cliff of columnar basalt.
Radiometric dating indicates the formation was created by a flow at some time less than 100,000 years ago. Estimates of the thickness range from 400 feet to 600 feet. The lava that now makes up the Postpile was near the bottom of this mass, because of its great thickness, much of the mass of pooled lava cooled slowly and evenly, which is why the columns are so long and so symmetrical. Columnar jointing occurs when certain types of contract while cooling. A glacier removed much of this mass of rock and left a surface on top of the columns with very noticeable glacial striations. The Postpiles columns average 2 feet in diameter, the largest being 3.5 feet, together they look like tall posts stacked in a pile, hence the features name. If the lava had cooled perfectly evenly, all of the columns would be expected to be hexagonal, but some of the columns have different polygonal cross-sections due to variations in cooling. A survey of 400 of the Postpiles columns found that 44. 5% were 6-sided,37. 5% 5-sided,9. 5% 4-sided,8.
0% 7-sided, compared with other examples of columnar jointing, the Postpile has more hexagonal columns. Another feature that places the Postpile in a category is the lack of horizontal jointing. Several stones from the Devils Postpile can be seen at the entrance to the United States Geological Survey headquarters lot in Reston, although the basaltic columns are impressive, they are not unique