Stephen Tyng Mather (1867-1930) was the sole owner of the Homestead from 1906 until 1930 when he died. He was best known as a conservationist who was instrumental in creating the National Park Service. He was its first Director and his legacy lives on every day in the parks of the United States. Under his leadership, the US doubled its national parks area and created a system for protecting them. He also publicized the parks and provide greater public access, ensuring that generations of people would visit and enjoy them. In many parks you will see a plaque with the following words: “He laid the foundation of the National Park Service, defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be developed and conserved unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good that he has done.”
Stephen's Conservation 101-- top 10 list
#1 Enjoy the great outdoors. Stephen Mather took great solace in the great outdoors. In fact, he suffered from bouts of what we would now call bipolar disorder and found that the great outdoors helped him
#2 Live by your principles.
#2 Put your money where your mouth is. Stephen Mather put his money where his mouth was. Literally. He used his own funds to acquire land and donated it as park land. He used his own funds to hire a publicist to spread the word about our great national parks. The Mather Homestead does not endorse any particular conservation organizations, but we certainly encourage you to make conservation a part of your annual giving.