in honor of Stephen Mather's Birthday (July 4, 1867) 

Saturday, June 26, 4 - 5:30 p.m.
Family Fun and Games!


Join us for good old fashioned games, food trucks and, of course, birthday cake to celebrate the birthday of Stephen Tyng Mather, an important conservationist and the first director of the National Parks Service!

Families will be placed on one of two teams - the Grand Teton Grizzlies and the Yellowstone Rangers!

Teams will compete in the following games:

- Egg & Spoon Race

- Fill the Water Bucket Relay

- Three legged race

- Tug of War 

- Wheelbarrel Race


$25/adult, $15/child includes games, beverages (water, juice, beer, wine) + glory (if you win). 

Only 150 spots available! Tickets below

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About Stephen T. Mather


Stephen Tyng Mather is the great-great grandson of Deacon Joseph Mather, who built the Homestead in 1778.  Stephen Mather became the sole owner of the Homestead in 1907 and spent summers there until his death in 1930. 

Stephen Mather made his fortune in the Borax business and is credited for coining the slogan "20 Mule Team Borax" which branded the commodity.  A long time lover of the outdoors and a mountaineer, he then used his wealth and talents to rally the cause of the National Parks.  Through his tireless efforts, Congress passed a bill authorizing the National Park Service in 1916.  He became its first director in 1917 and served in that role until 1929. During his time, the US doubled its park area, adding the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Acadia, Hawaii and Mt. McKinley.  He publicized the National Parks and developed an appreciation for their scenic beauty, and he set up a system of Park Rangers to protect the parks and educate visitors.  

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The Mather Mountain Party
of 1915


In 1915, Stephen Mather organized one of the most spectacular lobbying sessions in American History – 19 politicians, businessmen, scientists and the editor of “National Geographic” traveling together in the wilderness of America on foot, horseback and automobile.  This was known as “The Mather Mountain Party.” 


The group visited Sequoia, the Giant Forest, Kern River Canyon, and Mount Whitney, which most of its members climbed.  And each evening, around every campfire, Mather lobbied his captive explorers in support of a national park system.  One participant said of Mather, “If he was out to make a convert, the subject never knew what hit him.”


On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill authorizing the National Park Service.  

More about the Mather Mountain Party

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