Oral History Interview with
Director, National Park Service, 1940-51.
Newton Bishop Drury
University of California
University of California Bancroft Library/Berkeley
Regional Oral History Office
1972 by The Regents of the University of California
[Notices and Restrictions | Interview
Transcript | Additional Newton Bishop Drury Parts]
This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview donated to the Harry S. Truman Library. The reader should remember that this is essentially a transcript of the spoken, rather than the written word, although some editing was done.
Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. ) within the transcript indicate
the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the oral history interview.
All uses of this manuscript are covered by a legal agreement between the Regents of the University of California and Newton B. Drury, dated October 18, 1972. The manuscript is thereby made available for research purposes. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to The Bancroft Library of the University of California at Berkeley. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of The Bancroft Library of the University of California at Berkeley.
Requests for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 486 Library, and should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.The legal agreement with Newton B. Drury requires that he be notified of the request and allowed thirty days in which to respond.
Harry S. Truman Library
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and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | Additional Newton Bishop Drury Parts]
Oral History Interview with
Newton Bishop Drury
University of California
University of California Bancroft Library/Berkeley
Regional Oral History Office
1972 by The Regents of the University of California
DRURY ADVERTISING COMPANY AND THE SAVE-THE-REDWOODS LEAGUE
Formation of the Drury Advertising Company
FRY: After the war you and Aubrey decided to organize the advertising agency, is that right?
DRURY: Yes; that was in 1919 when I was teaching oral English at the University and Aubrey was associate editor with the Journal of Electricity. For a short while he was also editor for the Extension Division, University of California.
But fairly early in the year 1919, we decided to form a public relations and advertising agency in San Francisco which continued until Aubrey's death in 1959. At my age now, I think that I probably won't carry it on, and my offspring are all gainfully employed in other fields, so that much as I regret it, I imagine we'll dissolve the Drury Company as a corporation. But it did have a very interesting career and it was through it that both Aubrey and I were put in touch with some very worthwhile movements.
Before I talk about the Save-the-Redwoods League, I might mention an early campaign of the 1920's that the Drury Company handled for several years to help get the metric system of weights and measures adopted in the United States.
FRY: So it would be standardized throughout the world?
DRURY: Yes; that was a very interesting campaign. It was chiefly Aubrey's concern and we can go into it more
fully later on when I am describing Aubrey's contributions to the activities of the agency. A great many educational accounts were handled by the company too, mostly by Aubrey.
FRY: Helping schools advertise?
DRURY: Yes, to advertise and explain their programs. In fact, for several years, we acted as the public relations agency for the University of California. We've always had a very close touch with them, either on a professional basis or as alumni.
FRY: I wonder what prompted you and Aubrey to form an advertising agency instead of going into something else? You obviously had very broad talents and it must have been hard to narrow this down.
DRURY: Well, both of us had done newspaper work. It seemed to us that that was a field in which we could use whatever talents we might have, and we had opportunities to represent worthwhile causes.
Then following that for several years, ten or fifteen years, a good 50 per cent of the Drury Company organization as it developed was in the more commercial field--industrial and manufacturing advertising, advertising for services like insurance and real estate, and that kind of thing. You must remember that we were about forty years younger then. [Laughter] We could put our full time on a lot of different jobs.
FRY: I was just wondering about the general picture of advertising in the early twenties when you first started this. Was your agency fairly typical then?
DRURY: No. Ours was a small agency, a service agency. There
were half a dozen of the nation-wide advertising companies who controlled the big accounts. Our accounts were mostly local manufacturers. We had a mattress maker, a bedspring maker, a gas furnace maker. A great many of our accounts had to do with associations. We carried on a campaign for the Pacific Coast Gas Association, which is made up of people who are in that general industry. There were associations like the Wholesale Grocers and others for whom we carried on campaigns
Of course that kind of work involves, first of all, planning, programming. Next, it requires the production of whatever informative material is needed to get the message to the right audience. Not the least important phase of that kind of work--and this applies to everything else I've been in--is some system of score-keeping, some way of keeping track of what you've done and what you've accomplished. It's surprising how difficult that phase of the matter is.
FRY: Finding out if you've really influenced the people?
DRURY: Yes; as a basis for future planning, and to find out what you've already done.
FRY: Did these commercial campaigns ever make use of bill boards?
DRURY: We never went into billboards, partly because of our prejudice, I guess, against defacing the landscape, but also partly because unless you're in the big money you can't do much with billboards. The smaller accounts can't afford billboards, so that maybe we made a virtue of necessity. The media through which we worked in all types of campaigns were primarily newspaper and
magazine advertising and the accompanying publicity, and direct-by-mail.
But the commercial accounts made up only half the agency's business. The major interest of both of us personally was more in campaigns which had what you might call some degree of intellectual content. Perhaps we were more serious as young men than we were in the later years.
FRY: An appeal to a certain idealism?
DRURY: Yes. It was on that basis that in 1919 the directors of the Save-the-Redwoods League asked us to undertake, in a very small way at first, the publicity for the newly-formed league, the objects of which you know. It was established primarily to preserve the redwoods in Northern California that were just beginning to be cut extensively. And it was felt that there needed to be a concerted program to get more and more support for their preservation, to establish an organization with membership to solicit funds and to have some influence upon legislation and things of that sort.
Organizing the Save-the-Redwoods League
FRY: Who were the men who first had a vision of the redwoods league?
DRURY: That's something that I was talking about with Mr. Francis Farquhar today. I just got a letter from Horace M. Albright in which he raised the same question because a book was being written in which the part of Steven T. Mather, the first director of the national parks in the redwoods league, was being discussed. Unquestionably
Mr. Mather was one of the first to help in bringing this about. But the formal history of the league indicates that in 1917 there were three men, one of them Dr. John C. Merriam, then professor of paleontology at the University of California and later president of the Carnegie Institution at Washington; Madison Grant, a New York attorney; and Henry Fairfield Osborn, president of the American Museum of Natural History.
These three men made a trip up into the redwood country where the cutting was going on, and on the way back home they spent the night at Arcata, where they composed a letter to Governor William D. Stephens; urging that the legislature take some action to acquire the finest of these redwood forests. And at that time, the way we have always understood it, the idea of a permanent, nation-wide organization such as the Save-the-Redwoods League was conceived.
So these three men just named were looked upon as the founders. In fact, there is a redwood grove up at Dyerville called the Founders' Grove, with a tablet that recites that they established the Save-the-Redwoods League. But in matter of time I'm sure that it will be established that Stephen T. Mather was working right along with them. I believe that Stephen Mather knew about it possibly even before they were up there. I think he'd been through the redwoods before '17. William Kent, who gave Muir Woods to the federal government as the first redwood reservation, and quite a few others, were part of the group that formed this organization. It was formed in 1918 and incorporated in 1919. The first secretary-treasurer was Dr. Robert
G. Sproul, who was then in the comptroller's office at the University. Dr. Sproul has continued ever since as the treasurer.
At that time, Dr. Harper Goodspeed of the University was assistant treasurer and helped get the organization started, but he later withdrew, and that's when we were asked to undertake the promotion of the league. They asked me, as the representative of the firm that was handling the brunt of the work, to act as secretary.
FRY: This was sort of executive secretaryship.
DRURY: Yes. I've been looking forward to getting from Dr. Goodspeed some of the early history of the league, even before my time. I have the old minute books that run back to 1919. In those are some of his notes in which he tells of meetings with Dr. Sproul and Dr. Merriam and others. The first president of the Save-the-Redwoods League was Franklin K. Lane, who was then Secretary of the Interior
FRY: Was this just an honorary position?
DRURY: Yes; he lent his name and support to it. After he passed away, Dr. John C. Merriam was made president of the league and he took a very active part, both when he was here and when he was in Washington, with the Carnegie Institution. He came out here every summer and made extensive tours of the redwood region, and he is responsible for a great deal of the basic policy that has followed. He's written quite copiously about the redwoods. The finest thing that he's written, probably, is a chapter on the redwoods in his book, The Living Past, which is a series of his essays.
FRY: He seemed to be an articulate verbalizer of values of redwoods.
DRURY: Very much so. He was a scientist and an administrator and a very able man.
FRY: Was the league modeled after any other particular organization like this, or do you think it was a trailblazer?
DRURY: More or less a trailblazer in that kind of thing. Of course there'd been plenty of other organizations. One of the outstanding ones was the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which also concerned itself with natural areas, as well as historic sites. That was formed in Massachusetts under the inspiration of President Eliot of Harvard. And although most people don't know it, the great National Trust of England was later modeled after the Massachusetts National Trust. Both of them have been very successful, particularly the British organization.
The Save-the-Redwoods League has had over forty years of existence and has been, I think, fairly successful. Many of the things that they hoped to do haven't been accomplished as yet, perhaps never will be. But such success as they have had is due first of all to a very clear statement of program from men like John C. Merriam, Stephen T. Mather, and Madison Grant and their successors; and also to the fact that the directors and the executive of the Save-the-Redwoods League have stayed by that program relentlessly, have not been diverted from it. Singleness of purpose, in other words, is one of the great reasons why it has been successful.
FRY: Could you say what specifically is its purpose?
DRURY: The best thing to do would be to give you the official
statement of the purposes of the Save-the-Redwoods League. I've been working for it off and on for forty years, but I still have to read it. [Laughter] Its primary purpose was "to rescue from destruction, for the enjoyment of this generation and those to come, adequate tracts of the Sequoia sempervirens...,“ (Save-the-Redwoods League, Annual Report, 1920 pamphlet) .particularly in the northern portion of California. There were collateral purposes, such as the encouragement of the protection of roadside beauty, the encouragement of reforestation of cut-over lands. The league was largely responsible for preservation in a state park of the North and South Calaveras Groves (Sequoia gigantea). And at one time, the statement of objectives contained as a purpose the establishment both of a national redwood park and of state redwood parks. As it turned out, there never was any support from the federal government. Those were the days when congressional appropriations for matters of that sort were practically nil. In fact, the early national parks were all carved out of the public domain; there were no appropriations to buy land. It was only very much later that the national parks got any money from the federal government to buy park lands, quite different from our experience in California. It happened that it fell to the state of California to bear the responsibility of buying up little by little these forested lands, usually just a jump or two ahead of the saw mills. In some cases, unfortunately, we had to buy the land after the forest had been cut, some of
which lands bought over forty year ago are remarkably well-forested with second growth, which is an important effect of the program.
FRY: I suppose there is still some of the virgin timber on those lands that would make it significant,..
DRURY: Very little on the lands that were cut over. Most of the early logging was terribly destructive. In fact, it still is today.
FRY: Perhaps you would tell us what the league does not try to do.
DRURY: One thing that the redwoods league does not try to do is administer lands. In the old days, the league occasionally bought and owned properties. But right from the beginning, it was recognized that the actual management of lands was more a government function than it was of a private organization. The lands had to be protected from fire, their public use controlled, improvements added such as roads and trails, and structures built where justifiable.
Pre-Save-the-Redwoods Conservation Efforts
DRURY: I think I ought to go back a little and give you the history of the preservation around the turn of the century of the Big Basin redwoods in Santa Cruz County, because while that organization was not a prototype of the Save-the-Redwoods League, some of the people who took part in it were also in on the organization of the league. The organization which was responsible for preserving the Gib Basin, which is near Felton in Santa Cruz County, was the Sempervirens Club. There were a
number of individuals, the most prominent among whom was Colonel Charles B. Wing, who after his retirement from Stanford University--he was head of civil engineering for a great many years there--acted as the first chief of the Division of Beaches and Parks in 1928. Professor Dudley, who was a scientist, was also very active. Senator Herbert C. Jones of San Jose, I remember, was one of the leaders, and particularly his mother, who wrote an account of the Big Basin redwoods and of logging as it started there and of the necessity of preserving them.
FRY: Was D. M. Delmas in on that too?
DRURY: I think so; yes, D. M. Delmas was an attorney in San Jose; he later attained a considerable prominence in connection with rather sensational criminal trials.
FRY: And Andrew P. Hill, the photographer?
DRURY: Yes, Andrew Hill was another. He was also a painter. Some of the earliest oil paintings of the redwood forests were made by Andrew Hill. They were very good.
FRY: He had a commission from the London Wide World to photograph the redwoods, didn't he?
DRURY: I imagine he came from England, but he was a resident of San Jose. There was quite a fine group of those people.
FRY: Did Welch Grove itself later become Big Basin Park?
DRURY: No. Welch Grove was closer to Felton than the Big Basin and was an entirely separate grove. It was probably the first known of the redwood groves, "the Felton Big Trees." It was right on the railroad that went through Felton on the way to Santa Cruz and was the object of a great many excursions from San Francisco
and interior valleys, oh, way back in the early days; I imagine the eighteen-sixties, anyhow the seventies. The Welch family owned only a part of that grove. The rest of it was owned by the Cowell Cement Company, and it's now part of the Samuel Cowell Redwoods State Park.
FRY: The Muir Woods controversy came up in 1908, didn't it, when the water company planned to flood that portion?
DRURY: Yes. Muir Woods National Monument was established in 1908 by a gift from William Kent.
FRY: Yes, that's why I was interested in it, because later on, Mr. Kent was active in the Save-the-Redwoods League, wasn't he?
DRURY: Yes, and he was also the member of Congress who introduced the bill that established the National Park Service. That's where my friend and classmate, Horace Albright, will be helpful to you, because he worked very closely with Stephen Mather and William Kent. Of course, in 1908, both Albright and I were freshmen in the University of California, and we weren't unduly exorcised about saving the redwoods [Laughter] or even the national parks. The national parks as a unified service hadn't been established.
Structure of the League
FRY: At the time when the Save-the-Redwoods League was established, there was no park commission for the whole state, was there? There was just a Redwoods Park Commission which apparently had control only of the Big Basin.
DRURY: Yes. The Big Basin was administered by one commission.
There were a half a dozen state parks, and those were administered by separate commissions, all of which were abolished when the State Park Commission Bill passed in 1927.
The redwoods in Humboldt County acquired by state appropriation and by gifts from the Save-the-Redwoods League for a considerable number of years were administered by the State Board of Forestry, and very well administered by them.
FRY: I want to find out exactly how the new redwoods league and the equally new State Board of Forestry worked together.
DRURY: We always worked together very well. I think there was some slight disagreement as to whether both the commercial forests and the state parks should be administered by the forestry board. It was the belief of a great many, including some foresters, that it would be better to have a separate organization which was concerned with park principles, like management and operation, which of necessity are quite different from the principles of forestry management.
The great difference between the park concept and the forestry concept is that the resource that's involved on park lands is one that is conserved intact, held because of its beauty or its significance, its scientific value and so forth, to be used by the public in the sense that they enjoy it, but it is not to be used up. However, forestry management as practiced by the state forestry board or the U.S. Forest Service involves the sound utilization of forests as a commodity for purposes of manufacture of wood products, with a view, under the most enlightened modern concepts,
of perpetuating the resource in so far as possible through sustained yield logging and reforestation and prudent logging methods.
One is a program for enjoyment and the other is a program for consumption. So it was felt that the two philosophies were so different that not only the redwood parks but the seacoast parks and the mountain parks and the historic sites could better remain true to their original purpose if they were administered by a board and by an administrative agency that was devoted solely to park principle.
FRY: Weren't some of the members of the redwoods league also on the State Board of Forestry?
DRURY: Yes, I think some of them were. I know that Merritt B. Pratt, the state forester, was one of those who were in on the formation of the Save-the-Redwoods League. I believe that Mr. G. M. Homans, who preceded Mr. Pratt as state forester, was also on it.
FRY: Now, Merriam went to the State Board of Forestry's first meeting to plead for an area to be set aside for redwoods, I guess in Humboldt County. Did the board help at all in getting state aid?
DRURY: Yes. An appropriation bill was passed by both houses in 1921, appropriating $300,000 to purchase redwoods along the highway between Miranda and Dyerville in Humboldt County, and Governor Stephens signed the bill. Later, an appropriation act passed both houses in 1925 but was vetoed by Governor Friend Richardson. He had been elected on an economy-in-government platform and he didn't feel he could allow an appropriation for parks at that time.
In 1927, the Park Commission Bill, the Park Survey Bill, and a $6,000,000 bond issue were passed and signed by Governor Young, the bond issue later, in 1928, being ratified by the voters almost three to one.
Governor Richardson, incidentally, later became a great friend and admirer of the state parks; I think he regretted that he ever vetoed the bill. It ended up by our naming Richardson Grove for him.
FRY: Could you lay out the internal organization of the league, the relationship of the councilors to the members and to the board?
DRURY: The councilors are a representative group of people from pretty well throughout the United States who have the voting authority in the last analysis. The general membership of the league consists of all the supporters of the program. There's no general balloting for officers by the membership as in some organizations, although the redwoods league is in no sense an autocratic organization. By common consent, it was felt it was more workable to have the council, of whom there are sixty, and who are quite representative of different walks of life and different parts of the country, elect the board of directors and the president. And the board of directors then elects the secretary and the treasurer. That's primarily the organization.
FRY: The staff consists of what?
DRURY: The staff consists of the secretary and whatever help he has in carrying on the work of the league. It's a very moderate-sized office -- always has been.
And of course the efforts of the redwoods league have been supplemented in many quarters. The Sierra
Club has been of tremendous help in aiding many of the programs that the league conceived. There have been organizations like the Sempervirens Club, which is now more or less inactive, and the Calaveras Grove Association in Stockton, which had an important part in the preservation of both the north and south Calaveras groves.
I think one of the very significant facts is that whereas the total purchase price or appraised value of gifts in all these state parks comes to something over $17,000,000, an estimate of present-day values of redwood stumpage and the asking prices of the lumber companies would show a present investment value of pretty close to $250,000,000.
Then there's the additional consideration that many of those forests wouldn't be in existence now, even if we had the money to buy them, at that enhanced price.
Men in the Early Years of the League
FRY: Could you tell us about maybe one or two of the early leaguers besides those you've already mentioned? I wondered when the chief forester of the United States, H. S. Graves, entered the league.
DRURY: I'm sure he was on the original board of the council right from the start. Also among those who were very prominent were Horace M. Albright and Dr. Frederick Bade, who at that time was president of the Pacific School of Religion. He passed away many years ago. He was a very eminent man in the field of conservation,
was president of the Sierra Club. He wrote the leading biography of John Muir, was a great mountain-climber, and was one of the pioneers.
Of course, William E. Colby is dean of all park people out here in California. As a friend and helper of John Muir, he can tell you a great many stories about his fascinating adventures with Muir. One thing that he was in on was the recession of Yosemite Valley to the federal government. I think your project interviewed him. Right from the start, Mr. Colby was one of the members of the Sierra Club, as he was of the Save-the-Redwoods League. He was a great element of strength in the creating of the State Park Commission in 1927. He was the unanimous choice for the chairman. He served for several years in that capacity.
FRY: Duncan McDuffie was primarily a real estate man, is that right?
DRURY: Duncan McDuffie was another wonderful character, who graduated from the University of California around the turn of the century. He was a fine figure of a man, a very kindly and cultured person. Both he and Mrs. McDuffie were patrons of the arts, particularly interested in horticulture and gardens; but also very broad cultural interests generally. Duncan McDuffie graduated from college as a classmate of Perry Tompkins of Berkeley, who died only a few years ago, and of C. C. Young, who later became governor of the state. McDuffie was interested in the Save-the-Redwoods program by Dr. John C. Merriam; he and J. C. Sperry and Colby and some of the others gave it its great impetus and start.
Mr. George Cornwall, who was the editor of the Timberman magazine, Portland, Oregon, was one of the
original people. Charles K. Field, who was at that time editor of Sunset magazine; Gilbert H., Grosvenor, president of the National Geographic Society and editor of their magazine; Beverly Hodghead, who was at that time mayor of Berkeley; G. M. Homans, then state forester; W. L. Jepson, who was professor of botany at the University of California, and who wrote probably the best description, from a botanical stand point, of the redwood forests. Several of his books have extensive chapters on the redwoods. I think he was one of the early persons to at least hint at the fact that there should be established reservations for these forests before it was too late. In The Silva of California, published by the University Press in 1910, he mentioned it. He took a rather fatalistic view as to what was going to happen to the redwoods, but he lived long enough to see a great deal of the success of the redwoods league, and there's no question that it was his writings and his interest that to a considerable extent inspired the movement.
Vernon Kellogg of the National Research Council of Washington, B.C.; Horace G. Lorimer of the Saturday Evening Post, who really put the Save-the-Redwoods League on the map by having a series of articles run by men such as Joseph Hergesheimer and Samuel G. Blythe. In fact, the phrase, "the last stand of the giants" was the title of Samuel G. Blythe's first article on the redwoods, drawing attention to the movement. And Albert W. Atwood, one of the special writers, wrote a series of articles for the Post. In the same way, the National Geographic for thirty or forty years has supported the Save-the-Redwoods program by descriptive articles on both the Coast and Sierra Redwoods.
Cheater Rowell, who was editor of the Fresno Republican, was in the early group, and, of course, Benjamin Ide Wheeler, who was then president of the University of California.
One of the pioneers in the movement who is still active--in fact, he is now president of the league-- was Mr. Arthur E. Connick, who, when the league was formed, was a young banker, president of the First National Bank of Eureka, later acquired by the Bank of America. He was part of the local movement and took a very active part in negotiations with the owners of these properties.
FRY: These are not men of particularly great wealth. They are men who have either special knowledge or a portion of the mass media at their control.
DRURY: That's right. There were, however, a number of very wealthy men like Mr. J. D. Grant, for years chairman of the board of directors, who from the very beginning were involved in the league. Many of the early contributions, particularly in San Francisco, were inspired by Mr. Grant. His father, Adam Grant, was a pioneer merchant in San Francisco,
Funds for the League
Publicity and Mail Campaigns
FRY: You said the Drury Company used mostly newspaper and magazine advertising and direct-mail appeals. Were these media the major ones for the Save-the-Redwoods League campaigns too?
DRURY: Yes. Direct-mail was the basis of the solicitation
carried on by the Save-the-Redwoods League and by our other groups in the raising of funds. From the very beginning, the bulk of the operating funds of the Save-the-Redwoods League have been raised by mail, with follow-up by letters and personal interviews. Very little of the money for campaign operations has been given by individuals who have been interviewed. The mailings of the league at the present time run about 100,000 a year, and we're expecting to step that up in order to meet the operating costs of the league. But the memberships in the league and the donations that are made at the same time of the memberships are in the so-called operating fund.
Then, in addition, many of these people by mail donate to the land fund for the purchase of forests. The land fund contributions in small units usually ran between $150,000 to $200,000 a year, the bulk of which came through the mail. The larger contributions are usually made by people who want to establish the so-called memorial groves, which was a very successful institution. Those, of course, entailed contact by mail, but they also entailed a great many personal interviews, trips into the redwood region, and that sort of thing.
FRY: Today is this memorial grove idea widespread enough that these people actually come to you?
DRURY: In some cases yes, but in most cases they are identified by our friends' writing in about them or by their revealing their interest through the mail. That's why this persistent circularization on behalf of the league is its life's blood. The minute that stops, the returns begin to diminish.
FRY: How often do you contact the average person in Save-the-Redwoods League by mail through the year?
DRURY: About four times a year. And of course they all are reached at the beginning of the year with their bill for dues. Then any who don't respond within three months get another. We have usually about four large mailings a year, both to our existing members and to prospective members. This is the present program and I'm working on the possibility of stepping it up. But that's a science and art in itself, the subject of direct-mail advertising and solicitation. There are lots of angles to it.
FRY: How have you kept tabs on all these people? Have you classified them according to income and interests on cards, or what?
DRURY: Well, we have our membership lists--the life members and the sustaining members and the annual members. Then we have a classification of people who are occasional donors who give no regular dues, but who are very generous from time to time. Those are all kept track of on a visible index system. We can generally go back for forty years through our current file and a supplementary file of those who have passed away, and we can indicate who has given to the Save-the-Redwoods League, how much they gave and when. But this is very much a counsel of perfection; every system has its shortcomings.
FRY: You sometimes have selective mailings just to one particular group of people?
DRURY: Oh, yes. That is the heart of the whole problem in direct mail solicitation: the list. It takes a great deal of intensive effort to obtain lists that are
worthwhile soliciting. That's one thing at which Aubrey Drury was a past master. He had an encyclopedic mind and he was a student of history and genealogy. He was also a very rapid and very accurate reader. He had, being a bachelor, a little more time than some men do, and he also had the inclination to take the punishment that's involved in intensive work of that sort. But he would take, for instance, Who's Who in America, and comb through that volume and mark every name that seemed to be a likely prospect, applying criteria that were in his mind as to the kind of people who would ordinarily be induced to contribute to the Save-the-Redwoods League.
We're carrying on that same system today. In fact, we carried it on in the early days, but not as thoroughly or as effectively as Aubrey did during his twenty years as secretary.
There's also a very important aspect of testing the list. You may have a list of 40,000 or 50,000 names, and no one knows whether they are good, bad, or indifferent prospects until you've tested, say, 2,000 or 3,000 of them to find out what your return is.
It's a very fascinating exercise, as you can imagine, and it's sometimes a little surprising. From the very beginning, we used the social registers in the different cities in the Unites States, selecting those which seemed the most likely prospects. But there's a marked difference between the returns in some of what you might call the more cultured states like Massachusetts and New York and those in some of the southern states like Alabama and Georgia. Usually, the social registers prove advantageous.
FRY: You get a better return from New York and Boston than you do from the South.
DRURY: Yes, decidedly so. I haven't the up-to-date figures, but there was a time when, in total money, by far the preponderance of our contributions came from New York State; Mr. John J. Rockefeller Jr. and Mr. Edward S. Harkness and the ladies of the Garden Club of America are the outstanding contributors.
FRY: Those very large contributions would kind of weight it in favor of the East.
DRURY: Yes. But even in the membership, there's a remarkable response from New York and also from Massachusetts. Just recently we have solicited the social directory of Philadelphia, and the returns haven't been nearly as good as past returns. That may partly be because we weren't as discriminating in marking our names. But even there, the returns were sufficient so that it would justify using the rest of the names.
FRY: How have you found the prairie states doing in responding to your mailing? From Kansas up to the Dakotas and Illinois.
DRURY: The Midwest is not as responsive as the East Coast. Of course, the return in California is very satisfactory.
FRY: What about Chicagoans?
DRURY: I'm just speaking offhand without checking the returns, but Chicago I think is usually pretty satisfactory in its support. I remember among the wonderful people I knew there, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Cudahy, who established the Morton Arboretum in Chicago. Her grandfather was the man who established Arbor Day, J. Sterling Morton. He was Secretary of Agriculture. Her brother,
Sterling Morton, who was also a large contributor to the Save-the-Redwoods League, was the head of the Morton Salt Company. He and his sister established the Morton and Arbor Day groves. Most of the family had done quite a bit for local parks and projects like the Morton Arboretum. So they were educated to this kind of thing. Well, there's always a group in any metropolitan center who are interested in things of this sort.
FRY: I see. What is your rule of thumb in determining the usefulness of a list, or is this a pretty complex formula?
DRURY: It's a pretty complex formula, but the rule of thumb generally is whether or not you get enough return to come at least close to meeting your cost of production of the material that you send out from the first mailing. In most cases, we get considerably more than that, so that the problem is primarily one of mechanics of production, particularly getting sufficient lists to send out more mailings. But it also involves the other phases of direct mail solicitation which depends on the character of the material which you send out, the kind of appeal you make, and the mechanics of response.
In general, with the kind of lists which we've been using, the first year we get back at least the cost of production, which I would say now runs about $150 a thousand names, including postage and addressing and all the rest, but not including overhead.
In the old days when we first started it, it used to cost us $100 a thousand, but it's gone up at least 50 per cent because of the extra costs of printing and extra postage and all that.
FRY: I would think it would have gone up more than that,
DRURY: Well, we have worked on a quantity basis, and simplified some of the material so that we've kept it around $150 a thousand. The average thousand names will return pretty close to that, and sometimes very, very much more than that. Sometimes it brings in large contributions, $4,000 and $5,000 or more for the land fund. That's the thing that primarily this circularization does--keeps the operations fund going. Even if you don't quite get back your costs of production in the first mailing, it's worthwhile to do this thing because you have established members with recurring dues.
An analysis we made about fifteen years ago, which I assume still holds good in principle, showed that after three years, about 65 per cent of those people continued to pay dues, and after five years, about 55 per cent, so that that's an interesting aspect. The turnover, so to speak, is pretty high, because people die and they move and don't leave a forwarding address. Those percentages were the figures for about 1947 or 1948, the last analysis that was made by our accountant. As I say, I assume it still pertains, although we intend to make tests which will perhaps be more accurate than that.
FRY: This sounds like a sociologist's delight.
DRURY: Well, it's a field in itself. Of course, in the East particularly, there are large concerns that devote themselves entirely to what they call direct-by-mail advertising.
FRY: Do you ever buy lists?
DRURY: Yes, but most of them are no good for our purposes.
Most of them are snares and delusions. I remember once I paid I think $10 for a list of California millionaires. When I got the list, I found on it the names of one or two of my friends, who I knew darn well weren't millionaires, and I doubted if they were much better off than I was. [Laughter]
Personal Contact and Influence
FRY: Weren't large sums collected also through influential men in the league, just by personal contacts?
DRURY: Oh, yes. For instance, Mr. Grant was chairman of the board of directors, and Mr. William H. Crocker was one of the directors of the league. Those two men had a great deal of influence. They made financial contributions themselves; they also inspired other wealthy people of their acquaintance to contribute.
Speaking of Mr. William H. Crocker and his help and influence, I might mention one episode which shows how close you are to success or failure in any enterprise. The great Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park was being planned. We had an opportunity to buy a million dollars' worth of property near Orick. It was offered to us at a price which is about one-thirteenth of what we are having to pay for redwood stumpage today. We didn't have the money. If we could have raised a half million dollars, we could get the other half million through matching by the state.
Mr. Crocker was in New York, and one Friday he telephoned me saying that on Monday he was to be playing golf with Mr. Edward S. Harkness, a large contributor to Yale University and Harvard and a very fine benefactor
of many enterprises. Mr. Crocker thought that maybe if we had the right data to make the presentation to Mr. Harkness, we could get a half a million dollars from him. He said, "But I suppose you can't get anything to me by Monday morning?" It just happened it was about that time that air mail across the continent had come to the fore as a means of communication that people hadn't previously used. Prior to that time, I don't think I'd ever sent anything airmail. I said, "Mr. Crocker, we can get something up today, put it in the air mail tomorrow, and you should get it by Sunday night," which he did. He played his golf game with Mr. Harkness, and we got the $500,000.
FRY: And if air mail hadn't --
DRURY: If air mail hadn't been in existence, there wouldn't have been any way of getting the photographs and maps and all the data. He might have gotten the contribution anyhow, but then again he might not have.
FRY: Speaking of men of influence and wealth, William Kent has a flavor all his own. I wonder if right here we could take time out and let you tell us what kind of a man he was.
DRURY: He was a very wonderful gentleman with quite a peppery personality. His views were very definite and he expressed them with vigor. He was an exceptionally devoted conservationist. It was Kent who in 1916 introduced the National Park Act, which created the National Park Service. I was in Congressman Kent's office with Mr. J. C. Sperry, who was one of our early pioneers in the Save-the-Redwoods movement. I remember that Stephen T. Mather had arranged the meeting,
and he had there George Horace Lorimer, then the editor of the Saturday Evening Post, and Kenneth Roberts, the writer who was on tour with Lorimer and had been writing a series of articles for the Post. I was asked there by Mr. Sperry because of the redwoods movement and because George Horace Lorimer was beginning to interest himself in publicizing the redwoods.
Kent had three sons and a daughter. His oldest son, William Jr., is a very good friend of ours, and, like his father, has been very helpful to conservation. They have been more than liberal in their dealings with the state on land that we bought from them on Tamalpais to supplement what the government has in Muir Woods. He's the same kind of a somewhat excitable, volatile individual that his father was.
The youngest of them, Roger Kent, is chairman of the Democratic Central Committee, while Bill is quite an arch-conservative Republican. And Tom, who was my closest friend, died about two years ago. He was quite active in the Marin Water District. He helped us a great deal in the early days in our land acquisition program, particularly as an appraiser. They were a fine family. The Kent family came, I believe, from Chicago. They're among well-to-do people of the nation who have taken very seriously their responsibility. They made investments out here. They have large ranches in Nevada as well as considerable property in Marin County. For many years, William Kent was a Republican, nominally at least, but he was a candidate really for both parties in that northern district, just as Congressman Lea was later on.
FRY: This was in the days of cross-filing.
DRURY: Yes, although Kent ran twice on the Independent ticket.
FRY: Who was Mr. Sperry?
DRURY: J. C. Sperry was a wonderful gentleman who belonged to the celebrated Sperry Mills family. His father, Jim Sperry, was an early inhabitant of the Mother Lode country. He lived in Murphys. He built the Murphys Hotel, which, incidentally, is still there. I'm going up the end of the week to Calaveras Grove and we're going to pioneer as roughly as we'd have to if we slept at the Murphys Hotel, but we're going to have our breakfast and dinner there, in the old-fashioned dining room. I guess it is over a hundred years old.
Anyway, Jim Sperry ran that hotel. He also owned the north and south Calaveras groves of big trees, back in the seventies. Then he sold the north grove to one lumber company, and the south grove to another. Many years later, we ransomed them and got them into the state park system.
J. C. Sperry was a man of broad tastes and interests; I think the fact that his father had once owned those two groves and had disposed of them sort of inspired him to put in the invaluable time and effort that he did on Save-the-Redwoods League. He was really the key man for a great many years, not only because of the voluntary work he did in the office, but because of his wide connections.
Also, contributions were made by various generous people including Edward E. Ayer of Chicago. In fact, one of my earliest recollections is traveling over the rather tortuous Redwood Highway with Mr. and Mrs. Ayer, who were then in their eighties. They had a Pierce-Arrow that was suspended on those air cushion shock
absorbers, and to travel all day long was almost like an ocean voyage before you got through. They were elderly people and they had the car windows all closed.
Those were the days when it took us a good day to get to Willits, which is about 150 miles north of San Francisco, and another good long day to get to Eureka. I frequently now fly in an hour and a half to Arcata and drive down or up into the redwood parks which lie on each side of that point, spend a full day in the woods, get an evening plane, and am back home by 8:30 in the evening. It then took a good long week up and back. Most of my work was traveling in those days.
So you see it became our task particularly to make the necessary contacts both with the organs of public opinion and with the individuals who were chosen to put up the money.
FRY: Did you start the memorial grove idea early in the twenties?
DRURY: Yes. I think later on I could give you a summary of the memorial groves, of which there are around two hundred. I have here the first report I got out for the Save-the-Redwoods League when I was executive secretary at the end of the year 1920. (1920 Annual Report, Save-the-Redwoods League, p. 8.) In that report, we told of the establishment of the Bolling Memorial Grove, which was one of the very first of these memorial groves on the south fork of the Eel River. The money to buy it was given by a Dr. John C. Phillips of Wenham, Massachusetts, in memory of Colonel Reynaud C. Bolling, who was the first American officer of high rank to fall in World War I. Of course
we then referred to it as the World War; we didn't know in 1920 that there would be two or three more world wars.
FRY: How was Mr. Phillips parted from his money?
DRURY: As in many cases, he was interested by people like Madison Grant, and probably also by Stephen T Mather.
So far as I know, Bolling Grove was not threatened with cutting, but it was such an outstanding grove that Dr. Phillips made it the obvious choice for the memorial. We have a book on Colonel Bolling which I would put in your hands if you like, because it tells the rather dramatic story of his war experience. And it's significant, I think, because Bolling Grove was really the first so-called memorial grove. We later had the Franklin K. Lane Grove established, and it was Mrs. James Hobart Moore of Santa Barbara who made that contribution. She was the widow of the former ambassador to England, I believe, James Hobart Moore, and later became Mrs. Laura J. Knight.
The appeal of the memorial grove idea carries on to the present day. Only last week, I had a call from a Mrs. Lincoln Ellsworth of New York who had been told that it would be a nice gesture if she would establish a memorial grove in honor of her late husband, Commander Lincoln Ellsworth, who was quite a noted explorer and who died about ten years ago. He once made a trip to the North Pole with Amundsen by plane. He was an aviator; he made a number of trips into Antarctica and claimed some of that country for the United States. Mrs. Ellsworth decided that she'd like to see some of these redwood groves, so we went up last week with some of the foresters from the state parks, and she
indicated her desire to establish this grove. That was primarily inspired by some friend in the East who probably was a member of the Save-the-Redwoods League, and by some of her friends who had already done the same thing.
FRY: You mentioned that one of your jobs when you took over was to maintain contact with the people who handled mass media, most of which was located in the East. I wondered how you managed that at the time.
DRURY: It was done mainly by correspondence, of course, and through travel plans of others we worked out the going back and forth. Dr. Merriam was one of those, and particularly Stephen T. Mather.
We had wonderful support also from the California press. The Hearst newspapers, right from their beginning, have always been strong advocates of conservation and historic preservation, and we had tremendous help from them. The same thing was true of the Los Angeles Times . Harry Chandler was a great friend of Stephen T. Mather. And it's quite significant that only last Tuesday, this being Thursday, I was in Los Angeles and completed the arrangements to establish a redwood memorial grove to be named after Harry Chandler, through the generosity of his son-in-law, Mr. John J. Garland. Mr. Garland was on the American Olympic committee that put on the winter games at Squaw Valley. He was quite surprised when I informed him that $9,000,000 of the money earmarked for parks had been taken to create the Squaw Valley establishment, of which Governor Brown has had $5,000,000 returned to the general fund. I told Mr. Garland that if that hadn't happened, perhaps we wouldn't have had to call on him to contribute for the
Harry Chandler Redwood Grove.
FRY: Do you imply, then, that Southern California and Northern California have been more or less united on this issue then, even at a time when they were beginning to be at loggerheads with each other over other issues?
DRURY: Yes. Right from the start, a good deal of the effective support was from the South.
Acquisition Processes and Problems; Humboldt County
FRY: Since one of the league's first objectives was acquiring land, and one of the first things that you acquired was the park that is now Humboldt State Park, I wonder if you could give us an example of just what and how much human effort was involved in acquiring land for that park.
DRURY: There was a great deal of effort involved, of course, and it comprised the combined efforts of a great many people. The initial holdings were acquired in 1920 along what is now U.S. Highway 101, the Redwood Highway, in Humboldt County. Our program was not dissimilar to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. There were many, many relatively small private holdings along this new highway, and we raised money and purchased them usually, as the saying is, just a jump ahead of the sheriff, or really just a jump ahead of the sawmills.
When I came into the active work of the Save-the-Redwoods League in 1919, we were in process of acquiring three properties along the highway, those known as the Vance Bottom, the Smith and Mains property,
and the Dunn and Dimmick property. Toward this, Stephen T. Mather and William Kent, who was then the congressman from the district, had contributed $30,000, and in addition, the county of Humboldt had appropriated an equal amount of money to match this, so that you can really ascribe to Mather and Kent the initial impulse toward the preservation of the redwoods.
FRY: Was there any special reason these tracts were the first to be acquired?
DRURY: The reason that these three properties, which comprised something over five hundred acres, were acquired first, was because it happened that--there being a good market for split redwood ties--what we call split operators were active on those three tracts. In other words, we had to devote our attention primarily to the immediate crises that had to be dealt with. So it became somewhat standard practice if any owner of red wood timber up there really wanted to make a sale, he'd send in some choppers and let them chop down one or two trees, whereupon he would come to the attention of the Save-the-Redwoods League and we'd try to raise the money to buy him out. I remember that was the case several years later when Mrs. Clara Gould of Santa Barbara gave us money for the Gould Grove.
The transactions on the Vance Bottom, Smith and Mains, Dunn and Dimmick properties were carried on largely locally by Mr. Arthur Connick and a gentleman named James Fraser, a contractor who was one of the pioneers of the local Save-the-Redwoods League. We owe both of them, particularly Mr. Connick, a vote of thanks for the way they helped hold the fort.
FRY: Mr. Connick knew these owners of the forest tracts because
they used his bank, I guess.
DRURY: Yes. I guess he knew the net worth of all of them, and he also had a very definite idea of the value or in those days, the lack of value--of redwood stumpage. Those were the days when it was a buyer's market. There was relatively little demand for it, so that although we paid, by modern standards, very moderate prices for the timber, most of the owners were very glad to sell to us. Many of them were genuinely glad also, that it was possible to preserve some of these virgin forests.
FRY: Wasn't there a very early legislative appropriation for redwoods acquisition?
DRURY: Yes. There was a $300,000 appropriation in 1921 by the legislature to supplement what the league had been doing when it acquired the Humboldt properties. Of course, the legislature in those days met only every two years, and I remember that William Kent, and either J. C. Sperry or Dr. Bade and I went to Sacramento and appeared before a legislative committee, with whom we had no great difficulty.
FRY: Could you tell us something of the make-up of that committee and what the hearing was like? Do you remember anything about it?
DRURY: To be honest with you, I don't remember very much about that particular hearing. There was quite a favorable sentiment in favor of saving the redwoods. We had received tremendous national publicity.
Later on, I had the pleasure of making quite a trip with Albert W. Atwood, who wrote a series of three
article for the Saturday Evening Post. Also, the American Museum of Natural History and several other organizations in the East through their publications had publicized the redwoods, and there was at that time a strong local sentiment in favor of saving the redwoods.
FRY: In this bill in 1921, wasn't there some support from organizations like women's clubs and the Native Sons of the Golden West?
DRURY: Yes; all of those. The California Federation of Women's Clubs were most effective, and of course the Native Sons and Native Daughters of the Golden West have always supported the Save-the-Redwoods movement and fraternal organizations like the Elks. The California State Automobile Association, as you'd expect, has always given support. All those, and others, joined behind the movement. In fact, I don't remember any opposition of any sort to the bill, except the hesitancy on the part of the governor to sign it for economy reasons. The difficulty came primarily in persuading the governor to sign the bill after it had been passed by the legislature. I remember the governor hemmed and hawed about it and said he was having difficulty balancing the budget, the state was growing, there was a need of economy.
FRY: I think California was experiencing an economic slump at that time.
DRURY: Yes, most everybody was, I guess. But anyhow, William Kent, who was usually a very even-tempered man, suddenly lost his temper. He had been in the congress with Governor Stephens and knew him quite well, and Kent
finally said, "Oh hell, Bill, if you can't get the money any other way, why don't you fire a few policemen or close the schools for a few days? This is something that can't wait." [Laughter]
But I am told that far more potent than our arguments with Governor Stephens were those of his wife, Mrs. Stephens, who was then prominent in the California Federation of Women's Clubs, and through that affiliation, her influence was brought to bear. In any event, the governor finally signed the bill. And the forestry board, largely through Solon Williams, did a splendid job of acquisition of several miles along the highway which gave us the nucleus of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Lumber Company Negotiations
FRY: I wonder if you could explain just how cooperative the lumber companies were with the Save-the-Redwoods League in the very early years. There's an interesting little item about the Hammond Lumber Company donating a very small grove. How did this happen?
DRURY: In general, the lumber companies were not antagonistic to the Save-the-Redwoods program. In general also, they felt that they should have a quid pro quo, that if this lumber were taken from them, we should pay the going market rate, with which we had no quarrel at all. There's never been any friction on that score. H. B. Hickey of the firm of Standish and Hickey, who owned a great deal of the land along the south fork of the Eel and from whom we bought thousands of acres, donated a piece on the highway as a memorial to his son.
The Hammond Lumber Company also had a relatively small parcel on this same highway on the south fork of the Eel which they donated to the state. In general, both of those concerns have always been very friendly to the state parks.
The largest of the operating companies up there was the Pacific Lumber Company, which had its establishment at Scotia. They were rather strongly opposed to the acquisition of any such large area as we had outlined in the vicinity of Dyerville; they felt also that if we acquired it from them, we should pay them not only the going rate for the redwood stumpage, but they should add an amount to amortize the investment they'd made in their operating plant--their mill and their yards and their railroad and equipment and all the rest of it. In other words, the prices they asked for the stumpage we wanted to buy from them were somewhat above what was considered the going market rate, although frankly, there wasn't much market for redwood in those days and there was absolutely none for fir. Until the thirties, we never paid for fir at all.
Well, the Pacific Lumber Company--and give them credit for being generous from their standpoint--offered to give a sizeable parcel, several hundred acres, in the South Dyerville Flat as a memorial to Simon J. Murphy, who was the head of the clan in Michigan. But they attached to it the restriction that the state and the Save-the-Redwoods League would refrain from agitating for the preservation of any of their remaining holdings
FRY: Which as I understand were very large in the Bull Creek
DRURY: Yes. Bull Creek Flat is unquestionably the greatest forest in the world. It's a continuous stretch of 1,000 acres for four miles up Bull Creek, which is just as level as the top of this table, a beautiful cathedral-like stand of redwood. They also owned extensive holdings in the Bull Creek watershed. It wasn't conceivable, even if the state and the Redwoods League had been willing to do it, that public opinion would have tolerated a compromise like that. So regretfully we had to say that we couldn't accept this gift, which amounted to many tens of thousands of dollars, because we had a larger objective. We wanted to continue negotiations with them.
Well, they didn't want to negotiate. So one day, we suddenly got word from the ladies up in Eureka, who had their own little local chapter of the Save-the-Redwoods League, that the Pacific Lumber Company was beginning to fell trees in the North Dyerville Flat, and they felt something ought to be done about it. I don't know to this day whether the Pacific Lumber Company was really starting a logging operation or whether they were just testing out the situation. Anyhow, that resulted in our getting legal counsel to work with us on it, and our appearing before the board of supervisors in Humboldt County. It fell to my lot to be the emissary of the redwoods league to ask the board of supervisors to file a condemnation and an injunction suit halting the cutting of the North Dyerville Flat, which we considered to be the prelude to the destruction of both the North and South Dyerville Plats, as well as the Bull Creek Flat.
That meeting of the board of supervisors was necessary because the State Board of Forestry didn't have any authority to condemn, and the league of course had no such authority either. But the county had.
We had a very stormy meeting in the court house before the board of supervisors at which attorneys for the lumber company appeared on one side, and I, not knowing what I was getting into, appeared on the other. I had the support of Albert W. Atwood, who was writing a series of articles for the Saturday Evening Post. That whole story is told rather completely in the old issues of the Humboldt Standard and Humboldt Times. The upshot of it was, however, that after considerable argumentation, we persuaded the board of supervisors to pass a resolution indicating their intent to condemn and enjoin the Pacific Lumber Company if they didn't cease cutting.
It became very complicated after that. The attorneys for the lumber company took it into the federal court, and they in turn got an injunction against our side, so it was a stalemate. But that was the prelude then to negotiations with the company which finally ended very amicably.
FRY: Your debating experience must have come in handy in the hearings.
DRURY: Yes, both in the courts and before the board of supervisors. Well, I was given more than my share of credit by Atwood and others for the effect of my eloquence on the supervisors. I knew that public opinion locally was behind us, so that I didn't have any illusions about that. Anyhow, it is described somewhat humorosly
in these local papers.
One episode involved very definitely my brother Aubrey Drury. At a certain point in the hearings, the attorneys for the lumber company said, "Well, here comes the Save-the-Redwoods League asking our client to cease and desist from using their own property, and they haven't indicated that they have any money to buy them out. They just have a circular to that effect." There I was all by myself, and in the hallway during one of our recesses, I remember that a Mr. Henry Brizzard, who was a merchant up there and a great friend of Duncan MacDuffie's, who came to me and said, "Now, you've got to do something to offset the effect of this argument that you don't have any money."
Well, it happened that Mr. Rockefeller had given us a million dollars. That was deposited in the Crocker National Bank in San Francisco. But we had never divulged the amount of his gift. So I hastily got on the long distance phone and called Aubrey, and we arranged that he would go around and get three bankers in San Francisco: Mr. William H. Crocker, who was president of the bank where our money was deposited; Mr. J. D. Grant, then vice-president of the Redwoods League and the director of a half a dozen banks; and Mr. J. P. Sperry, who was quite prominent in financial affairs, and one of our most active people in the league.
I went back into the meeting in the afternoon, hadn't heard anything from San Francisco. The hearings began; I got more and more anxious. Suddenly, there appeared and wove his way through the crowd a Western Union messenger. In those days they wore uniforms that were more prominent--
FRY: Yes, very dramatic.
DRURY: He came up to the front where I was sitting in the jury box and handed me a telegram which I silently read and folded and put into my pocket. A few minutes later, another messenger came in with another telegram. It happened three times, and each time I just glanced at it and put it away. I was in a prominent position where everybody could see what I was doing. Finally, when
there was a pause, I asked the chairman of the board of supervisors if I could read these telegrams. By that time, everybody was very curious to know what they were. So I read them, and they all corroborated the fact that we had a sum of money in the neighborhood of $750,000--as a matter of fact, we had a million. And you could have heard a pin drop. [laughter] Shortly after that, the supervisors passed the resolution to condemn the Pacific Lumber Company property. You can credit Mr. Rockefeller and the San Francisco bankers.
FRY: And a brother.
DRURY: And Aubrey for having influenced by telegram the board of supervisors. They not only were going to enjoin, but they declared their intention to condemn the property.
FRY: Was Mr. Connick able to do any work personally? Did he know any of the people in the Pacific Lumber Company?
DRURY: Yes. That was a great asset to us, too. He knew most of these people by their first names.
One of the episodes of this Pacific Lumber Company incident following this meeting of the board of supervisors
was that there was a terrific storm and there were washouts on the railroad, so we couldn't get anywhere south of Scotia, which was the headquarters of the Pacific Lumber Company. I'll always remember how gracious the president of the Pacific Lumber Company was. We had to put up at their hotel, and they asked us over for dinner, and we had a wonderful dinner together. It was very greatly to their credit because they had taken quite a beating at the hearings before hand, and much to our embarrassment, we had to be their guests immediately afterward. Mr. John H. Emmert, who was the president of the lumber company, was particularly friendly. So that partly as a result of our getting marooned there, we got together and they offered to resume negotiations, and we ultimately acquired the property and established the nucleus of what is now the Rockefeller Forest.
Mr. Rockefeller later on made a trip up there, which is also described in one of these papers, and following that, he promised us another million if we could raise a million privately. This we did.
Comments on Condemnation
FRY: There was a Rosenshine bill that went before the legislature, and I wonder if you could tell me if this had any effect. It was Assembly Bill 106, passed in 1923, "to allow acquisition by right of eminent domain of timberlands for park purposes." Now, this really gave you an ace up your sleeve in your acquisition dealings, didn't it?
DRURY: I'm ashamed to say I don't remember if it was passed. I think I wrote the bill. [Laughter]
This was in the days of the state forestry board, whose authority to acquire by eminent domain was considered doubtful, and it was undoubtedly because of that that the Rosenshine bill was introduced. I remember Al Rosenshine very well. He was an alumnus of the University of California of one of the earlier classes, '06 or '07 or maybe before that. He was a regent of the University, a very wonderful gentleman. And I do remember now his introducing this bill which invested the State Board of Forestry with the right of eminent domain.
So far as I know, the forestry board never had to use that authority in acquiring land for parks. After we created the State Park Commission by legislation in 1927, there were a few, but relatively few, cases where we finally had to resort to condemnation proceedings. But it strengthened the hand of the state forestry board, which was then administering the state parks, to have this authority. The episode in connection with the Pacific Lumber Company that I spoke of before involved getting the county of Humboldt to acquire the properties by eminent domain. There was no question under the statutes as to the right of the county board of supervisors to condemn for public purposes.
But when in '27 we drafted the State Park Act, we saw to it that the right of eminent domain was included. Just a week ago today, I was up in Sacramento and I was confronted in some hearings up there with a stipulation
that I was subpoenaed to make on a condemnation suit, with a change in the law which I knew but of whose significance I wasn't quite aware. Apparently, the last legislature passed an act which modified the right of the State Park Commission to condemn. Hitherto, the law stated that the conclusion of the State Park Commission was sufficient evidence that the property was necessary.
FRY: What further evidence now is needed?
DRURY: You now have to produce evidence that would enable the judge or persuade him to decide that the property was desirable and necessary for park purposes, which is a somewhat difficult thing for him to do.
FRY: That would almost depend on the judge's viewpoint.
DRURY: Well, it might depend somewhat on that. It depends on the character of the evidence that you present. Recently in a case involving a seacoast park, the attorney for the defendant who didn't want to sell or have his property taken by eminent domain, contended that there was other property that was more desirable for park purposes, and, since the state had only a certain amount of money, they ought to take that first. That was the question to which I had to address myself in my testimony.
FRY: California law on eminent domain seems to be a little different from some of the other states. I was reading the other day that every time New York wants property for park purposes, they simply declare it as under eminent domain.
DRURY: They have what's known as the "declaration of taking." That, in California law, is the authority possessed by
the State Highway Commission. The highway commission, after negotiation--or even before, I imagine--can simply file a declaration of taking with the court, and the court signs an order turning the land over to them, the value to be adjudicated and paid for later on through legal proceedings.
We never had that authority. I always contended that we shouldn't have that authority. You can see why in the case of a highway or other public works, it wouldn't be fair to the public interest to allow any one owner to hold up indefinitely a total project. The appropriations might lapse. The cost of construction would go up. And anyhow, the proper body, whether it be the legislature that appropriated the money or some administrative agency, has determined that it is in the public interest to acquire this property, so that it seems not unreasonable that the Division of Highways should have this right after a proper negotiation which they usually undertake. In the old days, they had the reputation of being pretty high-handed, but by and large, I think that owners of property taken for highway purposes are pretty well satisfied. Of course, for dramatic effect, they always pretend to be out and injured. That doesn't tend to depress the value that the court or the jury puts on their property.
But coming back to condemnation for park purposes, in my opinion, while parks are extremely important and while I believe that the right of eminent domain should be unrestricted, I think it should come only after full judicial proceedings and the introduction of evidence, and giving the owner of the property his full day in
court, partly because I don't think it's quite as urgent as in the case of building public works, and also, because from a public relations standpoint, it's almost ruinous to establish an institution like a state park and be surrounded by the ill will of the local inhabitants. I always asked our representatives to exercise infinite patience. Sometimes they'd go ten to twenty times to see an owner, and while some of them were accused of throwing their weight around, I think in general, they were pretty diplomatic in their dealings. And it's surprising how relatively few of the acquisitions needed to be acquired in the end by eminent domain. I'd say not five percent of our purchases in the early days under the original bond issue had to be made through the courts.
Cruising and Appraising, Enoch Percy French
FRY: Once the supervisors acted to condemn the property, were you ever able to make use of someone who lived in the community to help guide you in this business of getting a land appraisal?
DRURY: Yes, we usually did that in the old days. In the state parks later on, we usually used one local appraiser and perhaps two from outside who were disinterested but who understood the values and understood the methods of gathering the information of comparative sales.
FRY: Was Mr. Connick out there right from the beginning?
DRURY: Mr. Connick, yes, was in Eureka as president of the First National Bank about the time when the Save-the-Redwoods League was formed. Because of his knowledge of the local conditions and also because of the fact that he was interested in seeing the redwoods forests preserved, as was Mrs. Connick, he was invaluable in helping get all of us started in the process of buying up the timber. He was a very shrewd trader himself and he liked to bargain; and he carried on many of the transactions. He was quite active in the dealings with the Pacific Lumber Company.
FRY: Mr. Connick was telling me that for one particular cruiser, the Pacific Lumber Company and everybody else usually had a gentleman's agreement that whatever he estimated, they would cut 15 per cent off because he always estimated high, while another one was known to estimate rather accurately, so, frequently more than one cruising was required.
DRURY: Frequently in a large deal, the services of several timber cruisers were used. The cruiser that Mr. Connick undoubtedly had in mind, whose accuracy was relied upon by all, buyers or sellers, was Mr. Enoch P. French, "Percy" French, as we called him. Mr. French is a state-of-Mainer, six feet two or three. He's now approaching 80. He's straight as a ramrod, and, although the hills are getting steeper for him, he now and then goes out and cruises timber. As a matter of fact, he's making a report for us right now by using some slightly younger men of 50 or 60 to do some of the heavy work. [Laughter]
FRY: But the league used him a great deal then?
DRURY: That was where we first got acquainted with him. He cruised most of the timber up there in the redwood region for a number of concerns, particularly the Sage Land and Improvement Company, who sold us a great deal of the timber in both the Humboldt redwoods and the Prairie Creek State Park. I met Percy French first in 1919, when my brother Aubrey and I and Mr. J. C. Sperry made a trip up there. Over the years, I worked very closely with Percy French. Although I was about ten years younger than he was, even in my youth I had great difficulty keeping up with him.
The other timber cruiser that Mr. Connick referred to I wouldn't know. I do remember that in connection with the Pacific Lumber Company timber, they furnished us with a cruiser by a man named Herman Gutsch. But they also told us, and I guess that they had records to support it, that their experience in cutting lumber from the forest that Gutsch had cruised indicated that you should add 40 per cent to his cruise in order to get a true figure. Well, Dr. Merriam and some of the others took the position that any estimate or cruise that had to be increased by 40 per cent wasn't much of a cruise. The answer to that was that this was made for taxation purposes. It wasn't a "selling cruise." However, Gutsch in general was reputed to be a very capable cruiser.
We ended up by having French check the Gutsch cruise. I've forgotten how it came out, but I know that Gutsch was way low.
FRY: Do you have to pay higher prices now per tree because of the advent of plywood and other products which enable
the lumber companies to make use of so much more of the tree?
DRURY: That applies particularly to Douglas fir, which as you know is an associated species with the redwoods. There are Douglas firs that they call peeler logs, logs that they can put on the apparatus in the mills and peel in a circular way, to make the veneer for plywood.
FRY: You have to buy these along with the--
DRURY: Well, yes, whatever the stumpage is worth, we have to pay for it. That is done not by the timber cruiser but by the appraiser, although the cruiser does classify, for instance, such trees that are valuable as peeler logs and such trees that could be used simply to make piling or ordinary lumber. Those factors all enter into it. That's a science in itself, and you could get somebody from the School of Forestry who could give you a much more detailed account. I think you've already talked to Professor Emmanuel Fritz.
FRY: I didn't talk to him about this. Could you tell what the Save-the-Redwoods League did once you received an estimate from a cruiser? Where did the appraiser come in?
DRURY: Then we would get someone who was conversant with the market, the buying and selling of redwood logs and redwood lumber, and get his appraisal in the light of comparable transactions.
FRY: In effect, what Major David T. Mason did in his report was an appraisal of the holdings of the Pacific Lumber Company?
DRURY: He tried to gather together all the facts as to the amount of stumpage in the forests, the study of the timber cruises, which of course never reflect with extreme accuracy the amount of timber. They're simply an estimate. He studied comparative transactions for the sale of comparable stumpage, or he applied a differential to allow for differences in accessibility or what they call the logging chance: the ease or difficulty of felling the trees and getting sound logs out of them, and factors of that sort.
Major Mason was a former member of the U.S. Forest Service and later professor at the University of California in forestry, where I first met him. At the time of our dealings with the Pacific Lumber Company, he had set up as a private consultant. Somehow or other, it came about that when he did make the study, he made it jointly for both the Pacific Lumber Company and the Save-the-Redwoods League, both having confidence in Major Mason. His field was the utilization of timber products, methods of logging, and so forth, although he was quite versed in other matters, particularly reforestation.
Major Mason studied for several months and then he rendered a report, a copy of which is available in the files of the league. I must confess that at the time, we were not entirely happy with his report because it assigned stumpage values that we thought were excessive. However, in the light of our experience in later years, they were moderate indeed. It took a long time for Major Mason's predictions as to the enhancement of stumpage values to materialize,
but at the present time with our recent purchases, we are paying considerably more than he ever dreamt that redwood stumpage would go to.
By and large, although then we thought his valuation was too high, and while as a matter of fact in our settlement with the Pacific Lumber Company we did not pay as much as he had concluded was the value, in general, the predictions he made as to the rise in the value of timber have come about, and then some. He drew an analogy between the present redwood region and the forests of Michigan in the early days (I think he was a graduate of the University of Michigan) where suddenly towards the end of the supply of virgin forest, stumpage values took a tremendous increase. I believe he spoke of white pine selling for as high as $40 a thousand, but we have paid as high as $60 a thousand for redwood, so it's hard to view those things in perspective.
Major Mason was a very fine courtly gentleman and quite a diplomat, and undoubtedly his mediation helped in bringing the Save-the-Redwoods League and the Pacific Lumber Company together.
Aubrey Drury in the 1920's and '30's
FRY: After the formation of the Save-the-Redwoods League, did Aubrey have an official position in the league?
DRURY: Not an official position, but all through the affairs of the Save-the-Redwoods League and related organizations, like the California State Parks Council and the Point Lobos League, Aubrey Drury participated in
the programming and in many cases in the carrying out of the publicity and other work.
The greater part of the routine and the campaigning of the Save-the-Redwoods League fell on my shoulders, with advice from Aubrey, partly because he was very busily engaged at that time in other programs.
Metric System Campaign
DRURY: I've already mentioned the metric system campaign which he carried on very effectively. Just recently, his files on that campaign, which was well-nigh world-wide, have been sent to the weights and measures section of the library of Columbia University, who expressed themselves as being very eager to have these papers. Some of them show surprisingly wide support through the United States in the twenties and early thirties of the conversion of our weights and measures to the metric system; and surprisingly, that idea is still abroad. Papers like the San Francisco Chronicle within the last year have run editorials advocating the gradual take-over by the metric system.
Among these papers are some that I think may prove valuable as mementoes. For instance, he had letters from General Pershing, from Thomas A. Edison, Luther Burbank, and men of that type who in the early twenties were in the public eye. There are two or three transfer cases of files of correspondence all over the world, and documents, arguments that were presented before congressional committees, publications, that sort of thing. While the campaign did not succeed
so far as the United States is concerned, it did generate a tremendous amount of interest internationally. Whether it's simply a question of post hoc, I don't know, but during the period of this campaign, ten or twelve other nations, seeing the interest in the metric system in the United States, went over to the metric weights and measures.
It was defeated in Congress, or rather it never came to a head in Congress because of various circumstances. The main opposition was from the tool industry, the tap and dye makers who make the gauges from which manufacturing tools are made. They were able to persuade the congressional committees that it would lead to tremendous scrapping of existing plants and tremendous costs.
FRY: Who were the main supporters of the metric system?
DRURY: Congressman Fred Britton of Illinois introduced a measure known as House Resolution Number 10 which called for the gradual adoption by the United States of the metric weights and measures. This was a campaign that was financed by fairly widespread contributions but the primary contributor was a very interesting gentleman who was a retired textile manufacturer from Bayonne, New Jersey. His name was Albert Herbert. He was the principal stockholder for many years and I think president of the firm known as Everlastic, Incorporated, which was one of the first textile firms to introduce rubber into fabric. When Aubrey and I knew him--and Aubrey was much more closely associated with him than I--Mr. Herbert was
pretty close to eighty years of age, still very vigorous, and carried on a correspondence with people that he knew in many parts of the world. For a while, he very lavishly supported this campaign. It made a dent in the consciousness, not only of the United States, but of other countries as well.
It's a small thing and probably of no consequence, but one dramatic phase of the campaign was this. We had a young man named W. Mortimer Crocker, who was our legislative representative in Washington, D.C. He appeared at the legislative hearings and called on the congressmen who seemed to be making considerable progress toward bringing the House Resolution Number 10 to a hearing. One morning, we read in the paper that there had been an accident in a motion picture theater in Washington where the weight of the snow had caused the roof to cave in. Within an hour, we got a wire saying that W. Mortimer Crocker and his wife, who had just been married, were in that theater. She was unhurt, but he was killed by a piece of falling concrete. So we always felt that we lost momentum in that campaign because of his dropping out of it. He was our chief lobbyist and it was just fate that it happened as it did.
I notice that Professor Teller of the University and a great many others are reviving the metric system.
FRY: Medical research and all the exact sciences are measured metrically now, so perhaps the impression made way back in the twenties will have some effect in the future, with the aid of the sciences.
Educational Institution Accounts
DRURY: Another type of account in which Aubrey was involved was educational publicity and advertising. He carried for years the advertising campaign of Tamalpais School in Marin County, and there were several other educational institutions whose advertising and publicity the Drury Company carried on.
FRY: Were these mostly West Coast schools?
DRURY: Yes, they were all West Coast schools. For some years, the Drury Company acted as public relations advisors to the University of California. We helped compile some of the annual reports and carried on quite a campaign of informative publicity about the University. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, the University Explorer radio program, which is now a long-time institution with the University, was started during the time when we were the advisors to the president and the administrative staff of the University. Dr. Sproul was president at that time.
FRY: How did you fit in with his regular public relations man?
DRURY: My recollection is that George Pettitt, who was then assistant to the president, gradually took over as public relations man. When we started on that, we worked with George.
Some of the things that Aubrey was active in were not University affairs exactly, but they related to the University. There's quite a file, I know, on the work of what they called the State-wide Committee on Higher Education, of which Aubrey was the executive
officer. If I recollect rightly, the purpose of that committee was to try to stave off the establishment of branches of the University in different parts of the state. When I was secretary to Benjamin Ide Wheeler, he always opposed not only widespread branches of the University, but the move to a branch in Los Angeles! He did all he could to prevent it because he had the theory, in which frankly I still sympathize, that the University should be a unique institution. Of course, time and changing concepts have surely altered the whole character of the University of California as an institution of higher learning. Who's to say whether it's for the better or not?
FRY: This State-wide Committee on Higher Education is not to be confused with the function of the current committee which is constructing a master plan of higher education for the various institutions of the state.
DRURY: Oh no, not in the slightest degree, but it had the same title in the thirties and it carried on informative publicity about the University's purposes. As I say, one of its objectives was to avoid the duplication of the University plant elsewhere.
FRY: Was this publicity aimed at the alumni?
DRURY: Working through the alumni and the general public and through organizations of one sort or another, using all of the established techniques of publicity.
FRY: Was this also under Sproul?
DRURY: I think it started before Dr. Sproul's time.
FRY: I think Campbell had this idea, too.
DRURY: Yes, I'm sure Dr. Campbell was a conservative like
Benjamin Ide Wheeler on that subject. I'll see if I can't locate some of the old files and refresh my memory as to just what the purpose of this campaign was
(Files on deposit in The Bancroft Library.)
FRY: Was Aubrey the first to use radio and incorporate it into advertising campaigns?
DRURY: I know that he used it early in the game. In fact, one of Aubrey's many jobs as a student and a young graduate of the University was at the Panama Pacific International Exposition when they first introduced transcontinental telephone service. He had charge of the exhibit of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company at the 1915 Exposition, and gave lectures on the then-new institution of transcontinental telephone service, and then would invite the people to talk to someone in the East. In that way, they got the institution well known. It's taken as an everyday thing today, but it was quite a curiosity then.
Aubrey was just out of college. His work was primarily editorial those first few years.
FRY: But in the twenties, working with the Save-the-Redwoods League and the other accounts of your advertising agency, I gather he did much more than editorial work.
DRURY: Oh, yes.
FRY: Did he handle entire campaigns?
DRURY: He had a very definite part in the councils of the league and these other groups. He was at one time secretary of the Point Lobos League, which was formed by Mrs. Robert Hunter in San Francisco for the purpose of furthering the interests of Point Lobos which later did become a state park.
FRY: By this time, you were a family man, and Aubrey was not. I was wondering if because of that, he did a great deal of the spadework in the clubs around the state and things like that?
DRURY: No, Aubrey was more an office man than he was a field man. He did most of his effective work from his central station in his office.
FRY: How was Aubrey in making contacts with influential and important people who could help?
DRURY: Oh, he was very effective in that way, and as was evidenced later on when he became secretary of the Save-the -Redwoods League when I went to Washington in 1940, he very effectively won the friendship and support of very important people.
I remember one case of Mr. James Irvine, the multi-millionaire who at one time was supposed to have owned about half of Orange County--the big Irvine ranch down there. For many years, I had tried to get an audience with Mr. Irvine on behalf of the Save-the-Redwoods League, but had never been able to do so. It happened we had a good friend, Mr. C. F. Krauss, who had contributed to the Save-the-Redwoods League, had been very generous with it, and it developed
that Mr. Krauss was a brother-in-law of Mr. Irvine, and through him and his friendship for Aubrey, Aubrey got to talk to Irvine. Before they were through, Mr. Irvine had made very substantial gifts to the Save-the-Redwoods League, particularly in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
Aubrey had a faculty for inducing confidence. He was quiet and unassuming, and he was so definitely and obviously selfless that there's no question that many of these monied people were more inclined to contribute through him than they would be through anyone else. He was very unworldly as far as money was concerned, both his and other people's, and they recognized that he was utterly unselfish and wasn't "on the make" in any way. The consequence is that during the twenty years that he was secretary of the league, they built up several million dollars of private contributions in addition to what the state did.
FRY: Did Aubrey have a hobby besides something directly related to the Saving-the-Redwoods or other agency accounts?
DRURY: Aubrey's primary hobby was books and their many aspects. He had a large library which is now being catalogued by Mr. John Swingle, who used to be with John Howell Bookstore and now is running his own concern, the Alta California Bookstore. Aubrey got a lot of pleasure in browsing in old bookstores, and he accumulated a terrific tonnage of books as a consequence. He has
some very interesting old Californiana still in his library, and his family wants to try to keep it intact. Some of his materials I've already given to the Bancroft Library and expect to send a lot more of them as time goes on.
He had very broad interests in many things, and in his youth he was quite an athlete. He played baseball. He even did some boxing. But in his latter years, he was more of an indoor athlete and did those things as most of us do--vicariously. But he was an expert on baseball and interested in all sports. He wasn't a hunter or a fisherman. In his latter years, he did very little hiking, although even after he'd had surgery on his two feet, I remember we made one trip to the Calaveras South Grove where it was necessary to walk several miles, and he seemed to do it without any great difficulty because he was determined to do it.
He had a great many fields of study in which he was interested. You might call them hobbies, but they were really more than that. He was quite well versed in genealogy, for instance, and belonged to half a dozen of these societies that look up each other's pedigrees. He left quite a body of material like that.
He was in the process of compiling a dictionary of Americanisms. In that work, he had a great deal of material. He had had a great deal more material which was burnt in the Berkeley fire in 1924 when the family home burnt up. But he set right about reconstructing the dictionary, and I'd say he was
about a third of the way through before he died; that material will be put in the hands of somebody who can carry it on.
One interesting aspect of that study was his constant purchase of hundreds upon hundreds of these pulp paper Westerns and stories of that sort, which he bought partly to read but primarily to go through and mark the Americanisms that were used in them. We had to dispose of several hundred of those. [Laughter] But it's interesting that he used that material, and a great many clippings from magazines and papers. He was quite scientific in his running down of colloquial expressions that were characteristic of American English rather than English generally.
FRY: Did he go around to bars and restaurants and just listen to the conversations in the various parts of the country?
DRURY: Oh, yes. He followed all the accepted practices of the philologist.
He was, of course, primarily interested in history and took quite a part in building up the California Historical Society. A great many of these things that Aubrey did he did just as a labor of love. That was one of them.
FRY: He never did it halfway, did he?
DRURY: No. He was always very effective. Mr. Walter Starr in the little biography he wrote of Aubrey said he felt he kept the California Historical Society on the map during the difficult years of the war.
He was quite a student of military tactics, too. In his library he had quite a few of the standard works on the great battles of the world.
FRY: How did he get into that interest?
DRURY: As a boy reading history. He was very well-rounded in his interests. He was interested in music, but not technically. I'd say if there was one thing that was his primary concern, it was history, and then of course in his latter years, conservation.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE PARK SYSTEM
Composition of the Bond Issue Bill -- A critique by Hindsight
FRY: I believe three acts were passed by the legislature in 1927 to set up the state parks, and in the following year, the bond issue appeared on the ballot as the referendum for a constitutional amendment, "Amendment 4".
DRURY: Yes. Previously, under Governor Richardson in 1925, two state park bills had passed the legislature, but were vetoed by the governor. When Clement Calhoun Young, an alumnus of the University, was elected governor, we were in the happy position of his having been a partner of Duncan MacDuffie, one of the principal pioneers in the Save-the-Redwoods League and in his own right, a believer in park conservation. With the blessing of Governor Young, we drafted the three park bills: the first to create a commission of five members who would establish policies and determine park personnel positions, adopt rules and regulations and in general determine the character and extent of the state park system; second, the bill to
authorize a $6,000,000 bond issue referendum; and third, the state park survey bill.
FRY: Why a bond issue rather than tax money?
DRURY: Well, in those days when public officials talked about economy they meant what they said, and it wasn't conceivable that any appropriation approaching $6,000,000 would be made even over a period of years. These were, if I remember rightly, bonds that matured over a thirty year period, and that was the reason--the state had only a short time before passed what seemed to them a gargantuan highway bond issue. Furthermore, the University of California had succeeded in 1914 in getting an initial bond issue in what today would be considered a very moderate amount, $1,800,000. When we came to drafting this bond issue for the state parks, we started with the University of California Bond Issue Act and adapted it for state park purposes. Attorney John N. Calkins and I worked on it. He was the attorney for the regents of the University of California.
On the insistence of Governor Young and Director of Finance Alexander M. Heron, we put in the proviso that no state money should be spent unless matched with gifts, either from private or other governmental sources, of land or money. Now, that phase of the act had its good points in that it was easier to pass an act on the basis that if you voted $6,000,000 in bonds you'd get $12,000,000 worth of property.
But it had its shortcomings, as we found many years later, in that there were certain parts of the state that had no friends who could put up matching money or matching lands, so that our program became
somewhat unbalanced. In the redwoods, we were able to get matching grants, and up to the limit of what the park commission felt they should spend out of this original $6,000,000 within a relatively few years the Save-the-Redwoods League matched state funds. In acquiring beaches in the South, there was practically no cash money contributed for matching, but counties like Los Angeles and San Diego and Santa Cruz and Monterey conveyed land that they owned, and under provisions of the act that was counted as a matching credit, so that the beach program and the redwoods program, which were the main issues on which we campaigned for the bonds, were carried out rather satisfactorily. There are other phases of the park program that unfortunately lag, particularly in the mountain counties where there were very important areas that should be acquired. That was true along the Sacramento River. One of the great tragedies in California is that practically none of the river banks in California, except a few relatively small parks that have been established just lately, are assured of preservation. In fact, the whole process of flood control along river banks almost required--at least in the minds of the U.S. Corps of Engineers--that they cut all trees and remove all foliage, for various reasons. One of these points was that in times of flood, these trees are apt to provide leverage for crevices that will cause bank erosion. Another is that this cover is the habitat of burrowing mammals like rodents--gophers, squirrels, badgers and beavers, and so forth. So there haven't been any adequate
areas set aside along the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. There have been a few on both of them, but nothing on a basis adequate to represent that phase of the California scene, which is too bad.
Another thing that the lack of matching money kept us from doing was preserving some of the most typical stands both of the coast and the valley oaks and the California sycamore, the western sycamore, and some of the other native trees which are rapidly disappearing. All of this country had magnificent coast oak forests in the early days. Some of Berkeley still has. Now you hear the city of Oakland named and you wonder how it got its name. Even more so with the valley oaks. Take down around Merced and Visalia. Steadily, with the increase of agriculture and subdivisions, these very characteristic trees have disappeared. One of the great tragedies, it seems to me, is the disappearance on El Camino Real of the oaks which used to be very widely distributed between San Francisco and Palo Alto. The whole county was beautifully forested fifty years ago, and now, as my friend Frederick Law Olmsted says, some of it's pretty close to becoming rural slums.
FRY: Was the matching money not available unless the bond issue passed? In other words, was this provision of matching private money contingent on the bond issue passing?
DRURY: Oh, yes; although there were later appropriations from the general fund and from the oil royalty fund that also contained the matching principle. The matching principle as expressed in the State Park Bond
Act after we passed it, required something pretty close to a Philadelphia lawyer to follow all of its intricacies. I remember we sat for days and worked it out so that we thought it was explicit. But when it came to putting it into effect, there were many, many questions and some of the deputy attorney generals were very vague as to how you could apply the matching principle under the language of the act, particularly when gifts of land were made. Again and again we had situations where even the attorneys thought that the land donated took the place of money in buying other land. Well, obviously it couldn't. So when we went ahead with a $100,000 project, which required the cash expenditure of $100,000, again and again people would insist that if they put up land that was worth $50,000, we ought to be able to release $100,000 to buy the property. It doesn't work that way. We could release only $50,000. It got so that some of us felt a little like the Delphic Oracle when they came to us and wanted to know what they had to do in order to make this act work and get $100,000 out of it when they had an admixture of lands and money. As you can see, my explanation here is just about as unclear as the act was.
We did make it work, however. And just before I left California to go to Washington in 1940, I think we got authorization to sell the last unit of bonds. It was the period between 1928 and 1940.
FRY: Did you ever convert land into money for purchases?
DRURY: No, the state never did that. The Save-the-Redwoods League in effect did that. Once the state gets title
to a piece of land, the only way they can divest themselves of that title is through an act of the legislature. And I personally think (and some of the lawyers don't agree with me) that in the case of the lands we bought with this state park bond issue, which was a constitutional amendment, the state could not divest itself of title to those lands without a vote of the people.
FRY: Was this why the act was made a constitutional amendment?
DRURY: I frankly don't know for sure. It was passed by the legislature as a constitutional amendment, I guess, primarily so that you could get a referendum to the people. Under the law at that time, it did not require a two-thirds vote by the electorate, it required a majority vote. It required two-thirds vote in the legislature and was so passed. It seemed to be the fashion in those days to make almost the simplest piece of legislation a constitutional amendment. That's why the Constitution of the State of California has been criticized pretty severely as patchwork. The University is protected by a constitutional Amendment. The Division of Highways, which is practically a law to itself, is also under the constitution more or less independent of the regular authorities and other divisions of the state.
And I guess it was following that kind of precedent that those who introduced the bill decided to make it a constitutional amendment.
FRY: I wonder if there was any particular event or maybe purchase that prompted the amendment in 1931 of the
Park Act to exclude the words "outside the limits of incorporated cities" from the definition of land that you could purchase?
DRURY: Yes; that to some degree was due, I imagine, to the need for matching and the availability of land in cities like Santa Monica and Los Angeles for that purpose. The fact of the matter--and I know because I was in on the drafting of the original State Park Act is that that amendment shouldn't have been necessary if, first, the stenographers who copied the last version of the act had been a little more careful in their punctuation; and second, if those of us who had proofread it had been a little more alert. The omission of the comma before the phrase "outside the limits of incorporated cities" resulted in an ambiguity in the act that really called for that amendment.
FRY: So this wasn't a difference in philosophy then, that the land inside cities should be developed by the cities?
DRURY: No. Well... I don't know. Maybe the philosophy that we started with was more one of considering that state parks should be outside incorporated cities and that the cities should take care of their own recreation. But there came up numerous cases where it was necessary to establish parks within the limits of incorporated cities. This was reinforced by the fact that the matching lands were more readily obtainable in the cities.
Support and Opposition in the Legislature
FRY: At that time, there were certain patterns of interest
represented in the legislature which were stronger than the party system within the state. Which interests gave you support and which ones opposed the state park bills as they went through?
DRURY: I have no recollection of any group representing industry that offered any concerted opposition to the program.
The bills were introduced by Senator Arthur H. Breed, who was a leader in the legislature. He was a member of the Sierra Club and associated with men of the type of Duncan McDuffie and C. C. Young, the governor. His sponsorship of the bills was important. He also was the principal sponsor of the highway bills that had been passed up to that time, and I think that was one of the things that gave prestige to the park program, as Senator Breed did tremendously effective work with the legislature on bills. The Californian State Auto Association, of which he was a director, supported him whole-heartedly. All of that, I think, made for this success.
FRY: Were there any other people besides Breed that you'd like to mention in connection with passage of the bill?
DRURY: There were quite a few members of the legislature who were very helpful. Mr. Breed dominated the scene, however. We had splendid help from the then State Board of Control. Mr. Radcliff, a former newspaper publisher from Watsonville, was a member of the State Board of Control. I think he was the chairman. Unquestionably the work of his staff in some of the fiscal work we had to do in marshalling our figures was extremely helpful. Assemblyman Biggar of Mendocino
County was one of the very active members of the Assembly. If you would like a list of those, and I'm sure that the file that I have already given you or the file I could get hold of would show them.
FRY: It might be interesting for future historians.(See appendix.) What about the legislators who were more or less representatives of oil, mining, or lumbering industries or who felt pressure from them? Did you have trouble with them?
DRURY: Not so much because we were not as industry-conscious in those days as we are now. California had a much simpler economy. As far as beach lands were concerned, there was relatively little, if any, drilling for oil on the tidelands in those days, and the value of the underlying oil deposit was undreamed of so that there was little opposition on that score. But I'm not conscious, coming back to your original question, of any concerted opposition on the part of even the lumber industry in the legislature.
FRY: Well, I did notice that about ten years later, the oil and gas industries tried to get a bill through which allowed mining and drilling in the parks for minerals if it was decided that they would be of more value this way than as parks. I wanted to ask you, in view of that, if in your 1927 campaign you didn't have some opposition from oil and gas people. And perhaps public utilities too?
DRURY: Surprisingly little. It wasn't automatic, of course. It involved getting the support of influential groups like the state Chamber of Commerce who represented the industrial and financial interests of the state, and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. We had wholehearted support from the Hearst newspapers and also from Mr. Harry Chandler of the Los Angeles Times, who
was very park-minded.
We did encounter occasional opposition, of course. I was just this morning going over some papers that had accumulated and I found an old fact-finding report of a senate committee in 1933 which didn't represent the attitude of the whole legislature, I'm glad to say. This report gave us very short shrift so far as the newly-formed Division of Beaches and Parks--it was then called the Division of Parks--was concerned. The conclusion of this committee, which of course was frankly a committee to effect economy in state government, was that no undue stress should be placed upon parks and recreation because they stated explicitly that they felt that probably this was the least important phase of state government. So they recommended that the biennial budget--budgets then were made up for two years--be reduced from $227,000 to $100,000 for the biennium. In the next-to-last year of my tenure as chief of the Division of Beaches and Parks in 1958, we had appropriations of almost $50,000,000, of which $41,000,000 was for the purchase of land.
Another thing this committee said was that while it was intended to make the state parks self-supporting, perhaps this could not be done right away. [Laughter]
Chief DeTurk told me his last operating budget in Sacramento was just a little short of $10,000,000, of which about $1,000,000 is returned through fees and concessions and things of that sort.
FRY: So you left a pretty well educated state, probably.
DRURY: Yes, I think along with New York and one or two other states, like Indiana, California perhaps is as far ahead as any in state parks. I guess that's the reason that Secretary Ickes did me the honor of giving me the nod.
Support was automatic both before and after the members of the legislature were elected. They were informed by their own constituents--ladies from the women's clubs and garden clubs, the service clubs, the automobile club in their own communities--of their desire to see this program go through, so that whoever was elected to the legislature was pretty well educated. It was an intensive job in which our many, many friends took a very active part. And as I say, the Save-the-Redwoods League more or less guided the program, although they couldn't have done it without the support of all these other groups, particularly in Southern California.
In Southern California we got tremendous support for the whole program because they were tourist-conscious long before we were up here. Also, there was a very wonderful group of people of the type of Harry Chandler, all the old families down there who loved California and wanted to preserve at least some of its beauty for future generations. And the lumbermen up north were not unduly antagonistic to this program.
They of course have always said, "Well, it's all right to preserve some of the virgin forests of redwoods, but you're doing too much." I heard that forty years ago and I hear it today. My guess is that fifty years from now, looking back on what little we've done, they'll say we were pikers. But as far as the redwood forests are concerned, that question is almost hypothetical because there aren't many large virgin tracts except those that are involved in the primary state parks. There are second growth lands that should be added to the parks, to round out the boundaries. That again is something we can discuss later when we take up planning. Have I given you enough about the bond issue bill?
DRURY: There was a very concerted campaign all through the state in which these people I've mentioned and many, many others participated. I think that the prestige of the University of California in its link with the Save-the-Redwoods League had a great deal to do with the success of the program.
California State Parks Council
FRY: Was the California State Parks Council set up to help the passage of the bills and the referendum?
DRURY: The council was conceived and organized prior to passage of the legislation in order to have a central clearing house of information during the campaign. It also helped a great deal on the state park survey; for instance, in addition to being a center of the
FRY: "It" being you and...
DRURY: Well, being a group of people like William E. Colby, who later became the first chairman of the State Park Commission, and Duncan McDuffie, J. C. Sperry, and Frank W. Wentworth, and of course Dr. Robert G. Sproul, who had been treasurer of the league since the beginning, and a great many others. John C. Merriam, of course.
The Redwoods League inspired the formation of the California State Parks Council. Their letterhead will show that there must have been thirty or forty influential groups like the California State Chamber of Commerce, the California State Automobile Association, the California Federation of Women's Clubs, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, rotary clubs, garden clubs, and a great many other groups who informally joined their efforts to carry out the program of the California State Parks Council.
There were others like the Sempervirens Club in San Jose, who really were the original save the redwoods group. They were the ones who around 1900 got the legislature to preserve the Big Basin. Those people, and the California Historical Society and the Native Sons and Native Daughters of the Golden West who were relatively more numerous and possibly more influential then than they are now because natives today are not such a great army. [Laughter] I just happen to be one and so is Joseph R. Knowland. For most of his adult life he was life chairman of the committee on Historic Landmarks of the Native Sons.
His influence and the influence of other publishers that I already mentioned were very important.
DRURY: In terms of present day campaigning, it would seem pretty small, but we built up what we thought was a pretty good war chest. I don't have the figures here right now, but I think they're contained in that report that I furnished to you.
FRY: About $10,000.
DRURY: Yes. Well, that represented the specific expenditures that the California State Parks Council made for things like printing and that sort of thing. But all the other organizations, the automobile clubs and the Redwoods League and the Sierra Club, undoubtedly spent more than that out of their own funds to further this program.
It was interesting, though, that in the Redwoods League we circularized all of our members and we got contributions from New York and the Midwest and the deep South. Thomas A. Edison gave, I think, $25 for the special campaign fund to put through the state park bond issue simply because we were able to convince him that it was worthwhile. Of course, it was more or less unique in those days; there weren't many states that had state parks. New York had a splendid system, and Indiana had a good one. We issued certain very simple things like a leaflet that showed the virgin redwood forest on one side and the desecration of the forest when it's cut on the other.
Another showed an ocean beach with men, women, and children desporting themselves on it, and on the other side there was the same beach with a high barbed wire fence with a sign: "Private Property -- Keep Off," and appropriate texts. Those leaflets were not more than three by five, but if I remember rightly, we printed a million of them in Northern California and a million in Southern California, and in those days that was a lot of literature. These were distributed through women's clubs and the Native Sons and Daughters, and many other organizations. It's all outlined in the manual in the file that you have. And we had a tremendous body of testimony from people whose opinion the public respected. Luther Burbank made a statement about saving the redwoods, and there were a great many other people of that caliber. It was all part of a concerted campaign that resulted in the overwhelming vote--almost three to one in favor of the parks,
FRY: I noticed Mary Pickford was on your council.
DRURY: Yes, and she contributed toward the war chest on the bond issue.
FRY: Did she do anything?
DRURY: She only lent her name, I think. The motion picture industry was very helpful. They gave us a film that had been taken in the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park in connection with a current movie. The setting of the film had to do with the redwoods. We also had a film that the Ford Motor Company gave us. When Joseph Shenek, the movie producer down there, saw it, he said, "Well, these redwoods may be several thousand
years old, but by the look of the costumes worn by some of the ladies in these pictures, they were almost as old as the redwoods." [Laughter] It wasn't a very Hollywoodish picture.
We had films that were distributed pretty widely--in which we took representative views in the forests and the mountains and the seacoast and the desert. These were distributed to the clubs. Most of them I've turned over to the Bancroft Library. The campaign was distinctly grass roots.
The State Press
FRY: In your publicity around the state with the newspapers who were cooperating, did you ever have to resort to creating a news situation in order to get coverage or anything like that?
DRURY: We relied on the fact that in the Olmsted survey there were certain outstanding projects emerging in different communities. When we went to those communities, we didn't exactly play them down. [Laughter]
Some of us made rather extensive tours interviewing editors throughout the state of California. Elmer Reynolds was one of those who made the trip with us. He was the editor of the outdoor edition of the Stockton Record and had done some wonderful things to help the national parks.
FRY: As I went over your records of the 1928 campaign, I was quite interested in your notes on all the newspaper editors you saw. You must have met almost
every editor in the state.
DRURY: The file you're referring to was made during our very intensive canvass of the whole state. We had quite a few very influential friends, one of whom later became governor--Friend W. Richardson, at that time the editor and proprietor of the Berkeley Daily Gazette. Richardson was originally a newspaperman in Bakersfield, and then he bought the Berkeley Gazette and moved here. For many years, he was the president of the California Newspaper Association, and he was a great friend of my father, Wells Drury. We got quite a lot of help from him, in gaining entree to the press of the state. And of course, we had the larger papers supporting us because of associations of one sort or another. For instance, Steven T. Mather, who was the first director of national parks, worked very closely with Harry Chandler of the Los Angeles Times, and through him we got tremendous support for the California state park program, including the bond issue. The Hearst newspapers from the earliest days have always been very warm supporters of conservation and historical projects. Even in his youth, William Randolph Hearst was quite active in conserving the historic sites of California. He and Mr. Knowland, although they perhaps represented different poles so far as ideology was concerned, were fellow members of a committee of the Native Sons of the Golden West that acquired the gold discovery site at Coloma and the Sonoma Mission, and ultimately the Custom House at Monterey and other outstanding turning points in California history.
I don't know whether you want to interlard this with the kind of whimsical anecdotes that my friend Horace Albright indulges in, but turning again to Governor Friend W. Richardson, he was a great fellow to poke fun at himself. He had a rather racy sense of humor and used to tell how he came up from San Bernardino and edited this Berkeley paper, which was something of a step upward; then he was appointed state printer, and then he was elected state treasurer, and finally he managed to be elected governor of the state. When he was installed in his office, one of his fellow townsmen from down in San Bernardino called him and they talked about the old times. Finally, Friend Richardson said, "Well, Bill, what did the boys down in San Bernardino say when they learned I'd been elected governor?" (Friend Richardson tells this himself.) "Oh," he said, "they didn't say much of anything, they just laughed." [Laughter]
And another story he told on himself is about when he was first elected and he made a tour of the state institutions, including the insane asylums. When he was at Napa the superintendent called in all the employees and inmates and had a general assembly to which the governor addressed a few words. Right in the midst of the governor's speech, one man in the audience rose and clapped his hand to his head and said, "Good Lord, I can't stand any more of this." Amid considerable commotion, he was led out of the room. The meeting adjourned, and as they were going out, the governor asked the superintendent what was the matter with that man. "Well," he said, "I don't
know, it's a queer case. We thought that man was incurably insane. This is the first evidence of sanity he's shown in years." [Laughter] That isn't entirely historical, but it provides footnotes to history.
FRY: While we're discussing editors, do you know anything about Mr. Lutgens and the California Press Association?
DRURY: I knew Harry Lutgens quite well. He was an associate and more or less an assistant to Friend Richardson in the press association, and later he was Governor Richardson's chief secretary. Very able man.
FRY: How strong was the press association? If you got its backing on a campaign, did this lead to a certain amount of automatic cooperation for you in getting stories into less enthusiastic newspapers?
DRURY: To a certain extent in such circles, the word goes around that this is a worthwhile cause, and we never had much trouble getting publicity for the park program. It was something that appealed to the public perhaps more then than it does now, because the idea was newer.
FRY: I noticed going over your old notes last night from the 1928 campaign, that you had noted some editors were convinced on one count, such as the matching funds, while others were convinced on a different count. Did Harry Chandler, in Los Angeles, have a particular reason for backing this, or was he just a conservationist from the beginning?
DRURY: He was generally favorable to the whole program. He was very historically minded. It was through Mr. Chandler's efforts that, for instance, our present
state park at Olivera Street, which we call the Pueblo de Los Angeles, the last vestige of the original Mexican settlement of Los Angeles, was established. This was done only a few years ago, but its accomplishment even then was due to the help of the Los Angeles Times and moneys that Mr. Chandler contributed, and his encouragement of Mrs. Christine Sterling, who was the key person in the program to clean up and preserve Olivera Street.
Mr. Chandler's son-in-law, Mr. Jack Garland, who incidentally was quite prominent in connection with the Winter Olympics and is on the International Olympic Committee, has followed up. He's a great supporter of the Save-the-Redwoods League; he's contributed funds for three memorial groves, two of them in honor of his father and mother, one to commemorate Harry Chandler, and another to commemorate his grandfather, Jonathan May Garland. Mr. Garland has been active in the Save-the-Redwoods League for twenty years. He also was quite active in establishing a redwood grove through gifts from the California Real Estate Association several years ago. My brother Aubrey handled that, and in fact, he knew Mr. Garland much better than I do.
National Conference on State Parks
FRY: I kept running across allusions to a meeting of the National Conference on State Parks in Berkeley in 1928 and the way that it was an additional shot in the arm for an already healthy campaign. I was wondering how
they just happened to meet out here at such a well-timed period.
DRURY: It didn't just happen, it was promoted. Just before we had our big campaign in '28, Mr. Mather and the National Conference on State Parks came to San Francisco. We had a conclave, at which a great deal of good medicine was made. I sent Dr. Hammond of the Bancroft Library, about six months ago, one of these old-fashioned panoramic photographs of all the people at a session in Muir Woods, and in that are a great many rather notable people--Colonel Richard Lieber of Indiana, for instance, who really headed up an important park movement ahead of California, and several from New York whose names I don't remember, Miss Pearl Chase of Santa Barbara, who's still going strong as a promoter of good works, national, state, and Santa Barbara-an. I don't think Horace Albright was there that time, although he was at most of them. The names insofar as I could remember them are on the back of that photograph.
FRY: Besides making additional good copy for your campaign and the causes you were espousing, what other ways did it help your campaign? Were you able to use these people when they were out here?
DRURY: Oh, yes. One of the men in that group who was later chairman of our National Parks Advisory Committee was Captain Charles G. Sauers of Indiana. He was an assistant to Colonel Lieber and later succeeded him in charge of Indiana parks. He came to California prior to the bond issue and made a very splendid report on park possibilities. He was an expert anyhow, but the
fact that he came from some place far enough away from home made him even more so, so far as the local people were concerned
FRY: And were there others who would do this sort of thing?
DRURY: Yes, there were others. They were all in that group that I was telling you about. One very active person was Miss Beatrice Ward, executive secretary of the National Conference of State Parks. Also, Miss Harlean James, of Washington D.C., who later was secretary for many years. Miss James, I think, more than anyone else is entitled to credit for keeping the organization alive and augmenting its usefulness. But on the other hand, Horace Albright has been with it from the very beginning, and when he wasn't president, he was chairman of the board or was in there pitching on some important phase of it.
FRY: Mr. Farquhar told me that the National Conference on State Parks, which was just beginning in the middle twenties, I guess, asked you to be their head in 1924 or '25. Do you remember about that?
DRURY: No, I don't remember that. One thing Mr. Farquhar might have had in mind was that during the Coolidge administration I was asked by Mr. Chauncey J. Hamlin, who was the chairman of the President's Conference on Outdoor Recreation, to come to Washington to take executive charge of that investigation and study, but it was a time when we were just hitting our stride in the Save-the-Redwoods in the state park movement and I felt that I could be of more use to the state of California and to myself by remaining here.
I do remember the inauguration of the National
Conference on State Parks. Mr. Albright could tell you a lot more than I could about it. In fact, he still is chairman of the board of directors. Stephen T. Mather promoted the formation of the National Conference on State Parks (although there were relatively few state parks in the country then) because he was anxious, as some of the rest of us later were, to have the states take their share of responsibility in park and recreational matters. Mr. Mather also had the motive that I was moved by later on, sometimes to my sorrow, of inducing the states to take responsibility for areas that were being promoted for national parks but which didn't measure up to the highest standards of national parks. Of course, that was a battle that none of us ever could win.
FRY: What was your personal relationship to the National Conference on State Parks?
DRURY: I've been on that board quite a few times. I got off the board when I was director of national parks because there were so many other members of the Park Service on it, that I felt that it was a little top heavy.
And then I felt anyhow that it would be better to be on the outside rather than too closely associated with it. I had a conviction, and I still have it, that the states' rights theory is a pretty good one, but that it also implies states' responsibility. I used to give pain to some of my bureaucratic friends by some of my utterances along the lines that the object of the National Park Service should be to encourage the states to stand on their own feet and
not lean on the federal government.
The State Park Commission
FRY: Could you explain a little bit about the history of the State Park Commission bill?
DRURY: Yes. Up until the State Park Commission was established, there were a half a dozen separate commissions, one for each park. The Save-the-Redwoods League felt that what we were building up was so important to the state of California that there ought to be some specific body to take the responsibility for it. It was quite a question in the early days as to just how these redwood groves that were preserved should be administered. It was finally concluded that only the state had sufficient continuity to warrant putting them under that jurisdiction.
Intermittently over the years, I have had some misgivings, and so have others, as to whether that was the wisest course to have followed. The trouble is that regimes change, and you have a period of very dependable trusteeship, and then perhaps you have a period (we've had several) during which all functions of the government are administered on a more or less political basis, rather than on a basis of policy and principle; and there is a preference for pressure groups, or currying to political favor. But that risk the Redwoods League felt they had to take.
In 1925, during the regime of Governor Richardson
two bills were introduced: one to create a state park commission; another to authorize a state park survey. They passed the legislature almost unanimously, but they were vetoed by the governor. He took the position that they represented potential tremendous increase in state expenditures, and he doubted the wisdom of it. There was also a certain amount of opposition because the lumbermen felt that the state parks should be administered by the State Board of Forestry. That board's chairman, George C. Pardee, former governor of the state, is entitled to a great deal of credit for the part the state took in saving the redwoods. Solon Williams was also on the board and was a great help. The state forester was Merritt Pratt, and his deputy was William Ryder, both of them very fine conservationists and both very much interested in the redwoods.
After several years, we finally got to the point where it was felt that it was highly desirable to have a separate commission to administer all state parks and build up the state park system. Not that there was anything wrong with the forestry board, but their approach to the matters of the forest policy was different from that of a park agency. Their primary purpose was to conserve for consumption, while the parks were for the purpose of preserving for enjoyment and maintaining the pristine condition of the forests. There was a slight degree of dissent, but not anything very serious. The forestry board was very broad-minded about it when some of us felt we'd better draft legislation which would create a distinct
state park commission and centralize under their control all matters of policy and acquisition, rules and regulations.
Well, anyhow, Governor Richardson vetoed the 1925 bills and in 1927, when C. C. Young became governor, we drafted new bills.
FRY: Before we get off the park commission bill, I would like to ask if you tried to write into this bill a safeguard against future commissioners who might want commission membership just for their personal profit--real estate speculation, or even graft. Some states have had very unhappy experiences.
DRURY: No. The bill is, rightly or wrongly, drafted in rather simple form. One of the things that I have since regretted is that we didn't have a clearer statement of the purpose of the state park system. When the National Park Act was adopted it contained a very clear statement of the purposes of the national parks: to preserve the parks and the scenery and the objects of scientific and historical interests therein, and to make them available for public enjoyment in such manner and by such means as would assure their preservation for the enjoyment of future generations. The assumption in everyone's mind was that the state park system would have a similar purpose, which indeed it has had. Since then, we have had adoption of principles by the State Park Commission.
There were no stipulations as to qualifications of the commissioners, if that is what your question implies; and I would seriously doubt that there should be such restrictions. Later, as you doubtless know,
the legislature increased the commission to seven members, and before that, after very considerable discussion and the vetoing of several bills, the legislature put the terms on a staggered basis so that no single administration could control the entire commission immediately. There's been some question as to whether they shouldn't be put back on a simultaneous term basis. Under the staggered term system, about midway through a governor's administration, he controls the majority of the commission.
FRY: That was the commission's experience under Olson and Merriam, then.
DRURY: It was during the war administration that Governor Warren finally, with some reluctance, signed the bill which had been vetoed by him and by preceding governors, which provided the staggered terms. I don't think the Redwoods League had any primary part in it, but there was a general feeling that it would be better to have staggered terms.
When we were writing the 1927 bill, we had some interesting discussions with Governor Young's director of finance, Alexander Heron, who was a sort of brain-truster in the Young administration and did a splendid job of reorganizing on a departmental basis. We brought up this question of staggered terms, and Heron was adamant that all commissioners should hold office upon appoint- ment by the governor and that their terms should terminate with the governor's termination. His theory was that an administration would have a free hand so far as policy-making bodies are concerned. They shouldn't be hampered by hold-overs from previous
regimes. In the light of long legal experience, it is found that that works very well when you have a beneficent administration; not so well when you have a turn for the worse. So all of us finally became convinced that staggered terms are desirable, and I still think that this is true. However, it doesn't make much difference nowadays, because legislation passed last year  divested the State Park Commission of its policy-making or administrative authority, and made it more or less a rubber stamp for the Department of Natural Resources.
That probably is what Mr. Heron, and possibly Governor Young, would have wanted. On this theory of direct-line administration, the chief executive assumes responsibility for everything that takes place in the administration.
To go back, though, that was the first piece of legislation in the 1927 parks program, and it was largely devised by the Save-the-Redwoods League.
Of course, along with the new commission, the dominant personality shaping our early program was Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., the eminent landscape architect, who was engaged by the park commission to carry on the state park survey, in which quite a few of us acted as assistants to Mr. Olmsted. He enunciated principles that have been followed to this day as to sound and appropriate use of state park areas. That again is a long story. We might devote a session to that. [cf. pp. 209ff.]
The First Commissioners and Governor Young
FRY: What part did you play in seeing that the right men were appointed to the board?
DRURY: I wouldn't say that I played any important part. The most important person in that was Duncan McDuffie. I think I've already told you that the fortunate association that helped us tremendously in the state park program was the fact that Duncan McDuffie was a partner in the Mason-McDuffie Company with C. C. Young, who in 1927 was elected governor. They were, I imagine, classmates; at least they went to college about the same time, along with two or three other very splendid gentlemen--Elmer Rowell, who was the brother of Chester Rowell, the publicist, and Perry Tompkins. During the one year that I went to Lowell High School in San Francisco, all three -- C. C. Young, Perry Tompkins, and Elmer Rowell were high school teachers. I took courses with Rowell and C. C. Young. Young was a teacher of English, I remember; he collaborated with Charles Mills Gayley in issuing a book on English poetry, Principles and Progress of English Poetry.
When these young men had made enough money teaching school, if it's possible to do any such thing, they found an opportunity to buy out the firm of a man named Mason in Berkeley, a very elderly gentleman who wanted to dispose of his real estate business. These men, McDuffie, Young, Rowell, and Tompkins, formed the firm of Mason-McDuffie Company, with Duncan as president. Duncan McDuffie, who was a fine
figure of a man and had a character to match, had been in various commercial enterprises, one of them in the firm of Taft and Pennoyer in Oakland, and, as he expressed it, as one of their employees he "took his turn on the floor;" in other words, he was for a while a "floor-walker," and a very imposing one in this department store.
FRY: He was rather tall?
DRURY: He was well over six feet; yes, six feet two or three.
FRY: Could you describe C. C. Young?
DRURY: C. C. Young was a very vigorous, wiry sort of a man, of medium height, much more serious than the rest of them, but a very capable and able gentleman, and his four years as governor of California unquestionably contributed a great deal to conservation of scenic and historic spots. Because, having such complete confidence in Duncan McDuffie, he more or less followed the pattern that McDuffie set.
When it came to appropriating money, he was more the Calvin Coolidge type than the current types. I remember that in the case of the state park survey, they appropriated $30,000, which in those days was thought to be a lot of money, and under his prerogative as governor he cut it in half before he signed the bill. Governor Young was an ultra-conservative, but with some difficulty Duncan McDuffie persuaded him that this was a very important program and the state should put something into it. It was with the governor's blessing and support that the State Park Commission was appointed.
The two organizations that were most influential
with the governor were the Sierra Club and the Save-the-Redwoods League. As a matter of logic, the governor, I think, chose the members of the first State Park Commission from among them and also from among a very influential group in Los Angeles, who were also members of the Save-the-Redwoods League and also quite active in the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
The first State Park Commission was headed by William E. Colby, one of the founders of the Sierra Club and a great conservationist, a friend and lieutenant of John Muir. He was by common consent made the chairman of the first park commission. Then there was Henry W. O'Melveny of Los Angeles, a prominent attorney and of a pioneer family down there; he had long been interested in California history and conservation. Frederick Russell Burnham, the celebrated scout who served in the Boer War and was a friend of Cecil Rhodes in South Africa; William P. Chandler from Fresno, a former state senator; and Ray Lyman Wilbur, president of Stanford University, who later became secretary of the interior and was of tremendous help to California state parks in that position. When Dr. Wilbur was appointed secretary of the interior by Herbert Hoover, Mr. Arthur E. Connick, who has for many years been president of the Save-the-Redwoods League and was one of the pioneers of the movement, was appointed in his stead. He served until the complexion of the state changed from Republican to Democratic, which it did for four years under Culbert L. Olson, beginning in 1938.
FRY: Why wasn't Duncan McDuffie on the commission?
DRURY: At the time the governor wanted to appoint Duncan McDuffie, but being the man that he was, Duncan refused because he felt that because of his business relationship to the governor, he'd better not take any official position, which he never did.
FRY: That brings me naturally to my next question. Mr. McDuffie was a real estate man, and since some sub-dividers seemed apprehensive about the Olmsted state park survey, I was wondering if this put Mr. McDuffie in a difficult position with his fellow realtors when he was working so closely with the park commission?
DRURY: No, I don't think so. In the first place, there wasn't as much intensive subdivision then and there was much more available land. And second, Duncan McDuffie was a man of supremely high principles and wouldn't have been worried about the concern of sub-dividers or any other interests in a matter where he knew he was right.
The other person who should be mentioned with the commission is Colonel Charles B. Wing, who was appointed chief of the Division of Beaches and Parks, and was a very able man in many respects, particularly in his engineering knowledge. He was a retired Stanford professor of civil engineering.
The group I have mentioned got the state parks system off to a very good start. In other words, in the early days we were very fortunate in having good friends at court.
FRY: It seemed to set a pretty good precedent.
DRURY: Yes, it was auspicious. It was utterly non-political; the appointments were all based on merit and the men were all actively interested.
Political Turnover in the Commission
FRY: In the Oakland Tribune files, I found some notes on some of the appointees of various governors which indicate how men came and went on the park commission, but they don't tell the full story.
DRURY: Well, as I have said, the theory under which the Young administration operated was that the people had selected the governor and they should hold him responsible for everything that happened. It sounds very well in theory, but it didn't always work out well because when Governor Young went out after four years, Governor Rolph came in and he appointed a totally different commission. When Governor Merriam came in, he made some changes, not as many as Rolph had made, and when Governor Olson came in in 1939, there was a clean sweep, a totally new park commission.
That was particularly hard on the staff members who happened to survive; I was one of them. The educational task involved in having every four years five new commissioners was considerable; it took a lot of time. My experience with political employees generally is that although they get their jobs by politics, they don't want to hold them that way and they try to measure up to their responsibilities. Most of the time they do. That was surely true of most of our park commissioners. We had one or two that were of mediocre caliber, but by and large they were men of good will and after they'd gotten a pretty complete education, just before their terms expired, they functioned pretty well. Then you'd have
to start all over again.
FRY: Mr. Colby told us he resigned when Mrs. Gregory was fired by an incoming governor. Apparently he felt that she had been one who more or less held the commission together because she was the main secretary.
DRURY: She was a very able woman, still is. She lives in Alameda. It was a great calamity when she and Colonel Wing were dropped out at the beginning of the Merriam administration.
When that happened, I was traveling in the Sacramento Valley. It was about ten o'clock at night, and I called up home to explain why I was late and my wife told me she just got a message that Colonel Wing and Mrs. Gregory had been displaced by Governor Merriam. Well, it happened that Governor Frank Merriam was a first cousin and boyhood friend of Dr. John C. Merriam, president of the Save-the-Redwoods League, who was then in Washington, D.C., as president of the Carnegie Institution. So it must have been eleven o'clock or later when I got on the phone and called Dr. Merriam in Washington, not realizing that it was one o'clock in the morning there. We didn't have a very satisfactory discussion, but he called up after he'd had a good sleep and breakfast the next morning and he did intercede with his cousin. But the die was cast. If we had known in time, they were devoted to each other and Frank Merriam would have unquestionably acceded to Dr. John C.'s insistence and kept these two very capable people. It was a great blow to the state park system when they were lost.
I had persisted through the Young and Rolph administrations and even lasted through the Olson administration, which gave me a reputation for being a much better politician than I really was. The fact of the matter was, I didn't care except for the good of the cause. And then when I was appointed by the Democratic administration in Washington, why, it sort of tended to spread confusion, since I was a Republican.
FRY: Well, you know it looks like, superficially at least, that you took that position in Washington right after Olson came in and began his big reshuffling.
DRURY: No, I was there a year or two under Governor Olson.
FRY: Was your going the result of any great confusion on the California level?
DRURY: No. It was just that my friend Cammerer had had a nervous breakdown and wanted to be relieved, and so wonder of wonders, Harold L. Ickes invited me again to come back there--which he subsequently repented. [Laughter]
FRY: Would you like to compare Darwin Tate and A. E. Henning, who served their respective terms as chiefs of the state parks in the thirties?
DRURY: They're both good fellows. Henning was an engineer; I don't know what Tate's background was. Tate is now running a concession in one of the state parks and I imagine making a great deal more money than he ever made in a political job.
FRY: It was a little hard for me to understand exactly where the power of the State Park Commission came from and where it went to, and what its relationship
was to the Department of Natural Resources.
DRURY: From 1927 until 1959, when the legislature virtually abolished the park commission, or at least stripped it of all but the power to recommend, there's been considerable doubt; it partly is due to circumstances none of us anticipated, that there was from the start an ambiguous relationship between the Department and the commission. Due to the over-eagerness of Mr. Heron, who may very well have been entirely right, as soon as his bill creating the Department of Natural Resources was passed, he immediately went to the governor and got the governor to sign it. Then in due course, our bill creating the State Park Commission, which meanwhile we had in a half-hearted way tried to amend to conform to his departmental bill, went to the legislature and was signed by the governor as a routine procedure, after the measure creating the Department of Natural Resources.
The great difficulty was that our bill, like a great many that were passed in those days, contained a final clause: "All acts or portions of acts inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed." Since the departmental bill was signed first and became law first, the State Park Commission bill, being signed later, took precedence over anything in the previous bill and gave the State Park Commission some authority which perhaps in theory ought to have been vested in the Department of Natural Resources. There it stood for a great many years. About 1949, they codified the act, but that simply compounded the confusion because the Department of Public Resources
Code tried without changing any enactments of the legislature to embody it in the code. You can turn to one part of the code and find something which was more or less inconsistent with something you would find in another part. Now, that all has to do with the principles and practice of government by commission or by direct line administrative action, and I don't think the last word has been said yet on that subject.
It's my opinion that it's highly desirable in a state like California, with its diverse interests, to have a body of at least five members who are representative citizens, presumably are above local or political pressure and who are vested with authority to determine basic policies. By that, I mean not only how the parks should be run, but what their character should be, which is determined pretty largely by the lands which you buy and also the purpose for which you buy them. It depends also, of course, on the regulations as to how the park should be used by the public. That kind of a body is a sort of judicial agency before which interested citizens can present evidence for adjudication on policy questions, such as whether a new freeway should be built through the redwood parks. The Emerald Bay Bridge is another good example. The park commission took a position on both of those issues on the basis of discussions in open meetings at which opponents and proponents of the building of these freeways could present their arguments. I think that's the American way of doing things.
And having operated under both systems in the Department of Interior for the National Park Service, and under the State Park Commission for the state
parks, I think it's better to have, as I say, some quasi-judicial body of that sort that can pass on policy issues on the basis of evidence.
FRY: Would this be more likely to respond to the true needs of the community than a legislative committee that would have a hearing, or a governor's . . .
DRURY: Well, a legislative committee is just a sounding board. It is very rare that any appeal to reason or even to emotions very definitely affects the final vote in a legislative committee. Those things are more or less predetermined. Members of legislative committees are of course subjected to pressure from their own communities, or in many cases, from the groups that they represent or from which they come. If they are undecided, it's inevitable that the people they know best and regarding whose opinion they are concerned should bring almost irresistible pressure upon them to take a certain position.
I remember in some of our national park hearings there were issues in Oklahoma where one of the senators [Kerr] was a man very high up in the oil industry. We didn't have a chance in the world of winning out on any issue that involved a question of drilling for oil, so far as he was concerned. And the same thing applies to lumbermen and to other state groups, and to special local projects which in the minds of their representatives are necessary if they are to survive in office and the public is still to get the benefit of their indispensable services. So there you are on that.
FRY: The park survey act came right on the heels of the act for the bond issue, didn't it?
DRURY: Yes; the second park act, passed in 1927, had to do with a state park survey. We asked for a $30,000 appropriation, but Governor Young cut it to $15,000. When you think that we spent about $300,000 over a period of three years for the recent California recreation survey, you can see how extremely modest both the State Parks Council and Governor Young were then.
FRY: Why did you have the state park survey plan written as a law when it was already legal?
DRURY: For one thing, so that it could carry an appropriation, and for another thing, because of the public interest it would generate as it passed through the legislature and the bond issue became the subject of a campaign before the general voting public.
FRY: I guess the first task of the new park commission was that of putting into effect the survey legislation.
DRURY: Yes. The commission engaged Frederick Law Olmsted to conduct the survey. The $15,000 didn't more than pay routine expenses. Olmsted was a very capable planner and landscape architect, and he very generously put a tremendous amount of time into it.
FRY: I noticed there was a deadline of a year to survey the whole state until--December, 1928.
DRURY: It was too exacting a deadline. That's always done
in legislation of this sort. Otherwise, some people might work on it forever. But you'd have to know Frederick Olmsted to appreciate the heroic efforts he went through. I have a file of projects that were suggested originally as potential state parks, some of them after the survey was authorized and many before, which I'm going to put in Bancroft Library. There must be several hundred. Some were quite worthy projects which have long since materialized; others were more or less half-baked. Frederick Olmsted outlined the mechanics of bringing them in. The many suggestions were handled by a team of which he was the head; some important members were Professor Harry Shepherd, who recently retired from the landscape architecture department of the University; Daniel R. Hull, who had been the landscape architect with the National Park Service and who later joined us in the state parks as our state park landscape architect; and Emerson Knight, who passed away recently, a San Francisco landscape architect. And I remember several others: George Gibbs, who was with the firm of Olmsted Brothers; Richard Sias, who is now head of regional planning for the National Park Service in San Francisco; L. Deming Tilton, planning director in Santa Barbara and later in San Francisco, who has since passed away; and quite a group of younger men, a great many of them from the firm of Olmsted Brothers. They examined the proposed projects and correlated and classified them, and then Mr. Olmsted wrote his report. It's referred to as California State Park
Survey, which perhaps is a little misleading. It's more a reconnaissance of state park possibilities. I had the pleasure of compiling the California State Park Survey and putting it through the state printing office in 1929, gathering the illustrations, and writing some of the text. In fact, I even found one of the illustrations with my name on it as the photographer, which is a talent I never really had, but the picture they credited to me was surprisingly good.
Problems in Maintaining Balance
FRY: In the survey Olmsted speaks of balance in the park system and how necessary this is. I'm referring to Olmsted's rule of proportion among scenic, recreational and historical parks, as well as geographical balance, and also balance between types of parks--redwood, seacoast, mountain, desert, lake, river, and historic. In the ensuing years, were you able to follow this three-way design for balance in your policies regarding actual acquisition?
DRURY: Surprisingly well. The great obstacle to obtaining anything like a perfect balance was the requirement of matching provisions in state appropriations, because you had to get money either from private individuals or from local communities to match state money. It was sometimes impossible to carry out our projects in communities where money was scarce or unusually difficult to raise.
FRY: But the commission adopted this ideal of balance as
an official policy anyway, is that correct?
DRURY: They of course approved the Olmsted plan which stated this principle. It was a principle which we followed in succeeding years as we gained more experience in rounding out the state park system. That's all pretty well expounded in the recent five-year master plan, which we issued in 1956 and which you have on file. The commission started out with Olmsted's general assumption, but it wasn't as clearly defined as it was later on. Most principles, like the rules of grammar, are codified after the event rather than before. [Laughter]
FRY: Olmsted in his report says a great deal about the problems of seacoast parks on tidelands, where private lands end and the state lands begin. How could you function within the legally defined tidelands?
DRURY: I think legally, the definition of state-owned tide-lands was clear right from the beginning: they run from the line of mean high tide, sometimes referred to as ordinary high tide, which is the average of all the high tides, out three miles to the point where state jurisdiction ends and federal jurisdiction begins.
I think there was undue reliance upon the ownership of these state tidelands in the early thinking about beach preservation, because when we started to survey the line of ordinary high tide, we found that in many cases, it was pretty far out in the water, and it gave us no upland, or course, from which the public could enjoy the use of the beaches. So the beach program involved primarily the acquisition
of private properties that lay inland from the line of ordinary high water.
FRY: Olmsted also mentions the importance of getting upland properties from the private riparian owners by gift, purchase, or condemnation.
DRURY: The summary of the state parks will show the number of millions of dollars' worth of upland that have been acquired since 1927. It's pretty well balanced with the other types of area such as redwood parks so far as monetary value is concerned.
But in point of usable land adequate to meet the recreational needs of the people, I must confess that we fell far short in the beach and shore preservation program. One of the reasons was the matching principle, which made it almost impossible to release state monies since private gifts were unobtainable. Most of the early acquisition was made in Los Angeles County where it happened that the county had already acquired certain lands and in some cases, cities like Santa Monica had acquired them. These lands were conveyed to the state to meet the matching principle.
That, for instance, was the case at the mouth of the Santa Monica Canyon, where the county of Los Angeles owned 1,000 feet of frontage which half a dozen appraisers back in the late twenties appraised at $1,000,000--or $1,000 a front foot. I remember the state took title to that property. We filed the appraisals and indicated the matching value, and that released $1,000,000 of state money with which we bought 3,300 feet at $300 a foot just north
of the mouth of Santa Monica Canyon. That was the beginning of Santa Monica Beach State Park, which since has been added to, for instance, by the gift of the Will Rogers property and by other acquisitions both by the county and by the state of California.
It was a case there of almost any port in a storm, but looking back on it, I wonder whether we wouldn't have been better off if we'd just let the county of Los Angeles hang on to their properties. Later on, the state-owned beaches were in several cases, as at Santa Monica, turned over to the county for administration under permit or lease, a practice that I never particularly believed in. I thought that the state ought either to administer its own parks or re-convey the lands to the counties if they were primarily of local or neighborhood interest and not on a scale to appeal to visitors from all parts of the state.
FRY: The difficulty of getting less populous beaches has continued through the years, then?
DRURY: Yes, until in 1956 or '57 the legislature abandoned the matching principle. In 1956, they adopted in essence our five-year plan and appropriated approximately $31,000,000 for land acquisition.
FRY: Were there any distinct blocks to other worthwhile projects besides that of the matching principle? You have mentioned the Sacramento River, I believe.
DRURY: Yes; the Sacramento River situation is always of a piece with the enhancement of land values in California. In the old days, a river bank ranch was
relatively of low value per acre, but as land became more and more valuable, there was more and more agitation to protect every square inch of it for agriculture preferably, of course, with appropriations from Uncle Sam through the Army Corps of Engineers. The thing that river bank control has done is to denude the banks of a great deal of the vegetation and to destroy a great deal of the charm of some portions of the Sacramento River that, whether park or private land, enhanced the attractiveness of that whole region.
A case in point is in the vicinity of Rio Vista, where in the old days the river had great scenic quality, but where the river was also more or less unbridled and changed its course and sometimes added land to one holding and took it away from another. Now, at the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars, an attempt is being made to control the river, largely for the protection of the riparian land owners.
But there are other obstacles, of course to rounding out the state park system. In many cases, there was decided resistance by various groups having to do with activities essential to the state's economy, like agriculture and grazing, lumbering, and to some degree mining, and other forms of activity, including subdivision. There were many who felt a certain percentage of the lands of the state, particularly along the seacoast, should remain in private ownership subject to subdivision for home sites. I think that Mr. Olmsted, who was a sort of
middle-of-the-road thinker, shared that view.
He was the landscape architect and planner for the Vanderbilt development at Palos Verdes and he had had a great deal to do on the eastern seacoast with the laying out of private subdivisions. So he took the position that is perfectly understandable, that a reasonable proportion of the seacoast and other recreational scenic lands should be in state ownership available to the entire public, but a certain percentage of them should remain open to private development. The grave question in my mind is, just what percentage?
And in my opinion most of California's coast line--scenic or recreational--should belong to the public. Another difficulty is that there never has been found a method of control of the manipulation of the landscape according to any very sound aesthetic principles under subdivision. An attempt is being made now with possibly some degree of success, on the South Coast highway between Carmel and Big Sur to obtain zoning ordinances under which the county could prescribe rather rigid rules as to the location and the character of developments, limiting them, of course, to residences and prescribing how many structures there should be per acre and perhaps other limitations. That's been the dream of planners ever since I can remember, and we'll hope that it will come to pass. Nathaniel and Margaret Ousings, and Nicholas Roosevelt have taken the lead in this.
FRY: I guess getting this carried out through all the opposition
that the government can encounter from organized groups is a little difficult.
DRURY: Well, you speak of obstacles. In the beginning almost unanimously throughout California, the county governments were promoting rather than opposing state park acquisition and development. As time went on and the population increased, bringing with it the need for a pretty substantial tax base in order to support county institutions, particularly schools, there has been increasing opposition to the acquisition of any large segments of land. That still, however, is not universally the case. There are still some communities that are pressing very hard to have state parks established within their boundaries. Under the circumstances, it's surprising how closely over the years since 1928--it's now been thirty-two years--we have adhered to the proposals in the Olmsted survey. So it shows that the methods that were used were pretty searching. There are very few major projects that have come up for state parks or historic monuments or even for recreational areas that aren't by inference, at least, named in the Olmsted survey.
Frederick Law Olmsted
FRY: I'd like to ask you about Mr. Olmsted himself. I copied these notes from Bell and Fitzgerald's book, History of Parks and Recreation. Why don't you take time to read it and see if you can either supplement or refute what they say about him as a man?
DRURY: It's true that Frederick Law Olmsted was not physically a big man, as your notes say, but he was a man of tremendous vitality. He was a terrier. He never left a problem until he'd gotten out of it everything there was to get.
FRY: He had a long span of service?
DRURY: Yes. His father before him, Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., was the first superintendent of Yosemite when it was a state park, back in the 1860 's. Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., of course, grew up as his assistant and inherited a great deal of his ability, knowledge, and good taste from his father. His father laid out Central Park in New York, conceived the idea of having that great open space which has been a boon to New York City, and he worked on an infinite number of projects, as at Biltmore, North Carolina, with the Vanderbilt family, in laying out their grounds and the management of the Biltmore Forest. This is where the first forestry school in the United States was established under Dr. Carl Schenk, for whom a grove was recently named in the redwoods. He was out here for its dedication about ten years ago. Frederick Law Olmsted was an admirer of Dr. Schenk, who had retired and was living in Germany, so he brought Schenk out here, raised the money for the grove, and they had a wonderful time. In fact, Mr. Olmsted, who was nearing eighty, worked so hard on it that he never did attend the dedication. He was in the hospital. But he recovered from that and only recently he passed away at a ripe old age.
Mr. Olmsted arranged for dedicating this redwood grove with the help of my brother Aubrey. The man who particularly believed in Frederick Law Olmsted was Duncan McDuffie. He had engaged Mr. Olmsted in connection with real estate subdivisions he'd developed. Olmsted belonged to the school of thought that was not afraid to admit that sometimes the landscape architect does his best work when he doesn't do too much of anything, but just leaves it as it is. All my dealings with him were highly educational, and we can credit him with really setting the tone, not only of the state parks, but of the national parks.
It was Olmsted who phrased the key words in the act creating the national Park Service. I'm a great admirer of Mr. Olmsted, but I never felt that his prose style was easy to read, and despite the fact that I was director of national parks, I never was able to memorize the precise wording in that act because it was so involved. You remember what the basic act says, "to preserve and make them available for human enjoyment in such manner and by such means as will render them available for enjoyment by future generations." One of Olmsted's pet devices in his memoranda was the use of "and/or," which doesn't tend for clarity.
He had so many wonderful characteristics, but aside from his wisdom and his vision and good taste, probably his outstanding quality was his indefatigability. He never gave up. He'd work all hours of the night. He could work just as well in the back
seat of an automobile as he could in an office on Park Avenue in New York.
FRY: And he wasn't deterred, was he, by lack of staff?
DRURY: No. He'd send his notes into the office and they'd process them, but if they didn't, he'd do it. My brother told a story where Frederick Law Olmsted was working on some of the master plans for the redwood parks and was in our office. He had a great map, about ten feet long, and no table to put it on, so they put this map down on the floor and here was Olmsted, the leading landscape architect in the United States, lying on the floor when some visitors came in. [Laughter] It didn't faze him at all. I think I told you the story about his relative who complained that when he was working on the park survey, he was at a funeral sitting with the mourners and there was an interminable delay. Finally he got so fidgety that he pulled out his notes from his inner pocket and started working on the report. Well, she ought to have known him as well as I did and known that he meant no offense to the dear departed.
FRY: I imagine that he was happy to get to work on a place like Point Lobos.
DRURY: Yes. He governed the study, working with George Vaughn, who lived there for close to a year. That report has been published; I sent a copy of it, the Point Lobos Advisory Committee Report, to the Bancroft Library not long ago. It represents a counsel of perfection as to the preservation of natural values that you can't match in very many public park areas because of the almost irresistible pressure
to use lands for something other than their highest purpose.
FRY: Big Sur was established nearby for those who needed camping areas, wasn't it?
DRURY: Yes; Big Sur was primarily a mass recreation area, although that was a very beautiful spot in the beginning.
Protection Through Planning
FRY: You mentioned that the Division of Beaches and Parks was able to establish particular lands for picnic areas.
DRURY: Yes. There's a master plan which we all helped develop and which the park commission approved. It allots to different areas the functions that they are to perform.
FRY: And the corresponding type of protection that you would use in each area.
DRURY: One of the men of the Division of Beaches and Parks who contributed a great deal toward this accomplishment was Mr. Clyde Newlin, the district superintendent with headquarters in Stockton. He, I think, was one of our best public relations men and he was able to convince the community leaders up in that country that the kind of concept that we established at the Calaveras South Grove was the right one in the long run to keep this magnificent grove free from artificial intrusions, as a sort of museum Piece. And to develop for human use facilities on lands of lesser caliber near by.
FRY: At what point in all this were those policies established?
DRURY: Those policies have more or less been at the base of the whole state park program. But one instrument through which they're effectuated is direct action of the park commission. In the case of Calaveras South Grove, we made a summary of the policy as to development, which was approved by the State Park Commission, as I remember it.
Then of course, there's the development of the so-called master plan for each park. I think one of the things we might well put in our appendix is an example of a master plan for a park area both in the national parks and in the state parks. We have in various stages of completion for every park some kind of a master plan, first of all determining what was the highest value of the area; why the public acquired it; what's it to be used for? Of course, uses are varied and there are differences of opinion as to what's the highest use of any piece of land. But by means of the master plan, which designates the use of each portion of an area and outlines what developments go into each, or what areas are to be without development, you more or less crystallize the policy. I can't overemphasize the importance in all work with any institution and especially with parks, in having a basic plan right from the beginning. Otherwise, steps are taken that would not have been taken had there been a comprehensive view of the future of the area.
I can't help thinking of a very fine city park
at Chico. John Bidwell, the pioneer, gave this park of about 2,000 acres to the city of Chico. It has some marvelous tree growth, particularly some of the best specimens of the valley oak, Quercus lobata. One of them, the so-called Sir Joseph Hooker Oak, named after the English botanist, is probably the greatest in spread of any of the valley oaks. It covers pretty well the area of an acre. Over the years, there have been various devices used to protect the feeder roots next to the tree from trampling feet. Yet the last time I was there, I found the terminus of a baseball diamond about a hundred feet from the Hooker oak--one of the many examples of what might be very damaging from an ecological standpoint, if you don't have a master plan.
Another example is the mounting tendency toward commercialization of the shoreline of San Francisco Bay, and even of filling in a considerable portion of it by realtors who try to create new worlds to conquer, particularly if it can be done at government expense. The Save-the-San Francisco Bay Association, in which Mrs. Clark Kerr is quite prominent, and Mrs. Donald Mclaughlin. These people are starting something that's very fine. The only trouble is that I think the barn door is being locked after the horse has been purloined. It's something that should have started two generations ago.
FRY: [Laughing] --When your father first began bringing industry here.
DRURY: Yes; when my father was manager of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce. I'm not sure that he was simon-pure
either, in his idealism. He thought that they ought to have industry on the waterfront, the way any community promoter does, to create a tax base and to improve the economic status of the community. However, he also appreciated the beauty of Berkeley. The Berkeley waterfront now is not particularly attractive, but there is a master plan for the city of Berkeley that seemed to me struck a pretty reasonable compromise, between the development of residential and recreational areas and zoning for industry. But the blight, as Lewis Mumford and other people point out, is that so much of this development is haphazard. There's no basic central plan.
FRY: Do you think it would be a good idea to have a national plan like this?
DRURY: Yes. There are of course redevelopment projects under the federal government where they bring talented men into the task of trying to win the communities over to a unified program. The great trouble is that they don't often succeed. Every local master plan is sheer compromise, under all kinds of pressures, most of which don't lead to amenities in the landscape, to say the least.
FRY: Was there any attempt on the part of the state to purchase land for parks as the county planning commissions saw their scenic areas diminishing? Did the park commission ever work with the county planning commissions to save these areas?
DRURY: As far as county planning was concerned, that came considerably later. In the late thirties and particularly in the forties, there was an upsurge of
county planning, which was a splendid thing for the state. Some very able planners are being brought into this work. The main difficulty is that they are without authority, and about the only tribunal before which conflicts in concept can be adjudicated is the County Board of Supervisors. Rarely is such a group an adequate judicial agency.
Pressures Against Protection
FRY: Was there early policy about non-conforming uses of the parks?
DRURY: Yes, because there had been plenty of experience in the national parks. The policy of the State Park Commission from the beginning had been against any non-conforming use of park lands. It isn't expressed as clearly in the basic act as perhaps it might have been, but the assumption right from the beginning was that in such matters the basic policies of the National Park Service would govern.
FRY: Was the Save-the-Redwoods League instrumental in this policy development?
DRURY: Yes, very much so.
Later opinions of the attorney general confirmed that policy by taking the position that any uses of park lands for purposes other than parks and recreation were not legal. That was a great help to the commission.
FRY: I wonder about the unworthy projects that were pressed on the commission by an influential person or group,
and how these situations were handled so that you could gently say no.
DRURY: In general, the commission was absolutely independent of the cheaper kinds of pressures. At the beginning, Governor Young appointed outstanding men of vision who commanded the respect of the entire state. For a great many years, the operations of the commission were on that basis. One of the great mainstays of the park commission over more than a generation, was Mr. Joseph R. Knowland, first as a member of the commission and then its chairman, a man who surely is capable of exercising a state-wide, unbiased viewpoint on matters of great concern from a long range standpoint for the future of the state. I don't say this as criticism of any of the park commissioners, however.
FRY: I think some of them have had their difficulties, though, springing from party politics.
DRURY: Well, there has been surprisingly little of that. However, there's been some local pressure, and unworthy projects at times have been approved because of it. A great debacle occurred during the Knight regime when a tremendous amount of tidelands money descended upon us all at once from the oil royalties, through their release by an act of Congress. Immediately, since there was so much money at stake, the representatives in the legislature, undoubtedly spurred on by their local chambers of commerce and other pressure groups, looked upon this as a sort of pork barrel program, a melon to be cut. That was when our main troubles with Southern California came
FRY: In the thirties, did you find that the commission, being dependent on matching funds, had a problem with the people who were able to give matching funds for parks in an inferior setting?
DRURY: That was no problem, no. On the other hand, the matching provision, which we all agreed was a good thing at the start, was a wonderful defense in that respect: people who are politically or commercially minded might press unworthy projects on the commission, but if they had to put up half the cost, they weren't quite so assiduous.
Of course, any portfolio of investments has some cats and dogs, and there were a few areas that weren't particularly worthwhile that found their way into it, but that wasn't a problem.
The problems of pressure for the park commission before that were largely those that related to attempts to use park properties for other than park purposes--for commercial uses of various sorts.
FRY: Apropos of this, in 1940, how did this Proposition 13 get on the ballot? It was a measure to enable the state to "sell or lease state parks if they could be proved to be more valuable for extraction of gas and oil."
DRURY: It was primarily the oil industry that promoted that. It turned out to be a good thing for our side, because the people defeated it overwhelmingly.
The act was rather faulty I think, in that it didn't provide any satisfactory tribunal for the determination of the relative value of these lands for
oil and gas, as against park use, and it didn't define fully the term "value." If it meant monetary value, that was one thing; but if it meant human value, that was something quite different. Anyhow, we beat the measure.
FRY: How did you beat the measure? Did you gather up your forces and go to battle?
DRURY: Yes; the same groups that put through the state park bond issue and got the basic legislation: the conservation organizations, women's clubs, and garden clubs, and many of the chambers of commerce, and commercial organizations that sided with the conservationists on it. My memory is a little dim on that particular controversy because I went through so many similar controversies in the national parks, and still later in the state parks again.
FRY: Did you notice any activities of the oil companies in wanting to use park land, before Proposition 13 in 1940, which would have allowed other uses of park lands?
DRURY: Oh, yes. That was a constant threat, but mainly on the beaches in the south. In most cases, it was possible for the state, if it owned the oil deposits (as it does underlying the state tidelands), to harvest them without impairing the beaches, through slant drilling.
FRY: You mean to allow the oil companies to do this?
DRURY: To allow the oil companies under proper leases to extract the oil. Surface drilling in the state parks has never been allowed. In fact, the attorney general very early advised that, under the law, the park commission had no authority to authorize the
sinking of oil wells on actual state park property, but he relaxed to the point of giving the opinion that they could authorize the drilling from adjoining areas, so as to drain the pools of oil and gas underlying the state parks, which didn't in anyway impair their park value. That has been done in many cases. I think that was done down at Tupman, at the Tule Oak Refuge.
FRY: This was the place the oil industry had in mind when it brought to bear Proposition 13, in 1939, to allow drilling in the parks.
I wonder if you experienced the same type of pressures from farmers wanting grazing rights?
DRURY: Yes. But fortunately, the grazing in most of the state parks is not a large item. Our history in the state parks, as it was in the national parks, was one of gradually, by infinite patience, eliminating grazing. At the present time, with the possible exception of Del Norte Coast State Park, I don't think there's any grazing in the state parks. We eliminated it completely in the redwoods.
FRY: Was this brought to bear by an already established organization, such as the Grange?
DRURY: No; usually it represented a very understandable desire on the part of people who had previously grazed on these lands to continue the privilege. It has not been a major issue.
FRY: On the highway problem: early in 1933 or '34, wasn't the new highway up in Del Norte County about to go through new park lands?
DRURY: There have been several cases.
FRY: Was that the first one?
DRURY: Yes; I think that was the first one where the park and highway authorities got together and agreed on an alternative route, as we've done subsequently in several other places.
FRY: Did that set a precedent?
DRURY: Well, at least it set a precedent for a realization on the part of the highway authorities of the rights and obligations of the park commission. There has never been any hostility in this. There have been various acts introduced in the legislature which would have violated park principles, but those acts have always been defeated.
There was an act about 1954 or 1955--I'll have to get you a copy of it. It's described in one of our bulletins in the Save-the-Redwoods League with respect to the proposed route of the freeway through the Avenue of the Giants north of Dyerville, and one south of Dyerville also. That's a long story, and perhaps it had better be taken up in another chapter. This legislation would have given the highway commission carte blanche to plow through the redwood parks. It was defeated in the legislature, and there was a subsequent compromise measure, which surely was infinitely more satisfactory, although not perfect, which allowed us to persuade the highway authorities to build the new freeway on a line that skirted the finest redwood groves instead of bisecting them.
Fires and Floods
FRY: Since we are on protection of the parks, I wonder if we could talk about fire protection in parks.
DRURY: In the state parks, the fire protection was primarily in the hands of the Division of Forestry, working very closely with the Division of Beaches and Parks. My experience as far as their cooperation was concerned, was very satisfactory. There are some inevitable clashes of personality between the representatives of different agencies, but forestry and parks were both under the same director, and I always enjoyed a very cordial and cooperative relationship with the state forester, just as in the federal government I did with the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Lyle Watts.
In the California parks, we had our own ranger forces which sometimes consisted of one lone ranger and sometimes a dozen or more at parks like the Big Basin and Humboldt Redwoods. Of course, when fires broke out, it was first of all the duty of the park staff to take the initial steps in suppressing them. But the state forestry crews which were stationed at strategic points through the state were called upon as quickly as possible and took over. The state park crews then, just acted as assistants to forestry. There are some disadvantages to that system.
In the national parks, it was different. We took full responsibility for fire suppression; but of course, we had much larger and much more varied
crews and very much more equipment, especially in the large national parks. But even there, especially in small areas, a large part of the fire protection was done by the crews from the adjoining national forest. I remember that particularly because they always rendered us a bill for services rendered. I imagine if we had fought fires on the national forests, we would have done the same to them.
FRY: That's what I wanted to ask you about. How was all this budgeted?
DRURY: In the federal government, the costs to the forest service of fire suppression on the national parks were taken out of the national park budget. In the state parks, I don't think we had any such procedure. At least, it never required any action on my part. The State Division of forestry acts under a quite different law from that governing the parks. They administer one or two state forests, but in the main, they are engaged in fire suppression on private lands outside of federal and state reservations. They operate in rural lands on the theory that it is in the interest of the state to minimize fires.
FRY: What about jurisdiction in fighting the fires, especially here in the state? If a fire spreads into an urban area which has its own fire department--
DRURY: They usually work in concert. That sometimes results in highly intricate legal questions, but they work it out fairly well, I think. I've had very little experience with urban fire-fighting--decidedly suburban. What I'm certain about is that
in every crisis of that sort somebody has to be the boss.
FRY: How is this arranged? Who decides who will be the boss?
DRURY: Mostly, the man on the ground. Time is of the essence with fires.
FRY: There was a pretty bad fire in California somewhere around state park lands in 1934, I believe it was. Maybe this would help you peg in your memory about what it was like to fight fires then and how you contrast it with present day fire-fighting methods.
DRURY: Well, frankly I don't consider myself an authority on fire-fighting. I always was fortunate in having colleagues who were trained in that. My task as administrator was to make sure that the men in charge knew their business and that they knew their techniques, and that at each fire it was understood who was in charge.
FRY: Has the administrative structure for this changed any since you first became acquainted with it?
DRURY: I imagine it has. The U.S. Forest Service and the State Division of Forestry would be the best people to speak with about that.
This is again going many years beyond the period that we're talking about. But one thing that bears on the question of fires and also on the present-day program of the Save-the-Redwoods League is the record I've just received from the state forester as to the Bull Creek watershed, which, as you know, we're trying to protect from further erosion. One of the main causes of the erosion which resulted
in terrific floods down below in the Bull Creek flats and the destruction of, perhaps fifty acres of the Rockefeller Forest was the fact that so much of this privately-owned upper watershed had been cut and burned over.
I was very much interested to receive from the state forester his maps for the period of ten years from 1949 to 1959 showing how much of that watershed, which is about 18,000 acres, had been burned over. One map here shows the number of fires over 100 acres in that ten year period and I would say from the shading on this map, that practically half of this area had been burned between 1949 and 1959, all of it primarily following small lumbering operations which left lots of slash and debris on the ground.
Then, in addition, he furnished me with a map of the same period of the fires under 100 acres, of which there were I'd say forty individual smaller fires that were suppressed in time, including one I note right in the heart of our Bull Creek flood area. It was not a large fire, but it did a certain amount of damage. Then this map also has a very interesting record of affidavits filed by owners of this Bull Creek watershed as to land conversion, which means that instead of having it revert to timber, they want to turn it to some other use, such as grazing, which would give them the right to cut the land completely and even in some cases, under permit, to burn it so that it could be used for grazing.
FRY: Do they get this permission from the forestry service?
DRURY: As the law was explained to me by State Forester Francis Raymond, the owners have to file an affidavit to the effect that they are no longer operating this land as timberland. That takes them out from under the restrictions imposed under the redwood code of the forestry division as to logging practices. Now, this is of interest to us because we have contended right along that in order to protect the Rockefeller Forest, we have to have unified management of this whole upper Bull Creek watershed. The only possible salvation of that country down below, the only protection from recurring erosion, we were convinced was the public ownership by some agency, whether it be the parks or the Division of Forestry.
FRY: Are you able now to have a fairly unified operation in the Calaveras Grove area?
DRURY: Yes; and our relationships with the U.S. Forest Service there were always very fine. They still would be our mainstay if there were any serious fires; and there have been serious fires in that country.
FRY: From the standpoint of overall protection, which state park do you think was the easiest to maintain adequate protection standards for?
DRURY: Well, there's one principle: the more remote a piece of land is, the easier it is to protect. The greatest form of erosion, as you know, is the so-called human erosion. This is what even great areas like Yosemite have suffered from. The areas that will be the easiest to protect in the future, I think will be those where we have been able to establish what
I would consider a sound concept of management as we have at Point Lobos, where the use is necessarily restricted because of the fragile nature of the landscape. We need definiteness of policy and commitment both by the higher authorities and the local citizenry to that policy. Fortunately, Point Lobos is adjacent to Carmel which, as a center for artists and the intelligentsia, is rabid in its insistence on preserving the natural beauty of Point Lobos. If somebody--even one of the park ranger--cuts a limb off a single tree, there's a great uproar among the citizenry of Carmel. This makes it wonderful for those of us who are supposed, as John Ise says, to be purists. To a lesser degree, the same thing is true of the South Calaveras Grove. And then the fact that the South Calaveras Grove is on a park road rather than a thoroughfare highway makes it easier to protect.
FRY: Is the citizenry surrounding South Calaveras pretty well educated about all this, because it took such a long campaign to get it?
DRURY: Yes, I think so. Of course, the center of local interest in the Calaveras Grove was not in that vicinity at all, but was in the city of Stockton. Stockton was the center of the Calaveras Grove Association and there are some very fine conservationists there.
FRY: Did they raise some money?
DRURY: Yes; they raised some money both for the North Grove and the South Grove. They worked with the Save-the-Redwoods League very closely.
FRY: Well, I guess that's one compensation for having to squeeze money out of every available source. At least you get population educated for protection after you have the park.
DRURY: Oh, yes; and the more the local people put into one of these areas by way of investment, the more apt you are to have their sympathy in protecting it according to reasonably austere standards.
Parks. Highway Development, and Planning
FRY: You have mentioned the threat to the parks of highway building. Do you have any keys for a solution?
DRURY: This California Tomorrow group, who I think are not so much an organization as a study group for the purpose of spreading certain main ideas, are on the right track when they point out the importance of a comprehensive master plan for the use and development of the resources of the state. The great trouble is that the word "planning" fell into disrepute during certain regimes, and it's very difficult to rescue it from that status. But time and time again, when there was a conflict, for instance, between parks and highways as to whether it was in the highest public interest to desecrate a beautiful park area by building a freeway through it, or when there were certain resources needed, as in time of war in the national parks, it was very difficult to find any tribunal before which you could present your evidence dispassionately and then get a rational decision.
Even the governor in California generally referred matters of that sort back to the department heads concerned, and said, "Here, you gentlemen get together."
One of the pernicious things in government is over-cooperation, the desire to be a good fellow and to accede to the wishes of another government department just to keep peace in the family. It's a very dangerous thing. That surely has been our nemesis as far as highway building in the parks is concerned. I never was in favor of these joint meetings to determine the fate of a park; I always tried to get the State Park Commission to take a firm stand and then stay with it, even though they were defeated; the minute you compromise in the interest of amity, you've in a sense not lived fully up to your trust.
The great case was Emerald Bay. Our oath of office was to the effect that we would protect the state parks. It didn't say anything about cooperating with the highway commission. That's a semi-political phase. I've done my share of compromising with other agencies; it would be foolish not to do it. But when it comes to something basic, it's a very dangerous tradition.
FRY: I noticed in the interim reports that the senators were quite anxious that you or Director Nelson call meetings regularly with all the other agencies concerned with recreation in the state, so that you could each know what the other was doing.
DRURY: Yes. Well, that's all to the good. The great trouble
there again is that sometimes you have so many conferences, you don't have any time left to do any work.
FRY: Do you think that now that these divisions and departments have been reorganized  that that part might be a little less time-consuming?
DRURY: I don't think that will have any particular effect except that it may perhaps give us a little stronger position in dealing with the governor in that the resource agencies are under one man who has sort of a cabinet status, and he's a very good man, William Warne. I don't really believe, though, that it's necessary to the efficiency of the operation. The crying need, as I say, is for some council or tribunal before which the governor could place conflicts of interest between two departments, such as parks and highways, or parks and forestry, and try to get a long-range view of the preponderant public interest. It's almost impossible to do, of course, but that's no reason why it shouldn't be tried.
FRY: In the mid-fifties, you had the problem of your redwood highway being widened. This was settled largely by the legislature, wasn't it?
DRURY: No; that was settled in a compromise that frankly was a sort of Pyrrhic victory for us. We did win our point in holding the existing highway, which is one of the most beautiful scenic highways in the world, in its existing state.
FRY: Apparently, there was great pressure from the people who live north of the redwoods and have economic interests for a fast highway to come down to San Francisco.
DRURY: Also, every community except San Francisco naturally is in favor of multi-million expenditures in their bailiwick. Assemblyman Belotti, who was a pretty good friend of the parks, was very effective and adroit in getting appropriations for this freeway. The thing I objected to, to no avail, was that two and a fraction million dollars of our oil royalty funds, intended to be expended on parks, were appropriated one year toward building this freeway.
We, I think properly, made much of the fact that we induced the Division of Highways not to destroy the beauty of the existing road. They call that now the Avenue of the Giants. But there's no question that tremendous damage to scenery was done by the building of the freeway, especially at Dyerville. The ideal would have been to bypass the park entirely instead of going through it on another route. We advanced such a plan. However, finally we had to proceed on the basis of half a loaf being better than none.
If we had had the sort of impartial tribunal I've been discussing, we might have been able to produce enough evidence to show that it was in the long-range public interests of the state for the Highway Commission to spend the extra money and construct the extra mileage necessary to bypass the Humboldt Redwood State Park and the Rockefeller Forest.
FRY: Isn't it legally possible for one branch of government to bring suit against another? Could you have preceded through the courts?
DRURY: Yes; I think we could have, but the tendency in government is to avoid that kind of washing of linen in public. It could have been thrown into the courts, and frankly I think that's what should be done in cases like the Emerald Bay bridge and other matters. There were certain statutes that Governor Brown himself has said he's going to have changed, which appear to vest in the Division of Highways almost arbitrary power with respect to park lands. Those statutes have never been tested in the courts, to my knowledge, so far as state parks are concerned. They have been tested in relation to local parks--properties that have been given for instance to a city like Los Angeles for park purpose--but I have always contended, and may have to try to demonstrate that parks purchased under our State Park Bond Issue of 1928, for instance, which was a constitutional amendment ratified by vote of the people, are surely subject to a trust, and that it's a legal matter to be adjudicated by the courts as to what is the highest public use.
We did have some cases that dealt with that principle in the lower courts; one in which they wanted to condemn some of our park land at Big Sur for a school. The attorney general was successful in fending that off, and the lower court ruled that use for school purposes was not a higher public purpose than use for park purposes, and since these lands were dedicated for that purpose, they couldn't be diverted. I was down there the other day, and that land that was in controversy has been so butchered by diverse developments, that I think they
might just as well have built the school. There's a Forest Service station there and a corral for horses and half a dozen other things. But anyhow, the principle was involved there, and so far as I know, that's the only case where we've had a clean-cut adjudication and one that's been favorable to the parks.
Financing the Parks
Park Money from Private Sources
FRY: I wonder if we could go into some of your stories on getting financial support for the park projects after the bond issue passed, and the commission was set up ready to receive funds. I was going to specifically ask you about the Carnegie Institution funds and how they were obtained.
DRURY: Well, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., had as its president Mr. John C. Merriam, who earlier was a professor of paleontology and dean of the faculties in the University of California. He was also, as you know, for many years president of the Save-the-Redwoods League. He was able to get some monetary support from the Carnegie Institution.
Dr. Merriam used to spend most of his summers out in California, particularly in the redwood region. He never told me this, but I always rather imagined that when he took the position as president of the Carnegie Institution, he stipulated that he could spend his summers in California rather than in Washington, D.C. because that's where he always was.
The amount of time and thought he gave to the state park program was invaluable. The Carnegie Institution has granted funds for various scientific and other studies relating to our parks; just yesterday I got action from the directors of the Save-the-Redwoods League disposing of the residue of a fund that the Carnegie Institution gave us about twenty years ago for publications on Point Lobos. In fact, the Point Lobos Reserve itself came pretty largely as a result of the interest of the Carnegie Institution and of Dr. Merriam. This fund that they gave us to get out a publication on Point Lobos is in the state treasury now and has increased, which is unusual for grants of that sort. The reason is that it was used to get out sales publications, and in quantity the sales publications have a rather low unit value in the standard price which the printers don't seem inclined to reduce, and this allows a considerable margin of profit, so that out of that we'll be able to get more publications on Point Lobos and also some on the redwoods.
FRY: We've covered pretty well the fund-raising methods used by the Save-the-Redwoods League. Were different methods used by the state?
DRURY: In the state they were not particularly different. The money was a little harder to get for certain purposes in the state park program other than the redwoods because the redwoods movement was such a tangible thing and it cried out so much to have proper help. The element of its timeliness also helped, although I laugh at myself a little bit because I
read things that I wrote thirty years ago and frequently in these writings occurs the expression that if we don't act within a year or two, it will be too late. [Laughter] We're still playing that tune, but it's still appropriate. On the other hand, we don't advertise our failures, and there are a considerable list that I may sometime outline, of the opportunities that we didn't grasp because we moved belatedly. That's particularly true of the cost now of the redwood forests.
FRY: In the early thirties, there was a little trouble getting matching funds for some of the purchases, wasn't there?
DRURY: Yes. In the state park program, as I think we've brought out already, the accomplishment was very spotty. There were some interior parks where there was some matching, but on nothing like the scale on which we were able to get gifts for the redwoods. Of course, when you talk about gifts as far as the redwoods are concerned, the name of Rockefeller bulks very large; pretty close to a third of the matching moneys has been contributed by the Rockefellers. A large gift also was made by Edward S. Harkness of New York. I already told you how, through Mr. William H. Crocker of our Redwoods League Council, we got Mr. Harkness interested.
FRY: One thing that has stuck in my mind was something about the Smith River acreage and the Del Norte Lumber Company in 1931: it seems in the records of the Del Norte Lumber Company that you never quite had the funds at the times when Del Norte made its
DRURY: That's right. We finally did succeed in getting enough money to buy what they called then the Mill Creek redwoods. It's now the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, northeast of Crescent City. We did raise enough money through gifts to buy an initial area from the Del Norte Lumber Company, at a ridiculously low figure--something like 49 cents a thousand--and then we took an option on the remainder of their property, over a ten year period, divided into ten equal units at a considerably higher unit value, but still ridiculously low for redwood stumpage as viewed today. That was one of the big projects in which my brother Aubrey Drury was so successful. He conceived the idea of having this forest made what he called "the National Tribute Grove," a memorial to those who had fallen in the world wars, and over a period of ten years, they raised about another half million dollars to match the state and take up this option. They were always just a jump ahead of the sheriff, so to speak, getting about enough money in each year to release an equal amount from the state for matching, in order eventually to take up the option.
FRY: Did the commission get the California legislature to agree to the purchase of lands in installments through lease options over a period of time?
DRURY: I don't think it was ever put up to the state legislature. The attorney general in the early days, was much more liberal than he later became, and passed our transactions as did the fiscal authorities, under
which we purchased properties in units. I know that in addition to the Del Norte options, we did that on Mount Diablo, and I think that legally they still could do it, but the attorney general didn't encourage it in the later years.
FRY: This was outright purchasing of one tract of land at a time, but no lease options?
DRURY: No; we never had authority. Well, I'll take that back. There is a provision of law that the state can lease land for state purposes, including parks, but only if the contract contains a proviso that if the land is purchased, whatever has been paid in rental for the lease shall be applied to the purchase price.
FRY: 100 per cent of it?
DRURY: Yes; and I don't think that we've ever been able to consummate any purchases that way. In fact, I can't conceive of a seller being willing to agree to such a thing, because it really in effect, is asking for a discount on the ultimate purchase price of the land.
Community Tax Problems
Decreased Taxable Land with
Increased land Values
FRY: Did you find that your own acquisition of land for a park raised the value on what you wanted to buy later to round it out?
DRURY: Yes; of course it did. Despite all the protests that people have made in some quarters about establishing parks, my observation has been that the assured preservation
of scenery and other resources through park management in a new region almost invariably tended to increase the values of surrounding lands.
A good example of that is the town of Weott up there in Humboldt County. When Mr. Percy French was a young man, he and one of his co-workers had an option on eighty acres of land, which is now the town of Weott. It had just been cut over, and in those days, the standard price for cutover land was $10 an acre, so that between them had an option for $800.
Well, his partner didn't put up his $400, so Percy backed out, and not long ago on the highway there, lots were selling for over $100 per front foot. It'd probably be around $40,000 an acre. [Laughter] But that was because of the so-called site value, and also the fact that we had bought up all of the land for several miles around it for parks and that was the only piece of private land that could be used for commercial development.
FRY: This would help increase the tax base then, around park areas.
DRURY: It unquestionably has helped in the taxation picture. Right now up in Humboldt County, we're facing considerable hostility, on the part of the county supervisors and the taxpayers' association and other groups, to our acquiring some relatively presently worthless land that's been cut over in the upper Bull Creek watershed. There are 18,000 acres of that land, and the total taxes now paid by it with the timber gone, amount to some $16,000 a year. One
sizable community built up for taking care of recreational travel in a community like that would pay several times that amount of taxes. Both in the national and state parks we have shown to many communities the computations of the enhanced value of lands and the increased amount of taxable improvements that had come as a result of park establishment.
The great example that I think of offhand is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where we were able to adopt a policy of placing no motels or hotels or lodges or facilities of that sort within the park, but leaving them to private enterprise outside. The little town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which lies at the north entrance to the Great Smokies National Park, suddenly prospered, and some of the old hillbilly families are reputed to have become millionaires through the enhancement of land values and through having the only available sites for hotels and other institutions that catered to the tourist. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has around 2,000,000 visitors a year, as I remember the last statistics. There's bound to be a tremendous backwash of value that comes from that many tourists.
FRY: Do you remember if the commission ever suggested the idea of taxing the area surrounding an acquisition on its increased value?
DRURY: There has been theoretical discussion about that, and there needs to be much more thorough analysis of it.
FRY: Do you think the park people would be in favor of
DRURY: Well, I think the park people have enough trouble without initiating that kind of program. It would be anything but popular among the voters of any given county or particularly the school district.
The great problem in taxation in some of the districts, and it's one with which we all sympathize, is the rapid increase in population with a simultaneous decrease in the taxable area for various purposes, not just for parks alone, but for freeways and for state institutions, schools, and all sorts of properties that can't be taxed.
The economic benefits of the state parks I think are pretty well acknowledged, except in arguments on this taxation question. The state of Oregon has just issued a publication in which they have analyzed the dollar value of state parks to the communities surrounding them.
FRY: Were most lands that the park commission bought, particularly the redwood lands, pretty far down in the tax rate tables anyway?
DRURY: Yes; that was true, particularly if they were owned by the local residents. [Laughter] We found that absentee owners contributed quite liberally in taxes. Taxes increased about in the same ratio as their remoteness. For instance, lumbermen in Michigan who owned a claim, 160 acres in Humboldt County, would pay three and four times the tax of a comparable claim just south of it which happened to be owned by one of the reasonably prominent local citizens. That's true all over the world; it isn't confined
to Humboldt County or to the redwoods.
FRY: Mr. Arthur Connick told me in an unrecorded interview last month that there was not much increase in community income as a result of the Humboldt Park. But he did say that there really wasn't much tax loss when that area was bought.
DRURY: Mr. Connick was born in Humboldt County and lived there a good part of his life, and was more familiar than any of us with the local conditions. I don't think, though, that he meant there weren't values added to the tax base, because obviously the tourist travel which I think to a considerable degree has been attracted to the redwood region, has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of improvements in motels and service agencies like garages and restaurants and that sort of thing. All one has to do is note the condition of little towns like Garberville, for instance, before the Redwood Highway became so famous, and they can see the great difference. There are some who apparently think it would have been famous as the Redwood Highway even if all the virgin redwoods had been cut, but that's, to say the least, a debatable question.
FRY: I believe he would agree that the taxable improvements have increased a great deal. What he questioned was the increase in total community income from the tourist trade. He felt it was too seasonal to make much difference.
Mr. Connick was on the Save-the-Redwoods League committee to study this whole tax problem in the thirties. Did they come up with any proposals that
would overcome the objections to the decrease in taxable lands?
DRURY: No. The league, of course, recognized that that was one of the problems which in fairness had to be dealt with. However, it was anything but a major problem in the early days. Humboldt County, for instance, appropriated $50,000 to acquire one property on Prairie Creek. They put up $30,000 or $40,000 in the very early days of the Save-the-Redwoods League to acquire certain other properties. The county supervisors in those days were almost militant in their support of the Save-the-Redwoods program and the state park program.
FRY: Was there any thought of the commission doing what the State Division of Forestry does, that is, continuing to pay taxes on land that it took over?
DRURY: Yes; there was consideration of that, and neither the league nor the State Park Commission, to my knowledge, have opposed any of the measures to pay in-lieu taxes to the county. But some of us have our inner thoughts about it. We can't see why parks should be singled out for taxation as against state armories or state hospitals or motor vehicle headquarters or other state properties, although we have never voiced that thought in committee hearings. The position that both the park commission and the Redwoods League took was that this was primarily a state-wide fiscal question, and the reason that the various bills that have
passed the legislature for in-lieu taxes for parks haven't been enacted into law was that in each case, a long list of successive governors has vetoed them.
FRY: Do you know why they vetoed them?
DRURY: They vetoed them on the ground that it would open the flood gates to general state subsidy of all kinds of activities, that once the parks were safely put in the fold, other properties would follow. I've had that expressed to me specifically by representatives of the county supervisors' associations too. But, as I say, it would have made our course easier in acquiring land if the state had paid taxes to the counties, whether in theory that's sound or not.
On our current Bull Creek watershed project, one of the things we're debating is whether or not, at least in the preliminary stages, we shouldn't incorporate such lands as we acquire in a state forest, which will obviate that tax loss objection by the local people.
The state has paramount authority; the county supervisors can't veto action of the state, although the last legislature had a bill that came close to passage which would have provided that no state park lands could be acquired except with the approval of the local county board of supervisors. They defeated that; I think Governor Brown would have vetoed it. I hope so. It surely would be poor government when you remember that the counties are simply artificial segments of the state; they aren't entities. Anyhow, some of us have come to believe that in-lieu taxes probably are inevitable like a lot of other
welfare projects that we accept and benefit from without really believing in them implicitly.
FRY: I was wondering if the difficulty that the small owners have in getting access roads through so that they could get their timber out isn't so discouraging that it is frequently better for them to turn this land into a park?
DRURY: It was in the early days, and that's why we were so fortunate in getting started so soon. Of course, we also went through the period of the great depression where almost any kind of property could be picked up at 20, 30 cents on the dollar. And looking back on it now, we feel that circumstances were very favorable to us then.
Organization of Funds
FRY: Maybe you could clarify the financial structure that existed in the state in the thirties. There was a "contingent fund," and I was wondering if you could explain how this functioned. Specifically, was all the money that was given by private sources to the commission put into the contingent fund, and did all of this money have to be matched by state money before it could be spent?
DRURY: No, it did not have to be. Private gifts went into the contingent fund and might or might not be matched by state money. In some cases, it was given with the stipulation that it should be matched. That's the basis on which most of the Save-the-Redwoods League money was given to the state. But there were other cases where money was given to the state to
buy land or perhaps to develop it where it could be spent on a 100 per cent basis.
Then a little later on, we established the state park maintenance fund, into which all of the revenues of the state parks went. And there was also the fund made up by the appropriations, which up to the 1956 act, had to be matched. Now, all three funds are consolidated into what they call the state park fund.
FRY: If you lacked a little to purchase something, could you simply take private money from the contingent fund without its being matched to supplement the purchase money?
DRURY: If the gift had been made for that purpose, or without stipulation.
FRY: So it gave you a little flexibility.
DRURY: Yes; the money in the state park contingent fund could be expended for whatever purpose was stated when it was given, or if it was given for a general purpose, it could be spent for anything.
The state park maintenance fund money, on the other hand, went into a reservoir from which it could be appropriated, but it couldn't be expended until appropriated. It's been a long time since any government agency in California has been given a blank check. The overall ruler of the fiscal fate of California, perhaps properly, is the State Department of Finance. The legislature twenty years ago passed an act which states that the director of finance can hold up any transaction, any contract, any purchase, any transfer of land, if in his opinion it is not in the best interests of the state of California.
There's no hearing, no presentation of evidence, or anything.
FRY: That's a carte blanche veto, isn't it?
DRURY: He's the sole arbiter, and it's made quite a difference to the state park program and a great many other programs.
FRY: What have their attitudes been toward the state parks? Have you had any who were hostile?
DRURY: No. It has just increased the work that the state park authorities and the Division of Beaches and Parks had to do. It just involved that much more argumentation.
The present director of finance is John Pierce, who in his younger days, had been an assistant tax expert of the California Taxpayers Association. In going through the archives of the state parks, I came across an old copy of the publication of the taxpayers association in which John Pierce had an article which deplored the fact that the expenses of the state parks were mounting by leaps and bounds, and that the appropriation for the state park system for the biennium the state legislature used to meet only every two years in those days had reached the staggering total of $250,000 for the two year period. [Laughter] And here we are for one year with almost twenty million dollars in 1960.
I think I've already mentioned that in our acquisition program in the state parks, we made a chart of a typical transaction from the time that it was approved by the park commission to the time when it finally emerged in the consummation of a deal.
We found that it just took a year to go through all the different avenues and surmount all of the hurdles that by state law had been established.
FRY: Without going into the procedure that was involved in the State Park Finance Board, I wonder if you could explain what that board had to do with the commission and to whom it was responsible?
DRURY: As far as I can remember, only to the governor. It may have been answerable to the State Board of Control, which later became the Department of Finance. The State Park Finance Board was established, I think, entirely to serve for the state park bond issue of 1928. And I think legislation provided that only by action of that board could bonds be put up for sale and the proceeds turned over to the park commission.
FRY: But it still functions...
DRURY: I don't think it exists now. I think with the expenditure of all the bond money it became a dead letter. I may not be right.
FRY: It was in the 1958 Blue Book, if the Blue Book is right.
DRURY: Then it may be. I know this, that I put through some transactions and put money in escrow up in Humboldt County for the purchase of lands. And one thing or another delayed it. I went to Washington for ten and a half years. I came back to Sacramento, and in about the second or third year of my tenure in the fifties, we finally spent the last $225 from the state park bond issue of 1928! So I suppose the State Park Finance Board was in existence then because the law required, I'm sure, that the State
Park Finance Board had to ratify the sale of these bonds. Now, it may still exist for other purposes.
FRY: The connecting link between the finance board and the park commission was the chairman of the commission, who was also on the finance board.
DRURY: I think the controller was also on it, and the chairman of the State Park Commission. But if my memory doesn't fail me, the State Park Finance Board existed before the Department of Finance. Then, when the Department of Finance was established, it took over, of course.
Ranger and Naturalist Programs
FRY: I'd like to ask you about the state park personnel policies and how they developed. The first guides in the state parks began in 1934, is that right? Two women, apparently.
DRURY: I think there were naturalists, or, as we called them, "nature guides," before that. Mr. Earl Hanson, who now is the deputy chief up there in Sacramento in the Division of Beaches and Parks, was I believe the first guide in the major redwood parks. That's how he got into the service. He was stationed for quite a few years at Richardson Grove and then later was assistant superintendent of the northern redwood parks.
Miss Alice Goen and Eleanor Armstrong I remember well when we engaged them. They were very capable
women. Then there was a Miss Harriet Weaver, who about the same time was the nature guide in the Big Basin. She has written quite a few pamphlets and books on the redwoods and just recently the Sunset Press has issued her very fine (ostensibly) children's book called Here Stand the Giants. Have you seen that?
Fry : No.
DRURY: Well, I think very highly of it. Professor Fritz, with whom I was just talking, went over it and made suggestions and they sent it to the Save-the-Redwoods League and also to the California Redwood Manufacturers' Association, and as a result of all the collaboration, they got out a very interesting book, beautifully illustrated. While it's supposedly for children of grammar and high school age, it contains about all the average untutored adult could absorb of the lore of the redwoods, and I'm trying to get the Save-the-Redwoods league to distribute it as a publication that their members might well read.
FRY: After the nature guides, what became the next need as you saw it?
DRURY: The next step was to pattern the state park naturalist work after that in the national parks. Gradually, we had a few more guides like Mr. Earl Hanson, but not until the forties did the state parks have anything like a naturalist section. Mr. Elmer Aldrich, who was a graduate of the University of California and an official with the Fish and Game Commission, was appointed as the first chief naturalist
of the state parks, a permanent employee in Sacramento, but except for that position, all of the naturalist positions were, and so far as I know still are, seasonal. There are no resident naturalists, as in the national parks.
FRY: What are your state foresters' duties? Did that begin back with the nature guides?
DRURY: I guess it began later, because it was during my time, between 1941 and '50, that we put a man on the staff and actually called him the "state park forester," to be distinguished from the State Division of Forestry officers. We have a Mr. Fred Meyer, a very talented man who was a graduate in forestry at the University of California, and had also majored in landscape architecture. He spent quite a little time with Frederick Law Olmsted, when Olmsted made his second supplementary survey of the state parks about 1945 to '50. Fred was for a while connected with the land section which later I had split down into two sections, one for land acquisition and the other for what we call land planning, investigation of properties and reporting on their suitability for park purposes. But he was primarily a forester, and when we could get the funds, we created the position of state park forester, which he now holds with considerable distinction.
Mr. Charles DeTurk, the chief of the Division of Beaches and Parks, is a landscape architect and quite versed in the physical sciences, and in his own specialties he's a good interpretive officer, and a good planner. He places a great deal of dependence
upon Fred Meyer in all matters that have to do, for instance, with silva culture (the growing of trees where, in rare cases, planting is indicated), the protection of the state park forests from disease, the organization of the fire-fighting program within the division (although, as we've already recorded here, primarily fire-fighting in the California state parks is carried on by the State Division of Forestry).
FRY: I'm a little hazy on the difference between the state park foresters in the parks and the ranger force.
DRURY: The state park forester is primarily a planner and a technician. The state park rangers do the policing, the handling of the public, and information services and all that sort of thing in the parks. Some of the larger parks have a chief ranger, while some parks have only one man who doubles in brass as the park supervisor and the park ranger and the interpretive officer and everything else.
FRY: These rangers do have to do a certain amount of nature education, I guess.
DRURY: Yes; although they try to shove it off onto the naturalists, particularly in those parks where they have a seasonal naturalist. Even some of the forestry graduates are not very strong on botany, which is the main field in which people ask questions. I can sympathize with them because I've spent a lifetime up in the redwood region and still, unless I keep brushed up on it, I can't recollect the names of a lot of the minor plants. I can identify most of the trees. But I took comfort from the fact that during a trip of about a week I made with Willis Lynn
Jepsen, who was head of the botany department here at California and who wrote the primary book on California trees and flowering plants, he occasionally had to refer to his own book to refresh his memory when he wanted to identify a flower or a shrub.
FRY: The rangers, then, primarily are the ones who protect the parks?
DRURY: Yes; they're the administration and protection officers and they pitch in on anything that has to be done. In the off season, they sometimes paint the buildings.
The rangers are not above doing all sorts of manual labor, but in the last few years I was up in Sacramento, we established a quite different category from that of ranger, called a park assistant, and then later on we created a seasonal position called a park attendant.
The park attendants don't have to have civil service status; they can be hired on a temporary basis. There is an examination now for park assistant. Some are permanent and some of them are just seasonal, but they don't make any pretense of profound knowledge of forestry or botany or geology or any of the other sciences that are involved in giving interpretive information to the public.
FRY: Did this evolve from a Save-the-Redwoods idea on taking care of the parks?
DRURY: In the redwood parks, I think it did, although even there at Big Basin, which was established twenty years before the Save-the-Redwoods League, they had nature guides in the early days; but the Save-the-Redwoods
League more or less inspired the idea of giving the visiting public some conception of the meaning of what they saw in the parks. In fact, I think, if I'm not wrong, that Earl Hanson for a while was engaged by the Save-the-Redwoods League as a naturalist. Then the state parks took him on. At various times, the Save-the-Redwoods League has engaged men under the supervision of the parks to act as guides in the Garden Club of America Grove, the azalea reserve up north, and possibly others.
I don't know whether I've told you, but the present dean of chemistry at the University of California, Robert E. Connick, son of the late Arthur E. Connick of the Redwoods League, started his career as a high school boy as an employee of the Save-the-Redwoods League driving up and down the highway picking up the litter. He ascribes his present eminence partly to the training he got on the job with the State Park Commission and the Redwoods League. That was a long time back. I remember he drove an old Buick touring car that had belonged to me for five or six years, which I had bought from Professor Joe Leconte, who had used it in his expeditions in South America. I bought it second-hand for a very small price, and finally left it up there in the redwoods. It was so long ago that the gear shift was the original gear-shift, which is just the opposite of the present gear-shift. The low is on the right side, and the high was on the left. I think we finally sold it for $25. Last I heard, some farmer was using the engine to work his pump.
Civilian Conservation Corps, and
State Emergency Relief Agency, & Parks
FRY: In the thirties, did the California State Emergency Relief Agency help you any in getting and financing personnel to work in the parks?
DRURY: Yes; it provided labor forces for doing certain things. I've always had a sort of a complex about that type of labor. I've tried to be open-minded and revise my views as the facts were revealed, and I feel somewhat different about that kind of labor now than I did back in the thirties. The great problem was to avoid so-called "made work" that might do more damage than good. The position we always took in the parks was that we didn't want any labor unless we had a clearly defined project that they could work on. But many, many times in that emergency conservation work and also in the later C.C.C. we had labor forces crammed down our throats in places where we didn't particularly need them or want them.
The crux of the whole matter was the supervision. If they could be supervised by men who understood park operations and park planning and design, and they had enough supervision so that the work didn't get out of hand, it was worth while. I went to Washington in 1940 prejudiced against the C.C.C. because of some of the experiences we'd had in the state parks where we simply couldn't control the so-called improvement work, much of which destroyed the natural character of the parks. That was
partly due to the fact that we had no money to engage landscape architects and engineers to do the initial planning; we couldn't get state appropriations for them. In fact, when I went back to Sacramento in 1951, we had only one landscape architect, and I think we had two engineers. Now I'll wager they have at least twenty landscape architects and about an equal number of engineers.
Midway in the C.C.C. program, the spoils system emerged in the state park C.C.C. corps. In the early days, most of the work project supervisors were people who through no fault of their own were out of jobs--landscape architects and engineers, some of them highly qualified men. I remember one architect who was one of the leading architects in California, but nevertheless he wasn't much of a business getter, and to keep him from starving almost, we put him on one of these emergency work projects. I don't think I'll name his name, but he was a very able man. And there were a lot like him; civil engineers had to get jobs selling ribbon over counters (quite the opposite of what I found in Sacramento in the 1950's, when we ran out of engineers and finally had to advertise all over the United States. They opened up the Civil Service regulations so that anyone from anywhere could take the examinations, whereas most persons under Civil Service in California have to have at least a year's residence and be citizens of California).
Just to follow that a little further, in the state parks, particularly in the redwood parks, we
had a plethora of these C.C.C. camps. There was one park I remember, Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Burlington, where we felt that we'd gotten all the good out of the C.C.C. camp and had tried again and again to shift it somewhere else, or to abandon it, but with no success. Well, about the first week I was in Washington as the new director of national parks, the man of the National Park Service in charge of the C.C.C. camps in the United States came in and said, "I'm sorry, but out in California there are two parks and we've only got appropriations for one camp. You'll have to decide whether to give up a camp down in Southern California or the Burlington camp. I'd been trying from this end for ten years to get the darn thing out, so you can imagine how I decided it.
FRY: Supervision in C.C.C. seems to have been handled from many angles, from the state of California and from Washington, and then didn't some private organizations like the Save-the-Redwoods League also do something to contribute planning?
DRURY: No, I don't think so. The Save-the-Redwoods League has always been what you might call the "friend of the court," There's been a very fine relationship between the state government and for that matter, the federal government and the Save-the-Redwoods League. But there's no desire on the part of the Save-the-Redwoods League, never has been and is not now, to dominate the scene.
FRY: I didn't mean that. Someone said, speaking especially of Big Basin, that where the planning and supervision
was provided by the government fell short, the Redwoods League offered aid and assistance.
DRURY: I think that's true in the matter of advice, and in these few cases where they put in guides for special reasons.
FRY: When you were short on funds for planning and architects and so forth, were you able to use the money appropriated in the 1936 Park, Parkway and Recreation Area Study Act in Washington? It was one of a long string of acts.
DRURY: No. Of course, that was an act that was passed before I went to Washington.
FRY: I mean when you were in California.
DRURY: I don't remember any state law or state appropriation. That was a federal program and my friend Conrad L. Wirth, who is now the director of national parks, has been for about the last ten or twelve years, was more or less in charge of that work for the Department of Interior.
FRY: I thought that this money was made available to states.
DRURY: It was, but it was paid for by the federal government and the employees were federal employees, not state. Oh, Uncle Sam was always very cooperative in consulting with the state authorities, except toward the last three or four years when the politicians ganged up on the federal authorities and more or less insisted on jobs being provided as camp supervisors and foremen and all that. There were congressmen who couldn't stand the pressure from their constituents in the districts. And, as I say, many of these people
that were appointed were highly capable, but toward the end as the capable men got better jobs, we had sort of the dregs of the pool of supervisory talent and some of them were pretty terrible and did quite a little damage. But by and large, the benefits of that program were tremendous and set us ahead for several years, perhaps as much as ten years.
Now, in the national parks where they had master plans, of a sort anyhow, and they were being perfected, where they had strong men as superintendents of the parks and a competent ranger force, the C.C.C. camps immediately paid dividends because they had specific projects that had been on the shelf for ten to twenty years and they could put them to road-building and landscaping and erosion control and projects of that sort. The disadvantage in California, was that we had so small a technical staff that we had a superabundance of riches as far as labor was concerned.
FRY: You had Dan Hull for your engineer?
DRURY: Dan Hull was our state park engineer. He was really a landscape architect by profession, and for years, probably ten or twelve years, he was the sole landscape architect. When he finally retired, a man named Steven Wardwell went into that place, a very capable fellow who is now the chief landscape architect.
FRY: When I was talking with Professor Emanuel Fritz, he said to be sure and get from you your way of obtaining work superintendents. He credits to you a great
deal of success in getting good supervision during C.C.C.
DRURY: Well, we put on a fight for capable people. We weren't trying to pay political debts or anything of that sort. It may sound a little Machiavellian, but I can tell you one method we used in a highly political state administration in which any jobs that were open with the state were sought after by great many of the faithful who'd happened to support the authorities in power. We would find in a place like the redwood region a capable young man whom we'd like to have for this kind of work, and the next problem was to make sure that he belonged to the right political party. Then we had to make sure that not we, but the political boss of the county started to bring pressure on the governor's office to get him appointed. Then we'd get a call from the governor's office to consider this man and we would put up a token resistance and suddenly would yield. And he was appointed. [Laughter] Well, that happened
FRY: Did he have to do ward work first?
DRURY: Oh, no. He just had to be sponsored by the top man. And it wasn't as bad as I make it out, but there were not too many cases like that. And almost universally, these men made good because they were men that we'd put our finger on beforehand and then saw to it that they were presented not entirely on their merits unfortunately, but on the basis, partly at least, of political pressure. That was during one administration.
The next administration that came in was a little too smart for us. They got onto that dodge very quickly. And about that time, the people of the state of California passed the Civil Service Act. It was a constitutional amendment which by and large has done a great deal of good, I think, for state employment, although it's pretty wooden and it has its defects, like any other system.
FRY: Does it sometimes manage to overlook the very well qualified people?
DRURY: There are cases where the public interest would be served better if the appointing authority had more leeway. I think of one example up in Del Norte County. Possibly it's an isolated exception, but this was a man who had been the county sheriff for a good many years, and then through the local political overturn had lost that job and needed another. He was a descendant of one of the survivors of the Donner party, of very sturdy pioneer stock, who had settled in Del Norte County. This was before the Civil Service. We put him on as a park supervisor up at Patrick's Point, which is not a large park.
About that time, the Civil Service law was passed, so that we could only have him as a temporary employee, subject to his right to take the Civil Service examination and be confirmed. So we encouraged him to make application, which he did. His application was rejected on the ground that he
hadn't had sufficient administrative or managerial experience. Here was a man who was in his fifties, who'd been sheriff of a rough and ready county, and who on the side was employed by one of the larger timber owners to watch their holdings against trespass and fire and so forth. He had organized a Boy Scout troop. He was this kind of sheriff. When the local bank was robbed, he pursued the robbers and found them hiding in the basement of an old mill. Single-handed, went down and brought them up. And yet the Civil Service Commission had said that he wasn't qualified even to take the examination. Of course, we put up a fight and we got him to take the written examination and by gosh if he didn't flunk it. Yet, we knew he was a competent man by the way he'd managed the area. So you can't always tell by rule of thumb.
They're not infallible, but by and large, the Civil Service has done a wonderful thing, I think, for the state of California. It's like a great many other institutions that tempt a certain type of person to coast along, knowing that if only they can survive long enough, just by sheer inertia, they'll move up and get more compensation and more fringe benefits and finally retirement pay. Both in the national and state parks, however, my experience is that 99 and a fraction per cent of the people that finally land in positions of responsibility are fully competent and equal to them. If you do have an incompetent, it's very distressing to have to try to get rid of him. You practically have to brand
a person as a malefactor in order to accomplish this if they're unwilling to transfer or drop out. I think the system is too exacting in that respect; it doesn't leave the appointing authority enough discretion.
FRY: Does the California State Employees' Association have much influence?
DRURY: Oh, yes; they have tremendous influence. They're a very potent organization, more in the last fifteen years than during my early days. They've done a lot of good for state employees; on the other hand, they have tended, as have the labor unions, to promote this idea of coasting along. A great many people, even young people I've seen up there in Sacramento, go into a job with their eye on the retirement pay twenty-five or thirty years hence, which is not my idea of how America was built up.
FRY: There was a first conference of state park employees in 1938, and I guess that's what began all this.
DRURY: It was down at Asilomar, I think: actually a conference of the employees of the Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Richard Sachse, who was a wonderful gentleman, director of natural resources, organized that. He later went to the Federal Power Commission. He was a member of the California Railroad Commission for a while. He was an engineer and consultant to power companies. He was in those days, considered to be rather far to the left. Those things change; today he probably wouldn't have gone along with a lot of the welfare state ideas that are accepted as commonplace now. I always found him a
wonderful person to work with, though some people felt he was too radical. I know that he did some fine things for the department, and one of them was this organization of it as a corps of workers and having this conference.
FRY: Were you able to communicate--by "you" I mean the park commission and the director--in the thirties then with this corps of workers for better operation of the parks?
DRURY: No, not particularly. I think all of the improvements in the method of operation that amounted to anything came about through the internal efforts of the Division of Beaches and Parks. The first chief who served under the Young administration was Colonel Charles B. Wing, a retired professor of civil engineering at Stanford University, who really organized the corps and did it superbly. He was a very capable man, had been a colonel in World War I in the engineers. I think the foundation of the operations of the Division of Beaches and Parks was built primarily by him.
Accommodations -- Public versus Private
FRY: In the thirties, did you have to deal with the problem of concessions?
DRURY: Only in a small way. That wasn't in my province then, but of course I was the land officer, and what little land planning was done, I did.
FRY: You never did consider putting in things that would compete with motel owners?
DRURY: I had my views on all that, and of course I surely got a full dose of that sort of thing in the national parks.
FRY: But not on the state level?
DRURY: No. My feeling always has been that if you can avoid having concessions in a park, that's so much to the good. The rule both in the national parks and the state parks is that the concessions are there for the benefit of the public, and not for the benefit of the concessioners. There are some areas, like Yellowstone National Park, and in the old days I think Big Basin was in the same category in the state parks, so remote that it was only reasonable to have overnight accommodations. But the present tendency in Yellowstone is to build up the tourist accommodations outside the park.
FRY: From my own observation of the state park map, I was wondering if there was a reason for there being so few campgrounds in the great valley or the desert?
DRURY: Well, they're rapidly being expanded. Of course, we didn't have many parks of any great extent in the central valleys because of the lack of private matching money for those areas. That's one reason. The other reason is that people liked to camp at the seashore or in the forests. Also, the absence of overnight campgrounds is largely due to the lack of space in many of the parks. They weren't adequate. And yet, against that we had the constant resistance on the part of the local authorities to taking lands off the tax roll. It's a moot question in my mind as to whether overnight camping shouldn't be provided
by private enterprise. But I think that if in the beginning when we'd acquired a lot of these areas, we had gotten twice as much land, then on the periphery we could have provided for this type of mass recreation, camping and the rest of it, in a way that would have minimized the impact on natural values. That's what they're working on now, and Mr. DeTurk and his staff up there in the Division of Beaches and Parks I think are planning it wonderfully. I only hope that they'll be able to get adequate appropriations for it.
FRY: Speaking of these marginal lands around parks, back in the thirties did California have any of the national recreation demonstration areas which were developed on sub-marginal land?
DRURY: Yes; we had several of them. One of them up at Mendocino Woodlands was developed quite elaborately by the federal government. The architecture of the cabins that they put in was attractive, but not very practical. However, for "group camping" outfits, it proved quite satisfactory. Rightly or wrongly, I wasn't very strong for the Division of Beaches and Parks taking it over, largely because at that time we had very little money for administration, and there was a tremendous amount of development necessary to put it in use for the public and a very large overhead to maintain it. It was turned over finally to the State Division of Forestry, who practically farmed it out to Y.M.C.A. groups and people of that sort. That again, it seemed to me, was not primarily the kind of a function that a park agency should perform,
and I have always had in my mind grave misgivings about whether that kind of public accommodation should have been provided by private enterprise. I think the reason that it has been done as it has is partly that the land was available in public ownership, but also it is easier to subsidize that kind of an enterprise by some public agency than it would be by a private foundation. Operation for profit is impossible when private camps would have to compete with government operated camps.
Whether you like it or not, there is a substantial subsidy. We found that the cost per party per night for providing overnight accommodations in the state parks back in the middle fifties ran around $1.98. We finally got the overnight parking fee increased to $1.00, but there was great resistance on the part of Governor Warren and a good many members of the legislature. That surely is not half of what the state spends on giving that special service. Some of us felt that the capital investment in lands should be made by the taxpayers generally, but they surely shouldn't subsidize any special uses of facilities by any particular person or group.
I noted here in my scrapbook a clipping from the New York Times of November 22, 1959. The Society of American Foresters, which is a professional forestry organization, asked me to make the keynote speech, and I guess I'm quoted correctly. It said that I "called for a greater role for private capital in outdoor recreational development." I said, "The surface has not yet been scratched in encouraging
private investments to that end." And I do think that's so. When they started this state-wide recreational study in 1960, as a member of the guiding board, I more or less insisted, and my colleague Elmer Aldrich readily agreed, that they include in their study the facilities that private enterprise was providing for recreational uses of one sort or another.
About the only other impression that I made on Aldrich was my insistence that they give full recognition of the fact that by far the predominant form of recreation in the United States is sight-seeing, which means that these scenic areas in a sense are the most important recreational facilities that we have, and that their highest use in many cases is just to perpetuate their beauty and let them alone. If you took a census of the uses of the national parks, you'd find well over 50 per cent of the visitors go just to see them.
They also go because it's a new environment, and there is a social aspect to it: believe it or not, lots of people like to be herded into crowds like sheep; they feel lonesome.
For mass recreation, camping and picnicking, lesser lands could be used, and gradually I think the tendency is toward that.
The question is whether in some places which are very fragile, and in which the vegetation and the general aspect of the place is easily marred--the desert is one of those, by the way--it wouldn't be better to leave that role of providing overnight
accommodations and the social centers to private enterprise. They'd never do it unless the government got out of that business. I'm not rabid on that subject at all, but that was always what I believed and that was probably why John Ise (Ise, John, National Park Policy. A Critical History, New York, 1961). referred to me as a "purist." [Laughter]
DIRECTOR OF CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS
The Oil Royalties
General Financial Picture
FRY: Would you like to begin your discussion of the 1950's with a description of changing financial patterns and pressures of the state parks? I wanted to note here that two reports of the Senate Interim Committee on Recreational State Beaches and Parks during the fifties,* give a good picture of some of the controversies that were going on.
DRURY: The state park system, like the national park system, has undergone an evolution due to changing times and population pressures and changing concepts as to what the function of government agencies should be, and my part in it has always been a little on the
*Failure of the Department of Natural Resources to Carry Out Decentralization of Development Planning in the Division of Beaches and Parks as Approved by the Legislature During the 1959 Session, Prepared by the Legislative Analyst, December 11, 1959. State of California, mimeographed.
Also: The Fiscal Problems of the Division of Beaches and Parks, Prepared by the Legislative Analyst, December 11, 1959. State of California, mimeographed. ["The solvency of the Division of Beaches and Parks as a special fund agency is now at a crisis."]
conservative and perhaps unrealistic side. I sometimes felt that I was like the boy who held his finger in the dike, but didn't get away with it.
FRY: Let me back up so that we can approach this chronologically. I guess the big story in the financial picture in the 1950's was the use of the tidelands oil royalty money, a question that began in the late thirties when you were still with the Park Commission. Why did the legislature decide this money should go to the parks instead of into the general fund?
DRURY: There's a great deal of rather tangled history relating to the whole subject of offshore drilling for oil. The oil companies, which of course were very potent politically, several times came very close to getting legislation through--which would have been decidedly beneficial to them and probably detrimental to the state--allowing private drilling on state-owned tidelands.
I don't know how it came about, but someone conceived the idea of using as an extenuating argument the fact that revenues derived from a natural resource--the oil underlying the submerged state lands--should be applied to some definite program of conserving another resource, namely, the parks and recreational areas, and it was on that basis that they finally got the laws passed that permitted offshore drilling. Before I left for Washington in 1940, a certain percentage was allocated from the oil royalties for the state parks; in my final report as the acquisition officer I recommended 15 per cent, and they put into effect 30 per cent. There were a great many conflicting issues. When I came back from Washington in 1951
and Governor Warren asked me to undertake the job as Chief of the Division of Beaches and Parks, the state was getting a considerable amount of revenue from the oil royalties, which was applied to the state parks.
FRY: My notes say that in 1943, the 30 per cent - 70 per cent formula was reversed, so the parks got 70 per cent. In 1947, the whole fund was impounded. But do you know why this was reversed?
DRURY: No. I was in Washington in '43. Through Aubrey I undoubtedly had in my reams of correspondence an account of it, but I don't know just why it was.
FRY: Didn't the parks also receive funds other than those from the oil monies?
DRURY: The legislature appropriated almost entirely out of the special oil fund; it also appropriated a little out of what was called the state park maintenance fund, which represented the collections of entrance fees, automobile tolls, percentages from concessions, and that kind of thing. Unlike the national parks, the state park revenues were put into a special park fund.
FRY: Do you think it really would have been better if the oil money had been put into the general fund?
DRURY: Yes; I always felt that. I could see the peril of depending on a special fund. It's great while the fund lasts, but when, as happened, they changed the regulations as to offshore drilling and curtailed the volume of drilling in the midst of our park program, the funds became inadequate, and our needs began to expand beyond the resources in the fund. I
was in favor of the oil royalty funds in the early days, as any port in a storm to support state parks, but I could see as we went along that we'd be much better off if we took our chance in the general fund. We came to a point in the late fifties where the revenues dropped way down, and while we had this appropriation of $41,000,000 for land acquisition, not all of it has been spent because it wasn't there to be spent.
Royalties and the 1955 Legislature
Planned versus Unplanned Distribution of Funds
FRY: Could you describe some of the difficulties you encountered when all this wealth was suddenly released?
DRURY: Yes. During the impoundment, a tremendous fund built up, and in 1954 in one session of the legislature, we received an appropriation of around $58,000,000, of which approximately $41,000,000 was devoted to acquisition of lands. A great amount of money like that thrown on the market at once was a bad thing from many standpoints. It became a grab bag; there was quite a scramble to have this money appropriated, not on the basis of the intrinsic worth of the projects, but on the basis of local pressures and the desire to distribute it on a geographical basis. It also presented a colossal task of organizing and undertaking the program of acquisition. We had a relatively small organization when the legislation was passed, and we suddenly had to expand manyfold
not only our land acquisition organization, but correspondingly other phases of it. We had a great deal of dissatisfaction, which all of us shared, with the slowness of the program, which was aggravated by the complexities we've already talked about in the over-supervision by the Department of Finance and the Public Works Board and the attorney general and innumerable other agencies.
However, the Department of Finance did endeavor to have the $41,000,000 expended over a period of years, and in the governor's budget, that provision was made. I think an annual ceiling of $12,000,000 was set. Personally, I was very much in favor of that approach, but midway in the legislative process some of the senators from the smaller counties, who wanted to make sure that their districts got their share of the fund, were successful in amending the budget so as to take out that provision. Members of the legislature jumped the gun in the sense that they introduced individual appropriation bills for their projects instead of conforming to the comprehensive five-year program (1955-1960) which we had prepared.(Five-Year Master Plan, Division of Beaches and Parks, Department of Natural Resources, State of California, March 1, 1956.) If I ever had any ambitions to enter a popularity contest, they were blasted by that one circumstance, because it was my unhappy lot to go
before the legislative committees and, with every attempt to be fair and candid, tell them which of these bills embodied projects that were in our five-year program and which were not. It was an unenviable position to be in. As some of them said to me, "It's just possible that you might not be infallible," which I was frankly willing to admit, and which before we were through I recognized fully. [Laughter]
FRY: Could you give us an example of a project that really shouldn't have been supported by state park funds?
DRURY: I'll tell you one that's still very much to the fore, the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. That has come up in every session since Cap Weinberger, my good friend, has been in the legislature. For several years, we always recommended against it, not on the ground that we were unconcerned about preserving the Palace of Fine Arts, but because we felt that it didn't meet the qualifications of a state park area. It was a thing of beauty and it represented a fine accomplishment in the 1915 Exposition, but it wasn't a site of a turning point in California history. The local authorities in San Francisco, with whom I also unpopularized myself, thought of it more in terms of providing an auditorium for concerts and an art gallery and things of that sort than they did in terms of a structure that because of its beauty and its reminiscences might be preserved. Furthermore, it represented (as they have now found) a cost of restoration far out of proportion to what they would accomplish. We made one report in which we indicated that it would cost at least two and a
half million dollars to restore the exterior of the building, simply keeping it as something to admire and look at; now estimates have gone up to seven or eight million dollars.
That was one example. Then there were a great many small nubbins of land in localities where either because the owner wanted to sell or because the local chamber of commerce wanted to have a state park, they pressed for their purchase, and some of those were successful. I think the little park down at Cayucos near San Simeon in San Luis Obispo County, is an example of this. There was a fishing pier that the county got tired of maintaining and about an eighth of a mile of beach, to which we later added. That project was more or less forced upon us as something that the state should do.
FRY: How did the legislators who were behind these projects get support?
DRURY: The process that goes on, of course, is trading, so that when Senate Bill 1729 came to Governor Knight in 1955, I think he was fully justified in vetoing the bill. We didn't actually recommend that he veto it; we seriously considered it; but I met with the Sierra Club and several other groups of conservationists, and we talked it all over and the conclusion that we pointed out to the governor was that while it was not a complete or representative program, in the main, it did accord with the five-year program the state had worked out and which the State Park Commission had approved to recommend to the governor. But the governor had so much pressure
brought on him by people who had real or fancied grievances because they were left out that he vetoed the whole bill.
FRY: What did this do to your five-year program?
DRURY: From the standpoint of planning, it turned out to be a good thing, because the next session, we were able to put in a more comprehensive program, based upon the relative worth of the projects, their reasonable geographic distribution and their classification into different types.(Five Year Master Plan, July 1, 1956, to June 30, 1961, Division of Beaches and Parks, Department of Natural Resources, State of California, March 1, 1956.) It was in that survey that we developed the fairly clean-cut distinctions between scenic parks, recreational areas, and historic monuments, which categories are still maintained. The 1956 park acquisition bill embodied the new Five Year Master Plan almost in its entirety. The only item struck out, with an inferior area substituted, was Cascade Lake up by Tahoe. We are still awaiting an appropriation for that.
But the omnibus bill (S.B. 1729) and the rather bitter recriminations that followed its passage and led to the governor's veto was a good example of how government servants get maneuvered into a position which is not of their making but for which they more or less have to take the responsibility.
The impoundment of the oil royalty funds was
in some ways a good thing, but in other ways was our undoing. That came about because of the action of Congress following the adverse ruling of the Supreme Court as to the title to minerals underlying state tidelands. All of it is still a moot question.
FRY: How did Warren feel about this when you were using the tideland oil royalties in the state?
DRURY: When he was governor of California of course, he thought that the royalties should come to the state. When he became a member of the Supreme Court, he disqualified himself in any question that related to oil royalties.
FRY: I wondered if you could comment on the natural resource "fund" that was proposed by the Legislative Analyst after the oil monies became available. Appropriations from your special investment fund were to be widened to include more than just the Park Service: air pollution, soil conservation, forestry, mining research, water problems, boat harbors, fish and game, and so forth. Could you tell me what was behind this idea to widen the field for which the oil royalties would be appropriated?
DRURY: No, I can't--frankly, I'm not familiar with any strong movement to make that a general natural resource fund.
FRY: It must not have been a serious threat, then.
DRURY: No; I think it was just one of the many bills that were thrown into the hopper in the legislature.
Administration of Parks by Legislative Action
FRY: The five-year plan was based on an estimated $12,000,000
in the yearly funds, but the legislature then limited the annual ceiling to $7,000,000. The Senate Interim Committee subsequently asked for $10,000,000, and apparently you got the $12,000,000 which was in line with the five-year plan. Could you make some comments on the authors of the Senate Interim Report (Senate of the State of California, California's State Park Program, Two Studies of Current and Selected State Park Problems. Senate Committee Preliminary Report, Senate Resolution 125 - 1955, J. Delbert Sarber, Consultant. Also see Fourth Partial Report of Senate Interim Committee on Recreation. State Beaches and Parks, 1957, J. Delbert Sarber, Consultant, published by Senate of the State of California) and the consultants they hired?
DRURY: Senator Sutton, who was chairman of this interim committee, was a great friend of the parks and did a great deal for them. It was too bad when he left the legislature. One of his assistants was Dr. Hubert Jenkins, who passed away several years ago, a retired professor of biology from Sacramento State College and a very able man. Then in addition, Delbert Sarber, who had been at one time manager of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, an excellent investigator, was the principal consultant. In general, the analysis that he made of the state park program was surely in accord with my observations. I think this report of Barber's is an excellent one. There were a great many others. My friend Sam Wood I know made one report (Report of the Senate Interim Committee on Recreation. State Beaches and Parks. May, 1959, Louis G. Sutton, chairman; Report prepared by Pacific Planning and Research: Samuel E. Wood and Philip G. Simpson; Senate Resolution No. 121-1957; published by the Senate of the State of California) that I didn't think was quite as
sound as the Barber report, but Sam Wood has recently issued a splendid volume, "California Tomorrow" (for the organization of the same name), which accentuates the disappearance of landscape beauty by the inroads of commercialism, subdivision, highway building, and various other forms of exploitation of resources.
FRY: "California Tomorrow" seemed to sound the same warning note that you've sounded, that we need overall planning.
DRURY: Well, that's it. The big trouble was that we had too many bosses. We had not only the governor and his staff and the director of the department, but we had the two houses of the legislature and all their interim committees, which more and more usurped the functions of the administrative arm of the government. Even minutiae like the architectural character of structures in the parks would be the subject of a rather detailed recommendation by the agents of the legislative interim committees.
FRY: With the legislature's detailed interest in park administration for a while, what did you do specifically as chief of California state parks?
DRURY: Well, for one thing, I spent interminable hours in the legislature with four primary committees: in the Assembly with the Natural Resources, Planning and Public Works Committee and the natural resources subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. One in each house was the Policy Committee, and the other was the Fiscal Committee. We had to make up our programs and illustrate them as best we could with maps and charts and photographs and tabulations
of data, and present them to these committees. That was particularly true of the Senate Subcommittee on Natural Resources.
The hearings sometimes developed into sort of a Donnybrook, each representative being very solicitous about the items that had to do with his own bailiwick and only mildly interested in those that had to do with others. Sometimes we had, as in the case of the Folsom Dam, very aggressive representation which resulted in disproportionate amounts of the total fund being devoted to those projects.
One of the most atrocious examples of that was Squaw Valley, where all told, close to $8,000,000 of state money was diverted to that project on the ground that it was to be a general state recreation area at the end of the Olympic games. Fortunately, the Olympic games were triumphantly successful. The only objection that the division and I and the commission had was that park money should not have been spent on something which really was a diplomatic maneuver in maintaining international good will.
Long before they put money into it, we recognized the handwriting on the wall and set our planners to work to try to present a logical plan for the use of Squaw Valley after the winter Olympics had taken place. My recollection is that our minimum plan involved about two and a half million dollars and the maximum about three and a half million dollars. This was at a time when the state had only put three or four million into it, out of the money allocated to park purposes. The powers-that-were always refused
to present this plan because they apparently were afraid that it would be the straw that broke the camel's back. As it turned out, four or five million dollars more were needed just to put the show on the road, most of which came out of the state park money. The State Park Commission approved our over-all plan, but we never could get the Department of Finance or the governor or any of the leading legislators even to consider it. My recommendation was that we either do this adequately or at the end of the games dispose of the whole property at whatever the state could get out of it, because anyone who knows that kind of business could foresee just what has happened. It's run into terrific deficits in operating expenses and maintenance which have to be made up from the only available source, which is state appropriations. Our engineers found that most of the improvements put in were designed for one winter, not for fifty years, the way our park structures and utilities are designed. Squaw Valley was a good example of undue local pressure in these committees to get a disproportionate amount of funds allocated to one project and one district.
FRY: Did you ever have commissioners go with you to these hearings?
DRURY: Rather rarely. Mr. Knowland used to go with us occasionally to the hearings and it was always a great help to have a member of the Park Commission who was a highly respected citizen and had great prestige in the state.
Leo Carrillo spoke eloquently when we had our
hearings about approving the acquisition of the Hearst Castle, by gift from the Hearst estate, as a state historical monument. At the time, Leo said that the property would meet its own cost of upkeep and maintenance, and I had grave misgivings as to the accuracy of that statement, but it has paid its way pretty well. None of us counted on the million dollars' worth of publicity that the Hearst papers and the press throughout the United States gave to it, nor did we count fully on the pulling power of the intrinsic worth of the project from an aesthetic and somewhat historical standpoint.
FRY: [Laughing] It's certainly one of your most difficult parks to get into.
How did the move begin for the state hiking and riding trail?
DRURY: The riding and hiking trail system, which was started during the time that I was absent from California, was primarily for the benefit of the horsemen; at least it was promoted by them. Governor Warren gave it his blessing, and they put it under the aegis of the Division of Beaches and Parks. It was an extravagant and perhaps grandiose plan for a horseback trail extending from the Mexican border along the coast to the Oregon border and then down the Sierra or the interior again to the Mexican border. I've forgotten how many thousand miles it was, 2500 miles of trail I believe. Obviously out of all proportion to the amount of either hiking or horseback use that you could get.
FRY: A great deal of support was found for this in the
DRURY: In some localities. There were some counties where they had well-developed systems of horse trails, which of course are a fine thing if you have the horses and the horsemen to use them, but I found when I came back that they were building at considerable cost hundreds of miles of trail that perhaps didn't have a horseman a day traverse it, so that the cost of maintenance of the trail was considerable just to keep it from being obliterated by natural growth. It was a useless expenditure. After some years of effort, we were able to get the act amended so as to give priority to local developments in trail building in communities where they could be widely used. Santa Barbara County was a good case in point; down the peninsula from San Francisco was another. But it was a recreational device that was unquestionably of merit. The plan still exists, and it may be when next year California becomes the greatest state in population in the nation that they'll revive it again. I don't know what our population of horses is. [Laughing] Having supported the horse that my daughter had for a good many years in her youth, I know that to be very active in horsy circles you have to be relatively affluent.
FRY: What about the establishment of roadside rests?
DRURY: Roadside rests were recognized as a need of the state as soon as population and development began to make it necessary to fence off the motorists from the roadside. It's unquestionably a good thing. I always
contended, and so did a great many others, that it was primarily a function of the Division of Highways to provide the roadside rests, because they were really an adjunct of the highway system. They give people places to stop and relax, thereby tending to reduce accidents. They provide perhaps a fireplace where fires may be built under controlled conditions, which reduces the fire hazard. The roadside rests were said by some to promote the movement to keep the roadsides clean, because people could restrain themselves from disposing of litter until they arrived at these rests.
These and other arguments were used, and I think they were good arguments. But the Division of Highways always ignored them and refused to do anything about it. I think it was partly because they felt that the needs for highway construction had first priority, and they never were able to meet the minimum needs of the state in any given year; probably also they felt that it was just another distracting activity that they'd just as soon not be bothered with.
I spent innumerable hours trying to persuade the highway authorities that they, rather than the Division of Beaches and Parks, should administer the system of roadside rests. We made a study, and later a legislative committee made a more exhaustive study of the roadside rest systems in practically every state in the Union. They reported that California was the only one where putting the roadside rests under the jurisdiction of the Division of
Beaches and Parks had even been considered. In all other cases, they were administered by the highways.
FRY: The administration and maintenance, it seems to me, would fit in better under the highway system, because it's so decentralized compared to the parks.
DRURY: Well, we put in several rests on an experimental basis down in San Bernardino County, where the local legislators at least professed to want them, until the going got a little rough, and where we had established no state parks, largely because of the lack of matching funds, although there were some fine opportunities there. Anyhow, down around Needles, we established one unit of three roadside rests at a distance of fifty miles apart. The general plan of the state was to have these at intervals of about fifty miles, which under normal freeway conditions is about an hour's travel.
We found first of all, that the construction costs were considerably greater than anyone imagined. People think of those rests as something very simple, but with tens of thousands of people a day passing a given point, you have a terrific impact on the facilities. The possibilities of vandalism and theft are very great, and we found that unless we built of very substantial materials and anchored them to the ground, the tables and benches would be torn up; even the guards that we put down for the parking areas would be pulled and broken up for firewood for campfires. We finally got to the point where our planners felt that the prudent thing was to put in very substantial construction of concrete and
metal, and the costs went up to a point where the program became criticized. It cost us $15,000 or $20,000 per unit for these.
The next great problem, which added to costs that no one had anticipated, was the maintenance. Under the forty hour week for this unit of three roadside rests, we had to have three men and two inspections a day, which even at that time was not adequate. We had to have a pickup truck and all the equipment necessary for keeping things sanitary. One of the problems, frankly, was that they thought they could economize by not having sanitary facilities at these areas, but they very soon found [laughing] it was worth the investment. What the proponents of the roadside rests didn't recognize and what, frankly, we didn't fully recognize either, was the terrific impact of traffic on these fenced desert roads, which runs into tens of thousands per day, and the great amount of patronage that these rests would have, and their rapid deterioration.
Anyhow, to make a long story short, when we brought our costs to the legislature, there was something of an outcry, which to the uninitiated might seem reasonable. In the Assembly, Mrs. Pauline Davis, who was not one of my heroines, and who had in a sense sponsored the legislation herself, I guess in desperation turned on the Division of Beaches and Parks and said that in making these large estimates we were trying to sabotage the program. Well, we weren't doing that. We had always contended, and I know that Mr. DeTurk still contends, that roadside
rests are a function of the highways. But since the legislature put them under our administration, we honestly tried to do a good job with them. The program was held up for several years because the legislature wouldn't appropriate money on anything like the scale that we felt was necessary. My position was that the great state of California surely couldn't afford to do a sloppy job on that or any other phase of the park program, especially on a phase that we would just as soon have seen the Division of Highways handle.
In the mountain counties, where the traffic count is much less, some simpler rests were put in, consisting simply of a table and benches and without facilities of any kind. These perhaps would have about one-one hundredth of the use that the desert areas and the populated sections of the state would have. They have maintenance from people nearby on a part-time basis. Down in the desert, believe it or not, you hear a lot about "desert rats," but we couldn't find anybody who would take employment on that basis. We had to use civil servants on a full-time basis. You'd think there would be retired people who would be glad to spend a couple of hours a day. There weren't. But that was one of the many reasons why the program did not progress more rapidly in California and why it wasn't supremely popular in the legislature. I'm sure, however, that we were right in building substantially and maintaining on an adequate basis rather than allowing them to be like some of the rests that I've examined in
states like Arizona, where the environment is not many levels above that of a garbage dump. Most people don't realize the importance of the mechanics of park administration when you invite people to use park facilities on a mass basis. It's a very difficult problem.
FRY: Would you like to name some legislators who stand out rather fondly in your memory during this time? Perhaps Arthur H. Breed, Jr.?
DRURY: Well, Arthur H. Breed, Sr., was for many years a senator; he introduced the original state park acts, and just as he had also been the primary advocate of the state highway system, he was a splendid conservationist and an able legislator. We owe a great deal to him in starting the state park system. In latter years, his son, Arthur H. Breed Jr., who was also senator from Alameda County, was very prominent in the Natural Resources Committee of the Senate, as well as on the Finance Committee, and was probably the leading advocate of the parks in the Senate.
Toward the end of my time, and the end of Senator Breed Jr.'s also, because he retired at about the same time, he became a little disaffected, for reasons that I never quite understood. I believe it was because his constituents criticized him because none of our money had gone into Alameda County. I know Mr. Knowland finally felt a little self-
conscious about this, but as a gauge of Mr. Knowland's fairness of mind, he was for forty years on the commission and about thirty years its chairman, and never at any time did he press for any special projects in his own home county. It happened with Alameda County just as with the interior counties, that there was no available matching money, and worse than that, there weren't along the coastline any opportunities to speak of for state park development; it had all been pre-empted for industrial uses.
FRY: What about the Knowland Arboretum in Oakland?
DRURY: The city of Oakland had this property which they'd acquired from the museum association; it was a zoological park originally. I think it's about a thousand acres; 600 to 1,000 acres in the vicinity of Mills College, a wonderful piece of rolling land quite typical of the coast range. Through Mr. Knowland's help, they were able to make some kind of an arrangement with the museum association and the Bank of America, who had the mortgage on it, whereby they were able to spend state park funds on a 50 per cent basis to acquire it. It was good for everyone all around. The city of Oakland had administered it under contract and now is doing very well with it, I had misgivings originally, but Mr. William Penn Mott, Jr., who was the head of the Oakland city parks, a very able man, had worked out a fine plan for a botanical and zoological park, and the city of Oakland is putting quite a little money into it, doing very well with it.
FRY: I guess that's the only one in Alameda County, isn't it?
DRURY: Yes. We had another project on the tidelands of the city of Alameda and money was appropriated or allocated for it out of park funds; I believe they've acquired some land--I'm not up on a lot of the more recent acquisitions, but there was a property down there that during World War II was used by the Maritime Academy of the federal government, for instructing the merchant marine. That became surplus and parts of it have been acquired since my time as an ocean front park in Alameda. At least it's in the process.
FRY: What about Senator Louis G. Sutton?
DRURY: Senator Sutton was very assiduous in his efforts for state parks generally and particularly for the upper Sacramento Valley, which for reasons I've already mentioned was more or less neglected. In the early days, we established a very fine park at Castle Crags, near Dunsmuir, but with the exception of that and the William Brown Ide Adobe historical monument near Red Bluff, there were no adequate representations in the system.
One of the great disappointments was that we were never able to establish river parks on the Sacramento River. There are some beautiful stretches of the river in the northern counties, and some of them are still available for park purposes, but under the then existing law, money could not be expended without matching. Since that time, there have been one or two state parks established on the upper Sacramento River.
FRY: He was chairman of the senate interim committee which
made a long report on the parks.(Senate of the State of California, California's State Park Program. Two Studies of Current and Selected State Park Problems. Senate Committee Preliminary Report, Senate Resolution 125-1955, Delbert Sarber, Consultant. Also see Fourth Partial Report of Senate Interim Committee on Recreation, State Benches and Parks, 1957, J. Delbert Sarber, Consultant, published by Senate of the State of California.) This involved a great deal of investigation.
DRURY: And he was very assiduous on that. I remember Louis Sutton when he was a young man and I was just a stripling, right after World War I; as one of my public relations jobs, I represented the organization which later developed into Californians Incorporated, and I made a survey of the state and combined that with a sort of a speaking tour to generate enthusiasm for this state advertising program. They called it the Better Business Corps, but that was the direct forerunner of Californians Incorporated, of which my friend John Cuddy is now the manager. Anyhow, I remember going up to Maxwell near Red Bluff, in the Sacramento Valley, and this young farmer named Sutton was presiding officer and most eloquent in calling for an adequate recreation program in the state of California. That was in 1919. Twenty years later, he was elected to the State Senate and he had still maintained that interest. He finally retired to private life; I met him just before his last election and I asked him what he was doing, and he said, "Well, I'm trying to find enough Republicans in the county." Evidently he didn't find enough.
I remember Senator Biggar, of Mendocino County,
who introduced a good many of our park bills and also was quite active in presenting the bills that related to forestry matters.
FRY: Was this in the early days of the fifties?
DRURY: No; this was in the late thirties and early forties. Mrs. Biggar was quite prominent in the California Federation of Women's Clubs, and I always attributed some of his enthusiasm to hers, because she was quite an effective person. I think it's all to the good to have a man in the legislature whose wife knows which end is up; we're just that much better off.
FRY: Can you think of any others whose wives' interests might have--
DRURY: Well, I think our friend Assemblyman Belotti in Humboldt County, who has not always been with us but mostly has supported our major program, was partly induced to do so because Mrs. Belotti was a very understanding person. I don't doubt that the ladies that she associates with and their interests had some influence on her, which was transmitted to Frank Belotti. But in his own right he would be effective.
One of the most militant now of the park conservationists in the legislature is Senator Fred Farr of Monterey County. He was successful in getting the Big Sur road taken out of the major freeway program of the state. It could be restored, or course, at any time; but as long as Senator Farr is there, I don't think they will.
Acquisitions; Case Histories
FRY: Before you talk about acquisitions for specific parks,
could you lay down a few general tendencies that you've noticed in the development of acquisition policy to 1960?
DRURY: The legislature has been quite generous in appropriating money for the acquisition of lands for state parks. However, as you know, there has recently been announced the governor's intention to put before the legislature, and if they approve, before the voters, a $100,000,000 bond issue, (The voters failed to approve this bond issue at the November 6, 1962 election, although the amount requested had been cut to $75,000,000.) which will be none too much for rounding out the state park system. There are two somewhat dangerous amendments being proposed to this bill. The governor and the director of finance I'm sure believe that bond issues should be used only for capital investment in lands and the establishment of parks and for rounding out those already in existence. In the legislature, however, there's growing pressure to spend some of the money on development, putting in improvements which all of the state administrations I know of have felt should be done on a pay-as-you-go basis. That's the first thing that probably will happen in the legislature, judging from the indications. The second is the probability that of this $100 million, $25 million will be set aside for grants-in-aid to the counties and cities for their park projects, either on a matching
basis or on a 100 per cent basis. Personally, I feel that this is apt to lead to a sort of pork barrel type of development.
FRY: Didn't you have to face this decision once before, about whether to use state money on local projects?
DRURY: Yes; and always before, the money in the main was invested in lands, and the appropriations from year to year out of tax monies took care of the improvements and developments.
FRY: There seems to be a growing tendency to emphasize development. Some people seem to feel that the acquisition era is about over.
DRURY: Yes. Perhaps that's only natural because with our growing population, the facilities for such specialized uses as camping, picnicking, swimming, hiking, boating, and other important outdoor recreational activities of necessity are limited, and are not adequate to take care of all who want to use them. That's particularly true at the peak of the season. One of my personal beliefs is that you never are going to be able to develop soundly and at the same time fully take care of the peak load of public use, on days like the Fourth of July. If you do, it seems to me that you're not wisely investing the money, because for an exceptional one-or two-day use, you're making a capital investment which to some extent lies idle through the rest of the year.
Of course, being one who has felt the impact of the highway program as far as parks are concerned, I also am of the belief that there's a fallacious idea as to highway building, that many unnecessary
superhighways and freeways are built largely to meet the peak load at the rush hour.
Transfers and Trades
FRY: What about different processes of acquisition? During the period when matching money was required, did you do much transferring of excess Redwood League funds from one acquisition to a less fortunate but hoped for transaction, as in the case of Point Lobos?
DRURY: There was quite a little juggling. The Sonoma Coast State Park we acquired through the county of Sonoma giving the Armstrong Woods County Park to the state, appraising it and matching it for that amount to buy the land along the Sonoma coast. And in the beach program, I'd say that 50 per cent of the acquisitions were on that basis--all of those in Los Angeles County and quite a few south of there, where the city or county owned beach frontage which was appraised and then given to the state and that, under the law, qualified for the expenditure of matching state money. Some people questioned it, but when you think how much was accomplished and how many, many times the price we paid on those properties you'd have to pay today, it was one case where the ends justified the means. The Save-the-Redwoods League also put money into preservation of the shore line of Lake Tahoe, on the ground that its articles of incorporation included the preservation of forests generally. They put some money into the recent
purchase of Emerald Bay from Mr. Harvey West. And it was possible to get a much better deal on some of the land up at Rubicon Point on Lake Tahoe because the Save-the-Redwoods League had enough money in its treasury to buy a certain holding and then reshuffle it and change the boundaries and trade off a portion of what they held so as to give the state more lake frontage. That couldn't have been done by the state; the law wouldn't have allowed it; so the Save-the-Redwoods League has acted as a sort of an intermediary on transactions of that sort. I can't think of others offhand, but there probably were some. In some cases, the Redwoods League actually put the money into them, and in others it acted as a sort of an agent. Needless to say, it made no profit on the transaction.
FRY: Did the alternate-section lands owned by railroads pose much of an acquisition problem?
DRURY: In general, the railroads were cooperative, or at least willing to negotiate on an agreed value. In the Anza-Borrega Desert State Park, Mount San Jacinto, and to some extent up around Shasta and Castle Crags and one or two other state parks, we had extensive dealings with the Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe railroads with respect to incorporating railroad lands into the state parks. I think that, by and large, they were about the easiest people to deal with.
One very good friend of mine, with whom I had interminable dealings, Mr. Impey, was the land agent of the Southern Pacific Company. We were rounding
out the Mount San Jacinto State Park, which is a magnificent area. There were three kinds of lands there: private lands that belonged to the Southern California Edison Company, and some individual private owners; Southern Pacific lands, which were grants from the federal government; and national forest lands. Mr. Lou Barrett of the U.S. Forest Service and Mr. John Impey and I spent many, many hours in long conferences on these lands. I think finally we acquired something like 20,000 acres, maybe more.
I remember one incident where we reached an impasse because we couldn't agree upon the exchange value. The state was putting money into it and the Forest Service was contributing its lands, and we were buying the Southern California Edison lands. The Mount San Jacinto Association down in Riverside County had raised money to match the state.
It was a problem first of all of outlining the boundaries, a typical land-planning problem. That we did by exploration and getting expert opinion. Then in some cases, we had to survey the land. We had half a dozen men working on the survey. A rather tragic phase of that was that one of these men who was an old-timer in the Forest Service had covered 10,000 acres of this land in the high upper region, where in some places there was just a narrow trail where he would have to edge his way around holding to the cliff by his fingertips; but he came down safe from all that and he was killed by an automobile on the street in Riverside, which shows that the park business is perilous, but there are
other perils in more civilized centers.
Mr. Impey was a fine gentleman, but the problem was that he was holding out for a higher price. We finally reached the point where we decided the only thing to do was to furnish the Forest Service representative and the Southern Pacific representative and myself with horses, and make a pack trip into that high country (which I had done earlier) all together to look over the lands. I could see that Mr. Impey was not particularly anxious to do it, so Barrett and I put up a sort of a job on him. We started at breakfast talking about what a perilous trip it was going to be and how sore everybody would be after two days of hard riding and how unreliable the horses were, how we would have to eat our meals from a mantelpiece when we came back. About nine o'clock that night, Mr. Impey asked me to come and see him. He said, "You know, I've been thinking about this trip up there. I think we can get together all right. I think we'll take your figures." [Laughing] Which is one of the many anecdotes as to the modus operandi of land trading.
FRY: When you were short of funds, was it ever feasible to arrange a sort of installment buying system in which you bought only a small portion of the land at a time?
DRURY: It was almost impossible to buy any land on the installment plan, though we did work out some purchases,
Primarily, they were for the benefit of the seller for tax purposes, under which we paid so much a year. I remember making a deal on Mount Diablo under which a lump sum was to be paid over a period of five years to spread out the incidence of the tax. We were able to take up all of those installments as they came due, matching the state money with some private gifts and some money contributed by the county of Contra Costa, in general making it as painless as possible to all concerned. I remember when we reached the last installment of our contract with Mr. Walter Frick on Mount Diablo, one of the park commissioners who'd recently come in raised the point that the way we had divided it up, the last parcel wasn't worth the amount of the final installment. I had quite a time convincing them that it would be in extreme bad faith if, having on the basis of appraisals and negotiation reached an overall value, we backed out on the purchase of the last unit. We finally did put it through. Of course, looking back from today's values, anything that we purchased in those early days was almost a steal.
Another case of acquisition on installments was the property from the Del Norte Lumber Company in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. About the time that I left California for Washington, we had succeeded in making a deal with the Del Norte Lumber Company for the purchase of several thousand acres and for an option on about an equal acreage on a ten-year basis. The installments that we had to pay were about $50,000 a year. That was where
my brother Aubrey came into the acquisition picture. Aubrey was the one who, every year for ten years, had to get together enough Redwoods League money to release an equal amount of state park money so that we could take up a unit of that option. And he succeeded in doing it. One of the devices that he found most effective was the establishment of the National Tribute Grove, which was a memorial to those who lost their lives in World War II. I think they broadened it to include both world wars. There were over 4,000 separate contributions.
FRY: Regarding acquisitions, I thought that we might talk about the Butano redwoods, the Pueblo de Los Angeles, Calaveras Big Trees, Hearst Castle, Point Lobos and others. Could you give us some stories on how you brought those parks about?
DRURY: Well, they were brought about by the efforts of many people, and some of them were pending for thirty or forty years. The Butano redwoods was a wonderful tract of about 5,000 acres in San Mateo County, which was in our early program and which unfortunately we never were able to get enough money to buy. The cost of the entire tract would have been in the neighborhood of half a million dollars, whereas much less than two-fifths of that was finally acquired for a million dollars. It was in 1956 that we took title to nearly 2,000 acres, but of that, 2,000 acres more than half was land on the edge of the redwood forest.
The really dense forest was on the North Butano. There's no use deploring what might have been, but to me, what we got in the Butano redwoods is just a pathetic fragment of the wonderful virgin forest that we should have acquired years before. The main problem was one of getting matching money under the state park bond issue. We had in the state park bond issue of 1928 money allocated sufficient to acquire the Butano redwoods in their entirety, had it not been for the lack of matching money. The Save-the-Redwoods League was so busy on the northern redwoods that they couldn't put any money into it. They never did seem to get enough money in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties to match the state, so that although there were appropriations in the budget at various times, we didn't buy at Butano Creek until twenty-five years after the first attempts.
FRY: What happened to the other 3,000 acres?
DRURY: The timber was logged. The property originally belonged to the West Shore Lumber Company, in which the dominant interest was owned by Timothy Hopkins. Under Timothy Hopkins' will it was left in trust to Stanford University, the proceeds from its sale to go to the endowment of the university. I made a trip with ex-President Hoover right after he left office, and Ray Lyman Wilbur, who had resumed the presidency of Stanford, having been Secretary of the Interior during the Hoover administration. We went all over this property, and the trustees of Stanford University were very eager to sell it to us at the then very low price of about half a million dollars.
We had $250,000 in the state park bond issue, but there was no place from which we could get another quarter million in private monies for matching.
Later on, the counties surrounding the Butano put up almost that amount of money, but it was too late then. We'd had our chance at it and lost it. The Pacific Lumber Company had bought it to harvest the timber, and they were reasonably cooperative in trying to work out a deal with us, but of course at a price about ten times what originally we would have paid for it. That's only typical of some of the lost opportunities in the state park system.
Santa Cruz Redwoods and Point Lobos
FRY: You were more successful in the other redwood parks around there, weren't you?
DRURY: You're referring to the Butano Redwoods (in San Mateo County also), the Big Basin Redwoods, the Henry Cowell Redwoods, and Portola, all of which are in Santa Cruz County?
DRURY: The Cowell Redwoods, established in 1954, were largely the gift of the Cowell estate left by Henry Cowell. They were important cement people, the Cowell Cement Company, and they still own lands all up and down the coast and in the interior, too. Anyhow, this Cowell property lay south of a grove known as the Santa Cruz Big Trees, probably the earliest known of the coast redwood groves back in the 1850's. It
was famous, and a point of interest to travelers, many of whom went by train and some by horse team, to view these marvelous "big trees." They belonged to a family named Welch, who for a small admission charge allowed people to see them. I think they did a great public service. The Welch family finally sold this property at a very moderate price to Santa Cruz County, which for many years called it the Santa Cruz Big Trees. When we got the chance to acquire the Henry Cowell Redwoods, which they gave to us, the county of Santa Cruz also agreed to convey the Welch property to the state of California and make it a state park. Under the matching principle, we matched that gift and bought a considerable acreage of land in San Lorenzo Canyon that the Cowell interests were willing to sell at a reasonable price, so that of the 1,737 acres now in the park, probably over 1,000 acres were acquired by matching the state funds, the gift from Santa Cruz County, and the redwood grove given by Cowell. It was quite a complicated deal. The whole thing is known now as Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.
FRY: How did Henry Cowell first get interested in giving this to the state?
DRURY: He was very benevolent and either in his will he indicated that it should be made public property, or he established a very large trust, of which the University of California has been the great beneficiary, under which public causes were served. The trustees felt that this was a worthy one.
I like to dwell on our successes, such as Point
Lobos, where we bought for $1,500 an acre land that would probably cost $25,000 an acre today. But there we were able to get matching funds, through credits on the contributions that had been made to the Save-the-Redwoods League. See Point Lobos Reserve -- A Study of a Primitive Landscape, by Aubrey Drury. Just this morning I had a call from Mrs. Robert Hunter, who is now in her eighties and not very well; she was one of the moving spirits in establishing the Point Lobos Reserve. Many years before it was made a state park, she was interested in it. She and her husband, Robert Hunter, lived in Santa Barbara, and later lived on the Seventeen Mile Drive in Monterey. She was president for a long time of the Point Lobos Association, of which Aubrey Drury was secretary. Recently, they tried in vain to raise enough money to buy the last segment of land to the north of Point Lobos, which really is necessary to complete the picture. When I left for Washington, we had obtained an option of $1,000 an acre on it, but because of the competing demands of the redwoods in the raising of funds, and because no public money from the counties or any other agencies could be obtained to match state park bond money, we never got this part of the Point Lobos property. Today you couldn't buy it for $10,000 an acre; it's gone up in value at least tenfold.
Mrs. Hunter is a great lover of natural beauty, a person of considerable means, and has been very generous with the Save-the-Redwoods League and with Point Lobos, and she still worries about whether the state is going to do the right thing by Point Lobos--and also by a redwood grove that she and some of her
friends established called the "Children's Forest" up in Humboldt County. There were a great many people who had a part in inspiring the preservation of Point Lobos. The community of Carmel is sort of an art colony, and from a park standpoint was one of the most favorable environments in which to promote the protection of a natural area with the minimum of disturbing development or adverse use. We had the support right along of the people of Carmel and pretty well of Monterey County, in keeping Point Lobos in its natural state.
For many years, there was an attempt to raise a fund and buy Point Lobos from A. M. Allan, who had held it for thirty or forty years. Fortunately, Mr. Allan found that the most profitable use for that property was not to subdivide or farm it, but to charge visitors 50 cents per car for entering the reserve. While some people talked of that as commercialization, those who knew the facts felt it was a blessing. He had three daughters, and all of them really loved the beauty of the place and wanted to see it preserved, but they drove a hard bargain when we wanted to buy it and they stipulated that a portion of it should be named as a memorial to A. M. Allan, which I think was all right anyhow. I handled the transaction and we paid a good stiff price. We bought about 400 acres for about $600,000 [$1,500 an acre]; everybody thought that was a scandalous price, but you couldn't buy those acres now for $20,000 an acre. In fact, my brother's estate sold a lot on the seacoast comparable to that for about $25,000 an acre
just last year. Our appraisal for Point Lobos ran around $400,000, which still was pretty high. Anyhow, by special dispensation we were able to buy it and it was a very fortunate thing.
There was plenty of state money from the bond issue of 1927, but that act provided that every dollar of state money would have to be matched by a gift of some sort. Well, there just wasn't enough private money or local money down in that county to put up half of $600,000. We were more or less stymied. It just occurred to me late one night, that the state hadn't matched all the private money the Save-the-Redwoods League had given for the northern redwoods; there was a balance of about $100,000 there (the Redwoods League had put up $500,000, but very properly the Park Commission felt they couldn't continue matching only redwood money) . So lo and behold, we got the attorney general to rule that that could be matched down there, and the Redwoods League put up another $50,000 out of its treasury and the thing was done.
FRY: In Point Lobos, did you have very much pressure from anybody who wanted more recreation or camping there?
DRURY: Well, the climate, intellectually and artistically, in Carmel was favorable to preserving Point Lobos for what some of us considered its highest use, as a landscape of great beauty and natural interest. To enforce that idea, we established a Point Lobos Advisory Committee, of which Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur was chairman and I was the secretary. This committee engaged Frederick Law Olmsted and his assistant
George Vaughn to make a master plan for Point Lobes, indicating what degree of development should take place--roads, trails, and so forth--and establishing a general policy which the State Park Commission then adopted. It was quite the reverse of the usual local pressure, which usually is for more intensive recreational utilization whether the place will stand it or not.
FRY: The state has only one park of Sierra "Big Trees," as I understand it--the Calaveras north grove and south grove. Did the south grove negotiations get underway in the twenties?
DRURY: Well, the south grove negotiations in a sense have been going on ever since the two groves were discovered in the 1850's. An interesting sidelight is the interest of James C. Sperry, one of the founders of the Save-the-Redwoods League. Mr. Sperry was the son of a pioneer named Jim Sperry, who among other things, had owned both groves and was the proprietor of the old hotel at Murphys, then called Sperry’s Hotel. Now it is Murphys Hotel, a rather ancient stone building that still stands, and while I guess people do rent rooms there, it's mainly for the atmosphere-- though they apparently still have the best restaurant in town. For many years, the pioneer Jim Sperry also operated the North Grove Hotel, which burned down in the 1940's. It was a very interesting typical old white New England structure;
it had a formal garden in front with an antique fountain.
The North Grove
DRURY: J. C. Sperry as a boy was familiar with both of the groves because they belonged to his father, Jim, who probably either took them up under the Homestead Act or bought them from homesteaders. At any event, at an early date, Jim Sperry sold the north grove to the Whiteside interests.
From the acquisition standpoint, the negotiations for the purchase of the north grove from the Whiteside interests were relatively simple. There wasn't the demand for the various species like yellow and sugar pine that there is today, and the sequoias had only a nominal value. While there had been some lumbering in the Sequoia gigantea, there was no great market for them, because of the massive size of the trees and the difficulty of handling them and also because of the fact that the Sequoia gigantea is very brittle and shatters much more readily than the coast redwood.
When we came to a showdown on the purchase, we finally paid, I think, perhaps a hundred dollars a tree--some nominal sum--for the big trees. But the commercial going rate, which was around $4.50 a thousand board feet for yellow pine and six to seven dollars for sugar pine, was paid for the rest of the stumpage in the Calaveras north grove.
That was consummated in the thirties. The state
put in half the money and the Save-the-Redwoods League put the other half into the purchase. My recollection is that we paid $463,000 for it. The interesting thing is that the south grove, which we bought twenty years later, cost many times that amount, $2,975,000, or almost $3 million.
The South Grove
DRURY: There was a long period during which we tried to raise the funds to buy the south grove, which meanwhile had been purchased from Whiteside by the Pickering Lumber Company. I remember having sustained dealings with Frank Solinsky, who acted as agent for quite a few owners of property that was sold to the state for park purposes. He was primarily a lumberman, but he was also a good negotiator and a good salesman. My dealings with him were very satisfactory. For instance, we bought the Frick property on the summit of Mount Diablo from Mr. George Frick, and Mr. Solinsky acted as his agent. In general, I found he was very reasonable to deal with, and he was in the case of the south Calaveras grove. But somehow or other we never got together, although the state at various times had money in the treasury to meet one half of the cost of it. We never were able to get enough money at any one time in the treasury of the Redwoods League that could be diverted from other purposes to match the state and buy the south grove. The consequence was that when we finally did buy it, we paid about ten times as much for it as
we would have if we could have done it in the thirties.
FRY: Did you continue to help with negotiations even after you joined the National Park Service?
DRURY: Yes. Later on when the league got more money, the prices began to go up and the negotiations became more and more difficult. When I was with the National Park Service in Chicago, I spent quite a little time with the representative of the Pickering Lumber Company, Mr. George Cronewald. One of the reasons that we didn't get along so well with the south grove was that for a long time, the owners insisted that they would sell only the basin, possibly a thousand acres, within which the large trees were located, but not the surrounding slopes, which were mostly the more valuable commercial species like yellow and sugar pine. It took a lot of doing. I was able at least to persuade these brokers in Chicago that the Save-the-Redwoods League and the state would never be satisfied with simply this little restricted area.
But it came about that when finally I got back to California in 1951, we were still negotiating with the Pickering Company. Frank Solinsky, who had been our mainstay in those dealings, had died. We had considerable difficulty in getting first of all an acceptable cruise giving the quantity of stumpage in each species, and next in getting an acceptable appraisal of the property. The management of the company was absentee management except Mr. George Rassenfoss, who since has passed away; he was the
president of the company, a local man and very agreeable to deal with.
Inflation had made the dollar values seem relatively greater than they really were. Also, the general depletion particularly of sugar pine stumpage had made its market value soar. I think it ran around, sixty dollars a thousand board feet on the south grove, whereas in the purchase of the north grove twenty years before, we acquired sugar pine for around six or seven dollars a thousand, which in that case was a ten-fold increase.
Anyhow, after about two years of final negotiations, we did arrive at a value. I asked my classmate, Governor Earl Warren, if he wouldn't write a letter to another classmate, Horace M. Albright in New York, asking Mr. Albright to appraise Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. of the fact that at last we had arrived at a definite asking price and that we had some hundreds of thousands of dollars, but we lacked just about a million dollars to complete the deal. And Mr. Rockefeller, after some correspondence, sent word that he would pledge a million dollars toward it. So then we gathered together the state funds, which were not bond issue funds, but funds appropriated in the 1945 state park act, which also required matching. The Save-the-Redwoods League put in some hundreds of thousands of dollars, both in money and land, and the total purchase was consummated. I think we might put in our appendix a little table that I have showing the sources of all of this revenue from gifts and from Mr. Rockefeller
and from smaller donors, and the amount put in by the state. One of the incentives to contribution toward the portion other than Mr. Rockefeller's gift was the establishment of memorial groves. There have been fifteen or more memorial groves established in the Calaveras south grove, among which is one contributed to by Mr. Walter A. Starr of the Redwoods League. And a very substantial area contributed, too, by Duncan and Jean McDuffie.
FRY: Didn't a local organization help raise funds, too?
DRURY: The Calaveras Grove Association has existed for a great many years, but the Save-the-Redwoods League, while it was not diverted from its primary project of coastal redwoods, was able to raise a considerable sum of money so that the matching of state funds came from combined contributions of the Save-the-Redwoods League and the Calaveras Grove Association.
FRY: Could you name some of the leading citizens who helped with the local association?
DRURY: Mrs. Helen Jackson of Stockton, Mr. Elmer Reynolds of Stockton, who was editor of the Stockton Record; both were very prominent in the early days. For the south grove activities years later, I'll have to give you the names of the president and the secretary of the Calaveras Grove Association, both of whom were very fine, active people and who raised considerable money for it.
FRY: I would like to put a close-up camera on the business in Chicago, where the brokers were somehow convinced that you did need more than just the basin where the redwoods grew.
DRURY: At that time, I had quite a little dealings with individuals in Washington and New York on behalf of the Redwoods League. It was all in a good cause, you see. Well, it was just a matter of telling them that we needed more. These were seasoned men; they understood what we were driving at. Mr. Cronewall was an unusually high type of gentleman, as most of the people we dealt with were. Of course they represented their own interests, and had a right to represent them good and hard. Frankly, we waited too long in the negotiations and the prices went up, but we did get the property and that's the main thing. The cardinal sin, it always seems to me in any dealings in land for public purposes, is not to get the land. Everything else pales into insignificance beside that. It's fine if you can make a good deal, but it's even finer when the smoke blows away if you have title to the property.
FRY: Later on, you managed to get the corridor land in between these two groves, didn't you?
DRURY: Well, there was a certain amount of that corridor land that belonged to Pickering Lumber Company that was included in our deal. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough money to buy all of the stumpage on the Pickering land, so we had to agree to selective cutting of some of the timber. But our forester in the state parks, Mr. Fred Meyer, went over the area outside the Sequoia grove (where there was to be relatively
little lumbering), and designated one area that was to be used primarily for headquarters and for picnicking and camping and so on. In other places, it was logged so as to leave a certain number of seed trees per acre, with the slash cleared up in a certain way so that even today, just about ten years from the time we got title to the south grove and less than ten years from the time when Pickering finished their cutting, we're all through with it. The land's been cleared up. The parks had a work camp there from the state prisons which did excellent work, and they've gotten that land in shape so that it's beginning to reforest. This was primarily the pines on the fringe of the Calaveras grove and lying between.
There is still a portion of the corridor which is in the ownership of the U.S. Forest Service. We had an understanding with the National Forest Service that ultimately that would be deeded to the state. But when I left Sacramento two and a half years ago, that hadn't been done. As far as I know, it has not yet been done. Although there was a federal act --
FRY: Was this Hiram Johnson's act?
DRURY: It was in Hiram Johnson's time, 1929. It authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to convey the land between the south and north groves to the state of California whenever one or the other was acquired. The Secretary of Agriculture, because the act was only permissive, chose not to exercise the authority that he had to convey these Forest Service lands,
possibly for a justifiable reason, that we would work harder to raise funds for the south grove having already bought the north grove, if there was the additional incentive of getting federal lands. Now it's true that in the early days I never urged that they carry out the intent of that act even though we had acquired the north grove. At that time, the state of California was in no position to protect the land surrounding the south grove; they couldn't very well establish a park staff there until they bought the south grove, you see.
FRY: Was there ever any attempt to trade national forest land for stumpage in the Calaveras groves themselves?
DRURY: One of our early attempts to acquire the Calaveras groves was an approach to the U.S. Forest Service in the hope that they would, as a matter of public welfare, trade pine stumpage in some of the nearby national forests, which was destined to be cut in any event, for this stumpage in the Calaveras north and south groves. In the twenties, I had correspondence with William Greeley, then the Chief Forester of the United States, and while he seemed sympathetic to this idea, we never were able to work it out. Of course, much later on when I became enmeshed in the bureaucracy, I understood better than I did in those early days just how hard it is to pry anything loose from the government, whether it be the Forest Service or the Indian Service or any other. But it is interesting to note that today Secretary Udall of the Department of the Interior at least believes that he can accomplish quite a little preservation
of property in national park status and perhaps even in state park status through this device of trading government property that would otherwise be utilized commercially, as it could be particularly in Public Lands under the Bureau of Land Management. The U.S. Forest Service has always resisted such proposals, and they resist them today. They are very aggressive in their resistance to the incorporation of national forest lands in national parks.
FRY: Anyhow, you do have the corridor lands now, don't you?
DRURY: We now have obtained most of the Forest Service lands and have joined up the two groves.
FRY: Oh, most of them?
DRURY: Yes. There are some Forest Service lands that have been held in a later authorized reservation, which was also authorized by Congress. But I never was much concerned about the jurisdiction over public land, so long as it was protected. And the Forest Service, as far as the Sequoias are concerned, has always been meticulous in assuring that they should not be cut, although they are primarily an agency for the economic utilization of forests. They recognize in the Big Trees one of the wonders of the world which should be protected inviolate.
FRY: Is there a road planned to enable motorists to travel from one grove to the other?
DRURY: There is a park road now--not a boulevard, but a very acceptable park road, from the north grove to the Stanislaus River. And the clearing has been
done through to the service area, perhaps a quarter of a mile or less by trail from the South Calaveras grove.
The thing that we were able to accomplish in the South Grove was the establishment of the policy that there would be no intrusion of development into the Sequoia grove proper. It would be simply, so to speak, a museum piece which people could visit on foot. No automobile roads through it. They could enjoy the trails and the beauty of the place and marvel at the Big Trees. But any activities such as camping, picnicking, and others would take place on lands of lesser caliber adjoining the primary exhibit in the Sequoia groves. That principle is well established.
We also established the principle that there wasn't to be an arterial highway from the north to the south grove. At one time, because money was so hard to get, there had been a move to get the federal government and the California State Highway Commission to put up the money to build this corridor highway between the two groves. That would have been ruinous because it would have made it a public thoroughfare and a part of the state highway system, whereas the road that we did finally build with state appropriations is a park road on lesser standards and with much less artificiality than you find on a conventional highway. By and large, I think that despite the large cost of the Calaveras south grove, it's one of our really successful adventures in the field of park conservation.
Pueblo de Los Angeles
FRY: The Pueblo de Los Angeles had some prominent local people organized for its preservation too, didn't it?
DRURY: Yes. As you know, the Pueblo de Los Angeles was the site of the original city of Los Angeles, and we had a fine cooperative arrangement with the city, which owned some properties down there, and with the corporation The Pueblo de Los Angeles Association, headed by Mrs. Christine Sterling, a wonderful woman who, with the aid of Mr. Harry Chandler and others in the early days, bought up this old slum that was known as Olvera Street. It was terribly rundown, but realizing that this was the birth place of the city and that some of the old buildings if restored would have charm and interest, Mrs. Sterling battled for almost a generation to get recognition of this and finally got the city of Los Angeles to take part in acquiring some of this property. The association finally interested the state in it. We were able to get over a million dollars in state appropriations to buy land that was privately owned along Olvera Street. The street itself was dedicated to the city.
FRY: Was this a slum at the time?
DRURY: It was very much of a slum, yes. It was a blighted area.
FRY: It was the slum owners who were reluctant to sell?
DRURY: Well, they were probably mostly absentee owners. But when we got a little money, most of the people
were eager to sell -- at their price, of course. Anyhow, we acquired a very sizeable area there, including the Avila House, which is the prize adobe there and was owned previously by the Pueblo de Los Angeles Association. From the Methodist Church we acquired a very interesting structure which, strangely enough, has a protestant church meeting room in the midst of a Catholic community. And right across, but not part of the reservation, is the Catholic mission where many of the celebrations are held. This is, I think, a project that rather satisfactorily recaptures something of the color and flavor of early California, and a great deal of the credit is due to Mrs. Christine Sterling and her supporters in the association. There were plans to restore the old Pico Theater, the Pico Hotel, and the Masonic Theater adjoining it, which at one time were owned by Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of California, and when I retired, we were working with the Sheraton Hotel people to have them furnish the old hotel in the early California manner although they would have some modern conveniences that Governor Pico lacked. [Laughing]
FRY: The Hearst Castle seems to have had less than unanimous backing in the Park Commission.
DRURY: Yes. The Hearst Castle was a gift by the Hearst family to the state of California. (This portion of the interview is preserved on tape at the Regional Cultural History Project office, Main Library, University of California at Berkeley) It took a great
deal of maneuvering to bring it about; there's a very good Saturday Evening Post article on it.
FRY: Would you say that account is accurate?
DRURY: In the main, yes. I'll try to dig up a letter I wrote to the author, Ralph Taylor of Palo Alto, who writes many articles for the Post. He was very kind in attributing to me qualities of salesmanship that I am not sure that I displayed. But it is partly true, as he says, that the idea of making the Hearst Castle a state historical exhibit had to be "sold" to each one of the members of the State Park Commission, some of whom were rather hostile to the idea. One by one, as they saw its unique character and the astounding over-extravagant opulence of the place and its furnishings, they reached the conclusion that it was a worthwhile object of public interest, and now the history of its administration shows that it is one of the few areas that is capable of paying for itself.
FRY: At the time, was it the expense of maintenance that most of the park commissioners were afraid of?
DRURY: That was one of their thoughts, yes; and there was a certain hostility, frankly, to William Randolph Hearst. But anyone who approaches the thing objectively I think will admit that this was a creation that represented a strong mind, to say the least. It represented imagination and a considerable ability to fuse into a unified whole a lot of divergent elements of art and architecture and landscaping. It was also historic in the sense that it would never occur again, because it was built in the
days of the lavish fortunes and low income tax or no income tax. It just happened that a man with William Randolph Hearst's penchant for antiquities and his tendency as a collector and his desire to build a monument to himself and his times all coincided.
There are so many acquisition projects, and each one represents a story of very painstaking effort sometimes in buying properties as a whole, sometimes in building them up piece by piece the way over forty years we've built up the Humboldt Redwood State Park, just battling our way as rapidly as we could and trying to keep ahead of the lumber mills.
FRY: Do you see any other properties on this list whose acquisition story you would especially like to comment on?
DRURY: As I go down the list, I see many, like Angel Island. This was a project that the State Park Commission more or less looked askance at, because there was about a million dollars' worth of decrepit structures on it, abandoned army structures, and they felt it was too great a responsibility. Some of us had to speak as eloquently as we could in the Park Commission meetings to get them to agree to take title even when the property was given by the government,
but we finally were able to get that approval, and now, as you know, the government being in a position to abandon the entire island, there's a large plan to develop it as a sort of a natural reserve. We hope it will be accessible only by water, because it's an ideal area if it can be kept in its present state and not, as the people are always saying, "developed." It has great recreational value in a quiet way, but it is not to be developed into another Coney Island, I hope.
Golden Gate Headlands
FRY: In your administration, didn't the idea of using all of the headlands around the Golden Gate for a park--
DRURY: Yes; and the man who really sparked that was Ansel Adams, the very talented photographic artist. A great many people felt that the Golden Gate was one of the great landmarks of the world. As you know, the north shore of the Golden Gate is federal property, containing several forts that are more or less falling into disuse. There had been legislation pending for Port Cronkhite and the other forts to be conveyed by the federal government to the state, and on the south shore, the city of San Francisco already has a considerable holding. But it was Ansel Adams who first painted the broad picture of a majestic reserve preserving for all time the beauty of this landmark, and holding it free as much as possible from adverse development, such as subdivisions and commercial use. He wrote to the Park Commission
and wrote articles and made speeches about it. Others have followed it up, and I was glad to see that Mr. Charles A. DeTurk, who followed me as chief of the division, felt that it was something that he should press for. Apparently now they are making progress in the negotiations to take over the entire headlands.
DRURY: I notice on the list so many of these historic buildings in Monterey, like the Pacific Building, which was given to the state by Miss Margaret Jacks, and the Thomas Oliver Larkin House, which was given by Mrs. Harry Toulmin, and the Soberanes adobe, which was given by Mrs. Mayo O’Donnell.
FRY: Were all of these people convinced by somebody at one time or another to give these sites? It looks quite laborious, because these acquisitions are spread out in time.
DRURY: We had a plan right from the beginning at Monterey to try to keep something of the early flavor and atmosphere, just as we are trying to restore it at Pueblo de Los Angeles. Mr. Joseph R. Knowland over fifty years ago was active in the Native Sons. The Native Sons had a landmark committee, of which incidentally William Randolph Hearst was a very active member, and he and Mr. Knowland collaborated in acquiring the Monterey Custom House (which in some ways is the number one historic site in California) and the Sonoma Mission, the site of the gold discovery
at Coloma, and several other properties. Now a master plan for Monterey, which we worked on for many years, has evolved. We've one by one acquired these buildings, and it's to be hoped that there will be a reasonable restoration of the early day atmosphere. In fact, it's very attractive now, and I think will be more so when the plans are carried out.
FRY: Is this about the same type of procedure that you're having to follow in Columbia?
DRURY: Yes. In fact, the way many of these parks were put together, you might say is comparable to assembling a jigsaw puzzle. You get one piece and lay it down and then you've got to get the next piece and somehow or other put it in the right place. It involves hundreds and sometimes thousands of transactions to get the whole fabric of the park or historic site complete. One of the points that I think is important at Monterey and also in other places, is that the Division of Beaches and Parks, through painstaking efforts and through keeping its faith with contributors and with the local people, inspired enough confidence so that people like Mrs. Toulmin and Mrs. O'Donnell and the Jacks family gave these various buildings to the state. It took a little time to build up that confidence. That's true of practically all of the projects, and in greater degree people are now making contributions.
DRURY: I think one of the outstanding acquisitions we made,
in which I was proud to have a part, was the establishment of Emerald Bay State Park, where the generosity of the Bliss family, who were pioneers of the Tahoe region and incidentally were lumbermen, led to the establishment of the park. We had first established a park at Rubicon Point. The first lands were given to the state by Miss Hope Bliss, and that was the nucleus of the Bliss Rubicon Point State Park. Then we matched those lands and used the state money to buy other properties, including an excellent bathing beach. The Save-the-Redwoods League had a part in that, because Mr. Bliss, one of our councillors, was more or less inspired by the league to make his later gift to the state of the point at Emerald Bay. There was a very benevolent woman, Mrs. Laura J. Knight, who owned the heart of the Emerald Bay properties and was minded to give them to the federal government, which never acted on the proposal. Unfortunately, she passed away before the idea of giving them to the state was brought to her attention adequately, although we tried. She was the one who built that spectacular replica of a Norwegian castle, called sometimes the Emerald Bay Vikingsholm. The property was sold to various people and finally to Mr. Harvey West, also in the lumber business in Stockton, a man who had done quite a few public-spirited things in his own community and also for the state. He gave half of the value of that property and enabled the state to match it, so that this heart of the Emerald Bay holdings was acquired. We got out of our 1955-56 appropriations enough money
to buy the south shore of Emerald Bay, so that ultimately a stretch of six miles of the west shore of Lake Tahoe, including Emerald Bay, was preserved in its natural condition in a state park. Now if we can fend off the highway builders who want to bridge the bay and deface the slopes for miles along the shore with cuts and fills of a freeway, we can at least have the satisfaction of having this one primitive area relatively unspoiled on the shores of Lake Tahoe. And as you know, there isn't very much of that commodity left in Tahoe. Now that the country has been blighted by unplanned and ill-advised development, they're all strong for planning. The planning should have started a generation ago.
Practically each one of these parks represents a battle, and a worthwhile battle, that enabled us to add to the state's store of natural and recreational areas, properties which, although many of them are inadequate, at least are representative.
Men and Parks
FRY: There is quite an impressive list of men here who have helped in the state park movement. Perhaps you could begin your comments with a rundown on what Dr. Robert G. Sproul has done.
DRURY: It would be pretty hard to exhaust the list of Dr. Sproul's contributions. I'm glad that Dr. Sproul is still in his prime, although emeritus; everywhere we go, people come up to him and tell him what class they were in. [Laughing] Some of them second generation,
with their own children in college now. He's a great symbol of the influence of the University of California and it's been to us in the Save-the-Redwoods League a great asset to have him as treasurer for the last forty-three years. In fact, he remarked in the early days of his presidency here that he found when he went east he was better known as treasurer of the Save-the-Redwoods League than he was as president of the University of California. [Laughter]
FRY: There are always two attributes that are given Sproul. One is his booming voice and the other his fabulous memory, for people and for speeches, and so forth. Is this true? Does he really remember people when you go out with him?
DRURY: Remarkably well; although, both of us being about the same age, we exchanged confidences yesterday as to the increasing difficulty of calling everybody by his first name, even though you've known them for a great many years.
This conservation committee of the state Chamber of Commerce, of which he's been chairman for fifteen or twenty years, is one of the hundreds of things that he devotes himself to very thoroughly.
He is also on the East Bay Regional Park Commission, and I had the pleasure of circulating a petition when he had to stand for election last year, and he was re-elected overwhelmingly. In that capacity, he has been mainly responsible, I think, for bringing to the headship of the regional parks a splendid operator, William Penn Mott, who was the
superintendent of parks in Oakland and has just recently been appointed head of the East Bay Regional Parks. I was in on the original reconnaissance for that park system too, in the twenties. Just the other day, I ran across a publication that was issued by Olmsted brothers, with whom I worked informally, outlining the possibilities of the East Bay Parks. It was with George Gibbs of Olmsted Brothers and Harry S. Shepherd of the University of California school of landscape architecture. A good deal of the area, particularly here in the Berkeley hills, consisted of surplus land of the East Bay Water Company, which instead of turning over to subdividers, they managed to get into a wonderful regional park system. And there are others, such as the Joaquin Miller Park in the Oakland Hills, where they have a little patch of redwoods. Lake Temescal is another. It's a very creditable system; as a matter of fact, it's referred to in Laurence Rockefeller's report and it's also referred to in the state recreational survey that we made some years ago. The future of mass recreation in metropolitan centers unquestionably should be taken care of by regional parks or local parks, rather than putting the whole burden on the state or the federal government. We're tending all the time toward the welfare state concept, and particularly toward federalizing all doing of good; but I am still an unreconstructed rebel as far as that's concerned. This regional park district to which Dr. Sproul has contributed a great deal is an important factor in meeting the recreational needs
of the East Bay and of the whole San Francisco metropolitan area. These people that you list here, most of them, are very interesting personalities. Stanley Arnold was an attorney-at-law and a very fine character. He was one of our early councillors of the Save-the-Redwood League , son-in-law of William Kent. Both of them did a great deal to help in the early days. Albert W. Atwood was a special writer on the Saturday Evening Post, sent out here by George Horace Lorimer. I made a rather extensive tour of the redwoods with Mr. Atwood, which resulted in publication of three articles by him. These articles, together with an article by Samuel G. Blythe under the title of "The Last Stand of the Giants," and an article by Joseph Hergesheimer all in the Saturday Evening Post, really constituted the kickoff of our campaign to save the redwoods. That was what first gave us national attention. Atwood was with me when we had our now-historic meeting in the courthouse in Eureka, where we were able to persuade the board of the county supervisors to file a condemnation suit on the lands at North Dyerville Flat that were being cut by the Pacific Lumber Company.
Edward E. Ayer was a Chicago millionaire. When I knew him he was in his eighties, but he and his wife used to tour through the redwoods and they were generous toward the program. Among other things, they initiated the idea of establishing a grove in honor of Franklin K. Lane, who was the first president of the Save-the-Redwoods League. Incidentally,
Mr. Ayer, like quite a few of our supporters, was a lumberman. He made his money in the tie business.
Dr. William Frederick Bade was on the faculty of the Pacific School of Religion, and was also president of the Sierra Club, a great friend of Duncan McDuffie. He was a wonderful man; a confidant and biographer of John Muir, and to him we owe a great deal for the early inspiration of the Save-the-Redwoods League.
They all are interesting personalities. Dr. David P. Barrows, who for a while was president of the University, was a gallant figure. He was one of the early people in the Save-the-Redwoods League, Major Frederick Russell Burnham, a very interesting man, was in his early days a scout and an explorer whose companion during the Boer War was the founder of the Rhodes scholarships, Cecil Rhodes. Arthur E. Connick became interested when he was a young bank president up in Eureka, and later moved to San Francisco as a vice-president of the Bank of America. On the death of Duncan McDuffie, Arthur Connick was about ten years president of the Save-the-Redwoods League.
FRY: Did these men who were presidents of the Save-the-Redwoods League have a great deal to do with state legislation? They frequently pitched in, didn't they, and helped with testimony and lobbying?
DRURY: Yes, on occasion. Of course, the man who was particularly helpful there was Joseph R. Knowland, who for about forty years was either on the State Park
Commission or chairman of it, and who was most helpful in going with us to various hearings. Sometimes I felt sorry that I'd taken him because of the conduct of some of the antagonistic members of the legislature, but Mr. Knowland was always equal to all of them. He has always been interested in the redwoods. Of course, his primary concern is the history of the state. That really was his dominating interest even on the State Park Commission.
FRY: He must have worked closely with Aubrey on this.
DRURY: He did, very closely. In fact, I think it was Aubrey who induced Mr. Knowland to take the presidency of the California Historical Society.
Well, all of these men made their contribution. I've already spoken of Madison Grant as one of the founders of the Save-the-Redwoods League, and of Deforest Grant, his brother, who contributed, and of Joseph D. Grant (a close friend but not related to the Grant brothers), who because of his standing as an old timer in San Francisco unquestionably gave the Save-the-Redwoods program a great impetus, not only in California, but also in the East.
Henry S. Graves was dean of the School of Forestry at Yale University and for a time Chief Forester of the United States. He was one of the very early supporters of the Save-the-Redwoods program and spent a good deal of his time in studying the problems, particularly the Bull Creek project. I've already spoken of Mrs. Robert Hunter, and I believe that I've mentioned Willis L. Jepson, the botanist, who twenty years before the Save-the-Redwoods League
was formed had written in his books of the desirability of saving the redwood groves along the south fork of Eel River. You'll note in his Silva of California, quite an eloquent plea for the preservation of the redwoods. He knew the redwood region probably better than most. The Save-the-Redwoods League has published a pamphlet of his on the trees, shrubs, and flowers of the redwood region. I made a number of tours with him and had the pleasure of botanizing with him, and--as I told you the other day--I took great comfort in the fact that occasionally when we asked him to identify a plant, he would have to refer to his own book to identify it. [Laughter]
FRY: How was he at working with problems of conservation? Was he strictly the scientific botanist?
DRURY: No; he was quite a campaigner. He was a wonderful gentleman, beloved by those who knew him, but a little irascible at times, and he particularly shunned enthusiasts who tried to crowd upon him and take up his time. He liked to work by himself.
Of course, William Kent, whom you list here, is the pioneer, you might say, in public life--because it was Congressman Kent who introduced and carried through the bill that established the National Park Service and who gave Muir Woods to the country, and all through the second generation -- William Kent, Jr., and Tom Kent, whom I know best, and Roger Kent, who is now a very prominent Democrat in California -- to this day Bill and Tom and Roger are most helpful. They were even helpful when they were selling us land, because in a number of cases when they
didn't give the land outright to the state--this was after William Kent's death--they would usually contribute one-half of the appraised valuation so that we were able to release state bond money to acquire properties. We added to Mount Tamalpais State Park that way. It adjoins Muir Woods.
Richard M. Leonard started in conservation as a very young attorney, but he's now one of the leading attorneys in San Francisco and we lean on him for legal and fiscal advice probably more than on anyone else. He's very active in the Sierra Club, a former president. Mrs. Richard Leonard is also most active. She is assistant director of a new organization called Conservation Associates, Incorporated. This group has been particularly active in promoting the international conference on national parks, which is to be held at the world's fair up in the Northwest [summer, 1962]. In an unguarded moment, I agreed to preside at one of the sessions.
As far as I'm concerned, John C. Merriam is the man to whom I owe most in giving me what few concepts I have as to park conservation. Walter Mulford was dean of the University of California School of Forestry and in the movement practically from the beginning. Frederick Law Olmsted was the outstanding landscape architect of his time, and perhaps of all time. We all of us owe a great deal to him for his--I don't like the word--but for his "methodology." He I think more or less originated what we now call land planning in national and state
parks. Henry Fairfield Osborn is mentioned as one of the founders of the Redwoods League.
James C. Sperry was a wonderful character who in the very early days of the league really assumed responsibility for its operation and particularly its fiscal affairs. Aubrey and I learned a great deal from him. He was very active in the negotiations to acquire the Pacific Lumber Company lands at Bull Creek, and unquestionably our success in dealing with them is largely due to his acumen, business sense (he was a successful businessman), and to his willingness to donate his time and effort. He was particularly interested in the Calaveras groves and helped us acquire the north grove, because his father had been the original owner of the two Calaveras groves. Mr. Sperry died before we acquired the south grove. However, he knew we were working on it.
Walter Starr has been a tower of strength to the Save-the-Redwoods-League. He sort of gives us a certain respectability with the lumber fraternity because he himself, although not so active now, has been a member of the board of directors of the Soundview Pulp Company, and he has a wide acquaintance in financial and industrial circles as well as being very prominent in the Sierra Club and the California Historical Society. All has been very helpful to us. Frank W. Wentworth, who died several years ago, was another man like Mr. Sperry, who gave of his business experience to the support and guidance of the program of the league. Unquestionably, we
wouldn't have gotten along as well financially if it hadn't been for his help.
Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur, for a long time president of Stanford and for four years Secretary of the Interior under Herbert Hoover, was also an original member of the State Park Commission, and he took a prominent part in every phase of conservation. There was no question that many of the state park projects other than those in the redwoods wouldn't have been carried out if it hadn't been for the cooperation that we got from the Department Of Interior during his administration. For instance, the great Anza-Borrega Desert State Park, which in my opinion is one of the outstanding reservations of its type in the world--almost half a million acres--is based very largely on unpatented federal lands that through the influence of Dr. Wilbur were conveyed to the state of California for the payment of the filing fees which amounted to about seven-tenths of one cent per acre. Now they're selling land down there for four and five hundred dollars an acre; it's of the same type as what we got through the good offices of Dr. Wilbur just for the amount of the filing fees. He saw to it that the legislation went through that made this possible, and also legislation that enabled us to acquire government lands to round out dozens of the state parks.
FRY: Did he enjoy conservation more than university presidenting?
DRURY: Well, he was much of the type of Dr. Sproul; he did everything with zest. He was a tall man, very similar
to Dr. Sproul in his characteristics, a very able man, and he also was quite a pioneer in medical affairs like the C.P.S. and Blue Cross. Before he was president of Stanford, he was dean of the Stanford medical school. He's the one who's given, I think, the principal credit for the origination of the California Physicians Service, which affects medical insurance. He was a pioneer in a great many ways, but when through good fortune he was made Secretary of the interior, we were able to make quite a little hay during that brief four years.
Charles B. Wing was another member of the faculty of Stanford, who when he retired as dean of civil engineering was for several years chief of the Division of Beaches and Parks. His forte was construction and development, and also he was a great lover of nature and a fine conservationist. Colonel Wing contributed a great deal in planning and what little development we did with the rather meager appropriations that we then received.
FRY: He was chief when you were on the Park Commission?
DRURY: He was chief when I was the land acquisition officer of the commission. He was the first chief of the Division of Beaches and Parks, and he served almost ten years.
FRY: Did he run too far in this direction of construction and development in the parks?
DRURY: Well, I wouldn't say that. He had a fine sense of the beauty of natural areas. He was, as I say, a civil engineer and a construction man and he took great pride in road building and in the erection of
structures, but he had very good taste in his application of engineering principles. I remember once his speaking of a park road to the effect that it should "nestle lovingly into the landscape," which is rather poetic for a civil engineer. [Laughing]
FRY: He did have a concept then of the total landscape, didn't he?
DRURY: Yes. I was a great admirer of Colonel Charles B. Wing.
"The Team" -- Aubrey and Newton
FRY: I was talking with Mr. Walter Starr the other day and he mentioned what an effective team you and Aubrey made in the 1950’s when you were chief of the division and Aubrey was head of Save-the-Redwoods League.
DRURY: Yes. That applied all through the forty-odd years that we worked together on many enterprises, not just on the redwoods, but things like the state park bond issue and the Point Lobos acquisition and a whole series of historical projects. Even during the forties, when I spent my ten years in Washington, Aubrey and I were very close in our operations and I remember several things that we were working on. One of them was the Calaveras grove. There are so many angles to these things, you know, that have to be ironed out. Some of them head up in Washington. You're almost helpless unless you have somebody on the ground who can talk face-to-face with the key people.
Another episode that's brought to my mind is pertinent right now because we're trying to promote a memorial grove to the late Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold of the United Nations. It's of great advantage to us to show that Hammarskjold was himself an ardent botanist and was entranced by the redwood forests at Muir Woods. When the United Nations was formed in 1945, a session of the United Nations was held in Muir Woods. In the old files
are found photographs of this assemblage. It was Aubrey who suggested to the United Nations that they meet in Muir Woods and, happening to be in Washington, I was able to help persuade the State Department that it would be an appropriate thing. It was very enthusiastically received, and now the relationship of that to this Dag Hammarskjold memorial gives us quite a little support.
FRY: Do you remember with whom you talked in the State Department?
DRURY: Mr. Joseph C. Grew was the very active man there; I think he was Undersecretary of State. It was he also who was induced to act as chairman of a committee sponsoring the so-called National Tribute Grove, and from the Washington end I helped sign him up. Another idea of Aubrey's was a grove that was really the heart of the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, and was financed with state matching by monies raised all over the United States through Aubrey's efforts, to commemorate those who had lost their lives in both of the world wars. Being on the ground in Washington, I was able to meet with Mr. Grew and persuade him to head up this enterprise.
And there were many things like that. Aubrey was very much like my classmate and lifelong friend Horace Albright; he was intellectually omnivorous. He was interested in everything. My procedure has been somewhat different. I've tried to narrow my interests so as to do better in a few selected things. I couldn't help thinking when I rode up to Sacramento yesterday with Dr. Robert G. Sproul, of what a wide
net he draws still in his many interests. He's interested in all phases of conservation, as well as in all phases of education, government, and most everything else. Well, Aubrey was the same way, and everything we did in the National Park Service and in the State Division of Beaches and Parks was of interest to him, and he was able to help in many ways, particularly when it came to obtaining factual data. I think Aubrey and I worked together pretty effectively.
When I went to Washington, I was a little lost because in San Francisco our offices were adjoining; if I wanted to get any factual information such as how many wives did Henry the Eighth have and in what succession, Aubrey could answer the question. If my life depended on it, I couldn't remember things like that, and it was a great help in his historical writing and his campaigning for the Save-the-Redwoods League that he had such a wide knowledge of the history of the state--and of the United States, for that matter--and of the personalities that were so-called prospects for support for the movement.
FRY: He had a good enough memory to remember all these people. . .
DRURY: He enjoyed remembering things, quite different from me. My memory runs more to abstract concepts than to concrete facts. There are different kinds of memory, I suppose.
FRY: How was Aubrey in seeing the overarching abstract concepts?
DRURY: Oh, he was a planner. He knew how to lay a project out in all of its succeeding phases. For instance, we worked very closely together in 1927 and '28 on the state park bonds, which really were the foundation of the state park system.
FRY: One thing Mr. Starr said was that Aubrey, being a bachelor, was able to eat, drink, and sleep conservation.
DRURY: That's right. That's about the only advantage of being a bachelor, I'd say, although he was a very warm personality and was very fond of all of his nieces and nephews and his grand-nieces and -nephews, and was very generous toward them. As they got a little older and they had problems in homework, we'd ask them to call Aubrey on the phone and get the facts. But unless they had lots of time, they would demur because, they said, "The trouble with Aubrey is he knows too many facts." [Laughing]
FRY: When you returned to Sacramento as chief of the state parks, was Aubrey also there? Were his offices close to yours again?
DRURY: Not in Sacramento, no. He was in San Francisco. He had diversified interests right to the end. For a while, he was president of the California Historical Society, and as a labor of love he did a good deal to help build up the membership of that society. Right now I'm trying to get the Historical Society interested in taking over the annual affair of another group of old-timers from San Francisco who meet to exchange reminiscences on April 18 of each year, which was the date of the San Francisco earthquake
and fire. Aubrey organized them. Then Aubrey did a great deal on Point Lobos, of course.
FRY: Was Aubrey able to help you very much with the legislature?
DRURY: Well, Aubrey spent quite a little time in the legislature before legislative committees; when I was back in Washington of course, he carried the ball entirely on the legislation that affected the redwoods in the state parks.
As one of the assignments of the Drury Company in the early days, Aubrey was quite active in the campaign that the University was waging at that time--to prevent the diluting of University standards and the dissipating of their energies through the establishment of branch universities, and for a long time the policy of the Regents was to maintain the University at Berkeley as the sole institution of higher learning in that category. In connection with that, Aubrey was quite effective as a so-called lobbyist up at the legislature when certain bills were up. At that time, these would have sapped the resources of the primary University at Berkeley. Of course, we've gotten greatly over that now and the policy is quite the opposite.
FRY: You mean the University contracted with your advertising agency?
DRURY: I don't remember just how it was arranged. I think that Aubrey as an individual was sort of an agent for the University. The Drury Company, both Aubrey and I, performed various tasks in publicity and public relations for the benefit of the University.
At times, private funds were contributed for this purpose. At one time, we helped publish the president's annual report, illustrating it and toning it up a bit, so that it had a little more reader interest than just a dry-as-dust report.
FRY: In other words, they could farm out these things to you to do.
DRURY: Probably just the way you'd engage an attorney or an architect or any other professional person.
Most of Aubrey's work for the University, though, was purely on a voluntary basis. He was on the executive committee of the Associated Students for quite a while, gave a good deal of attention to that.
Wife--Elizabeth Frances Schilling--and Family
FRY: How many children do you have, Mr. Drury?
DRURY: I have three children.
FRY: We should run this down: when were you married?
DRURY: Let me refer to my files [laughing], or call up my wife. I was married during World War I, 1919.
FRY: Where did you meet your wife?
DRURY: In the University. I met her after I'd graduated. She was the daughter of Professor Hugo K. Schilling, who was the head of the department of Germanic languages, a very wonderful gentleman and a very loyal American. He came to America by choice as a young man and at once became an American citizen.
FRY: Was he one of those who had some troubles around World War I because of his German name?
DRURY: He had no troubles, except, you might say, psychological
troubles. World War I was quite different from World War II; there was a good deal of hysteria. Whereas in World War II we couldn't have won it if we hadn't had people with Germanic names and of Germanic ancestry, like Eisenhower and Nimitz and Spatz and a whole list of them, in World War I anything that savored of the Germanic for a while was more or less taboo.
FRY: He suffered no actual displacement in the faculty?
DRURY: No; it's just that he felt hurt because of his own free will he had come to America and had become naturalized immediately, and had a long and honorable career at a little college in Ohio where he started and then at Harvard University for a good many years--that's where my wife was born, in Cambridge--and then was called here to the University of California by Benjamin Ide Wheeler to head up the German department. He was a fine cultured gentleman, spoke many languages, and we were all very proud of him and felt sorry that he suffered a little embarrassment because of what the Kaiser had done, for which some benighted people held anyone who had a German name partly responsible. But that all blew over. Of course, Benjamin Ide Wheeler was the most tragic victim of that, because he, who of all people was an outstanding American, had been honored by being the Theodore Roosevelt professor at the University of Berlin. There he had met the Kaiser and exchanged views with him and had carried on a certain amount of correspondence. That for a while rose to plague
him--that and the fact that to the end, he insisted that the Kaiser didn't want the war any more than we wanted it in America. It came as a result of a great many factors, one of which I remember his speaking of as the concept of nationalism. That's a long and intricate subject to discuss, but he maintained his views as an independent thinker, and that offended some people. So that toward the end, he didn't have as happy a time as he was entitled to.
FRY: You had met the daughter of Hugo K. Schilling--
DRURY: We were married in Berkeley, and then, after two days’ furlough, we went down to the army balloon school where I was stationed in California and spent the rest of the war there, in Arcadia, Los Angeles County. Except for the ten years in the East, we've spent most of our life here, and we had three children: my daughter Betty, who is Mrs. Austin L. Edwards; and my son Newton B. Drury, Jr., who is with the sales department of the Standard Oil Company and is now stationed in Eureka; and Hugh Wells Drury, a year and a half younger, who is in the construction business in Southern California.
FRY: Isn't it true that Mrs. Drury has been interested in conservation also?
DRURY: Yes; and it's also true that she hasn't universally agreed with my theories on some phases of conservation. [Laughing]
FRY: Is she more of a wilderness partisan?
DRURY: Somewhat more, although she also has her mental reservations about our policy of accommodations for the public. She feels that there's undue emphasis
placed upon providing campgrounds and not enough emphasis upon providing motels and resort-type cabins and that sort of thing in the parks. In pursuing the policy that I believe in, every time we eliminated a resort from one of the parks, I had to go home and try to explain why I did it, with indifferent success. I remember that the old broken-down resort up there at Emerald Bay, which was delightful to stay in, got to the point where it was condemned by the State Board of Health and the wiring had to be replaced, and people were falling through the floors on the porches that had rotted away--and furthermore, it was in an area that couldn't be reached without building a first-class road with tremendous destruction. It was a delightful little place, but it was decadent, and we had to face a prospect of spending a half a million or more dollars or allowing somebody to invest that much money in resort developments, or eliminating it and returning the area to a state of nature. Of course, if my wife were here, that would be my story as to why we eliminated Emerald Bay Lodge.
FRY: And returned it to a state of nature. Is that what you did?
DRURY: Yes. In general, I agree with the Outdoor Recreational Resources Review Commission Report, of which Laurence Rockefeller is the head, which points out the desirability of relying on private enterprise wherever possible for certain types of recreational facilities. I for one believe that the government should not go too heavily into providing overnight
accommodations, except where areas are so remote that it isn't possible to induce private enterprise to provide the housing facilities and where there are possibilities of making areas available that couldn't be visited unless you did have overnight accommodations.
FRY: Could you list what your wife's other interests are? For instance, is she interested in music or does she have any hobbies?
DRURY: To be honest, she's much more of an outdoor person than I am. Her early youth was spent in Maine when they were at Harvard, and the family had a great deal of outdoor life -- boating and swimming, particularly. They went to Bar Harbor--that was a sort of a colony headed by President Eliot of Harvard. Then when they were out here, they spent a good deal of their time at Inverness on Tomales Bay, within the Point Reyes National Recreational Area that apparently is going to materialize. Professor Schilling was commodore of the Inverness Yacht Club. And fortunately for our children, their mother encouraged them in outdoor activities, somewhat more than their father did. My relation to the outdoors is somewhat theoretical and abstract, although I've done a lot of hiking in my time. But I'm glad to say that both my children and my grandchildren are all of them very active in outdoor activities. My daughter Betty's two sons, Kirk and Mark, are both close to being championship swimmers. They have wonderful instruction at the Y.M.C.A. here in Berkeley,
and they've got to the point now where they're as far as they can go in their rating, until they reach a certain age. I think that Mrs. Drury, who has extensive intellectual interests, better combines the mental and physical aspects of life than her better half does. [Laughing] I've had some mountain climbing and all of that, but most of it's been in connection with hunting for corners when we were buying land.
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