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For your consideration! The Oscar race for 2017 is already heating up. Check out some early contenders at this year’s FHS Film Festival!

As usual the films will be shown in the Gifford Pinchot Multimedia Theater at Peeling Back the Bark World Headquarters. What will be this year’s prize-winning film? Be sure to take our poll at the bottom of the post to decide who takes home the coveted Poisson d’Avril Award given to the most outstanding film of the festival!

LureofTheWildernessAct

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I Married a Forester From Outer Space

 

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Below is an extended version of a review of Jack Ward Thomas’s new set of books originally written for the Journal of Forestry by FHS historian Jamie Lewis. All three books were published in 2015 by the Boone and Crockett Club and each retails for $24.95.

Forks in the Trail: A Conservationist’s Trek to the Pinnacles of Natural Resource Leadership, foreword by Char Miller

Wilderness Journals: Wandering the High Lonesome, foreword by John Maclean

Hunting Around the World: Fair Chase Pursuits from Backcountry Wilderness to the Scottish Highlands, foreword by Robert Model

 

Jack Ward Thomas served as chief from 1994-1996. (FHS Photo)

Jack Ward Thomas served as Forest Service chief from 1994-1996. (FHS Photo)

“My idea of heaven would be to, simply, do it all over again.” Jack Ward Thomas, a wildlife biologist who concluded thirty years with the U.S. Forest Service by serving as chief from 1993 to 1996, closes the author’s acknowledgements at the end of each of his three books with that line. After reading the accounts of his career and hunting trips drawn from journals written over a sixty-five year period, I have little doubt about why he feels that way. I feel similarly about the books, in particular Forks in the Trail and Wilderness Journals in their entirety and parts of Hunting Around the World. When I finished, I wanted to read them again.

In all three, Thomas makes you feel as if you are there with him—and at times, that you want to be there with him—whether deep in the snow hunting elk or recording the day’s events in his journal by fire light. You sympathize over the loss of his first wife Meg and then his long-time hunting companion and mentor Bill Brown, the long-time regional director of the Northwest Region of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, who helped Thomas better understand the emotional and political values of wilderness areas. Thomas is open and honest about these losses and the impact of the ravages of time and hard work on his body and how it affects each new venture into the wilderness. (Older readers will be able to relate; younger ones should take heed!) Each book, in its own way, is an elegy to an outdoorsman’s life well lived and an ode to some beautiful places. Thomas has no regrets that he has hung up his gun because of age and infirmities; he has his memories to look back upon, and now so do we.

Each book is designed to stand alone, but I suggest reading Forks in the Trail first because it covers from childhood through his second retirement and provides the framework and background to better understand events in the other books. It is for all intents and purposes his memoir (which can be rounded out with Journals of a Forest Service Chief, published in 2004 by the Forest History Society). Forks in the Trail—Thomas’s phrase for turning points in his life—covers his childhood in Texas during the Great Depression to the “pinnacles of natural resource leadership”—his appointment as Forest Service chief and then his time as the Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Montana.

JWT_FitRStarting with Forks will introduce you to deepen the reader’s understanding of why his packhorse trips with Brown into “the High Lonesome” backcountry area—the Eagle Cap and Hells Canyon Wilderness Areas in eastern Oregon—that are the focus of much of Wilderness Journals brought him such joy and unleashed the naturalist-poet inside. Furthermore, in Forks Thomas helpfully explains and discusses the historical background or significance of a fork in the trail, such as a law or policy change, when necessary. The forewords and prefaces of Wilderness Journals and Hunting lack enough information or context for deeply understanding his heartfelt meditations on the beauty provided by federal natural resource management or the night sky in Alaska, or his distaste towards those who pay to hunt on game farms. The other two books supplement and complement Forks, and a few journal entries are split up between books depending on the topics. Each has entries several pages long, though they never feel like they are dragging on for several pages. Most all are a delight to read. Each book ends with an epilogue that offers his reflections on the journal entries and where he is now in his thought process.

JTW_WJWilderness Journals covers a narrow but pivotal time in Thomas’s life, from 1986 to 1999, when he found himself in thick of the northern spotted owl controversy and then reluctantly serving as Forest Service chief. The High Lonesome became a refuge from the pressures of work, a place to both recreate and “re-create” himself. On several occasions, he recorded the benefits of time spent in the wilderness. One in particular, written while he was chief, captures the feeling and offers a strong defense for maintaining protected wilderness areas, something Thomas strived to do while chief.

It seems a shame that now [the] most common meaning of the word is to “have fun.” The original meaning, the one that appeals most to me, was to create anew, to refresh strength and spirit. For me, there was no other “re-creational” experience that could match a retreat into the wilderness…. Having an experience that fosters re-creation of purpose, zeal, and faith is much more than simply having a good time. For people like me, it is a necessity. Without periodic re-creation, there is danger of diminished spirit, purpose, confidence, belief, and effectiveness.(188)

Wilderness Journals includes two appendices that are journal entries from his time as chief that don’t quite fit in with the main text but make nice additions. They were written around the thirtieth anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act of 1964. On two occasions he attempted to improve the agency’s wilderness management efforts by announcing his intention of turning the Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness Area into a single management entity, complete with a supervisor of equal rank to a forest supervisor. He wanted to show that wilderness areas were equal to that of multiple-use landscapes. “Thwarted” by Idaho’s congressional delegation and possibly members of his own staff who perhaps didn’t want to lose power, he concluded, “It is well to remember that changes in the status quo will be resisted and that ‘turf wars’ are with us always.”(260)

JWT_HuntingHunting Around World covers from 1986 to his last hunting trip in 2004 in Scotland; the entries on Scotland are the highlight of this book as he waxes poetic about the breathtaking Highlands countryside and falls in love with it. (Bob Model, who contributes the book’s foreword, hosted Thomas on his Scotland trips.) As someone who had studied the ecology of elk for much of his career, Thomas was excited about observing Scotland’s red deer, a member of the same species but a different subspecies. The contrast between hunting styles and rituals is quite interesting—one dresses in a “shooting suit” of tweed and wool when going “a-stalking” in Scotland, for example, and traditionally carries a walking stick to help traverse the uneven terrain. He also hunted in Argentina, Alaska, and other places, and some entries are from his trips into the High Lonesome. So one learns a good deal about the different cultures and attitudes about hunting as seen through Thomas’s eyes. His entries about hunting on game farms and hunting preserves versus a fair chase pursuit offer much to think about on that subject. Continue Reading »

Everyone knows Smokey Bear, Woodsy Owl, and maybe even Ranger Rick Raccoon, but there are many other forest and forestry-related fictional characters that long ago fell by the wayside. Peeling Back the Bark‘s series on “Forgotten Characters from Forest History” continues with Part 17, in which we examine Turp and Tine.

The annals of classic cartoon duos are packed with famous forest-dwelling characters who worked together such as Rocky and Bullwinkle, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Yogi and Boo Boo, and many others. Venture deep enough into the recesses of cartoon history and you’ll also find the classic forgotten forest history character duo of Turp and Tine.

Turp and Tine

Who were these simple painters who transformed an industry? Well the story of Turp and Tine has its beginnings over a century ago with the Hercules Powder Company.  A division of DuPont, Hercules became an independent company in 1912 after a federal court ordered DuPont broken up for violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. As an independent, Hercules continued its growth in the explosives market, supplying construction firms and the military with gunpowder, dynamite, and blasting powder. As of 1919, 99% of the company’s revenue came from sales of these various explosives.

Looking for diversification and new opportunities, the company expanded in 1920 into the world of naval stores (products derived from pine tree sap). Hercules bought the rights to pull pine stumps on large expanses of cut-over lands throughout the South, while also investing in research and technology to develop products from wood rosin. Soon the company was manufacturing steam-distilled wood turpentine from these stumps on a massive scale. This was contrary to the prevailing gum turpentine cut from living pine trees, which dominated the market at this time.

Turp and Tine on cut over lands

As a new kind of turpentine, Hercules needed to get the message out as to why their turpentine product was better (or at least as good) as the existing gum turpentine on the market. Enter Turp and Tine. The cartoon duo was created to help educate the public on the steam-distilling process as well as promote the Hercules brand. In the early to mid-1920s Turp and Tine promotional materials, advertisements, and even animated films began to appear nationwide. A Hercules advertising manager of the time described the creation and success of the Turp and Tine characters:

When we prepared this picture two years ago, we were faced with the problem of educating the users of turpentine to the fact that steam-distilled wood turpentine is a genuine spirits of turpentine and just as satisfactory for their work as the gum spirits of turpentine, which prior to a few years ago, was the only kind available. We had to get our story across not only to painters but also to distributors, jobbers and dealers through whom turpentine reaches the ultimate consumer. There was the usual prejudice against a product differing from that which had been the standard for many years, and our salesmen found it very difficult to tell the story with words only. In our picture we made use of animation to portray two painters “Turp” and “Tine” who appear in our  advertising. The introduction of humor into the picture helped to secure the interest of the spectators in the educational features, which included a complete description of the methods of producing both gum and wood turpentine and an animated mechanical diagram of the processes followed in our plants … We have ample evidence in our file that the motion picture was one of the most effective means we employed in accomplishing our objective. Our sales of turpentine have now increased to the point where our present manufacturing facilities are insufficient to supply the demand.*

The characters themselves were designed and drawn by artist Archibald B. Chapin (1875-1962). Chapin was a successful newspaper political cartoonist in the first half of the twentieth century, working for publications in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Philadelphia. He also penned comic strips such as Home Sweet Home, Uncle Dudley, and Superstitious Sue. A Hercules promotional publication circa 1930 stated: “Turp and Tine … sprang full-grown from the ink bottle of A.B. Chapin, who is one of the foremost cartoonists in this country. Since their appearance, Turp and Tine have made a host of friends, because they are likeable chaps; their antics make people laugh, while the lessons they teach are well worth knowing.”

Turp and Tine promo cover

With Turp and Tine leading the way the Hercules Company continued to grow throughout the 1920s and 1930s. At the time of America’s entrance into World War II, Hercules was the country’s largest producer of naval stores. Turp and Tine would ultimately fade into oblivion, though, as the naval stores industry declined and Hercules expanded into production of other chemicals as well as aerospace equipment and fuels. But like all forgotten forest history characters they continue to live on here at FHS.

*Klein, Julius “What Are Motion Pictures Doing for Industry?” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 128 (November 1926): 79-83.

Making turpentine with Turp and Tine

Turp and Tine show how Hercules steam-distilled wood turpentine is produced (click to enlarge).

Making turpentine with Turp and Tine

Turp and Tine show how Hercules turpentine is distilled from pine wood chips (click to enlarge).

Spirits

Hercules Turp and Tine

Here in the Alvin J. Huss Archives you’ll find numerous stories of foresters and loggers from years past. Even among these legends, though, some figures still stand just a bit taller. As we continue to dig through the vinyl collection at FHS we find a set of records by one such figure: the one and only Buzz Martin. At ease both in the woods with a chainsaw and on the stage with a guitar, Buzz Martin was a unique and legendary figure among loggers during the 1960s and 1970s. During a time of lumber industry decline Buzz Martin was able to find success as a country music singer. Known as “The Singing Logger,” he wrote emotional, personal, and humorous tunes about the working logger. Martin ultimately released six albums, and while his singing career was relatively short his music presents a unique audio snapshot of logging work of this era.

Buzz Martin

Buzz Martin at work in the woods.

Buzz Martin was born in Coon Hollow, Oregon, in 1928. As a kid he began to lose his eyesight and at thirteen was sent to the Oregon School for the Blind. It was during this time that Martin began to play the guitar. He received a corneal transplant and regained his sight while at the school, but tragedy immediately struck again—both his parents died prematurely. Martin was then sent to live with his sister and her husband, a musician and amateur instrument-maker named Bill Woosley. They lived in Five Rivers, a tiny community at the midway point between the Willamette Valley and the Oregon Coast. Martin was encouraged by his sister to sing.

Martin entered the logging world as a whistle punk at eighteen, operating a loud, steam-powered whistle used by loggers to communicate with each other. He quickly ascended up the logging jobs ladder, from cutting timber to high climbing. He began singing to his fellow loggers as camp entertainment in his twenties. After landing a meeting with Buddy Simmons, music director at radio station KRDR in Gresham, Oregon, Martin was able to cut his first record, Where There Walks a Logger, There Walks a Man. His 1968 debut on Ripcord Records was followed by subsequent logger classics like A Logger Finds an Opening and The Old Time Logger, A Vanishing Breed of Man.

Buzz Martin cover

Martin’s biggest hit was probably the song “Butterin’ Up Biscuit” which he actually played in person for his hero Johnny Cash backstage after one of Cash’s concerts in Oregon in 1969. This led to Martin eventually appearing on The Johnny Cash Show on ABC in 1971. This may have been the peak of Martin’s career though. Unable to find mainstream success, he refocused on logging work, moving to Alaska in 1979. Unfortunately tragedy struck again. In 1983 he died in a freak accident in the Alaska woods while scouting out a hunting trip.

Buzz Martin records

A selection of Buzz Martin records available at FHS.

Martin’s final resting place is at Lone Oak Cemetery in Stayton, Oregon. His headstone is inscribed with a pine tree and title: “The Singing Logger.” Martin’s music lives on and is well worth a listen. His catalog is available online via Amazon and iTunes. Enjoy a short clip from one of his songs below.

Buzz Martin

Audio clip from “Hoot Owlin Again” – by Buzz Martin off his album Where There Walks a Logger There Walks a Man:

**This blog post draws from “Out of the Woods” by Casey Jarman, which appeared in The Believer (July/August 2013).

Here at Peeling Back the Bark World Headquarters we occasionally like to get our fingers a little dusty by digging through the vinyl record collection in the FHS archives. Our collection may be modest, but it’s full of vintage forest-related audio treasures. One of our favorite items from the collection is undoubtedly the self-titled album from Lausmann’s Lousy Loggers Band. Everyone who sees the album gets a kick out the band’s name as well as the photos inside the record sleeve. But who were these guys?

Lousy Loggers Band album cover

The Lousy Loggers were a band made up of members all with connections to forest industries. Here’s how the group was described by the Western Conservation Journal: “The story of the barkclad bards who keep the loggers dancing is an inspiring example of men dedicated to a rewarding purpose. Each Lousy Logger earns his bread in a job related to bringing in the trees. Each donates his time and pays his entire expenses — instruments, travel, convention board and room; everything. As a group, they give and ask nothing back except that their friends, the loggers, swing their partners.”

The band was led by the legendary Anton “Tony” Lausmann (1889-1978), founder of KOGAP Lumber Industries in Medford, Oregon. Lausmann was certainly a character. He could easily be spotted by either the ever-present cigar in his mouth, or the concertina in his hands — and oftentimes with both at the same time.  In addition to founding KOGAP, Lausmann’s long forest industry career included serving as director of the Oregon Forestry Center, the Industrial Forestry Association, and the National Lumber Manufacturers Association. But what brought him the most joy (and fame) was his concertina — or “squeeze-box” — which he was said to have carried with him just about everywhere since he was a kid.

Tony Lausmann

It was Lausmann’s commitment to carrying his concertina that led to the Lousy Loggers name. In 1958 he was on a voyage by ship to Hawaii with a group of Shriners. Asked to entertain the passengers with his concertina, Lausmann was eventually joined by other “musicians” on board playing the harmonica, tin cans, and other improvised instruments. A fellow passenger asked what the name of the group was, and another one of the Shriners yelled out “Lausmann’s Lousy Loggers.” The name stuck.

Lousy Loggers Band

That same year Lausmann was invited to play at the Pacific Logging Congress Annual Convention. He recruited some forest industry musician friends and the official Lousy Loggers Band was born. Following a successful debut at the 1958 Pacific Logging Congress, the group performed for much of the next two decades at various conferences and conventions, mainly in the Pacific Northwest. The band recorded their one and only album in 1972. At the time of this recording, the band included Lowell Jones on the keys; Gene Pickett on trumpet and trombone; three men on sax and clarinet — Clifton Crothers, Bill Preuss, and Vince Bousquet; Jack Bennett on drums; Dave Totton on bass; and Rex Stevens on vibes. Other past members of the group included Howard Smith, Jim Bigelow, Stu Norton, Clyde Lees, Ed Pease, Phil English, Gene Duysen, and Tony’s son Jerry Lausmann.

Lausmann's Lousy Loggers

The group officially disbanded in 1976 and Tony Lausmann passed away two years later. In his obituary he was remembered as “best known and revered for his leadership in organizing the west coast’s well known and popular Lausmann’s Lousy Loggers Band.” For a sampling of the group’s work, enjoy the audio slideshow below created by librarian extraordinaire Jason Howard. And for more on the unique character that was Tony Lausmann, we recommend the book Swivel-Chair Logger: The Life and Work of Anton A. “Tony” Lausmann, which can be found in the FHS Library.

The holiday season is fully upon us, and we here at Peeling Back the Bark want to make sure your gift-giving needs are covered. Below we feature a few items suitable for all the hard-to-please forest history fans on your holiday gift list.

Books are always a great option, and we would be amiss if we didn’t point out a new work co-published by the Forest History Society and Louisiana State University Press: Forestry in the U.S. South: A History. This book explores how, since the mid-twentieth century, the forests of the U.S. South have made significant commercial and environmental gains through collaborations between industry, universities, and government agencies. The history behind these alliances, the success of sustainable forest management, and the evolution of private forestry in the South are all captured in this book, which provides a fascinating and immensely detailed overview of the people and organizations responsible for the revitalization and long-term successes of southern forestry. Forestry in the U.S. South is written by FHS members Mason Carter, Robert Kellison, and Scott Wallinger. Wallinger was also a past chairman of the Forest History Society board of directors.

Forestry in the U.S. South: A History

Two other new books of note would not only look great on a recipient’s coffee table, but are well worth reading as well. The first examines one hundred years of forestry in Texas through the history of two influential state organizations. A Century of Forestry, 1914–2014: Texas Forestry Association and Texas A&M Forest Service provides an illustrated account of Texas’s forest history, detailing important events such as the founding of state and national forests, the establishment of a state tree farm system, developments in forest research, urban forestry initiatives, and the founding of the Texas Forestry Museum. The book also reveals how the Texas Forestry Association and Texas A & M Forest Service have transformed the state’s natural landscape. One hundred years ago, expansive stands of virgin longleaf pine had largely disappeared because of lumber industry practices, along with unsuppressed wildfires. Deforestation had also led to widespread soil erosion that was affecting the state’s streams and rivers. Into this vacuum of forestry leadership entered the Texas Forestry Association (TFA), which was established in 1914 to promote forest conservation in the state. TFA members, led by William Goodrich Jones, a banker turned conservationist, continued a decade-old quest to create the Department of Forestry, now called the Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS). With that, Texas became the first state in the nation to establish its state forestry agency as part of a land-grant college. Since their creation, TFA and TFS have worked to establish pine seedling nurseries, fire control projects, and state-administered forest areas. With its large format and attractive presentation, the book would make an excellent gift for anyone interested in Texas history or forestry history in general.

Century of Forestry

Another new book that would be a natural fit for home display is Primeval Forests of Finland: Cultural History, Ecology and Conservation, by Petri Keto-Tokoi and Timo Kuuluvainen. This book celebrates the cultural and ecological importance of Finland’s natural boreal forests. Keto-Tokoi and Kuuluvainen open with a discussion of how we define a “natural” forest and how such forests cannot be viewed in absolute terms: environmental factors mean that forests have different and changing states of naturalness. The authors then delve into the role of the forest in Finland’s art and folklore and how it has served for centuries as a national symbol. In fights over forest conservation in Finland throughout the twentieth century, nature conservationists have proven to be effective even in periods of economic growth and development. The natural forests are treasured and widely considered too valuable to sacrifice for short-term economic gain. Nevertheless, conservationists and forest industry tussled over the protection of the North Lapland wilderness areas in the latter part of the twentieth century. The book’s visuals—the large, full-color photos, maps, and illustrations—and beautiful and engaging.

Primeval Forests of Finland

Looking beyond the world of books brings us to several other gifts for those with an interest in forests and forestry.

Artwork always makes a great gift, and you can’t go wrong with this John Muir Trail Print which would improve the look of any wall. The same image is also available on a t-shirt.

For the distinguished gentleman on your list who loves wood products we suggest the following accessories. The Wood Tie and the Etched Walnut Wooden Bow Tie are both unique wooden fashion items not just for lumberjacks.

wooden bow tie

 

For the beverage fan on your list we give you two unique ways to handle your beer and wine.

The Lumberjack Beer Bottle Opener is an opener in the shape of an axe, with a real wood handle and a notch cut into the back for opening brew caps in the home or in the woods. lumber Jack

For the wine drinker we offer the Lumberjack Bottle Stopper to seal your bottles with a tree stump topper complete with a small ax cutting into it.

LumberjackStopper

Party hosts may also like this Mango Wood Platter with Bark, providing a unique way to present appetizers or other items.

mango wood platter

You can further outfit your home with Tree Branch Candle Holders. These 3-tiered tree branch candle holders accent the glow of a candle to create the perfect rustic focal point for any table, mantle or counter top.

For the lumberjack on your list with an unruly mane or beard, we suggest the Saw Comb. This attractive mini saw with a cherry wood grip can cut through even the worst of tangled hair.

Saw Comb

Enjoy and happy holidays!

 

 

This weekend a winner will be crowned at the 89th Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. While we wish all the ladies luck, here at Peeling Back the Bark World Headquarters our favorite Miss America will undoubtedly remain one woman born all the way back in 1928.Miss America Green Cross

Miss American Green Cross, as she is known, was unveiled in Glendale, California, 87 years ago. Posing against the backdrop of a cross, her striking figure appeared with her arms outstretched in a call to save America’s trees. But who was this woman and where did she come from? To fully understand her story we need to go back a few more years to the origins of the American Reforestation Association.

American Reforestation Association logoThe early 1920s was a time of growing concerns over dwindling forest resources in the United States. In response to this perceived crisis, the American Reforestation Association was incorporated in Los Angeles in 1923. The stated aim for the group was “the saving of America’s greatest asset – trees. Not simply for sentiment but for the very life of the nation.” The official organizational motto was “The sapling of today is the man-timber of tomorrow,” and the group promoted tree planting, while also disseminating educational materials on the value of trees, hoping to influence the public on the need for laws to protect America’s forests.

ARA membership emblemThe organization also worked closely with various Hollywood figures, hoping to use the growing film industry as a means of promoting the group’s cause of planting trees. From its base in Southern California, the Association recruited membership from across the country. The official membership emblem greeting potential new members was a woman in a crown of laurels (labeled “America”) with arms outstretched against a cross backdrop under the words “help save our trees.”

This symbol appeared on American Reforestation Association publications and promotional materials, before eventually becoming the group’s centerpiece as the organization re-branded. On December 3, 1926, the American Green Cross Society was formally created as a successor to the American Reforestation Association.

Green Cross announcement

The group was publicly launched with a series of events in Southern California in April of 1927, in conjunction with national Forestry Week observances. This included a tree planting event on April 30, 1927, at Royal Palms (San Pedro, CA) near the Pacific Ocean end of Western Ave. The event was attended by U.S. Forest Service Chief William Greeley and featured the planting of 20 different trees from historic spots (including trees from Mount Vernon, Monticello, Fort McHenry, and other locations).

The local influence of the group was significant enough that in February 1928 the city of Glendale offered an office building and auditorium with a block of property valued at $150,000 to the American Green Cross to be used as their national headquarters. Around this time plans for a large monument also began.

The artist Frederick Willard Potter sculpted the monument – an imposing work featuring a bronze version of the familiar Green Cross woman atop a pile of logs all standing on a six-foot high stone base. The base featured a plaque as well as the words “help save our trees” and “the forest is the mother of the rivers.” The statue was placed in Glendale at the intersection of Broadway and Verdugo Roads at the corner of the Broadway High School campus (now Glendale High School).

Potter statue

Frederick Potter (left) with his American Green Cross statue.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by Potter as well as his model Verlyn Sumner. A Los Angeles Times report of the event began, “Amidst the cheers of several thousands of school children and citizens, the American Green Cross at Glendale yesterday unveiled a monument dedicated to forest conservation and propagation.” Lieutenant Governor Buron Fitts in his speech at the ceremony stated that “Just what the Red Cross means to humanity now, the Green Cross will mean to humanity of the future.”

While the Green Cross organization would ultimately prove to be short-lived, the strange journey of Miss Green Cross herself was only beginning. A few years after the dedication a car crashed into the statue’s base, causing significant damage. Shortly thereafter the statue was moved away from school grounds and relocated to a remote canyon area behind Brand’s Castle (now Brand Library & Art Center). As if following the statue’s path, the Green Cross organization also began to fade from public view during the 1930s. The statue was abandoned, vandalized, and mostly forgotten over the next few decades until a group of hikers “re-discovered” it during the 1950s. By this time the statue was crumbling and Miss Green Cross was missing an entire arm. In the late 1970s Glendale’s Historic Preservation Element designated the statue as a landmark piece and it was selected to be relocated to a prominent place in Brand Park. The statue was moved to storage in 1981 to await restoration work.

After significant work by Glendale artist Ron Pekar – and significant cost – the restoration project was completed. The Miss American Green Cross statue was unveiled at its current home in Brand Park with a re-dedication ceremony in 1992.

The story doesn’t exactly end there, though. In January 2007, a group of community service workers clearing brush behind Brand Library uncovered a buried arm. After an initial shock, they soon realized what they had found was a 3-foot-long bronze arm – which they later discovered was a missing piece of the original Green Cross statue. The Glendale Parks Department evidently now holds permanent possession of this original appendage (which had already been replaced in the restoration efforts).

While the statue itself remains in a prominent place near Brand Library Park, the origins of the Green Cross lady – as well as the stories of the American Reforestation Association and the American Green Cross – are unfortunately mostly forgotten.

Reforesters of America

1925 book by the American Reforestation Association.

Moulding Public Opinion

1927 book by the American Reforestation Association and the American Green Cross.

Help Save Our TreesMiss Green CrossMiss American Green Cross plaque

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