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Experience The Playground Trail At The Estes Park Museum

Lee and Jane Whiteley, authors of The Playground Trail, will visit the Estes Park Museum on October 3 for a free public program.

Lee and Jane Whiteley, authors of The Playground Trail, will visit the Estes Park Museum on October 3 for a free public program.

On Friday, October 3, at 7:00 p.m. the Estes Park Museum will host a program by authors Lee and Jane Whiteley based on their book The Playground Trail: To and Through the National Parks of the West.  This program is free to the public and sponsored by the Estes Park Museum Friends & Foundation, Inc.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

After World War I, Americans were ready to “See America First.” The slogan was used by the newly-created National Park Service to promote automobile travel to the national parks of the West. The National Park-to-Park Highway Association promoted a 5,500 mile-long “auto trail” to and through these twelve national parks.

A dedication tour along the route was held in 1920. Sponsored by the National Park Service and AAA, the media event spotlighted the beauty of the parks plus the pleasures and pitfalls of driving an automobile through the nation’s “playgrounds.”  The Whiteleys, through a slide-illustrated show, will lead the audience along the National Park-to-Park Highway. Visuals include vintage postcards, maps and photographs of A. G. Lucier, the official photographer of the 1920 tour. Present-day photographs will provide “then and now” comparisons.

Lee and Jane Whiteley have authored five books on transportation history in the West, including wagon roads and early automobile highways. The Whiteleys also write for American Road Magazine, whose motto is “Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear . . . and the joys of driving them today.” They are members of the Lincoln Highway Association, Oregon-California Trails Association, Santa Fe Trail Association and the Smoky Hill Trail Association.

The mission of the Estes Park Museum is to collect, interpret and preserve local history, as well as present exhibits, programs and events, for the education and benefit of residents and visitors of all ages. For more information call the Estes Park Museum at 586-6256 or visit the Museum’s website at www.estesnet.com/Museum. The Museum is located at 200 4th Street and is open daily 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. through the month of October. Admission is always free.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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