Deception Pass State Park’s centennial is coming up next year, and park officials need the community’s help to honor past park managers.
The most visited state park in Washington will celebrate its 100th birthday on April 17, 2022. As part of the celebration, park officials want to have a wooden sign made delineating the park’s manager genealogy back to 1922.
The park’s top dog position has been known by several names throughout the last century — caretaker, superintendent, supervisor, ranger and finally, area manager. Local volunteer Pat Reed and Jason Armstrong, the current park manager, have compiled a list of past leaders dating back to the park’s inception. However, the further back in time they search, the more difficult the information is to verify.
“I am missing dates and it is possible I might be missing some managers,” Armstrong said. “We do not want to miss any because we intend to have a celebration of all past managers in the spring.”
The spring event will be just one of many celebrations planned in honor of the park’s centennial next year. Park officials also want to connect with past managers’ families in anticipation of the event.
So far, Reed and Armstrong have identified 17 former managers: Charles Slafer began in 1922, followed by Rutherford, Al Ditmeyer, Harry Buckey, Harold Rauch, Chester Thomas, Vern Yoakum, Johannes Christensen, A. Vince Henry, Harry Walker, Bruce Hawley, Wallace Girton, Bob Little, William H. Adams, Ralph Mast, William “Bill” Overby and Armstrong’s immediate predecessor, Jack Hartt.
Ascertaining the years each manager served at the park has been trickier; Reed and Armstrong haven’t been able to determine both start and end dates for most managers who served prior to Mast.
Anyone who can provide information about the dates any former park managers served, or who are aware of former managers not included in this list, can contact Armstrong at email@example.com.