1930s documentary film of Big Sur and other California state parks
Posted on: Friday, June 19, 2009 11:06 AM by Nicole Gustas
Just released by the National Archives on YouTube, this film shows Big Sur as it was in the 1930s, when they were initially establishing California's state parks, including Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. This historic Big Sur film footage shows Construction Corps and Conservation Corps engineers and laborers working to construct the trails, roads and buildings in our parks. Many of the workers are shown sleeping in tents for months at a time. At many parks, they were still bringing in supplies on horseback! Fast forward to 14:26 to see the footage of Big Sur. It's fascinating to see what has changed about the park (and about conservation techniques) - and what has stayed the same. (They can't resist the iconic shot of the waves cascading through the archway at McWay Falls.) Other California state parks featured in this historic film include California Redwood (now either Big Basin Redwoods or Henry Cowell Redwoods - please comment if you are sure which one this is) (2:46), Humboldt Redwood (now called Humboldt Redwoods State Park) (5:29), Calaveras (now called Calaveras Big Trees State Park) (7:17), San Jacinto Mountains (now called Mount San Jacinto State Park) (7:54), Rubicon (now part of D.L. Bliss State Park) (11:18), Prairie Creek (now called Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park) (13:14), Cuyamaca Rancho State Park (about 17 minutes in; the introduction is cut off), Morro Bay (now Morro Bay State Park and Morro Strand State Beach) (18:40) and Russian Gulch State Park (19:51). You'll also see scenes of Conservation Corps workers boxing, playing baseball, washing dishes, and other aspects of daily life.