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History and timeline of the road to Artist Point

High-clip timeline

 1893 County wagon road exists out to the town of Shuksan.
 1921 8-foot-wide gravel road (Mount Baker Highway) built from Excelsior to Shuksan. 
 1925 Construction begins on Mount Baker Lodge.
 1926 Mount Baker Highway is extended and completed up to Heather Meadows.
 1927 Mount Baker Lodge is complete.
 1931 Mount Baker Highway is extended up to Artist Point.
 1931    Fire destroys the lodge.   
 1933 Civilian Conservation Corps builds numerous roads, campgrounds, trails, cabins and fire lookouts in the area.
 1934 Call of the Wild is filmed at Mount Baker.
 1934 Highway crews agree to keep road open through the winter.
 1934 Interest grows in Mount Baker as a skiing destination.
 1942    Highway crews stop plowing the road at the onset of WWII because of gas rationing.


















 

Detailed timeline

 1893   The country wagon road is extended to the mill town of Maple Falls (milepost 25).
 1893 Whatcom County politicians lobby the legislature to build a highway across the Cascades, north of Mount Baker, to connect eastern and western Washington.
1893 (November) – Wagon road is completed to the town of Shuksan, six miles east of Nooksack Falls.
1894 (July) – Commission finds no possible route over the Cascades north of Mount Baker. The commission was appointed by engineer B.W. “Bert” Huntoon and draftsman H.M. Wellman.
1894 Undeterred by the finding, miners, settlers and the county upgrade the road in order to reach mines and logging camps.
1909 Ideas proposed for building a road to Mount Baker with a resort hotel at its terminus.
1909 Ideas proposed for reserving a portion of the Mount Baker region as a National Park. The park idea is dropped when it becomes clear that construction of the road and resort hotel could be assured if the National Forest bureau retains jurisdiction.
1911 Efforts to build Mount Baker Highway and a resort hotel at Heather Meadows are pushed by Bert Huntoon, an engineer and photographer.
1911 The Mt. Baker Club, which Huntoon is a member, is created to promote the mountain region.
1911 The Mt. Baker Club sponsors the Mt. Baker Marathon – a footrace from the Bellingham to the summit of the mountain in 1911, 1912 and 1913.
1921 Construction extends Mount Baker Highway from Excelsior to Shuksan.
- (Key promoters of development are C.H. Park, J.B. McMillan, Bert Huntoon and Frank Sefrit. Everett B. Deming is listed as financial backer.)
1923 Mount Baker Development Company is formed by Bert Huntoon and nine Whatcom County developers. They propose building a luxury lodge at Austin Pass Meadows. The company leases a five-acre tract of land from the U.S. Forest Service for $125 a year for 15 years, including renewal privileges.
1923 Federal government agrees to fund construction of a nine-mile extension for Mount Baker Highway from Shuksan to a new hotel. This based on $25,000 and a guarantee to build by the Mount Baker Development Company.
1925 Construction of the Mount Baker Lodge begins.
1926 Mount Baker Highway is extended to Heather Meadows.
1926 Hotel location is renamed Heather Meadows to avoid confusion with Austin Pass.
1926 Washington state pays for the final stretch of Mount Baker Highway thanks to Huntoon and local legislators.
1927 The Mount Baker Lodge officials opens on July 14. The lodge cost about $500,000 to build.
1931 Mount Baker Highway is extended three miles up to Artist Point.
1931 58-mile-long Mount Baker Highway is completed at a cost of about $800,000.
1931 Fire completely destroys the Mount Baker Lodge.
1933 The Civilian Conservation Corps builds numerous roads, campgrounds, trails, cabins and fire lookouts in the area.
1934 (winter) – Jack London’s movie Call of the Wild is filmed at Mount Baker. Presence of crew and cast, as well as improved access, stimulated interest in Mount Baker as a skiing destination.
1934 Highway department agrees to keep road open through the winter.
1942 Gasoline shortages during WWII force highway crews to cut back operations on the mountain and stop clearing the highway.
1942 The Lodge is closed and boarded up.