Finding Aid to the Chester Versteeg Papers, 1910-1993 (bulk 1921-1960)

Josh Roselle
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
© 2011
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Finding Aid to the Chester Versteeg Papers, 1910-1993 (bulk 1921-1960)

Collection number: BANC MSS 96/31 c

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
Finding Aid Author(s):
Josh Roselle
Date Completed:
November 2010
Finding Aid Encoded By:
GenX
© 2011 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Chester Versteeg papers
Date (inclusive): 1910-1993
Date (bulk): 1921-1960
Collection Number: BANC MSS 96/31 c
Creator: Versteeg, Chester
Extent: 5 cartons, 1 oversize folder, 1 oversize roll; 6.5 linear feet
Repository: The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
Abstract: The Chester Versteeg papers, 1910-1993 (bulk 1921-1960), include materials produced and collected by Versteeg relating to the Sierra Nevada and, in a more limited scope, other mountainous regions of North America.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

Information for Researchers

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Chester Versteeg Papers, BANC MSS 96/31 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Alternate Forms Available

There are no alternate forms of this collection.

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
Farquhar, Francis Peloubet, 1887-1974--Correspondence
Matthes, François, 1874-1948
Versteeg, Chester, 1887-1963--Archives
Sierra Club
Sierra Club. Geographic Committee
Mountaineering--California--Kings Canyon National Park
Mountaineering--California--Sequoia National Park
Mountaineering--California--Yosemite National Park.
Mountaineering--Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)
Mountaineers--California
Names, Geographical--Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)
Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)
Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)--History
Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)--Name
Clippings

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Chester Versteeg papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Janice Hampson and Elizabeth Todd on July 19, 1995.

Accruals

No additions are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Josh Roselle in 2010.

Biographical Information

Chester Versteeg (1887-1963) was a Los Angeles-based insurance broker, Sierra Club officer, researcher, and author whose hobby was the Sierra Nevada. He was an avid hiker and mountain climber; he first hiked the Sierra in 1909 and climbed over 250 peaks in the range, including 40 first ascents. He served on the Sierra Club's editorial board and was the first chairman of the Geographic Committee of the Sierra Club. In this capacity he was involved in proposing names for Sierra Nevada features. He also organized the Desert Peaks section of the Sierra Club. He was an amasser of information and collected historical data including maps and photographs, and he conducted interviews with over 400 pioneers, explorers, and settlers of the Sierra Nevada.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Chester Versteeg papers, 1910-1993 (bulk 1921-1960), include materials produced and collected by Versteeg relating to the Sierra Nevada and, in a more limited scope, other mountainous regions of North America. The collection consists primarily of correspondence, raw and analyzed data, complied notes, and clippings. The majority of the collection relates to books he hoped to write, including a history of saw mills in the Sierra, place names in the Sierra, and interesting place names in the mountainous regions of North America. These books are likely unpublished. Researchers may be interested in data collected on place names and on accounts of Sierra experiences. This material was obtained by various methods, including interviews and written requests for information. As Versteeg was chairman of the Geographic Committee of the Sierra Club, this collection contains proposals and correspondence regarding assigning names for previously unnamed geographic features in the California Sierra Nevadas. Much of this correspondence is between Versteeg, representatives of the Sierra Club, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Agriculture. There is a small amount of correspondence with and from Francis Farquhar, president of the Sierra Club.

Container Listing

 

Series 1: Correspondence. 1922-1958

Physical Description: Carton 1, folders 1-13

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by topic or individual, as per original arrangement.
ctn. 1, folder 1

Astronomy. 1936

Additional Note

Published in 1935.
ctn. 1, folder 2

Brown, Bolton. 1930

ctn. 1, folder 3

Clyde, Norman. 1926-1940

ctn. 1, folder 4

Farquhar, Francis. 1935

ctn. 1, folder 5

International Geographic Information Requests. 1934-1950

ctn. 1, folder 6

Le Conte, Joseph. 1922, 1936

Content/Description

Includes biographical sketch.
ctn. 1, folder 7

Marsh, G. F. 1936-1940

ctn. 1, folder 8

Matthes, Francois. 1922-1940

Content/Description

Includes biographical sketch.
ctn. 1, folder 9

Sierra Club North Branch versus South Branch Dispute. 1946

ctn. 1, folder 10

Sierra Nevada Exploration Information Requests. 1922

ctn. 1, folder 11

Smithsonian Correspondence Regarding Mount Whitney. 1923-1936

ctn. 1, folder 12

General Correspondence. 1922-1958

ctn. 1, folder 13

General Requests for Information. 1922-1935

 

Series 2: Place Names. 1923-1969, undated

Physical Description: Carton 1, folders 14-43; Carton 2; Carton 3, folders 1-11

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically. When relating to the Sierra, this series is generally organized by quadrangle area or by related topics (such as places named after precious stones, named after explorers, or named after animals). Although there are folders of place name data arranged by state, the data collected is quite sparse outside of California. Correspondence found in the place names series folders was left with its related material, rather than being separated from related material and filed in the Correspondence series.

Scope/Content

The Place Names series consists of accumulated data, including requests for place name histories, interviews regarding place names, biographies of places named after individuals, place name proposals, and first ascents of mountains data.
ctn. 1, folders 14-15

First Ascents - General Sierra - Not Confined to one Quadrangle. 1923-1925, undated

ctn. 1, folder 16

First Ascents - Sierra - Bishop Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folder 17

First Ascents - Bridgeport Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folder 18

First Ascents - Dardanelles Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folder 19

First Ascents - Dinuba Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folder 20

First Ascents - Sierra - Kaiser Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folder 21

First Ascents - Sierra - Kaweah Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folder 22

First Ascents - Mariposa Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folders 23-24

First Ascents - Sierra - Mt. Goddard Quadrangle. 1925-1956, undated

ctn. 1, folders 25-26

First Ascents - Sierra - Mt. Lyell Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folder 27

First Ascents - Sierra - Mt. Morrison Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folders 28-31

First Ascents - Sierra - Mt. Whitney Quadrangle. 1934, undated

ctn. 1, folder 32

First Ascents - Olancha Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folder 33

First Ascents - Sonora Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folder 34

First Ascents - Sierra - Tehipite Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folder 35

First Ascents - Trimmer Quadrangle. 1923, undated

ctn. 1, folders 36-37

First Ascents - Sierra - Yosemite Quadrangle. undated

ctn. 1, folder 38

Big Bear Valley History. 1934

ctn. 1, folder 39

Biographical Data on People who Have Mountain Peaks Named after Them. undated

ctn. 1, folder 40

Canada. 1934-1936, undated

ctn. 1, folder 41

Canada Geographic Board Correspondence. 1935

ctn. 1, folder 42

Decisions of the United States Geographic Board. 1927-1969

ctn. 1, folder 43

Department of the Interior - Spelling of Toponyms and Standardization of Geographic Names. 1949

ctn. 2, folder 1

General List (Includes Miscellaneous and Major Geographical Features and Systems: Great Lakes, Rivers, Ranges, etc). undated

ctn. 2, folders 2-9

North American Continent - Organized by Name Relationship. undated

ctn. 2, folder 10

North American Continent Worksheet. undated

ctn. 2, folder 11

Place Name Proposals - Southern California Edison. 1933 September 9-1935 April 5

ctn. 2, folders 12-14

Place Name Proposals. 1925-1957

ctn. 2, folder 15

Systems and Discussions. 1923-1954, undated

ctn. 2, folder 16

U.S. States - Alabama. undated

ctn. 2, folder 17

U.S. States - Alaska. undated

ctn. 2, folder 18

U.S. States - Arizona. undated

ctn. 2, folder 19

U.S. States - Arkansas. undated

ctn. 2, folder 20

U.S. States - California. undated

ctn. 2, folder 21

U.S. States - Colorado. 1934-1935, undated

ctn. 2, folder 22

U.S. States - Connecticut. undated

ctn. 2, folder 23

U.S. States - Delaware. 1936

ctn. 2, folder 24

U.S. States - Florida. undated

ctn. 2, folder 25

U.S. States - Hawaii. undated

ctn. 2, folder 26

U.S. States - Idaho. undated

ctn. 2, folder 27

U.S. States - Illinois. undated

ctn. 2, folder 28

U.S. States - Indiana. undated

ctn. 2, folder 29

U.S. States - Iowa. undated

ctn. 2, folder 30

U.S. States - Kansas. 1936, undated

ctn. 2, folder 31

U.S. States - Kentucky. 1936, undated

ctn. 2, folder 32

U.S. States - Louisiana. undated

ctn. 2, folder 33

U.S. States - Maine. undated

ctn. 2, folder 34

U.S. States - Maryland. 1934-1935, undated

ctn. 2, folder 35

U.S. States - Massachusetts. 1934, undated

ctn. 2, folder 36

U.S. States - Michigan. 1935, undated

ctn. 2, folder 37

U.S. States - Minnesota. undated

ctn. 2, folder 38

U.S. States - Mississippi. 1935, undated

ctn. 2, folder 39

U.S. States - Missouri. undated

ctn. 2, folder 40

U.S. States - Montana. undated

ctn. 2, folder 41

U.S. States - Nebraska. undated

ctn. 2, folder 42

U.S. States - Nevada. 1934-1935, undated

ctn. 2, folder 43

U.S. States - New Hampshire. undated

ctn. 2, folder 44

U.S. States - New Jersey. undated

ctn. 2, folder 45

U.S. States - New Mexico. undated

ctn. 2, folder 46

U.S. States - New York. undated

ctn. 2, folder 47

U.S. States - North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia (Includes Great Smokey Mountains). undated

ctn. 2, folder 48

U.S. States - North Dakota. 1936, undated

ctn. 2, folder 49

U.S. States - Ohio. undated

ctn. 2, folder 50

U.S. States - Oklahoma. undated

ctn. 2, folder 51

U.S. States - Oregon. 1934-1935, undated

ctn. 2, folder 52

U.S. States - Pennsylvania. undated

ctn. 3, folder 1

U.S. States - Rhode Island. undated

ctn. 3, folder 2

U.S. States - South Dakota. undated

ctn. 3, folder 3

U.S. States - Texas. 1936, undated

ctn. 3, folder 4

U.S. States - Utah. 1935, undated

ctn. 3, folder 5

U.S. States - Virginia and West Virginia. 1934-1935

ctn. 3, folder 6

U.S. States - Vermont. undated

ctn. 3, folder 7

U.S. States - Washington. undated

ctn. 3, folder 8

U.S. States - Wisconsin. 1935, undated

ctn. 3, folder 9

U.S. States - Wyoming. 1934, undated

ctn. 3, folder 10

United States Library of Congress Correspondence. 1935

ctn. 3, folder 11

United States Geographic Board List. 1934

 

Series 3: Subject Files. 1910-1993

Physical Description: Carton 3, folders 12-49; Cartons 4-5, Oversize folder 1C, Oversize roll 1

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically. Correspondence found in the subject series folders was left with its related material, rather than being separated from related material and put in the Correspondence series.

Scope/Content

The Subject Files series consists mostly of data regarding the Sierra, and a small amount of material on other mountainous regions of the U.S. and Canada. Subject file topics include tree data; air and water temperature tests; sound tests of rivers and waterfalls; old mine and sawmill histories; and interviews with pioneers, settlers, and Sierra explorers.
ctn. 3, folder 12

Accounts, Poems, Sayings, and Songs (non-Sierra). undated

ctn. 3, folder 13

Aerial Photographic Prints of the High Sierra. 1951-1955

ctn. 3, folder 14

Autos. 1959, undated

ctn. 3, folder 15

Army Officers - Places Named after Them, Accounts, Biographies. 1924, undated

ctn. 3, folders 16-17

Book Preparation - Bibliographies. undated

ctn. 3, folder 18

Book Preparation - Citations, To Do Lists, Photo Lists, Miscellaneous. undated

ctn. 3, folder 19

Book Preparation - Master Citation Sheet. undated

ctn. 3, folder 20

Booklets. 1928-1934

ctn. 3, folder 21

Cattle and Sheep in the Sierra - Accounts, History, Persons Involved. undated 1959

ctn. 3, folder 22

Casa Diablo Hot Springs. 1955

ctn. 3, folder 23

Chase, Ralph Arthur - Address Honoring George C. Ward undated

ctn. 3, folder 24

Climbing - High Sierra - Miscellaneous Data and Technique. 1921-1964

ctn. 3, folder 25

Clippings. 1925-1966

ctn. 3, folder 26

Comparative Altitudes - California and Colorado, and Extremes of Altitude by State. 1920-1922

ctn. 3, folder 27

Descriptions of High Sierra Locations and Features. 1923-1955, undated

oversize-roll 1

Encapsulated Map of Sequoia National Forest Fish Plants. 1870-1914

Content/Description

Trout Species covered: Rainbow; Eastern Brook; Loch Leven; Tahoe or Cutthroat; Golden (Roosevelt). compiled by S.L.N. Ellis. Fragile. Must be handled with care.
ctn. 3, folder 28

Expedition Accounts, Essays, and Trip Log by Chester Versteeg. 1912-1960

ctn. 3, folder 29

Exploration of the Sierra by Sierra Club Members. 1922-1930, undated

ctn. 3, folder 30

Explorers and Exploration of the High Sierra prior to 1900. undated

ctn. 3, folder 31

Explorers and Exploration of the High Sierra since 1900. 1922-1951

ctn. 3, folder 32

Fireside Reading List for Sierra Club. 1921

ctn. 3, folder 33

Food for Hiking. undated

ctn. 3, folder 34

Forestry in the Sierra. 1922-1923

ctn. 3, folder 35

Foster, Sequoyah - Biography. undated

ctn. 3, folder 36

Geologic History of the Yosemite Valley - Professional Paper by Francois Matthes. 1930

ctn. 3, folder 37

Geologic Reconnaissance of the Inyo Range... - Professional Paper by Adolph Knopf. 1918

ctn. 3, folder 38

Geological Survey Data. 1934-1954

ctn. 3, folder 39

Geology and Geological History of the Sierra. 1922-1934, undated

ctn. 3, folder 40

Hetch Hetchy. undated

ctn. 3, folder 41

Indian War of 1856 - Excerpts of Accounts by John Barker and George Stewart. 1923, undated

ctn. 3, folder 42

Indians in the Sierra. 1936, 1954

ctn. 3, folder 43

Information about Chester Versteeg - Clippings, Diary, Mount Versteeg, Correspondence, C.V, Accounts. 1912-1993

ctn. 3, folder 44

King, Clarence - Biographical Notes. undated

ctn. 3, folder 45

Lake Freezing Data. 1941-1957

ctn. 3, folder 46

Lake Tulainyo - Highest Lake in North America. 1935-1936

ctn. 3, folder 47

Lakes - High Sierra Data and Temperature Tests. 1956-1959

ctn. 3, folder 48

Lakes - International Data (no data collected). undated

ctn. 3, folder 49

Lakes - North American Data and Temperature. 1953-1956 1930

ctn. 4, folders 1-3

Mapping in the Sierra - History, Correspondence, and Notes. 1922-1933, undated

ctn. 4, folder 4

Maps - Miscellaneous U.S. Topographical. undated

ctn. 4, folder 5

Maps - Western Canada Topographical and Travel. undated

ctn. 4, folders 6-8

Mines of the Sierra - Descriptions, Accounts, and Correspondence. 1921-1955

ctn. 4, folder 9

Mountaineering Clubs. 1923, undated

ctn. 4, folder 10

Mountains of Southern California - San Gabriel, San Gorgonio, etc. - Place Names, Clippings, and Notes. 1925-1926, undated

ctn. 4, folders 11-12

Mount Whitney. 1900-1954

ctn. 4, folder 13

Mount Whitney Clippings. 1924-1956

ctn. 4, folder 14

Muir, John - Accounts, Poems, and Clippings. undated

ctn. 4, folder 15

Muir, John - Lecture Notes Given at Shrine Auditorium, 1910, Regarding John Muir. 1910

ctn. 4, folder 16

National Park Brochures - Canada. 1924-1934

ctn. 4, folders 17-18

National Park Brochures and Publications - U.S. 1930-1935, 1956

ctn. 4, folder 19

National Parks and Forests - Creation of, Purpose, Boundaries (including Kings Canyon/Grant National Park). 1922-1957

ctn. 4, folder 20

Pioneers, Personal Impressions of. undated

ctn. 4, folder 21

Poems by Chester Versteeg. undated

ctn. 4, folder 22

Power Development - Big Creek/San Joaquin Dam. 1927

ctn. 4, folder 23

River and Stream Tests - Sierra and North America. 1956-1958

ctn. 4, folder 24

Sawmills of the Sierra. 1923-1933, undated

ctn. 4, folder 25

Science Occupies Mount Whitney - Chapter XII (of Versteeg's Planned Book?). undated

oversize-folder 1C

Sectional Aeronautical Charts for Seattle, Denver, and Mt. Whitney undated

Physical Description: 3 charts
ctn. 4, folder 26

Sierra Miscellaneous. 1922-1923, undated

ctn. 4, folder 27

Snow, Rainfall, and Weather - Data and Requests. 1922-1957

ctn. 4, folder 28

Old Maps of the High Sierra - Copies. 1857-1884

Arrangement

In legal folder along side of carton.
ctn. 5, folder 1-2

Sound - Test Information, Data, and Requests. undated, 1956-1960

ctn. 5, folder 3

Speeches by Chester Versteeg. undated, 1935

ctn. 5, folder 4

Temperature Data - Historical Data and Research. 1953-1959

ctn. 5, folder 5

Temperature Test Data. 1954-1957

ctn. 5, folder 6

Temperature Tests Secured by Various Sources. 1950-1955

ctn. 5, folders 7-8

Temperature Tests Secured by Versteeg in the Field. 1950-1959

ctn. 5, folder 9

Tertiary Gravels of the Sierra Nevada - by Waldemar Lindgren. 1911

ctn. 5, folder 10

Tragedies of the High Sierra, Including Mount Whitney, Chapter XXXIII [of Versteeg's Planned Book?]. 1930-1942

ctn. 5, folder 11

Trails and Roads in the Sierra. 1924-1951, undated

ctn. 5, folder 12

Transportation in the Sierra. undated

ctn. 5, folder 13

Trees - King of Pines, Madera Sugar Pine Company - Sugar Pine Lumbering Booklets. 1932

ctn. 5, folder 14

Trees - Sequoias. 1936-1954

ctn. 5, folder 15

Trees of California. 1930-1955

ctn. 5, folder 16

Trees and Flowers of the Sierra. 1922-1957, undated

ctn. 5, folder 17

Trout and Trout Planting in the Sierra. 1922-1957

ctn. 5, folder 18

Versteeg's Article in the Congressional Record. 1940, 1943

ctn. 5, folder 19

Waterfall Tests - Data and Sound Measurements - Yosemite and other Sierra Waterfalls. 1956-1958

ctn. 5, folder 20

Wild Animal Life, mostly High Sierra and California. 1922-1959, undated

ctn. 5, folder 21

Winter Exploration and use of the High Sierra. 1957

ctn. 5, folder 22

Yosemite Firefall Tests. 1957-1958

ctn. 5, folder 23

Yosemite, Naming of, and Poem. undated

ctn. 5, folder 24

General Printed Matter. 1926-1960