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Finding aid for the Wandalee Thompson Collection of San Gabriel Mountains History
2002.1, 2004.14, 2006.38, 2007.30, 2009.16, 2010.10  
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Collection Overview
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This collection contains the materials that Wandalee Thompson (1914-2004) collected while preparing to write a history of the San Gabriel Mountains. Though the book was never realized, Thompson collected a substantial amount of material during her research including historic maps, diaries, camp brochures and signs, postcards, newspaper articles, correspondence with camp owners, photographs, and scrapbooks. The collection also includes materials related to Thompson's forest conservation and hiking activities in the San Gabriel Mountains. Provenance: Wandalee Thompson began collecting information on the San Gabriel Mountains in 1944 with the intention of publishing a book. Recognizing their historical value, her son Muir Thompson donated the materials to the Sierra Madre Public Library in January 2002. Additional installments of the collection were donated by Muir Thompson in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. The Wandalee Thompson Collection is currently stored in the Sierra Madre Public Library's California Room, which houses multiple materials and special collections related the California history.
Wandalee Thompson was born on July 8, 1914 in Wichita, Kansas to Ersa and Ransome Nickell. Four years later, the Nickell family moved to Glendale, California, where Thompson's lifelong love of mountaineering and conservation work began. She joined the Sierra Club at age 18, and moved to Sierra Madre in 1938 with her newly wed husband, Kenneth B. Thompson. Thompson began researching the San Gabriel Mountains and acquiring historical materials through her friendships with camp proprietors, forest rangers, and other researchers. Thompson was a dedicated conservationist, actively planting trees in the 1940s and 1950s throughout the San Gabriel Mountains. In 1951, she became the first living person to receive the James McLachlan Bissell medal for forest conservation, awarded for her volunteer reforestation efforts and her work educating hikers about trail safety and fire prevention measures. Thompson passed away in 2004.Materials range in date from Wilbur M. Sturtevant's journal of accounts from 1898 to Thompson's correspondence from 1987. The bulk of the materials range from 1920 to 1969.
approximately 4.5 linear feet
Copyright restrictions may apply. All requests for permission to publish, quote, or reproduce materials from the Collection should be submitted to the Associate Librarian-Archival Collection. A copy of the work in which collection materials are published must be donated to the Archives.
Collection is open for research. Please contact the Archives to schedule an appointment.