Special Report of New York State Survey on the Preservation of the Scenery of Niagara Falls, and Fourth Annual Report on the Triangulation of the State for the Year 1879. James T. Gardner, Director
Albany, N.Y. Charles Van Benthuysen & Sons, 1880. First Edition. Hard Cover. Very Good. Item #26965
96 text pages + plates, illustrations, charts, maps, facsimile - all collated complete according to the list provided: Title page with "...the compliments of James T. Gardiner, Director" tipped-on. According to his biography and material in the NY State Archives, his name was changed and used interchangably with different spellings during his lifetime - here, it appears as "Gardner" on the title page, as "Gardiner" on the compliments slip and on the book cover title as well as on maps within. James Terry Gardiner (1842-1912) American surveyor and engineer had a long and varied career associated with the California Sierra Nevada Survey, the Hayden and 40th Parallel surveys in the West and several geological, mining and railway pursuits. He became director of the New York State Survey upon his return to the east and "...In 1879 the New York state legislature commissioned Gardiner and Frederick Law Olmsted to survey Niagara Falls and to create the single most important document in the Niagara preservation movement, a special report on the preservation of Niagara Falls. The report advocated for state purchase, restoration and preservation through public ownership of the scenic lands surrounding Niagara Falls. Restoring the former beauty of the falls was described in the report as a "sacred obligation to mankind." In 1883 Governor Grover Cleveland drafted legislation authorizing acquisition of lands for a state reservation at Niagara, and the Niagara Falls Association, a private citizens group founded in 1882, mounted a letter-writing campaign and petition drive in support of the park. Preservationists’ efforts were rewarded on April 30, 1885, when Governor David B. Hill signed legislation creating the Niagara Reservation, New York’s first state park. New York State began to purchase land from developers, under the charter of the Niagara Reservation State Park. In the same year, the province of Ontario established the Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park for the same purpose. On the Canadian side, the Niagara Parks Commission governs land usage along the entire course of the Niagara River, from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario..." (see NYS library J.T. Gardiner Papers for further detail of his life and achievements) Title page with the small previous owner name-stamp of collector Dr. George R. Brush; long in the U.S. Navy; who served as a surgeon and medical inspector from 1861-1894. Approx. 6 1/4" x 9 3/4" size; original reddish-purple cloth bevel-edged hardcover, gilt cover & spine titles. Some edge, tips wear, spine cloth faded; contents including plates & maps in very good condition.