Lounging in the 60s

Enos Mills

b. April 22, 1870 - d. September 21, 1922


Father of Rocky Mountain National Park

Dates of Involvement

1906 - 1922


Enos Mills is known as the "Father of Rocky Mountain National Park" to park employees and visitors alike. Due to his involvement in the founding and beginning stages of the park, Mills became a prominent figure whose influence continues to permeate park culture. Enos Mills was a key player, fighting to establish RMNP as a national park, and is still viewed as one of the main people who made Rocky Mountain National Park possible (National Park Service, 2016). Mills is featured in one of the opening day images of RMNP and became a legend to people who wanted to preserve and maintain public lands for future generations to enjoy.

During Mission 66, Rocky Mountain National Park honored the legacy of Enos Mills by naming the auditorium after him. Congressman Aspinall vied to have the theater named after Mills (ROMO Archives, 1967). Enos Mills passed away in 1922, but superintendents like Novak remembered Mills for his contributions to the park (Pixel Grade Team, 2014). By naming the auditorium after him, Novak sought to pay tribute to Mills' ideas and legacy, both which are reflected in the Mission 66-era building. Several changes occurred at the visitor center over time, but Enos Mills’ legacy is still influential.



Enos Mills had several jobs throughout his career that focused on activism. He met John Muir in 1889, which spurred his desire to dedicate his life to conservation activism, lecturing and writing. From 1902 to 1906 he worked as the Colorado snow recorder and from 1907 to 1909 as the government lecturer of forestry. He also fought to preserve the area around Longs Peak in addition to RMNP. After Rocky opened in 1915, Mills continued to write and lecture until 1922 when he died at age fifty-two (Pixel Grade Team, 2014).


Related Objects to Explore

Krueger Stackable Folding Metal Chair; Oak Bench

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