Library hosts George Bird Grinnell, Father of Glacier National Park lecture

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Naturalist George Bird Grinnell stands on the glacier bearing his name in this undated photo.

Photo courtesy of Lewistown Public Library

The Lewistown Public Library will host the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau program, “The Explorations and Discoveries of George Bird Grinnell, Father of Glacier National Park” on Thursday, Sept. 1. The program will be presented at 6 p.m. in the Upstairs Reading Room. The presentation is free and open to the public. Partial funding for the Speakers Bureau program is provided by a legislative grant from Montana’s Cultural Trust and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The great West that George Bird Grinnell first encountered in 1870 as a 21-year old man was shortly to disappear before his eyes. Nobody was quicker to sense the desecration or was more eloquent in crusading against the poachers, the hide-hunters, and the disengaged U.S. Congress than George Bird Grinnell, the “Father of American Conservation.” Grinnell founded the first Audubon Society, cofounded the Boone and Crockett Club with Teddy Roosevelt, and led the effort to establish Glacier National Park. Audiences will travel back in time to the 19th century, listening to Grinnell’s own words as taken from his field journals, memoirs, personal correspondence, and newspaper editorials. This presentation will be led by Hugh Grinnell.
Hugh Grinnell received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Arizona. Since his retirement in 2004, Grinnell has studied the history of the great American West. After discovering an old Great Northern Railway passenger car named “Grinnell Glacier,” he researched the car’s name, only to learn that the glacier was named in honor of the efforts of George Bird Grinnell, a distant cousin of his who was a naturalist and explorer. Grinnell continues to carry on his research of George Bird Grinnell and the Grinnell family, writing articles and producing DVDs. In 2010, he presented “Saving the Great American West” at the annual convention of the GNR Historical Society and 100th anniversary of the establishment of Glacier National Park, held in Glacier National Park.
Don’t miss Hugh Grinnell at the Lewistown Public Library on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 6 p.m. in the Upstairs Reading Room. This program is sponsored in part by the Friends of the Library and is free and open to the public. For more information, please call the Lewistown Public Library at 538-5212 or visit


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