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Milnor Roberts - Papers
UWSpecColl, Accession 563-70-56
* Lowell Skoog has a copy of each item marked with an asterisk.

Inventory Guide *

Milnor Oaks Roberts was born March 10, 1877. His father, a formost American civil engineer, was Chief Engineer for Northern Pacific Railway until he was hired by the Brazilian government. His mother was descended from the Baron de Beelen, the first Belgian Ambassador to the United States. After his father's death, Roberts, his mother, and his sister, Milnora de Beelen Roberts, lived in Colorado Springs where he attended Cutler Academy and Colorado College, transferring in 1896 to Stanford University. In 1901 he came to the University of Washington as Professor of Mining Engineering. He was made Dean of the College of Mines in 1903, a position he held until his retirement in 1947, after which he became Dean Emeritus. His association with the University continued until his death in 1965. He was a highly regarded private consultant in the field of mining and metallurgy in addition to his university work.

Box 1, Folder 43

In a January 22, 1913 letter (*), J.B. Flett thanks Milnor Roberts for the "beautiful photographs taken on New Year's day in Paradise Valley." Flett writes that they are from a higher region than he has been able to reach in winter. "I have been up to Longmire's several times in winter. Bad weather prevented me from going very high. Some time I hope to be able to reach the upper part of the valley."

Box 2, Folder 42

A March 16, 1909 letter from the Tacoma Eastern Railway confirms arrangements for the upcoming trip by Roberts and a party of twelve to Longmire. The railway will provide them with a letter of introduction to the watchman of the Longmire inn.

Box 2, Folder 54

Contains a form letter written by Milnor Roberts dated December 7, 1908. Roberts, Chairman of the U.W. Faculty Athletic Committee, is assisting Josiah Collins, Chairman of the Athletic Committee of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, in interesting college men in promoting athletics at the exposition, which is to open on June 1, 1909. Events will include track and field, baseball and rowing, with competitors expected from all parts of the world.

Box 2, Folder 55

In a January 16, 1913 letter (*) to Professor J.B. Flett, Roberts describes his recent winter trip to Mt Rainier (see mtneer-b-1913-jan). On New Year's day, with Professor Bennett and Mr. Curtis, Roberts climbed from Longmire past Narada Falls to Camp of the Clouds. The clear morning gave way to dull afternoon skies. There was less snow than on his previous winter visit on March 20, 1909. Roberts sent photographs from the recent trip to Flett.

A July 15, 1916 letter to Dr. Suzzallo summarizes the fourteen years of service by Roberts on the U.W. Athletic Committee, beginning in 1902. He writes: "I made the first suggestion that the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition be held on the campus. My address outlining the possibilities was published in the Times and immediately followed up." Roberts served as chairman of the committee on intercollegiate athletics for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, helping locate and design the stadium and grandstands, which held the first national meeting of the Amateur Athletic Union ever held in the Northwest. Roberts contributed to the development of many other athletic facilities on the U.W. campus.

Box 2, Folder 63

Contains an April 15, 1960, letter (*) from Milnor Roberts to Eugene Faure, which was the basis of Faure's article in the 1961 Mountaineer Annual (mtneer-a-1961-p41). The letter names Mr. and Mrs. Frank Dabney, Miss Edith Dabney (Mrs. Sherwood Ford), Carl F. Gould, Milnora Roberts (sister of Milnor Roberts) and "some Tacoma friends including Mayor and Mrs. Seymour" as members of the 1909 outing to Longmire. They spent a week there. Roberts also writes:
"We skied up to Paradise Valley and on to the Ranger's cabin of which only the ridge was visible. That was the only structure in the area at that time. As we traversed the open slopes, now smooth with a great depth of snow, our skis hidden deep in the powder snow slid quietly along to make the only marks of man's presence even for a day, or at least the only visible one. The possibilities of Paradise as a winter resort so impressed us that I wrote an article for the National Geographic Magazine, published it with some of our photos and two views by Romans in the June 1909 issue with the title "A Wonderland of Glaciers and Snow" [ngm-1909]. Apparently this 8-page article was the first one on the subject to appear in a publication of national circulation."

"The trip made by the two [gals?] of our party from Longmire up through the timber, followed by a tour of the open slopes above Paradise Valley was said to be a first for women."

Box 2, Folder 66

Contains a fine photo (*) of Milnor Roberts, probably in his forties or early fifties.

Box 12, Folder 30

Contains a ticket (*) for the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition with a photo of Milnora Roberts in a broad pillbox hat.

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Last Updated: Wed Feb 25 11:06:42 PST 2009