Guide to the McCroskey (V. T.) Research Project Records 1983-1984
Cage 606

Summary Information

Repository
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Creator
McCroskey (V.T.) Research Project
Title
McCroskey (V.T.) Research Project Records
ID
Cage 606
Date [inclusive]
1983-1984
Extent
1.0 container.
General Physical Description note
.5 linear feet of shelf space.
Language
English
Abstract
Research notes, transcripts of interviews, and copies of original documents about Virgil T. McCroskey of Colfax, Wash. and his efforts to establish public parks, especially Skyline Drive in North Idaho. The papers were assembled by researchers Keith Petersen and Mary Reed for a traveling exhibit in 1984.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description]. Cage 606, McCroskey (V.T.) Research Project Records . Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Return to Table of Contents »


Biographical/Historical note

Virgil Talmadge McCroskey was born in Tennessee on 5 October 1876. The McCroskey family moved to a homestead near the base of Steptoe Butte in 1879. In 1898, McCroskey graduated from the Washington Agricultural College (State College of Washington) with a degree in pharmacy. After working as a pharmacist in several locations in the Pacific Northwest, he purchased the Elk Drug Store in Colfax in 1903. He worked there until 1920, when he retired at the age of forty-four. For the next several years McCroskey traveled around America and the world. In the 1930s, he began purchasing large acreages on and around Steptoe Butte in eastern Washington, and on Skyline Drive in Latah and Benewah counties, Idaho. In 1946, he donated his Steptoe Butte property to become Washington's seventy-second state park. In 1955, McCroskey donated over 4,000 acres along Skyline Drive to become Idaho's third state park. It was named in honor of his mother, Mary Minerva McCroskey. Virgil T. McCroskey died in 1970.

In 1983, the Washington State University History Department received a grant from the Washington Commission for the Humanities, and a financial donation from Lee and Jody McCroskey Sahlin of Spokane, to undertake a project concerning McCroskey and his park donations. Keith Petersen and Mary Reed served as project historians, exhibit designers, and coordinators of the project. David H. Stratton, then chair of the WSU History Department, was the project director. The project created a traveling exhibit which toured eastern Washington and northern Idaho in 1983 and 1984, a series of lectures given in four locations, and a small booklet about McCroskey, of which 2,500 copies were distributed free to people who viewed the exhibit or attended the lectures.

Return to Table of Contents »


Scope and Contents note

This is chiefly a collection of photocopies of documents generated as part of research to document Virgil T. McCroskey's efforts to establish state parks on the Palouse country in Washington and Idaho. This collection includes research materials that Keith Petersen and Mary Reed gathered for the project. It includes original copies of articles and brochures that they wrote for the project. In addition, it includes all of their research notes, copies of oral history interview transcripts, and copies of original documents held by various agencies and institutions.

Return to Table of Contents »


Arrangement note

The original order created by Petersen and Reed has been preserved, except that folder #5 was split into two halves, and that background information on the collection that Petersen assembled has been added to the end of the records as folder #9.

Return to Table of Contents »


Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 1994

http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/masc
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610
509-335-6691
mascref@wsu.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Keith Petersen and Mary Reed of Pullman, Washington, donated this collection to the Washington State University Libraries in November 1984. It was accessioned as MS84-61.

Return to Table of Contents »


Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • McCroskey (Virgil T.) Research Project --Archives

Geographic Name(s)

  • Mary Minerva McCroskey Memorial Park (Idaho)
  • Skyline Drive (Idaho)

Personal Name(s)

  • McCroskey, Virgil, 1876-1970
  • Petersen, Keith
  • Reed, Mary E

Subject(s)

  • Idaho
  • Parks -- Idaho
  • Parks and Playgrounds
  • Washington (State)

Return to Table of Contents »


Collection Inventory

Folder

Articles about V. T. McCroskey by Petersen and Reed 

1

Articles about V. T. McCroskey, his park donations, and the McCroskey Family (most are handwritten notes from originals 

2

Notes and photocopies from the Virgil T. McCroskey Collection at the Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane 

3

Notes and photocopies from the files of the Idaho Land Board 

4

Photocopies from the files of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, part I 

5A

Photocopies from the files of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, part II 

5B

Photocopies from the personal collection of Lee and Jody McCroskey Sahlin of Spokane 

6

Notes and photocopies from the files of the Washington Department of Parks and Recreation 

7

Miscellaneous oral history materials 

8

Background information on the McCroskey (V. T.) Research Project Records prepared by Keith Petersen and Mary Reed 

9