The Epic Facial Hair of the Forefathers of the National Parks

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

We’re currently in the thick of Movember, that special time of the year where fellas around the world grow out their facial hair to raise awareness for men’s health. To honor the cause, the National Park Service is reminding everyone that many of the parks’ forefathers were sporting some pretty killer grooming styles year-round and long before it was the cool thing to do.

In the post, John Muir, George Bucknam Dorr, George Bird Grinnell, and Gustaf Nordenskiold all get a tip of the hat. Muir—the so-called “Father of the National Parks”—sported a sizeable beard (seen above on the right, alongside Teddy Roosevelt) throughout his life, a look that paired well with his work championing for wildlife preservation.

Dorr is responsible for the existence of Maine's Acadia National Park. He fell in love with the landscape, bought a small parcel in 1909, and with some serious lobbying, was able to turn it into the foundation for the park. With his sizable fortune and sizable ‘stache, he continued to help grow the park for the rest of his life.

George Dorr, National Park Service

Grinnell also had a hefty mustache and a lengthy resume when it came to advocating for nature preservation. Trained in ornithology and paleontology, he was the official zoologist of George Custer's expedition to the Black Hills in 1874, advocated for hunting and vandalism regulations in what became Yellowstone National Park, founded the Audubon Society, helped organize the New York Zoological Society, and helped to establish the Boone and Crockett Club.

George Bird Grinnell // Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Finally, Nordenskiold came to America from Sweden in search of a climate that would make the symptoms of his tuberculosis more bearable, and ended up helping to excavate the ruins of what is now Mesa Verde National Park. He brought worldwide attention to the site, all while wearing an impressive English-style mustache.