Arthur C. Pillsbury Foundation

Protecting and Preserving All Life -- By Extending Human Vision

      These news clips provide the facts glossed over by the National Park Service (NPS) histories.  The information was provided directly to the newspapers as releases which Mather wanted to be known to the public.  His reaction to the impact on the Currys, Daniel Joseph Desmond, Francis Marion Smith, and Arthur C. Pillsbury and his family makes it clear people are viewed as pawns or problems.  Borax Smith was history; Desmond was a pawn; Curry a problem; and Pillsbury, who Mather had believed could be controlled, had shown he was following an agenda which Mather did not recognize.  Pillsbury felt no obligation to Mather beyond what he had agreed to do, this was to use his films to awaken the public to the beauties, and science of nature. Therefore, Pillsbury was free to provide to David Curry the films he needed to oppose the attempts by Mather to force a monopoly on concessionaires which he, Mather, controlled.
          1917 started with another round of excess for Mather as he made sure the SF and LA papers were full of articles on Desmond Park Service Company.  D. J. Desmond was continually cited as the company president. But Curry's death, on April 30, 1917 forced Mather to change his attack.  

Oakland Tribune -
April 22, 1917

San Francisco Examiner -
April 29, 1917

San Francisco Chronicle -
​May 1, 1917

   David Alexander Curry is gone.  Now, manipulating events to obtain a monopoly on the concessions in Yosemite, and all of the other National Parks he will control, must be achieved using another avenue.       Outspending Curry has not worked; waves of ads and newspaper articles failed.  Sec. Lane sympathizes with Curry's widow, who has inherited the Curry estate.  Now Mather's problem is finding another line of action to controlling Camp Curry, the largest profit generator in Yosemite Valley.     Mather sees another option and no longer needs Desmond.

​  The Curry Family remains as targets.  Add to this
 Pillsbury and his family.  Mather also has the potent tool of squandering money and rolling out elites, from San Francisco and elsewhere. 
Read ( Imperial San Francisco), an eye-opener

  Now, what devious, underhanded, psychopathic 
 moves will Mather  and his Minions carry out?

San Francisco Chronicle - May 5, 1917

​         On May 5, 1917, other principles from Desmond Park Service Company, appear to attend separately an "Interesting Evening" with San Francisco Elites at the St. Francis Hotel.  Desmond president, D. J. Desmond is also noted to be in attendance with."a number of 'friends,' to share their box."    
       And below,  you see a reflection of the rage when Mather realized Arthur C. Pillsbury had produced the film David Curry was using to defend himself and his business from Mather's predatory schemes.  Mather, being insanely intolerant of being thwarted, planned part of his revenge in the film below.  Notice in the article that, "It required an expenditure of approximately $16,000 to obtain these scenes of the wildlife of the Tenaya country, the High Sierra, and the Beautiful Yosemite Valley."
       There was NO CHARGE for attendance to the public and, an exciting selection of 'celebrities"​ was in attendance.  Mather found his own camera crew to compete with Pillsbury.  But Pillsbury's unique insights, using time-lapse, his panoramas, his close-ups, and his now well-honed use of exciting camera work, was missing.  Mather had to try to compete with Curry and with Pillsbury.  This fell flat; the "Yosemite the Incomparable" disappeared.
       Edward Bernays was not directing this PR campaign, and Mather & Company were temporarily thwarted.  At this moment Pillsbury possessed a unique understanding of how to use the media, which he was activating using film and his inventions.  But he underestimated the elites' ethics, not understanding the neurobiological nature of psychopathy.  

The San Francisco Chronicle
May 6, 1917

​               Another article on Mather's entry into film
               had appeared 

These events are viewed as 'Lectures', which is what Mrs. Blanche Martin Mason provided to delight the public - and as you see in the article to the left, every possible kind of popular entertainment was included. 
       It is interesting to read the list of those attending, which includes the upper echelon of the Department of the Interior, political leaders, and a scattering of individuals who were associated with the Desmond Park Service Company, the chief of these A. B. C. Dohrmann.  
      The cost of filming, stated in the article, was $16,000.  Today that would be $375,116.33.  This would be the cost of a major corporation's promo film today.  
      Secretary Lane refused to pay for promoting the idea of a National Park Service, so the lavish event, plus the film, were paid for by Mather.  Did some of his friends assist?  Probably not.  
           Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin by Gray Brechin
      Film was a new diversion in 1917, the 'movies,'  were coming into vogue and combining one of these with a lecture in the time of silent film was routine.  
          But at this time movies were moving from an entertainment which many viewed as a temporary diversion for the lower classes, to one which was suitable for the elite.  To help create the distinction, events took place in locations, such as the St. Francis, which could accomodate separate seating for groups of persons of clear "superiority," or who were able to afford the cost.  
           The "Box" made it clear who was inviting whom; and how elite their choices in delicacies could be. Mather was setting  a dinner of superlative quality and fine service for all attending, at least those in his Box.  You can see how this would appeal to someone such as Stephen Mather, who possessed not a scintilla of upper crust pretension until he defrauded his employer, Francis Marion Smith, the founder and owner of Pacific Coast Borax.  
          Mather's reaction to being challenged, was to spend money; use his new connections to the San Francisco Elite who dated from the nasty times of the Gold Rush, and, now, two generations later.  Now they had learned how much more efficient it was to steal using government.  Those in Mather's Box were all strong supporters of taking the Hetch Hetchy water for San Francisco land developers; and land swaps for mining and timbering.
            As Bernays would demonstrate, name recognition, before anything else, was the path to power.
NOTE: A BOX PARTY is a separate enclosure which assured the elites will not be plagued with others attending who cannot afford, or desire, to have their names printed in the paper to publicize their social activities.  

​   The San Francisco Chronicle
​May 4, 1917

The End - and the Beginning​​
Arthur F. Pillsbury, son of Arthur C. Pillsbury, Activates a Search for Answers;

       The Burning of the Pillsbury Studio in Nov. 1927
and AC Pillsbury's being disappeared from history.