Young's Photo Gallery
James W. Young,
Photographic History of Table Mountain
Part 8: Odds and Ends - Potpourri
James W. Young
retired astronomer from Table Mountain Observatory
The following imagery shows some of
the original Smithsonian roads, vehicles, and snow
plows used to keep the site open in wintertime weather conditions
- 1924, and into
the 1930s/1940s. The remaining images show many of the people, as
well as various
winter snow accumulations and storm damage as recorded by the author
Seven different views of the roads and vehicles/snowplows used for
getting to and working
on Table Mountain under the early Smithsonian occupation -
Removing many trees from the site yielded a great deal of
firewood which was used for
the residence cooking stoves, heating, and fireplaces. It was
stacked around the site's
very old tree (still standing in in the 2010s).
In the late 1930s, some of the Smithsonian staff put together a huskie
The snow plow in the 1940s
The Greeleys and Butlers skiing on site in the 1940s.
Although this image of the old outhouse was taken in 1964 by the
author, it was used
from the late 1930s for visiting people, including James Edson's Planet
Group in 1940.
Earl Ivie blowing snow on the new JPL-leased site in 1966.
The Los Angeles County road crews had a contractual agreement to plow
the road to the
site from the lower Table Mountain skiers' parking lot - 1965 to 1990s.
Dave Spooner, and the JPL military vehicle for site business in
1971. Spooner was the
first security person at JPL's Table Mountain.
The old military vehicle was replaced with this Ford truck that served
from 1972. It
was also fitted with a winter snow plow blade.
The original 8-foot radio science dish on a portable mount in 1973.
Dan Sidwell (the new site manager that replaced Earl Ivie in 1976)
finds a fairly large
rattlesnake in 1978.
Winter storms brought down several trees in the mid 1980s. They
were usually removed
after the snow melted in the springtime.
The author with his full radio setup for the Halley's Comet 'Special
Event Station' used
from November 1985 to April 1986, communicating to over 4300 people in
countries, and all 50 states. The author mailed over 2000
responses with a certificate of
participation, a sticker, a photograph of the comet, and a QSL
confirmation card. Every
responding participant received the following items via USPS mail:
COMET PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN AT TMO
QSL CONFIRMATION CARD
In the foreground is the site's Atmospheric Visible Monitor (AVM)
facility established in
1987. It became TM-24A. To the right is TM-24, the Schmidt
The AVM had a roll-off roof to expose the telescope instrumentation.
The AVM was a remotely controlled telescope that monitored star images
in both daylight
and nighttime hours.
Dan Sidwell at his site manager's office in 1998.
A security gate at the skier's parking lot discouraged the public from
driving to the site
itself in 2000.
The University of California at San Diego placed a 12-inch transit
telescope in this new
building (TM-25) in the 1990s. The instrument was used to
accurately time the daily
meridian transits of both Uranus and Neptune.
Donald Young, the astronomy supervisor, was honored with an informal
place on the site
called 'Don's Deck'. He was also honored with an asteroid named
for his numerous
years in establishing so much of the site's optical astronomical needs
(both staff and
One of the bigger snow storms in March 1991. TM-12 is in the
Tony Grigsby, optical astronomy's new electronics technician in 2002.
Frank Adame, the site's senior security staff member shown here at his
office in 2002.
Frank Tocco, another security staff member and experienced 'Bobcat'
worker in 2002.
The old Ford truck gave way to this new 'Cat' snowplow and general use
vehicle in 2000.
This new 'Cat' also had a snow blower attachment, and used when needed
Michelle Colgan, the facility's secretary in 2002.
Replacing the retired Don Young, Gil Clark oversaw the optical
astronomy needs in 2003.
Here he is with his wife, Mary (and her harp) at the 2003 Christmas
A serious wind and snow storm lashed Table Mountain in January
2005. A major tree was
partially toppled, blocking the site's main access road. Bruce
Williamson is seen here
clearing some of the tree debris off the road.
The partial tree damage.
Deronda Mayes, assistant staff astronomer, is seen here on the downed
An additional three feet of snow blanketed the headquarters building in
Another surprise snow storm buried this site vehicle in January 2008.
Bruce Williamson, site's machinist and snow blower operator, shown here
Dave Dubler, Bobcat operator, shown
here in late 2008 clearing the road to TM-2/12.
End of Part 8
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