After Mather had become the first Director of the National Park Service in 1916, he organized hearings to consider turning part of the dunes into a national park. Although the hearings were successful, the timing couldn’t have been worse. The start of WWI diverted federal funds to the war effort, and the idea was scrapped.

DUNES PAVILION, 1945

While hope for a national park designation had been destroyed, in 1923, the Indiana legislature did approve the acquisition of land along the shoreline to form a state park.

SWIMMING AT THE DUNES 1915