Detailed topographical map of Glacier National Park.
In 1891, the Great Northern Railway crossed the Continental Divide at Marias Pass, along the southern boundary of the the future Glacier Natinal Park. In an effort to stimulate use of the railroad, the Great Northern soon advertised the splendors of the region to the public. The company lobbied the United States Congress, and in 1897, the park was designated as a forest preserve.
Under the forest designation mining was still allowed, but was not commercially successful. Meanwhile, proponents of protecting the region kept up their efforts, and in 1910, under the influence of George Bird Grinnell, Henry L. Stimson and the railroad, a bill was introduced into the U.S. Congress which redesignated the region from a forest reserve to a national park. This bill was signed into law by President William Howard Taft on May 11, 1910.