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In the 1940s the town was the site of a large lumber mill. The great red buildings of the mill, its rusted stacks belched black smoke and white steam. Crowded close together and fronting crooked, planked streets were tiny box-like cottages, painted in the same red as the mill. The lumber company dominated every phase of the town’s activity, and no one who did not gain his living through the business of the mill lives in National. Citizens arise in the morning, eat their meals, and go to bed by the mill whistle.

Today few of the original buildings remain, and only the mill pond remains of the former saw mill. The name was chosen because of the town’s proximity to the national park. A post office was established December 3, 1910. The saw mill and a large part of the town burned May 13, 1912 but was rebuilt.