TMSP History

The new TMSP History section is currently under development. A notice will be posted on the TMSPA Home Page when the new History section is available.


In 1980 groups of astronomers from the Northwest Region of the Astronomical League (NWRAL) began gathering at Table Mountain for a Regional Star Party to view and renew acquaintances.  The first ten years were an informal gathering on a date agreed upon by all of the member organizations of the NWRAL.

However, even prior to this time, Tom Colwell of the Seattle Astronomical Society, and Rich Peal of the Olympic Astronomical Society, and their groups began using Table Mountain to observe.  Tom Colwell first used the site as the location for a regional star party.  Even then they tossed around the idea of forming a more developed event to serve the needs of families and other people beginning in astronomy.

In 1987 and 1988 Thom Jenkins and Gene Dietzen began researching the possibility of the event being established successfully.  In 1989, the NWRAL, with then regional chairman, Thom Jenkins, began organizing the Star Party for the following year, to provide a location for the NWRAL's convention and annual meeting.  With the valuable aid of three other Founding Fathers - Dale Fiske, John Philip and Gene Dietzen - Thom directed the event for the first four years.  From 1993 through 1998 the Chairmanship of the Table Mountain Star Party was traded or shared between Thom and Gene.  In 1999 Thom Jenkins became the Chairman.  Many people, too numerous to name, have donated their time and talents to build and manage this world-class Star Party.

In 1997 the Table Mountain Star Party Association, Ltd. became incorporated.  Since then, its Board of Directors have been responsible for the operation and management of the event.