State parks were rivals against the cathedrals and castles of Europe. These beautiful parks were born in the mid-1800's, but it really all started with Yosemite California. John Muir wanted to preserve this area, Yosemite, which began the national movement of National Parks. During the Civil War Abraham Lincoln and Congress put Yosemite under protection of California. The first ever park that was officially established was Yellow Stone Natural Park. Ulysses S. Grant made Yellow Stone a park in 1872. Then in the late 19th century, more parks were developed.