CHAPTER TEN: Administration Of Crater Lake National Park: 1916-Present D. ADMINISTRATION OF THE PARK

Crater Lake National Park: Administrative History by Harlan D. Unrau and Stephen Mark, 1987

 CHAPTER TEN: Administration Of Crater Lake National Park: 1916-Present



In the early years under the National Park Service Crater Lake National Park was administered by a small staff. In 1917, for instance, the staff consisted of Superintendent Sparrow, one permanent first-class ranger, and three seasonal rangers for the months of July, August, and September. [37]

One of the first issues with which Sparrow had to grapple was the question of quarters and office distribution for his fledgling staff. In May 1918, as the summer season approached, Sparrow wrote a lengthy letter to Acting NPS Director Horace M. Albright:

As the opening of the park season approaches, the question of quarters again claims attention. So far as I am concerned a tent or stable is good enough, but there are times when I should be in a position to offer meals or a bed to stragglers or guests. This is only possible by retaining the big house and having some one live in it that is willing to feed me and any person I choose to entertain, and have all meals charged to myself. Had such an arrangement with Mrs Momyer last season, for meals, but did not feel justified in making much use of it in her small cottage, and the big house was practically empty after Mr. Steel went to Medford, Aug 28, he came in when you did, July 25.

I would suggest converting two rooms into an office and retaining two bed rooms for myself and guests, turn the kitchen, dining room and two bed rooms over to some person that could fill the bill.

Mrs. Steel would not do this and could not if she would, she appears to have a holy horror of anything that suggests work. With the exception of 1914 when her sister was clerk at headquarters, she never remained in the park more than four or five weeks during the season, and Mr. Steel must be where his family is. Those were the conditions when he was Superintendent, and we could not expect any more from a Commissioner.

Mrs. Momyer is capable of filling the bill and I believe she would be willing to do it, if not, I can find some one that will. Another arrangement would be to have some one live in the house and feed the employees, including myself, at a per diem rate, or I could get a cook of my own and let Mr. Steel have a bed room, provided he did not ask me to feed his wife.

With Mr. Momyer in the big house, the small cottage would be available for Mr. Steel, if he should take a notion to visit the park. For the short time that he is likely to remain there, it seems to me that he should get a tent at the rim and live in it or at the hotel.

I want to be reasonable with all concerned, especially Mr. Steel, but I don’t feel justified in impairing the administration of the park to make it comfortable for people who did not live there when they were paid for doing so.

In justice to Mr. Steel and Mr. Momyer, I will say that they have not mentioned quarters to me in any way, and any arrangement with them can be changed on short notice.

This letter is written in view of verbal instructions last August, relative to the big house, and I would appreciate an expression of your opinion at this time. Any suggestions will be cheerfully carried out as of my own initiative.[38]