75 Appendix A7: Excerpts from Inspector Edward W. Dixon’s Report on Park Operations and Conditions: 1912

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


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APPENDIX A7: Excerpts from Inspector Edward W. Dixon’s Report on Park Operations and Conditions: 1912


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The Superintendent’s headquarters in the park (known as Camp Arant) is located five miles in a Southerly direction from the lake at the head of Anna Creek and at the intersection of the Medford and Klamath Falls wagon roads. The post office of Crater Lake is established at this point, which is open during the months of July, August and September, when it is provided with a semi-weekly mail service. The building which is the office and residence of the superintendent was found to be in good condition. Other buildings at this point are two cottages, which are during the season occupied by the park ranger and family and per diem employees; shop and tool house; and barn 24 x 48 x 20 feet, and are in good state of repair, though they require painting. The barn which is especially well built, being constructed of heavy timbers so as to withstand excessive weight of snow, was, it appears, never completed, as between the boards on both sides and ends are large cracks, and the necessary protection therefore is not afforded to stock, forage and equipment supplies kept therein. . . .


The records of the Superintendent’s office are meagre and have so far been kept regardless of any system. Letters from the Department were found in envelopes in the different desk drawers, and copies of much of the correspondence sent out were not obtainable. Two books of record only were being used, viz: Automobile and Motorcycle Permit Book and Register of Camping Parties. No account of an allotment of funds had been kept in any book and no account of moneys collected appeared anywhere except on stubs of the permit book, from which the monthly statements were made up for transmission to the Department. Suggestion was made to the Superintendent that he carefully keep an itemized account of all moneys received by entering each item in a blotter or day book and posting therefrom to a ledger, such ledger account to be balanced each month by his deposit or remittance. I also explained to him the manner in which accounts of the different allotments should be kept and suggested that it hereafter be followed. Mr. Arant appeared much interested in going over these matters with me, saying no one had ever been there before to advise him, and expressed a readiness to carry out the suggestions made with respect thereto. In order that he may be able to do so, the office should be provided with the necessary filing case and blank books. . . .


Two roads only lead into the reservation at the present time, one from Medford and the other from Klamath Falls, each of which is used by automobiles and horse-drawn vehicles. The distance to Crater Lake from Medford is eighty-five miles, and from Klamath Falls, sixty-six miles. From Klamath Falls to Fort Klamath are two roads, one on the east side of Upper Klamath Lake via Agency Landing and Klamath Agency, and one on the west side of said lake via Harriman Lodge, situated on Pelican Bay. The latter road forks about fifteen miles above the lodge, one branch intersecting the east side road at Fort Klamath, and the other intersecting it about twelve miles below Camp Arant. . . . The point where the park line is crossed by the Medford road is known as the western entrance and the point where it is crossed by the Klamath Falls road is known as the southern entrance. The road from Medford is a good dirt and rock road and is kept up and constantly improved by Jackson County. I traveled the length of this road in October last and found it in good condition. The Klamath Falls roads are said to be fair to good, the one on the east side of Upper Klamath Lake to Klamath Agency and Fort Klamath being used more is, I understand, in little better condition.

The road from Chiloquin, a station on the Natron cutoff of the Southern Pacific Railroad, to which point the railroad from Klamath Falls was constructed in June, 1912, is an old dirt road said to be in fairly good condition. This road intersects the east side Klamath Falls road at Klamath Agency the distance from Chiloquin to Crater Lake being thirty-six miles. From Agency Landing, situated at the upper end of Upper Klamath Lake, to Crater Lake is thirty-four miles, the route being over the east side Klamath Falls road, the same road as the one from Chiloquin above Klamath Agency. . . .


Tent camps located on the rim of the lake and near Crater Lake Lodge (under construction) were in use last season, but on account of violent storms prevalent in that vicinity they were found to be unsatisfactory for the accommodation of visitors. A few days prior to my arrival, nearly all the tents had been blown down or damaged by a severe wind storm. The sanitary condition of these camps appeared to have been good, and excellent water was obtained from the temporary hotel building near by which received an abundant supply from a pipe line from a cold spring. The lavatories consisted of out-buildings over sink holes and were kept in proper condition by the use of air-slacked lime. Refuse from the hotel and camps was buried in holes quite a distance away.

Because of the undesirability of tents for the sheltering of guests who do not care to lodge in the hotel, the Crater Lake Company proposes to erect in their place a number of six-room cottages. . . . As cottages of this character will add to the convenience and comfort of visitors in the park, construction thereof on Crater Lake Lodge Tract is hereby recommended for approval.


A hotel building to be known as Crater Lake Lodge, situated on the Crater Lake Lodge Tract on the rim of the lake, is in course of construction. The building has a frontage on the lake of 162 feet, and a veranda 16 feet wide will run its full length. The center of the hotel or “great hall” is 43 x 62 feet and will be four stories high; the north wing is 32 x 50 feet, and will be three stories high; the south wing is 32 x 50 feet, and will have four stories including basement above ground, making it the same height as the north wing; and the west wing, where will be the kitchen, is 27 x 41-1/2 feet, which will have three stories including basement above ground. The first story of the main building or center and of the north and south wings is constructed of stone, while the remainder will be frame, the outside having English half-timber effect. A feature of the hotel will be a large stone chimney at one end having an outside fireplace, which is completed. It is estimated that the stone work, which is the slow and expensive part of the construction, is ninety percent completed, and that the entire structure is forty percent completed. The construction so far is of substantial character.

The inside arrangement provides for forty guest-rooms, great hall, office and lobby, baggage room, men s parlor with lavatory adjoining, women’s parlor with lavatory adjoining, dining room, kitchen, and two bath rooms and lavatories on each of the upper floors. The approximate cost of the hotel completely furnished is $40,000.00. The hotel will be supplied with water from a permanent spring 2500 feet south and 300 feet below the level thereof, lifted by a hydraulic ram and conveyed by pipe to a reservoir and thence to a pressure tank, both in the basement of the building. It is intended later to install a small hydro-electric plant by running a pipeline from said spring for the purpose of pumping water to the hotel, lighting it, etc.

The sanitary feature of the hotel will be modern plumbing throughout. All sewage will be piped into a large septic tank located about 200 feet south of the building and outside the drainage area of the water supply. Mr. Parkhurst has assured me he will resume work on the hotel this season as early as the weather will permit, and that he will make every effort to complete it by October 1. This in my opinion will be more than he can accomplish owing to the very short working season in that locality and the distance all material must be hauled. Should he be able to enclose the building this year and complete one wing for occupancy, it would seem he would be doing extremely well.

The building in use temporarily for hotel purposes is 30 x 40 feet, and under present plans will be converted into a sixteen-room house for the accommodation of visitors upon completion of Crater Lake Lodge. . . .


The matter of operating automobile transportation lines in Crater Lake National Park appears to be one in which during the past year officials of the Crater Lake Company and the Klamath Development Company, of Klamath Falls, have taken a somewhat active part resulting to a certain extent! apparently, in strained relations between the two companies.

The Crater Lake Company has for the past three years been granted an annual permit to conduct an automobile, passenger service in the park, which it appears was maintained as follows:

Season of 1910:

Operated steamer Klamath from Klamath Falls to Agency Landing, where connection was made with automobile; daily service. Also maintained daily automobile service from Medford for one and one-half months, when line was abandoned on account of the physical condition of the road.

Season of 1911:

Operated steamer Klamath from Klamath Falls to Rocky Point Landing, on Pelican Bay, where connection was made with automobile; daily service except Sunday. Also maintained semi-weekly automobile service from Medford for two months, when the machines were withdrawn on account of the physical condition of the roads.

Season of 1912:

Maintained semi-weekly automobile service from Medford throughout the season, road good. Made three round trips a week by automobile from Chiloquin, on new line of Southern Pacific Company, meeting all trains. Made special trips by automobile from Agency Landing; no regular boat service to landing last year. . . .

Referring to a letter written on behalf of the Klamath Development Company by Stratton, Kaufman & Torchiana, of San Francisco, transmitted to the Department by Senator Perkins, and particularly to the statement therein that “Parkhurst is unable to handle the service and has but a few cars–not in good condition,” you are advised that Mr. Parkhurst has furnished me with the number, kind and power of cars owned and hired by the Crater Lake Company and operated by it in transporting passengers to and from the park during the last three seasons, which are as follows:

Season of 1910.

Owned one 40 horsepower Locomobile, seven-passenger.
Owned one 50 horsepower Matheson, seven-passenger.
Owned one 40 horsepower Stoddard-Dayton, seven-passenger.
Hired one 40 horsepower Studebaker-Garford, seven passenger.
Hired one 40 horsepower Locomobile, seven passenger.

Season of 1911:

Owned one 40 horsepower Locomobile, seven passenger.
Owned one 50 horsepower Matheson, seven-passenger.
Owned one 40 horsepower Stoddard-Dayton, seven passenger.

Season of 1912:

Owned one 40 horsepower Locomobile, seven-passenger.
Owned one 50 horsepower Matheson, seven passenger.
Hired two 40 horsepower Ramblers, seven-passenger.

Mr. Parkhurst assured me that these cars were kept in good repair and in serviceable condition at all times. He further stated that the Crater Lake Company offered to run an automobile between Harriman Lodge and Crater Lake last season whenever there would be four or more passengers.

During the season of 1913 the Crater Lake Company contemplates furnishing a daily automobile service from Chiloquin to the lake–thirty-six miles–and special automobile service from Medford to the lake–eight-five miles–though on this line Mr. Parkhurst has stated the company is prepared to establish and maintain any service the Department may require.

As it appears to be the intention of the Southern Pacific Company to operate daily trains via Klamath Falls to Chiloquin this season, and having assured the Crater Lake Company, I understand, that it will co-operate with it, giving much better service to that point than last year- -which was the first year trains were run over this portion of the road–the Chiloquin route to Crater Lake is unquestionably the most practical and convenient at the present time, and should meet the demands of persons desiring to visit the lake from Klamath Falls and vicinity, the distance by rail from Klamath Falls to Chiloquin being but twenty-eight miles.

While there will be, apparently, no necessity for an automobile service from Harriman Lodge or Agency Landing to Crater Lake this season, inasmuch as people at the lodge can easily go to Chiloquin via Klamath Falls by boat and rail, the President of the Crater Lake Company has advised me that, if his company is able to co-operate with the Klamath Development Company, it will run an automobile from Harriman Lodge twice a week provided four passengers at least are assured for each trip, or it will make two round trips a week from Agency Landing.

October 11, 1912, when at San Francisco, I called upon Mr. S.0. Johnson, Vice President of the Klamath Development Company, with whom I conferred regarding automobile passenger service to Crater Lake and the requirement, if any, for a renewal during the season of 1913 of the permit issued to his company during the season of 1912 to operate automobiles in the Crater Lake National Park. Mr. Johnson stated that the Klamath Development Company would make formal application for a renewal of said permit and that it should be granted for the following reasons: That his company had gone to large expense in constructing the White Pelican hotel at Klamath Falls and in fitting up Harriman Lodge situated on Pelican Bay, between which points it maintained a boat service; that many people desired to visit Crater Lake from the lodge, the distance being forty-five miles, and in his opinion the best route; and that those who wished to do so could make the round trip from the lodge in one day. In further conversation with him he was asked if it would not be to the detriment of the concessioner’s hotel business at Crater Lake should he rush visitors up there and back to Harriman Lodge (his company’s hotel) the same day, to which he replied there was no place to the lake for visitors to stop over night and little, if anything, for them to eat. As to the accommodations at the lake, Mr. Johnson evidently had been misinformed, as having at that time just come from there myself, I am able to say visitors were well taken care of at the Crater Lake Company’s temporary hotel which was provided with comfortable beds, and its table supplied with an ample quantity of wholesome food. The reasons advanced by Mr. Johnson for a renewal of said permit would appear to be wholly insufficient, as in fact the road from Harriman Lodge to Crater Lake, while not the shortest route, is by no means the best, and there is no evidence of a desire on the part of park visitors to travel over this route. Furthermore it would seem the Government is not interested in exploiting hotels at Harriman Lodge, Klamath Falls or elsewhere. Inasmuch as the Crater Lake Company, which conducts the hotel business in the park, is in position to furnish such automobile passenger service as will meet the demands of visitors entering the park at either the western or southern entrance, there appears to be no reason why the application of the Klamath Development Company for renewal of its transportation permit should be granted, and it is therefore recommended that it be denied.

Mr. Parkhurst, of the Crater Lake Company, has by the expenditure of a large amount of his individual funds, shown commendable faith in the future of Crater Lake National Park as a tourist resort, and his company, which has entered into the twenty-year lease hereinbefore referred to, would appear to be entitled to liberal consideration. It is therefore recommended that a permit to transport passengers in and through the Crater Lake National Park be issued to the Crater Lake Company for a period of five years, instead of one year, providing there is no objection due to administrative reasons.


Edward W. Dixon, Inspector to Secretary of the Interior, February 15, 1913, RG 79, Central Files, 1907-39, File No. 204.010, Part 1, Crater Lake Inspectors By Field Officers.