Crater Lake stories featured in Shaw Library book
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, Oregon
September 17, 2001
By LEE JUILLERAT
Historic remembrances, Indian legends and new stories about Crater Lake are featured in “The Mountain With a Hole in the Top: Reflections on Crater Lake.”
Newly published by the Shaw Historical Library, the 2001 Journal celebrates the history of Crater Lake National Park, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary of being a national park next year.
Memoirs, interviews, fiction, original articles and historic photographs and postcards are included in the Journal.
“We’re really please to have our publication ready for the celebraton that will begin in 2002,” said Marita Kunkel, a member of the Shaw’s board of governors and a Journal co-editor. “The articles we’ve selected are a combination of original writings and reprints, with many wonderful photographs, each of whch offers a particular perspective on the lake.
“People have experienced the lake in many different ways: as fishermen, scientists, historians, explorers, artists and from a spiritual view,” she added. “We’ve tried to capture that and present many of the various reflection that Crater Lake inspires.”
Kunkel said the title, “The Mountain With a Hole in the Top,” is taken from a little known legend about the creation of Crater Lake told by Ellen Furlong Crispen, a Cow Creek Indian.
Another Indian legend, “Crater Lake (Lao’s Daughter),” was narrated in the Klamath language in 1951 by Herbert Nelson and translated by Theodore Stern.
Other historical writings include two stories by William Gladstone Steel, known as the “Father of Crater Lake” because of his 17-year effort to have it designated a national park. The Steel pieces include, “Crater Lake and How to See It — Tourism in the late 19th Century,” and “Description of 1886 Visit.”
A story by Zane Grey that originally appeared in the magazine, “Country Gentleman,” and was later in “Tales of Freshwater Fishing,” recalls the famous Western novelist’s fishing experience at the lake.
Among other historic pieces include “An Historic Passage,” by George Ruhle, one of two park rangers who hiked to Wizard Island over the frozen lake in 1949, and “A Trip to Crater Lake on Skis” by R.L. Glisan, who traveled to the park in 1917 from Portland by train, a horse-drawn sleigh and cross country skis.
“Marooned in Crater Lake” is the title piece of a collection of short stories by Alfred Powers that was originally published in 1916.
Also featured is a never-before published interview with the late Luther Cressman, a University of Oregon professor known as the “father of Oregon archeology” for his ground-breaking discovery of the Fort Rock sandals in far northern Lake County.
Steve Mark, who interviewed Cressman, has also contributed “A National Park For Oregon: the Crater Lake Reservation, 1886-1902,” which details events that led to creation of Crater Lake as a national park. Mark also played a key role in selected Journal selections and providing historic photographs.
Mark Buktenica, the park’s longtime aquatic biologist, tells his story, “Journey to the Bottom of the Lake.”
Buktenica was one of the primary researchers involved in lake research using a one-person submersible in 1988-1989. He is the only person to have ever traveled to the bottom of the lake, which is nearly 2,000 feet deep. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and seventh deepest in the world.
The importance of photography in creating and stimulating interest in the park is detailed in, “Peter Britt and Fred Kiser: Pioneer Photographers and the Promotion of Crater Lake,” by Lee Juillerat. Several of the hand-colored postcards made by Kiser along with postcards by other early lake photographers supplement the story and are used throughout the Journal.
Juillerat also contributed two other stories, including “Swimming in Crater Lake,” which recounts the only known swim made across the lake by Mrs. Lee Fourrier in 1929.
“First Night on Wizard Island” is a never-before published story with photos about a trip that Crater Lake rangers, accompanied by Juillerat and other Klamath Basin cross country skiers, made in January 1980. It was the first time people camped overnight on the island in winter.