Construction begins on a $7.5 million, 35,000 square foot Lodge
employee dorm to be located across the South road from Mazama
Campground, near the sewer lagoons. Will be built in three
units. Since the Park wants to maintain control over the
building, the dorm is being financed with Federal money. Will be
completed in 1998.
The proposed total Rim Development with day lodge, visitor
center, parking garage and overnight accommodations declared
dead, or at least “30 years distant.” The costs had ballooned to
$64 million. A more modest plan is proposed to rehabilitate the
Sinnott Overlook, the Kaiser Studio and the Stone Comfort
Station. The wooden 1921 Community Building is slated to be torn
down because of having “no significant historic or cultural
Lodge employee, Kristen Gehling, 20, falls to her death on Mt.
Thielsen. An Oregon National Guard helicopter flew in from Salem
with special night-vision goggles and located the body at 2:55
a.m. in hazardous terrain and held off moving Gehling until
A three year-old boy falls three stories from Room 301 and lands
in a newly planted bush between the Lodge and the caldera
wall. Rescued by doctor father and airlifted out by
helicopter. Was unhurt. The boy had leaned against an unhooked
window screen while sitting on the window box.
An Aerospatiale AS 350 helicopter from Seattle, (heading for Las
Vegas) crashes and sinks in 1,500 feet of water between Wizard
Island and the Lodge. Several dozen Park visitors watched while
the helicopter skimmed over the smooth surface of the Lake and
then suddenly plunged into the deep water. Speculation is that
the pilot, George W. Causey, 52, of Enumclaw, WA, became
confused by the near perfect reflection as he flew toward the
Lake reflection thinking it was the sky. There was no indication
of engine problems. Killed, along with the pilot. was passenger
Edward O. Tulleners of West Linn, on his 45th birthday. The
helicopter was a seven passenger Eurocopter, built by the
World’s largest manufacturer of civil helicopters. Little was
recovered except for some shreds of the rotors and a seat
cushion. In June, 1996, Park Superintendent Al Hendricks was
quoted as saying, “The technology is there to proceed with
recover. What we are struggling with is whether it’s worth
it. Both families decided the bottom of Crater Lake would be a
pretty good place (for the crash victims) to spend eternity.”
The Oregonian reports that the NPS has decided against any
further development at Rim Village. This means that the new,
year-round lodge will be built instead seven miles down at
Mazama Village. The National Parks and Conservation Association
said of the development plan, “You’ve got a few hundred people
able to stay in luxury rooms in a hotel, but a few thousand
people outside looking at the hotel, which isn’t exactly what a
national park is set up for.”
Contract for phase two of the Lodge reconstruction project is
awarded to a Portland Company for a bid of $8.9 million. The new
lodge will have 71 rooms when completed. Each room will be
enlarged over the old ones. The project should take two to three
years. Landscaping and outside restoration will be a third
phase. The Park Service is still “studying” the erosion problem
behind the Lodge. One scientist says the slippage is great,
while two others colleges say the rate of sliding is virtually
nonexistent...”at least during the life of the new lodge.”
Crater Lake Lodge Company begins an employee policy of random
drug testing. One employee, Matt Rubsam, 20, is quoted as
saying, “With something like the boat tour, it’s practical, but
standing around bored behind a cash register? Come on!”
The Grants Pass Daily Courier quotes the superintendent’s annual
park report as saying, “If ‘91 isn’t better substantially (at
Crater Lake Lodge), we’ll all have a real problem on our
hands.” He called the concessionaire, “a slipshod operation that
fell short of the established standard. The concessionaire has
been chronically delinquent in accomplishing needed
maintenance. Food quality ...has been a perennial problem for
several years.” (Sounds like a similar report 60 years ago.)
The first phase of the Lodge rehabilitation project begins. Will
cost $2.8 million. The “Great Hall”, the center of the oldest
section has deteriorated so bad, the middle section has to be
completely dismantled, including the stone walls and the giant
stone fireplace. Large cement foundation walls are poured and
the stone work is reapplied as a veneer. By building 10 to 20
foot cement walls, stability is added to the center section. The
remaining two end sections will be tied to the cement sections,
thus helping to stabilize the wings of the building. The two
wings will be reconstructed during phase two. Designers are
targeting a 1925 look.
The NPS takes another look at plans for building a year-round
hotel on the Rim of Crater Lake after the price tag doubles in
three years. Congress balks at the funding, especially after
spending $21 restoring the historic Lodge. Originally. the plan
was to tear out Rim Village, build an 80-unit hotel and activity
center on the site of the existing cafeteria and gift shop,
remove the parking lot, restore the site to natural conditions
and build another lot a quarter-mile down the hill that would be
served by shuttle bus. Then the old lodge was to be
restored. But because of its crumbling condition, restoration of
the lodge was begun first. The total price tag for the Rim
Development has been estimated at $66 million. The NPCA, a
conservation group that lobbies against commercialization of
national parks hopes to capitalize on the growing cost and kill
A Lodge reconstruction study finds that: the roof joists were
built from single 2x4’s with three foot centers. The roof, with
its annual winter snow load was 300% over stressed. The
engineers are wondering what kept the Lodge from total
collapse. Present Lodge has 125 rooms. The rebuilt Lodge will
have 71 rooms.
Crater Lake Lodge Company grosses $2.7 million in sales and
earns a profit of 28 percent. Its contract called for a 2
percent return to the Federal Government which works out to
$50,000. The company also pays $695 per year rent for the five
government comfort stations at Mazama Campground. The rent for
the new lodge will be purposely kept low so as to encourage the
Lodge Company to invest in supplies and operationally equipment.
Canteen Corporation of Oregon changes its name to the Estey
Corporation, though the local name of the business remains,
Crater Lake Lodge, Inc.
The MT reports that the Park Service has decided to close the
Lodge. Superintendent Benton claimed, “The dead weight of the
building would cause the Great Hall to collapse. The decision
was made purely on the basis of public safety.” The 1989 fiscal
budget appropriates $1.76 for Lodge planning. The Lodge’s
closure speeds along plans and money appropriation and design
work for the building’s reconstruction. Public support for a
rehabilitated Lodge continues to drive Congressional backing for
the entire redevelopment package.
The Portland Oregonian comes out in favor of preserving the
Lodge for the benefit of the public. “Crater Lake is a major
attractor of tourists to Oregon and a major contributor to the
economic health of Southern Oregon. Its vole ought not be
restricted to five months a year. Thus, the need for a fifth
alternative: restoring the historic lodge for year-round
At a hearing held in Medford, the NPS was told by many in the
audience that “Crater Lake Lodge is a historic treasure and
needs to be retained in some form. NW Regional Director, Charles
Odegaard responded by saying, “ I will make the best decision I
am capable about making. Hearings were also held in Klamath
Falls, Roseburg and Portland. Several people felt the Lodge
should be retained, but turned into an interpretive center.
NPS Northwest Regional Director, Charles Odegaard announces that
Crater Lake Lodge will be restored for summer use and a new
60-room year-round lodge and visitors center will be built on
the Rim. The total project is estimated to cost $33
million. Lodge rehabilitation costs set at $6.8 million. (The
final price tag by 1995 nears $21 million for the old lodge and
the costs for the new hotel soars over $66 million.) The key
features of the project include: A three-level, 2.5 acre parking
structure for about 640 vehicles. An adjacent lot would serve
recreational vehicles and tour buses; a new pedestrian walkway,
including an underpass below Rim Drive; the existing 400-car
parking lot and another 100 parking spaces along the rim would
be removed and replaced by natural vegetation. New housing for
98 seasonal employees would be built at Mazama Village, plus a
5,000-foot concession workshop and storage building. A new
headquarters building would be built near the south entrance. A
smaller dormitory, warehouse, museum storage and offices, plow
shed and shuttle bus barn would also be built there.
House Joint Memorial 14, “Be it Resolved by the Legislative
Assembly of the State of Oregon: We urge the National Park
Service to preserve and restore historic Crater Lake Lodge as a
national asset to provide lodging at Crater Lake National Park
that can be enjoyed by future generations of Americans and
increasing numbers of international visitors.”
A section of rock wall on the back terrace of the aging Lodge
collapses at about 2 a.m.
The NPS considers a new alternative restoration program for the
Lodge that calls for the tearing down of the 1920’s addition and
the building of a new lodge, back from the Rim near the
Cafeteria. Estimated cost of this project is set at $5.3
million, with the main historic part of the Lodge being turned
into a dining hall and gift shop with an interpretive center
being built on the second floor. The new lodge planned for
Munson Valley would have 60 rooms and would eventually be
expanded to 100 rooms.
Oregon Congressman Bob Smith announces that NPS Director William
Mott was considering a Lodge proposal to remove the annexes.
The NPS announces that the cost of renovating the old Lodge
outweighs its historic value, even though “there is a lot of
sentimental value attached to the old building. The Lodge has
limited architectural merit as a historical structure.” One
alternative would be for the old building to be used only as a
year-round visitor’s center, but unfortunately the building is
located away from the center of Park activity at Rim Village.
Eric Allen, former MT editor writes in favor of preserving the
historic Crater Lake Lodge. “It comes down to a sense of
values. To one who has been familiar with the park for more than
a half-century, who has slept in the lodge and eaten in its
dining room, relaxed around the fireplace in the evening, and
loves its mysteries and legends...to such a one, the idea of
demeaning the lodge with cheap-jack solution, or destroying it
altogether, seems a little short of criminal.”
NPS Director Mott makes an unannounced visit to the Lodge which
leads to the preparation of further alternative plans for
rehabilitating the building. Mott wanted to see controversial
old lodge first hand. The Director eventually recommends partial
restoration of the building, but remove the 1924 addition.
Jan Zack, 72, dies of a heart attach during a false alarm while
evacuating the Lodge.
An 11 year-old boy, whose parents are Lodge guests, sets two
trash can fires in the Lodge’s main public restroom. The newly
installed fire alarm system empties the Lodge by 200 employees
and guests at 8:30 p.m. The boy is caught and held by a male
guest. The boy and his parents are asked to check out.
Park Superintendent Robert Benton calls a petition drive to save
the old Lodge premature. “We have not made a decision yet. At
the present time we’re looking very carefully at costs and a
number of alternatives, from keeping all of the lodge to keeping
Ron Warfield, Chief of Park Interpretation, reports that the
Lake has completely frozen over. R.J Michael of the Lodge
Company disagreed. “Spotting the open water areas has been
easier since Sunday night’s snowfall. Until Monday morning it
was difficult to determine if the covering was skim ice. Now,
however, obvious open areas can be seen around Wizard Island and
elsewhere on the Lake.”
The Portland architectural firm of BOOR-A heads up a team of
structural, electrical and mechanical engineers to determine if
the 75 year old Crater Lake Lodge is worth saving. This $144,000
study will “be the final and definitive study that will help
determine the Lodge’s fate.“ Congressman Jim Weaver says that
all previous studies contained errors and biases and that the
previous studies called for turning the Lodge into a building
with “contemporary standards”. The new study will redefine
Secretary of the Interior, Donald Hodel, flies by helicopter to
view the two controversial geothermal energy test drilling sites
located on the east boundary of the Park. In a press conference,
the secretary said he did not know whether a geothermal power
plant could be compatible with the Park. “I’m confident that no
activities will occur that will jeopardize the Park. “ The
secretary also visits the old Lodge. The NPS has been forced to
rethink plans to abandon the 75 year-old structure because of
public outcry. Hodel said that he would prefer saving the
building. “These kind of buildings have a place in the hearts of
the people who visit the parks.”
The latest Lodge study reports that the renovation of the Lodge
up to even “rustic” standards, keeping the same room sizes,
etc., would cost $5.2 million. If the Lodge were brought up to
modern standards, with larger rooms, the cost would be around
Several public hearings concerning the future of Crater Lake
Lodge are held around the state. Previous public hearings had
determined that the public desired to save the historic
structure, but cost estimates keep escalating. The estimated
$8.6 million needed for the Rim Village reconstruction projects
causes the NPS to reevaluate its position. The Park Service,
facing reality, finally proposes that the 68 year old Lodge be
80% of the people surveyed want the old Lodge saved.
NPS Director Russell Dickerson states that all development
should be removed from Rim Village except for an interpretive
center in the Cafeteria Building and further states that
continued use of the Crater Lake Lodge contradicts NPS policy to
remove all non resource- related facilities from prime resource
A vehicle flips and rolls 150 down an embankment, below Rim
Village, slightly injuring a female Lodge employee.
The Lodge reports a theft of $116 in tips from the Watchman
The NPS announces that the “historic but dilapidated”
to be closed and demolished. The decision is part of a plan to
remove all major development from the Rim to near the Park
entrance. “The 68 year old lodge is so poorly built and so badly
deteriorated that it cannot be rehabilitated for use as an
overnight lodge. The structure will be razed only after it has
further deteriorated.” All accommodations, roads and parking
lots are to be rebuilt in Munson Valley at a cost of $5 million.
Opposition grows against the planned destruction of a “much
The Klamath Falls Herald and News reports that the excessive
camping fee of $8 plus for a family per night has been keeping
people out of Mazama Campground. Superintendent Benton requests
the Lodge Company to reduce the rate to a flat $6 per night.
Opposition begins to mount opposing the NPS’s decision to
demolish the Crater Lake Lodge. A coalition of Oregon non-profit
organizations announce plans to fight the demolition
decision. The coalition claims that the rehabilitation costs are
inflated and erroneous and that the Government’s contention that
the Lodge is slipping into the Caldera is unsubstantiated. The
group also claims that the agency is allowing an internal
department policy to override national environmental policy.
Sharon Hackerott, 21, of Ashland, Oregon becomes the Lodge
Company’s first female boat driver.
The NPS selects a design and engineering team headed by the
Portland architectural firm of Fletcher, Finch and Ayotto to
replace or rehabilitate the Crater Lake Lodge. The team will
provide design, planning and engineering services to the
Park. The group is required to have a site selected by November
1 for the new Lodge.
NPS Director Russ Dickerson, announces a new evaluation of the
Crater Lake Lodge. “The old lodge is absolutely marvelous. It
would be a tragedy if we didn’t try to preserve it. We have
reconsidered our recommendation to demolish the structure.”
The Medford Mail Tribune reports that Sara Jameson, of the
Crater Lake Ski Service, quits after providing cross country
service for six winters. The ski service wasn’t making enough
money to justify continuing and a subcontract agreement couldn’t
be reached with the Lodge Company. The concessionaire plans to
run the cross country program this winter. (Which they
discontinued during the winter of 1996.)
$71,400 is spent each winter plowing the access road from
Headquarters to Rim Village. If year round lodging and an
Interpretation Center were added to Rim Village, the road
clearing cost would rise to an estimated $230,000 or
more. Related costs of maintaining a year-round lodge at the Rim
are estimated to run at about $656,000. (All this cost for
providing winter access for only 30 lodge rooms.)
Summers 1983 and 1984
A two year experiment conducted by contracting out the operation
of Mazama Campground to the Lodge Company in an attempt to see
if contracting services will save operational money. All camping
fees in the Park are tripled to “match the prices of the private
The Park Service employs 55 seasonal employees. The Mazama
Campground Concession grosses $62,000 for the Lodge Company
after the camping fee in increased to $6.00 per night.
Ralph Peyton and the Crater Lake Lodge Company file an
additional $117,515 lawsuit against the National Park Service
claiming that the Government was at fault for the 1975 outbreak
of water-born illnesses associated with the sewer overflow into
the Park’s water system.
Glen Happell, 68, General Manager for Crater Lake Lodge Company
retires after working in the Park for 27 years.
Paul Heron, age 77, long time boat operator at Crater lake, dies
in Klamath Fall, Oregon. Paul began working at Crater Lake as an
auto mechanic in 1933. He was placed in charge of operating the
Lodge Company’s boats two years later. Mr. Herron made “several
thousand” hikes up and down the Caldera wall during his 28
summers at Crater Lake. He retired in 1961 following a massive
heart attack, but Paul continued to work part-time for the Lodge
Company in an advisory position as a machinist until his death.
Renovating Crater Lake Lodge will become number one on the list
of jobs to be accomplished during 1983 in the Northwest Region
of the NPS. The plans call for gutting the building’s interior
and then rebuilding from the ground up with new fire-retardant
materials, new plumbing and bigger rooms. Cost estimates run at
about $6.5 million. $150,000 alone will be spent this summer on
improving the fire alarm system.
The Oregon Legislature passes a joint memorial calling for the
retention of the Lodge.
Nuckolls Construction, Inc. of Roseburg, is awarded a $306,965
contract for interim rehabilitation work on Crater Lake
Lodge. Work is to include shingling on the Lake side,
construction of a south fire escape, rebuilding two other fire
escapes, and the extension of a stairwell and the changing of
inward swinging doors. Fire retardant materials will be
installed in the halls and the large chimney, once the largest
in Oregon, will be chinked to prevent smoke leakage. This will
be the first replacement of the 60 year old shingles.
Crater Lake Lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic
Places. The Lodge’s fire places and chimneys are now exempted
from building codes because of the listing.
Ranger Lloyd Smith physically arrests Lodge employee, Neil Neet
of Eugene, Oregon for disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and
assault in the Lodge Dorm after Neet threatened the life of
several employees. Mr. Neet was lodged in the Jackson County
An Inclinometer is installed on the Rim, near the
Lodge. Readings do not indicate any significant movement of the
Rim, but the meter did detect a small movement, putting the
Lodge in some danger of eventually falling into the Lake.
538 runners take part in the sixth annual Rim Run. Many runners
shorten their anticipated distances because of the record heat.
6.5 Pat Fox beats his time from last year 34:29.7
Karen Bushey of Klamath Falls 45:47 (number 47 overall)
13.1 Matt Doty of Merlin, Oregon 1:23.10
Eileen Clangus of Sacramento
26.2 Richard Stewart of Arcata, California 2:51.26
Bob Jones, Crater Lake Lodge 2:52.03
Joan Reiss of Sacramento, California 3:28.26 (a new women’s
Crater Lake Lodge’s former owner, Ralph Peyton, wins his
$1,082,205 lawsuit against the U.S. Government and the National
Park Service in Federal Court with U.S. Magistrate Edward Leavy
issuing the award. The Lodge was sold in 1976 for 1.6 million,
but had been valued at 2.6 million prior to the water
contamination crisis.. Leavy ruled that, “the Park Service was
negligent in its design, location, construction and maintenance
of the Park’s water system.”
The Federal Government agrees to settle out of court a $90,000
law suit filed against the government by former Lodge owner,
Ralph Peyton stemming from the 1975 sewer/water problems. Peyton
claimed that he had already paid out $81,989 in judgments to
Park visitors who had either stayed or eaten at the Lodge and
that he had paid out an additional $35,525 in legal fees. By now
76 claims have been settled and two more cases are still under
Fiscal year 1981 $300,000 spent on fire and safety improvements
on Crater Lake Lodge.
A new government report estimates the Lodge needs $2.4 million
in safety repairs. Additional studies concluded the Lodge needed
$6.5 million dollars of repairs. The work was scheduled to begin
at the end of the season, 1982, but because of the cost, the
work is delayed.
The Oregon Court of Appeals is asked by former Crater Lake Lodge
owner, Ralph Peyton, to set aside the $15,000 in punitive
damages formerly awarded to Janice Joachim in 1978. Her lawyer
accused Peyton and other officials of a “massive cover up”. The
lawyer said there is evidence that most of the Lodge staff was
sick by June 30, and that Peyton allowed sick employees to serve
food and that he did not notify authorities of their
Jeff Adams, maintenance superintendent, retires after 23 years
of continuous work at Crater Lake. Mr. Adams then begins another
career as Liaison Officer for the contractors working on the
The Oregon State Court of Appeals rules that a McMinnville,
Oregon woman, who became ill after drinking contaminated water
in the Park five years ago is entitled to $15,000 in punitive
damages. Crater Lake Lodge Company and Ralph Peyton, president
of the Company in 1975 had earlier been ordered to pay Janice
Joachim $4,000 in compensatory damages and $15,000 in punitive
damages. Peyton had appealed to the Appeals Court contending
that the punitive damage award should not have been allowed.
Public hearings are held to determine the fate of the historic
Crater Lake Lodge. The Park Service has determined that the
building is worth restoring and asks Congress for $6.5 million
in restoration funds.
A suit seeking $8.6 million in damages is filed by Ralph Peyton
and Crater Lake Lodge Company against the U.S. Government in
Portland’s U.S. District Court. Peyton seeks $4,000,000 for
alleged loss of business, physical damage to the property,
medical expenses for his employees, loss of credit standing, and
lost profits. The suit also seeks recovery from the government
of $4,616,180 to cover pending claims against the Lodge. The
suit claims that the national Park Service was responsible for
sewage contamination in the water supply during the summer of
A Lodge girl is struck by a visitor’s car while jogging out near
Discovery Point. A broken pelvis.
The Lodge’s garbage truck rolls across the parking area behind
the Cafeteria and crashes into a sleeping cottage, opening up
the whole front of the cabin. The family occupying the cottage
had vacated only minutes before the accident.
$250.000 is appropriated for reroofing the Lodge. The project
doesn’t begin until the summer of 1981.
The NPS reports that the new Annie Spring water system has cost
$452,596. A total of 1,617 tort claims have been submitted
against the Park due to illness caused by the sewer
overflow. The loss has totaled $398,614, with several claims
still pending. The only lawsuit filed against the government has
been filed by the Crater Lake Lodge Company to edemnify them
against future claims.
An older couple, because of a misunderstanding of the boat
schedule, is left overnight on the Island. They light a huge
fire which is easily seen from Rim Village, but because of the
danger of running a boat at night, rescue is held off until
first light. The woman in the group promises to really stir
things up in Washington “because of top
connections.” Superintendent Rouse treats the two of them to
breakfast at the Lodge.
Tana Hill and Chief Ranger Dan Sholly marry in the Lodge. They
had planned for the ceremony to take place at Sun Notch, but
inclement weather forced the marriage inside.
80 people are suing Crater Lake Lodge because of the 1975 water
Multnomah County Circuit Court jury awards $19,000 in damages to
Janice Joachimof McMinnville, Oregon. $4,000 in general damages
and $15,000 in punitive damages. Mrs. Joachim became ill after
visiting Crater lake Lodge in July of 1975. The Joachim suit if
the first of nearly 100 that are still pending.
Park Master Plan accepted for Crater Lake National Park. The
plans call for keeping the Park as is, except for some small
improvements. Mazama Campground will be extended by 50 tent
sites and a camper store will be built. The Rim Center, Visitor
Center and the Lodge sleeping cabins will be removed. The plans
also call for a rerouting of the Rim Village cross traffic away
from the edge of the Caldera and a restoration of the area with
native plants. When funds become available, an all-weather
Visitors Center will be built on the Rim in the middle of the
old parking lot, in front of the Cafeteria. Thus the Visitors
Center will become the focal point of interest and not
the souvenir shop.
Mr. George Woodfield, of Yakima, Washington, donates John
Maben’s collection of negatives, manuscripts, diaries and
photographs of Crater Lake to the Oregon Historical
Society. John Maben was the first winter caretaker of Crater
Lake Lodge in 1924. Maben had attracted considerable attention
when his monthly dispatches about his solitary life at Cater
Lake were published in national magazines. Maben’s collection
was presented to the OHS in memory of Alta Knips Woodfield,
Maben’s niece, who had done a great deal of research on the
history of Crater Lake.
Steven Hummerville, 14, of Wilmington, Delaware, falls to his
death while attempting to climb down to the Lake from behind the
lodge. His brother Mike, 15, is rescued after failing to reach
his brother. The father, an engineer for Dupont, had planned to
take the boys on a boat trip, following short noon-time nap in
the Lodge. Steven’s mother had died the previous summer.
The Lodge Company, along with the help of Paul Herron, age 73,
places new buoys at Cleetwood and removes the old anchors, which
had been made from old engine blocks.
The axle of the old Lincoln that had fallen down behind the
Lodge years before is finally covered over from view by erosion
and pumice dust. (Paul Herron)
Canteen Company of Oregon completes the purchase of Crater lake
Lodge Company from the Peyton family.
Forced entry into the Lodge dorm by four men seeking shelter
from the cold. The four had been warned that accommodations were
not available during the winter.
Ralph Peyton resigns as president/manager of Crater Lake Lodge
Company after 17 years.
$209 in tips stolen from the Lodge wine cooler and $50 stolen
from a flight bag left behind the Lodge desk.
$80 stolen from Lodge dorm.
It has now been a year since the closing of the Park because of
water contamination. Law suits and tort claims continue to be
filed against the government and Lodge Company. Over 1500 people
have been affected by the water contamination. Costs and claims
mount into the millions of dollars.
Brian Thomas, 26, a Viet Nam veteran suffering from a severe
case of post battle shock, arrives at Crater Lake, along with
his wife, hoping that the peaceful, mountain surroundings will
calm his troubled spirit. Brian had been threatening suicide
while battling bouts of depression. Thomas spent much of the
night, sitting in the Lodge lobby, wrapped in a sheet, talking
and praying. Mrs. Thomas keeps an all night vigil, hoping to be
able to intervene in case her husband becomes violent or
dangerous to himself.
At about 8:00 a.m. Brian Thomas suddenly jumps up, announcing
that he is going to kill himself, and runs out of the
Lodge. Mrs. Thomas screams for help, and is quickly joined in
the chase by the boat crew and several other Lodge
employees. Thomas leads his pursuers along the Rim Promenade
toward the Visitor Center and the Sinnott Overlook. Running down
the long stone stairway, with the boat crew yelling for him to
stop, Thomas, without missing a step, jumps to his death from
the curving parapet of the entrance walkway in full view of
Ranger Linda Appanaitis and a group of Park visitors.
A $50,000 remodeling begins on the Lodge kitchen.
June 1 - 23
Park and Concession employees begin reporting in sick. Many
people thought it was probably just the annual “Crater Lake
Crud” that normally strikes many employees during their first
week of arrival. Within three weeks of the first report of
employee illness, (except for the Rangers stationed at Annie
Spring, and the Lodge owner, Ralph Peyton, who claimed “I never
drink water”), 90% of all Park employees come down sick with
diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, dehydration and weight loss.
With so many Government, Youth Conservation Corps Enrollees and
Concession sick, many employees feel that the source of the
sickness must be the water. Bruce Stubblefield, YCC director,
asks Chief Ranger Jim Wiggins about the water quality. Bruce is
told that the water is tested frequently. When Stubblefield
suggests contacting the Klamath County Health Department in
Klamath Falls, Wiggins tells him that the county has no
jurisdiction in the park. All water problems would have to be
handled by the U.S. Public Health Service.
Ralph Peyton, president of Crater Lake Lodge Co., calls two
private doctors in Klamath Falls and Portland and is told that
there is a lot of “flu going around”.
Dr. John Googins, state epidemiologist, and other members of his
team meet with Superintendent Sims. Illnesses seem to be
declining, part of a regional problem with the “flu” they
feel. While checking food services at the Lodge, Lodge President
Ralph Peyton challenges the health team’s authority to come onto
federal land and clams they are on a “witch hunt.” The team
finally leaves the Park in the evening, “puzzled by the
information collected” and confused as to whether the State of
Oregon has jurisdiction to follow the situation any further, but
is convinced that the source of the employee illnesses is most
likely the water supply.
Notices are being handed out to Park visitors at both entrance
stations warning them that the Park’s water might be
contaminated and that they should first boil or treat the water
with iodine before using. The notice is signed by Superintendent
Sims. Signs with the same wording are posted at all Park
facilities, campgrounds, the Lodge and over all drinking
Ms.. Gena Wright, supervising sanitarian, checks the food
service areas of the Lodge and Cafeteria and notices that some
of the workers are ill. The medical team suggests closing down
the food service, but Dr. Koplan asks for another 24 hours since
the method of transmission has not yet been determined. Dr.
Koplan asks for more help and Dr. Googins sends three additional
After phoning Headquarters and applying pressure, Superintendent
Sims allows Lodge President Peyton to replace the Health Service
signs with one of their own. The Lodge company posts signs above
all Rim Village drinking fountains reading, “THIS WATER HAS BEEN
ADEQUATELY CHLORINATED AND IS TESTED DAILY BY THE U.S. PUBLIC
HEALTH SERVICE.” Seasonal patrol rangers are dispatched to
remove all Public Health Service warning signs. The rangers
complete their job around midnight, after several nasty
confrontations with Mr. Peyton. Peyton wants to know what all
the excitement is all about, “After all, nobody has died yet.”
Ryan Gilmore, food service manager, following a food service
inspection by Drs. Koplan and Rosenberg, decides to close the
Lodge dining room tomorrow to consolidate employees who can
still work in the cafeteria.
At 7:30 p.m. Jeff Adams discovers an area directly below the
Lodge where the snow has fallen in and discovers an overflowing
manhole on the sewer line leading directly from the Lodge. The
exposed ground is covered with sewage, solid waste and toilet
At 7:30 p.m. Jeff Adams discovers an area directly below the
Lodge where the snow has fallen in and discovers an overflowing
manhole on the sewer line leading directly from the Lodge. The
exposed ground is covered with sewage, solid waste and toilet
Titus and Barnes walk the watershed between Munson Spring and
the Lodge, checking all holes in the snow. Solid human waste and
paper are visible. The odor of human waste is very evident.
General Superintendent Ernie Borgman is contacted at 12:30 by
Superintendent Sims. After talking with Peyton and other health
specialists, the decision is made to close the Park. More dye is
placed in the sewer line and it soon appears in the Munson
Valley sewer lagoon. Lime and chlorine are spread on the raw
sewage around the overflowing manhole.
At 8:15 a.m. the Park is closed to the public with all entrances
being manned on a 24-hour basis. This becomes the first closure
of a major National Park in the history of the NPS.
By noon a National Guard helicopter arrives with medical
supplies so that Public Health people can begin administering
gamma globulin shots.
120 Crater Lake Lodge employees and about 50 Park Service
employees are temporarily furloughed, some with full pay.
All available Park staff are assembled at Headquarters to begin
a massive mailout to all Park Visitors who had spent at least
one night in the Park warning them of the water problem and
suggesting that they seek medical attention. No addresses exist
for the hundreds of visitors who had camped at Mazama and the
Rim Campgrounds. It was interesting to find that many of the
Lodge visitors had used fictitious or nonexistent addresses.
Crater Lake National Park reopens for visitors. Because of
limited water supplies, water conservation is urged. The Lodge
and the Rim Campground remain closed. The Park’s water is being
supplied by three Army portable water purifying units from Ft.
Lewis, Washington set alongside the road at Munson Springs.
Seven environmental groups make a “cause celebre” of the
$350,000 employee dorm on the Rim. F.O.E., The Sierra Club and
Wilderness Society all feel that the dorm should be built at
Denton Park, the Lodge Company’s private resort, one mile
outside the south Park boundary. The dorm is eventually
constructed, but as a compromise the Park drops for motel units
located on the rim and at Park Headquarters.
Lodge trail tractor, loaded with 350 pounds of scuba diving
equipment and two Lodge employees, loses it brakes, and rolls 50
feet into the caldera. Two members of the boat crew receive leg
The NPS reprimands the Lodge Company when they discover plastic
marijuana plants being sold in the Cafeteria. Several of the
fake plants had been “planted” around the Park in public areas.
Government assessment report places the value of all government
buildings in the Park at $479,610 in preparation of the sale of
The Steel Circle Residence Area to The Crater Lake Lodge
Two additional 60 passenger, $30,000 (some sources report
$45,000) tour boats are added to the ever growing Crater Lake
navy. The two boats, the “ Ralph Peyton” and the “Jim
Griffin” (Crater Lake Lodge owners) were built during the winter
by the Rudy Wilson Boat works of Portland, Oregon and trucked to
Discovery Point. The two lake launches were air lifted, minus
their engines, from Discovery Point parking lot to Wizard Island
by a Sikorsky Sky Crane logging helicopter. The Peyton and
Griffin will replace the aging launches “Fisher” and “Minn”. On
the return trips, the helicopter brings out the Ranger’s patrol
boat, which was sent to Olympic National Park, and an O.S.U.
Research Boat. (The Griffin is renamed the “Glen Happel” in 1983
following the sale of Crater Lake Lodge.) Mrs. Kathy Peyton
dutifully christened the two launches with two bottles of
Champaign moments before the airlift began.
Construction of the Concession’s employee dorm is begun on the
slope below the Lodge.
The Park Service forces the Lodge to remove their stock of
life-size marijuana plants after several are found “growing”
along the Cleetwood Cove Trail and out by North Entrance. The
plastic replicas were a popular item among Lodge employees.
The Lodge Company’s boat house is destroyed by a disastrous fire
on Wizard Island. Rudy Wilson, boat builder, attributed the fire
to a “faulty generator”. A spark from the muffler of the
generated, vented through the rear wall fell on a rotten log,
smoldering for several hours and finally bursting into flames
about 8 p.m. Fire crews were immediately dispatched, but because
of the distances involved, three hours passed before the initial
attack began. The fire loss is estimated at $50,000. Since the
boat house had been built in a heavy grove of 400 year old
Shasta Red Firs, to help camouflage the building, dozens of the
giant trees were destroyed in the 5 acre forest fire. Lodge
owner, Ralph Peyton, blamed the boathouse fire on lightning so
that the insurance claim could be settled faster and the company
would not be held responsible for irreplaceable damage done to
one of the most photographed areas in the World.
Lodge employee dorm construction begins between the Rim
Campground and the Lodge. The government plans called for it to
be built next the Cafeteria, but Ralph Peyton, Lodge owner
decided on his own, without government permission, to move it so
as to be better hidden from public view and not further clutter
up Rim Village.
Three young boys rescued from inside the Rim below the Lodge.
The underground power cable supplying Rim Village shorts out
between Headquarters and Rim Village. The Lodge and Cafeteria
are without light, power, or heat for the next 36 hours. A snow
storm strikes the Rim area as rain and fog engulf the
Park. Lodge patrons end up sleeping in the lobby, as the giant
fireplace become the only source of heat. Candles are lit
throughout the Lodge creating an enormous potential for
fire. Meals are being cooked on white gas camping stoves. The
residents take the whole emergency in stride and seem to enjoy
the new challenge.
George Weetman, Lodge Employee, is struck on the back of the
head and robbed of $7 while carrying a bag of linen to the
laundry in the Lodge basement. At the time of the incident, the
basement was dark due to an electrical failure. Weetman was
unconscious for over an hour.
A new, prefab boat house is flown by helicopter to Wizard
Island, in 15 prebuilt sections, replacing the 1962 boathouse
burned three weeks earlier. The boathouse was increased in size
without first obtaining permission from the National Park
Service. The helicopter also airlifted out an old Lake launch,
the “Min”, named after Minnie Price, wife of the Lodge owner
(1921 - 1954). The Min was trucked to Klamath Falls and given to
a local troop of Sea Scouts.
Lodge Rim Tour bus totaled in accident behind Llao Rock after
the driver, Bill Ellhart, blacks out because of a sudden
pinching of a neck nerve as he turned to answer a question from
his passenger and smashes into a rock road cut, with the bus
sliding for 170 feet. Elhart is sent to the hospital with a
broken back, four broken ribs, a broken nose and numerous cuts
and bruises. Bill’s two elderly passengers sustain only bruises.
An employee car with four Lodge employees on board, rolls three
times at North Junction. All four are transported by ambulance
to Klamath Falls.
Armed robbery occurs at the Lodge. A 22 year-old man robs a Park
visitor, at gun point in a Lodge restroom. The robber gets away
with about $38.
The boat crew, led by Lodge owner’s son, Mike Peyton, turns
Crater Lake into their own private lake by water skiing behind
the launches and fishing after hours around Phantom Ship.
The NPS acquires the ownership of the Historic Crater Lake
Lodge, as the result of the Lodge Company relinquishing
ownership as a new 30 year concession contract is
renegotiated. The new contract is the longest concession
contract in the history of the National Park Service. As one
employee said, “The Lodge Company owners must have some powerful
friends high up in the government.” The NPS plans to tear down
the old lodge and build a new one in Munson Valley. The
conversion of the Steel Circle residents into lodges and motels
is being strongly considered in the Park’s Master Plan.
A new 30 year contract is executed with the expectation that the
concessioners will embark on a $2 million development program
for Rim Village and Munson Valley. The Lodge is conveyed to the
NPS Director Hartzog visits the Park and stays overnight in the
Lodge. An agreement is made for the NPS to buy the building. The
plan is to reduce the Lodge to a low profile structure to the
height of the exterior masonry walls.
An appraisal is done of the concession and NPS buildings at Rim
Village and Munson Valley, so that Peyton can ascertain the
value of NPS property at Park Headquarters. Peyton is willing to
trade his Rim Village property for much of Munson Valley. He
hopes to use the proceeds from the sale of the Lodge to finance
this new development. Development of the new two-story visitor
center is planned to be accomplished by 1970.
Bill Elhart of Ashland, begins six years of driving bus for
Crater Lake Lodge. (65 - 71) During his six summers at Crater
Lake, Bill drove 1,080 Rim tours in the Company’s 15 passenger
stretch Pontiac limo. Driving daily round trips to Ashland, Bill
racked up 136,080 miles.
Lodge Concessionaires, Peyton and Griffin want to match the
money they will receive from the sale of the Lodge and put it
toward construction of a new hotel. They are adamant that the
new building should have a view of the Lake since they are give
up a site with a view.
Construction begins on the Lodge Company’s new 100 foot
boathouse on Wizard Island. The Government constructs a steel
pier at Cleetwood Cove. The upper side of the Rim Wall is
blasted to obtain fill material, which is quickly washed away
during winter storms. The blast site has been unstable ever
The Oregon Journal reports that the Park Service has programmed
$350,000 to purchase and remodel the Lodge into a Visitors’
Center. “The improvements will not be completed until 1963.”
$297,000 is programmed to acquire the Lodge by the NPS. The
building is to be converted into a visitor center, with
construction starting July, 1963 and with completion by July of
Larry Ralph Peyton, the 19 year-old son of Ralph & Kathryn
Peyton, Crater Lake Lodge owners, is found stabbed to death in
his car which was parked at Forest Park in Portland. Peyton had
been stabbed 23 times. The interior of the car showed evidence
of “a terrific struggle”. Missing and presumed kidnapped or
slain was Peyton’s girlfriend, Beverly Ann Allen, also 19, from
Washington State. Peyton and Allen had met the previous summer
while employed at Crater Lake Lodge. Miss Allen had been
visiting the Peytons during the Thanksgiving weekend. The two
college students had left for an evening drive following dinner.
Allen’s body was discovered nearly two months later lying in
roadside brush, alongside a highway, west of Portland. (The
murders were eventually solved 10 or so years later, but not
John Towne, Lodge employee, swims 5 3/4 miles across the Lake,
to within 1/2 mile of the Cleetwood boat dock. The can of grease
was lost so the Lake was swum grease-less and Towne became too
cold and had to be pulled from the water.
Some time during the 1960’s
While dumping garbage at the Park’s garbage dump, the truck
driver would take his girlfriend along so they could walk around
the pit area and observe the many bear that were feasting on the
garbage. Glenn Happell, Lodge manager, secretly tied a fish
underneath the truck. While the couple was out of the truck
taking their walk, so many bears gathered around the garbage
truck, the driver was prevented from getting back to his truck.
Ralph Peyton and Jim Griffin acquire the Crater Lake Lodge
Company from the Smiths. Negotiations begin with the new
concessionaires for the NPS to buy the Lodge for $285,000 and
convert the building into a visitor center. The new
concessionaires were to take the purchase price and construct a
new motel accommodating 250 people adjacent to the cafeteria
building. A new access road was planned from the south that
would diverge from the existing road below Rim Campground and
allow visitors to avoid the congested plaza area as they made
their way to the new visitor center.
Evening ranger programs are begun in the Great Hall of the
Lodge. These continue for 20 years, when they are removed to the
old Rim Center (Community Building). The Lodge is sleeping 300
people each night, including 90 employees.
A ten year development plan is presented t the NPS by the
Smiths. The concessioner have found that their volume has
increased since taking over, with profits and use of the Lodge
showing gains each summer.
Glenn Happell begins working on the maintenance crew for the
Crater Lake Lodge Company. Years later, Glenn was promoted to
President of the company. For thirty years, Mr. Happell drove
daily from his homes in Central Point and Ashland, mostly during
Teen-age girl falls to her death while hiking along the Rim
between the Sinnott Overlook and the Lodge. Her sister works at
McLoughlin Junior High School in Medford.
Harry and “Pop” Smith purchase the Crater Lake Lodge Company.
The Haner Report recommends that the Lodge should be
rehabilitated rather than being replaced. With proper care and
the spending of $72,000, the Haner Report estimated the useful
life of the Lodge could be extended another 20 years.
An inspection repot notes that the dining room ceiling in the
Lodge is seriously deteriorated. The Lodge’s septic tank is
reported to be inadequate and effluent discharges in seepage
trenches allow effluent to run in considerable volume down the
mountain to Munson Valley. Sewage disposal at the Lodge is
totally inadequate and its correction calls for emergency action
before reopening next season.
Regional Architect, Charles Lundgren notes in his Lodge report
that the building is sagging. Dry rot is weakening support
beams. The Chinese quarters above the kitchen are in poor
condition. The garbage cans near the kitchen should be fenced
Lodge Manager Price is not allowed to return to work because of
Ruth Hopson Keen, 4138 S.W. Fourth Ave., Portland, OR 97201,
(222-1430) becomes the first lady Ranger-Naturalist. Ruth worked
the month of June, then taught at the Park under Dr. Rule. She
gave her programs in the Lodge and lived for two summers with
Superintendent Leavitt reports that due to labor unrest and
quarrels, Lodge manager Price has fired his son-in-law who
headed up the Company’s improvement program, along with a number
of other employees.
Lodge concession begins daily bus service to Medford.
In an internal letter, the NPS observes that the fire escapes at
the Lodge are inadequate. To use them, a guest would have to get
access to an often locked room and then step up on a chair to
reach the window sill.
NPS Director Drury writes that the removal of the Lodge should
be made a condition for granting a new concession contract in
Fatal fall of Lodge employee near Vidae Falls.
The regional NPS office recognizing the high fire danger of the
lodge attempts to close the building as a public hazard, but
political pressure keeps it open for another 40 years. During
the 1960’s and 1970’s the building bedded down 300 employees and
guests. Fire escapes included knotted ropes leading out to
ladders nailed onto the roof. Fire escapes and a sprinkler
system were not added until the late 1970’s.
The Lodge reopens after being closed for four years during the
war. Much damage to be repaired.
Rescue of two persons from below the Lodge.
The third reported sighting of a dust cloud over Crater
Lake. Park Ranger Kenneth Hurlburt observed the cloud at about
11:15 a.m. from a lookout point on the west side of the lake,
between Hillman and Llao Rock. The cloud was about 300 to 400
feet wide and extended upward to a distance of four hundred to
five hundred feet. It was diamond in shape, narrow at the top
and bottom and wider in the middle of the formation. He observed
it from all the various lookout points along the rim, as far
south as Crater Lake Lodge. (from a NPS press release)
Assistant Superintendent, Thomas Parker, in a memorandum to Park
Superintendent Leavitt, writes that “no national park can hope
to come into its own if operated only on a short seasonal
basis....A safe and comfortable means of reaching the lake shore
should be provided...I do believe that hiking, horseback riding,
boating, fishing, campfires...are all compatible with each
other. With this thought in mind, I see the urgent need for a
tunnel, or elevator, to the lake shore, and the development of a
fine winter sports area, and program...if a tunnel for vehicles
was constructed from near headquarters, the entrance portal
would be close to the (new) campground, with adequate space for
parking of cars...When one reaches the park...and is given the
choice of a bleak, cold windy camp ground, or a drafty room in a
ramshackle lodge at prices that would put the blush of shame on
the operator of a clip joint,...we cannot expect them to tarry
long in our midst or praise us for our thoughtfulness towards
our guests. “
The Lodge is called a “fire trap of the worst sort” and a
recommendation is made that it should be replaced as soon as
possible. The Rim Village development is further described as an
unsightly conglomeration of buildings which should be demolished
and the entire area except for the road and parking lot be
allowed to revert to nature. (R.D. Waterhouse, Associate
The last day the Lodge is open until it opens after the War on
June 15, 1946.
1930’s and 1940’s
Story persists that a dish was placed in the Lake below Sinnott
Memorial Overlook to show how clear the Lake is. Some say it was
a dinner plate from the lodge. (A drawing of the Lodge could be
seen on the plate.) Others claim the disc was 10 feet in
diameter. Depth of the “plate” in the Lake varies from 10 feet
up to 150 feet beneath the surface.
Al Smith, Lodge house boy, claims to be the first recorded
person to walk around Crater Lake after a day’s work. Smith,
accompanied by a house girl also named Smith, leave the Lodge
area at 7:00 p.m. and return to the Lodge at approximately 5:45
a.m. in time to go to work at 7 a.m. They traveled by trail, no
trail and by road around the Lake.
Allan Smith, lodge employee, tells of dancing with Carol Lombard
at the Rim Community Center. (It may have been 1938 or
1940.) Miss Lombard and Clark Gable were visiting the Park for a
day or two. Gable cussed a lot when Miss Lombard wanted to dance
with the employees and she swore back. Lombard wouldn’t leave
with Gable when he left for bed.
Park regulation, “Dogs and cats prohibited from staying
overnight in Park, unless special authorization has been
received from the Superintendent.” New law didn’t apply to
people staying in the Lodge or cabins.
Stone curbing placed around all driveways in Government Camp and
around the Lodge parking area.
The Lodge dining room is closed and used for auto storage.
A fire inspection reports problems with knotted drop cords in
the Lodge’s guest rooms. Fire escapes are damaged or rotten.
Paul Herron, of Klamath Falls, assumes boat operations on Crater
Lake. He worked seasonally on the Lake until August 27, 1959 at
which time he suffered a heart attack and was forced to
retire. Herron did continue to work as a consultant to the
company until the late 1970’s.
Paul had worked as an auto mechanic for the Lodge Company’s
seven Hudson Auto Stages, earning $90 per month with $30 taken
out for B/R after ten years of experience. He was frequently
called out to assist with visitor break-downs caused by the
Park’s rough roads. All fees earned had to be turned into the
company. Because of Mr. Herron’s interest in boats, he was
assigned to work as a boat mechanic and eventually became
headman for 27 years. The original boats Paul had charge of were
30 passenger with Magori Marine and Peerless engines. He
replaced the original engines in 1936 with two Hudson super
1926, after having been on the road for over 100,000 miles. One
engine stayed in the boats until 1950 and the other was used
every summer until 1960.
Emil Nordeen wins the Annual Crater Lake Ski Race to the
cheering of 3,500 spectators and permanent possession of the Ft.
Klamath cup in the winning ski time of 5 hours and 35
minutes. The skiers followed unplowed roads from Ft. Klamath to
Crater Lake Lodge and back again.
Post Office is located in the Lodge. Hot water, showers, and
plenty of wood available in the upper (Rim)
Campground. Campground located at White Horse Creek, because of
the early snow melt at that elevation and the availability of
Power is delivered to a transformer substation at the Lodge,
making the first time that generators do not have to be used. An
11,000 volt transmission line is constructed.
Judge Steel continues to push for his idea of a road down to the
Lake, connecting the Lodge with Kerr Notch below Garfield and
Applegate Peak. Will Steel expressed a low opinion of those who
opposed his plan on a theory that the road would mar the beauty
of the natural landscape. “Crater Lake belongs to the people. If
they want to deface the wall, they can do. What good is scenery
if you can’t enjoy it? Every person who visits Crater Lake wants
to go to the Lake shore and out on the beautiful Lake in a boat.
With the road, I propose every person, be he aged, crippled, or
otherwise unable to make the present long trip down to the water
and back, can drive down in comfort.” “This newspaper (Portland
Oregonian) is entirely behind Judge Steel in his visionary
Former Lodge operator and owner, Parkhurst, dies in Portland.
The Park’s post office is established in the Lodge.
Lodge loses $2,000 for the year. $10,000 spent on Sinnott
Overlook, completing its construction for a total budget of
The Lake Launch “Min” is lowered west of the cafeteria down a
snow chute. The Fisher is also lowered here in 1958. The Min was
almost destroyed when it slid out of control down the pumice
chute. The “Min” was named for Mrs. Minnie Price, wife of the
Lodge manager. The boat was air-lifted out by the Navy in 1972
and given to a Sea Scout Troop in Klamath Falls.
Lodge boat sinks while being towed.
First annual Crater Lake Ski Race staged from 1/2 mile south of
Ft. Klamath, up to the Lodge on the Rim and back again to the
Fort, a distance of 42.6 miles and a total elevation climb of
2,200 feet. Won by Manfred Jacobson of McCloud, California, in 7
hours and 34 minutes. A crowd of over 1,000 people showed up at
the Fort to cheer on the race participants.
The first road oiling project is begun at the Rim to fight the
blowing pumice dust after a new road from Munson Valley reaches
Rim Village. The new route changed the Village’s circulation
patter because it now enters the area at the plaza created by
the NPS instead of near the Lodge. The old 1914 route is
Construction of the New Lake Trail is begun, with a maximum
grade of 15%. Trail opens the summer of 1929. The Rim Cafeteria
building is constructed, built by the Salter Construction Co. of
Prospect. The Lodge Company used Italian stone cutters from
California. In order for visitors to see the Lake earlier in the
season, 15 miles of road was cleared of snow by using explosives
Park regulations require that Automobiles and horse-drawn
vehicles shall have the right-of-way over motorcycles. Auto
stage rates from Medford or Klamath Falls to Crater Lake are set
at $17.50. The Lodge now has 154 sleeping rooms and tent
houses. Boat trips take people out on Crater Lake for 2.5 hours
at a cost of $3.00. A 41 mile bus trip around the Rim Drive
A bronze plaque is dedicated in memory of John Wesley
Hillman. Will Steel places the plaque on a large boulder near
Discovery Point. A heavy snowstorm which deposited more than a
foot of snow at the Rim, held down attendance, forcing the
ceremonies into the Lodge. Speakers included Will Steel and
Capt. O.C. Applegate. (The plaque is stolen in 1968 and is
mailed back to the Park by a police department on the Oregon
John Maben, Lodge Caretaker, “The lake froze over and stayed
closed until the morning of the 20th. The Lake ice reached a
thickness of one inch. An usual thing. Most of the ice will
disappear by now, the wind breaking it up and driving it to the
The Rim Lodge opens with 800 people visiting the first day.
New west wing of the Lodge and 24 new rooms are completed.
Will Steel writes a letter to President Harding in an apparent
vain attempt to persuade the Government to fully compensate
former Lodge owner Alfred Parkhurst for the losses Parkhurst
sustained when the NPS foreclosed on his concession
contract. “Pardon my interference with matters of state...(but I
am impressed) to present you with the following facts for your
consideration...My life has been devoted to the development of
Crater Lake as one of the greatest international attractions of
the country...A high handed crime has been perpetuated by
Stephen T. Mather, Director of the National Park Service, aided
and abetted by Albert B. Fall, Secretary of the Interior, and a
member of your official family for which public sentiment will
hold you responsible, unless these criminals are summarily
dismissed from the offices they have so conspicuously
disgraced...These facts are respectfully submitted to you in the
belief that right will prevail.” Very Sincerely Will G.
Steel (On March 22, 1923 Sec. Hubert Work responded. Mr.
Parkhurst voluntarily sold his interests to the present
company...It would seem, under these circumstances, that the
matter should be regarded as closed.) Steel added: Is it
possible that officials of this government can resort to crime
and still be retained in office by this administration?
A $60,000 expansion of the Lodge begins. ( the West Wing) The
last major work done on the lodge for nearly 70 years. The first
work done was the opening of a rock quarry. The Lodge will soon
have 105 rooms.
Violin selections are played at the Lodge in the evenings with
the Great Hall beautifully decorated with greens. Will Steel
gives evening talks at the Lodge.
Outside fireplace dedicated by Mather, Secretary Fall, Olmsted
and Southern Pacific President McCormick. Fire burns so hot in
the new fireplace that the Lodge’s roof is set on fire.
A photo of Will Steel is hung over the mail box in the Lodge and
an electric light is placed over the picture.
record auto run to Crater Lake from Medford of 3 hours and 20
minutes. “This record will stand for years.”
The Crater Lake National Park Company, with Mr. Eric V. Hauser
of Portland as President, is organized. Mr. R.W. Price, manager,
invests more than $20,000 in improvements. Mr. Price became
manager of the Lodge after it went broke under Mr. Parkhurst’s
ownership. The new manager had slowly acquired control of the
company’ stock. The new company needs $60,000 for construction
of the new wing, $20,000 for repairs, and $40,000 to buy
A Delco lighting plant is installed next to the Lodge.
Parkhurst, Lodge operator, loses the Crater Lake franchise after
eight stormy years.
Nearly all Lodge employees quit because of poor working
Seven inches of snow falls at Crater Lake Lodge.
A “Crater Lake Committee” appointed by Gov. Olcott details its
findings about Parkhurst’s operation of the Lodge. They say that
the guest rooms are not completely furnished. The lighting
system is inadequate, the outside fireplace is not properly
sheltered from the wind, and there is no garage. It is stated
that the Lodge is weatherproof and is generally in good repair,
but considerable money should be spent to improve the
interior. The committee reports that the hotel does not have
adequate pumping facilities and so has run short of water on
several occasions. Laundry facilities are 85 miles away in
Stephen Mather spends the night in the new Lodge. Complains of
horrible dusty roads and being forced to sleep four to a bed.
In a letter to Horace Albright, Assistant Director, George
Goodwin, Civil Engineer, reports on Alfred Parkhurst’s Lodge
operation. Parkhurst was told that the food and service supplied
in the Hotel would have to be more satisfactory; and that if he
did not or could not do this, the Service would have to take
active measures to see that it was done.
6,000 acre fire burns in and around the Park. 18 miles of
well-constructed dirt roads are now found inside the park. Union
Peak Trail constructed. Major addition the Lodge begun.
Telephone communication is established between the Lodge and
The Portland Chamber of Commerce says that the Lodge should not
be confused with an elaborate hotel of the summer resort
variety. They say the building has 54 rooms, some with hot and
The Lake Trail (Sparrow Trail), located between the Lodge and
Garfield, and the Garfield Peak Trail are extensively rebuilt
during the summer season. Superintendent Sparrow rides his horse
to the top of and the bottom of both trails. It starts on the
north side of the Lodge and is called the Lake Trail. The Trail
is 1.25 miles long with a 15 percent grade. The Watchman Trail
The sleeping accommodations at the Lodge are pressed to the
limit by 258 guest registering for the night. Guest sleep in the
Roscoe Howard writes a letter to Oregon Representative,
N.J.Sinnott complaining that the Rim Camp Trail to the Lake is
exceedingly dangerous. The writer notes that the Lodge has no
fire escapes and an imperfect water supply. the building is not
complete and is illuminated above the first floor by kerosene
lamps and candles.
Alfred Parkhurst, concessioner, states that there are nine rooms
on the second floor and nine rooms on the third floor of the
Lodge that are supplied with hot and cold water. These rooms
will be extra well furnished and are worthy of an extra charge
of 50 cents a day. Parkhurst would like to charge 25 cents a day
for heating stoves and an extra 50 cents for baths.
An article in the Saturday Evening Post state that golf links
are proposed for the area east of the Lodge and that cottages
will take the place of tend houses at the Rim.
The new Crater Lake Lodge formally opens in honor of Governor Withycombe and the first meals are served. Governor’s Bay on
Wizard Island named by Steel in honor of the Governor. The
opening date was planned to coincide with the San Francisco
William Jennings Bryan and party visit the Park. Bryan announces
support of Steel’s road project to be built inside the crater
wall from the Lodge to Kerr Notch. Bryan promises to use his
influence in Congress. Steel also recommends the building of a
powered elevator from the Lodge to the lakeshore.
Truman Cook, age 22, of Portland, Oregon arrives at Crater Lake
to work for the Lodge Company. He reports that the only motor
boat on the lake was a 16 foot boat with a 3 hp inboard
motor. The boat was stored in the boat house on Wizard Island
and was operated by the 16 year old son of the concession
manager during the season. In the boat house was a half
completed 36 foot boat. With the help of a house carpenter,
Truman completes the boat. The 300 pound engine is skidded down
from the Rim and installed on Wizard Island. When launched, the
boat becomes the second motorized boat on the Lake and the first
boat capable of carrying 20 passengers.
The “Mail Tribune” reports that the Hall Taxi Co. will run a
round trip to Crater Lake for $13.00. “This is exactly what the
trip costs”, says manager Court Hall. Other reports say that
that the driver, Seely Hall, charged $18. The taxi would leave
Medford at 8 a.m. in a custom-built 1911 Cadillac and stop at
Prospect for lunch, arriving at the Lake around 5 p.m. The
driver also carried milk, eggs, vegetables and mail to Crater
Mark Daniels, part-time NPS landscape architect begins work on
the design for a new grand lodge to be placed on the Rim. In his
writings and description of the project, Daniels casually uses
the term “Rim Village” as the location of Parkhurst’s new grand
Crater Lake Lodge is still under construction. Opening date is
delayed yet another year because the winter snows had collapsed
the roof into the basement. Most of the roof joists were made of
2x4’s. The designers and builders seemed oblivious to the snow
Lodge operator Parkhurst knocks out former Superintendent Arant
with a blow from an auto wrench at Fort Klamath because of the
Steel-Arant superintendent's conflict.
W.G. Steel opens up the Dewee Falls area to visitors. There are
1,200 acres of private land in the Park. Fourteen land entries:
8 are patented, 2 approved, 4 unapproved. 6,253 visitors enter
the Park with 760 one-dollar auto permits sold along with 13
motorcycle permits. Construction of the handsome stone Lodge
building continues. When completed, the new Lodge will replace
the temporary wooden hotel on the Rim. Will contain about 60
Masons are nearing completion on the stonework for the new
Lodge. The walls are incomplete at the end of the season because
of the time-consuming task of quarrying the rock and hauling it
by wagon to the Rim. The origin of the rock shifted to the Annie
Springs area because it was of better quality. 80% of the
kitchen wing is complete and the stonework of the lobby and
dining hall is finished.
Colored photographs of Crater Lake are hung on the walls of the
U.S. Capitol. Superintendent Arant attempts to feed and tame the
bears in the Park for the enjoyment of park tourists. He also
carefully trimmed the trees along the roads to “help edify the
park.” The U.S. Congress appropriates $627,000 for roads in the
park. The addition of a second ranger. Extensive vandalism done
to the Lodge and furnishings. $50,000 given for roads.
Alfred Parkhurst, the Lodge company’s major stockholder, visits
the Park and announces that the new hotel will now be made from
stone. The Lodge will be ornamented in design, be 150 feet long,
have glassed porches facing the Lake, and contain four great
stone chimneys. (MT)
In an Oregonian interview, Frank Keyes, Loge building
contractor, states that the Lodge will be constructed of stone
throughout. The material is to come from one of the “nearby
volcanic ledges” and will be hauled about half a mile. Although
rough, it is supposedly splendid building rock but is a little
difficult to handle. “A large amount of cement will be used.” In
each room, there will be a large fireplace and mantle “like the
old-timers of the backwoods country were used to.”
First part of the Lodge construction begins on the Rim at a cost
of $75,000. The lodge will contain the largest fireplace in the
state. Main part of the Lodge will be built in 1912.
The first lodging in the Park consists of tent houses on the Rim
(Camp Crater) and at Camp Arant (Anna Springs) there is a small
hotel, store and gas station, built by the Crater Lake Company.
After choosing the site where the Mazamas gathered in 1896,
Steel supplies the funds to begin construction of the Crater
Lake Lodge. (The Lodge of the Imagination.) Work was slow due to
labor disputes, supply problems, and financing difficulties.
Steel plans to have an electric plant available for lighting.
Two concessions are in operation in the park. One for lodging
(two hotels) and one for transporting visitors in and around the
park. Both concessions were owned by the Crater Lake Company.
The new Lodge’s foundation has been completed.
Construction begins on the first phase of the new Crater Lake
Lodge. Estimated that the cost will be about $5,000 and the
construction will be completed in 2 summers.