John Muir sends a “thank you” to Will Steel for his kind
invitation to visit Crater Lake, but is unable to make the visit
because of plans to travel to Russia.
July 13 1903 and concludes on September 25, 1903
A general Park survey begins under the direction of Carl R.
Caudle, U.S. Examines of Surveys of the General Land
Office. Deer and bear are found in small numbers during the
summer months. Several cabins are found that were built by
homesteaders along Sun Creek and one trapper’s cabin is found at
the head waters of the Rogue River. A cabin was built at the
10.5 mile monument on the South Boundary.
Park Headquarters located at Annie (Anna) Springs.
Construction of the new Anna Springs to Rim road begins. The
bridge over Anna Springs is 30 feet high, 104 feet long, and 14
feet wide with seven spans.
Superintendent Arant is in critical condition with internal
injuries after a 16 foot plunge through the planking of the new
Anna Creek Bridge.
August 5 - 15
Steel brings 27 people to Crater Lake from Medford. This is the
first attempt to provide visitor services at the Lake. The group
had begun at Union Station in Portland and traveled by train to
Medford. A large crowd of locals welcomed the group as their
wagon train set off for their camping rendezvous at Eagle
Point. The group spends five days traveling to Crater Lake. The
boat, the Start, a 16 foot skiff built in Klamath Falls and
launched for the auspicious group’s exclusive use is used to
ferry members of the group out to Wizard Island and over to
Cloud Cap.. After spending ten days visiting points of interest
in and around the Park, including photographing the Lake, and
stopping off at old Fort Klamath, the group broke up at Ashland.
Fred and Oscar Kiser and Will Steel lower a 16 foot boat over
the rim wall in order to take photographs of the Lake. The Kisers paddle across the lake to Pumice Castle area and climb
the East Rim, accompanied by Helen Akin and Gertrude
Metcalf. They become the first women to climb Mt. Scott. The
first Lake photographs of the Lake are taken from Mt. Scott. The
whole Lake had never been captured on one photo plate before,
which the Kisers felt was a remarkable accomplishment.
Fred Kiser of Portland (Scenic America Co.) produces the first
hand colored photos of Crater Lake. The pictures are subjected
to ridicule, for no water was believed to be so blue.
There are practically no roads inside the Park, except for the
old Fort Klamath-Medford road, constructed by the soldiers of
the Fort. Travel to the Lake is entirely by trail. Between 1903
and 1912, a narrow, steep and tortuous road is constructed to
the Rim of the Lake by the Interior Department.
Governor’s Bay is named by Will Steel for the Hon. T. T. Geer,
the first governor of Oregon to see the lake.
Joaquin Miller, Poet Laureate of Oregon, spends several days
camping on the Rim. Miller writes the “Sea of Silence”...””The
lake took such hold of my heart, unlike other parks...I love it
almost like one of my family.”
Prior access to the Lake was gained by using the old Fort
Klamath Military Road (Hwy 62) which forked 1/2 mile west of the
Cascade Divide (Pacific Crest Trail crossing) and following what
is now known as the Dutton Creek Trail. The early trail was
built in 1869 by the Jim Sutton Party of Jacksonville, when they
brought the first wagons to the Rim.
Visitation for the year estimated at 1200 visitors. 4000 head of
cattle are transported through the Park. Superintendent’s salary
set at $1,000, with the Park’s total budget at $6,695.