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Smith Brothers' Chronological History of Crater Lake National Park

 

   

<< 1929   1930   1931 >>


January 22


Death of Steven Mather, first director of the National Park Service.

January 31


Man from Illinois applies for a job as the Captain of the Phantom Ship.

February 17


Chief Ranger Godfrey reports that last Friday night was so cold the surface of the Lake froze over with ice, a rare occurrence and the snow throughout the Park froze into a solid ice mass. “This is the third time in the past 10 years that the lake has frozen.” A morning breeze the next day started the water to moving and broke up the thin ice.

Winter


Emil Nordeen comes within 34 seconds of winning the Ft. Klamath to Crater Lake ski cup.

Winter


Ranger Rudy Luech, 25, claims to be the first person to ski around Crater Lake in one day. (see: April, 1985)

April 11


Former Lodge operator and owner, Parkhurst, dies in Portland.

May 24


The earliest a car has ever reached the Rim of Crater Lake, due to the work of a new snow plow.

June


Dr. Wiggam, of Stanford University and Professor Poutney of Humboldt College sight a large timber wolf walking leisurely along the edge of a median above Headquarter, carrying a marmot it his mouth.

“From time to time reports having come to us of wolves being seen in various parts of the park. Owing to the vagueness of the descriptions of the animals seen, and the uncertainty of the authenticity of their source, little credence has been placed in these rumors.

About the middle of June, a report of a wolf came to us which could not be doubted. Dr. Wiggam, Curator of the Dudely Herbarium at Stanford University and Professor Poultney, head of the Science Department at the Humboldt State Teacher’s College were closing field work in a meadow just above Park Headquarters, when a large timber wolf walked leisurely along the edge of the meadow carrying a marmot in his mouth, and owing to their scientific training and experience, no doubt can be entertained but that the animal seen was really a wolf. This may be regarded as the first authentic record of a wolf being seen in the park since the Educational Division began operation here in the season of 1928.”

June


Weather station relocated from Rim Village to Park Headquarters with an elevation of 6,475 feet. Here records have been fairly continuous with only brief periods of missing observations, except during W.W. II when most of the Park’s activities were suspended.

June


President Hoover announces plans to visit Crater Lake and other Western Parks.

June 12


Fire crew responds to minor building fire. Old Lake Trail (The Sparrow Trail) located behind the Lodge is closed.

July


Sales of the Crater Lake ash trays are growing in volume. The receptacles are made of the famous Lake’s pumice and are embossed and present a very desirable souvenir of Oregon’s marvel. It is reported that tourists, seeing the ash trays on display at the Chamber of Commerce building in Medford, often draw up to the curb and make a purchase.

July


Thirty men are hired to work on insect infested trees.

July 29


Former Superintendent and Mrs. Arant of Ashland, visit Crater Lake for the first time since Mr. Arant’s violent firing in 1913.

July 29


The Park’s post office is established in the Lodge.

July 30


10,000 lodgepole pines are treated for pin beetle kill. New axe record set. Two woodsmen, Bob Mayhue and Bill Montgomery fall 139 lodgepole pines in less than 7 hours 

August 15


Celebration held honoring the 45th anniversary of W. G. Steel’s first visit to Crater Lake. Steel said, “I have accomplished that which I set out to do, and now I am very happy.”

August 24


Beaumont DeLosh dies of a heart attack while climbing up the Lake Trail.

August


The Park Superintendent and staff conduct extensive survey around the Rim looking for sites to be considered for possible erections of observation stations.

August


Congress to appropriate $1,000 to purchase the Steel Scrapbooks consisting of nine volumes. Steel’s Scrapbooks and hobby of collecting place names now contain 57,800 names and weighs 600 pounds. Steel spends one hour each day working on his trivia collections.

Large numbers of California Tortoise Shell Butterflies noted in the Park, especially on the East side. 3,000 Rainbow Trout and 7,500 Silver Salmon liberated in the Lake. Six major fires burn 30 acres.

September 7


William Steel’s 76th birthday. “Blundering through this wilderness of sin and corruption, tasting of its wickedness, forgetting my duty to God and man, striving to catch bubbles of pleasure and the praise of men, guilty of many transgressions, I now look back on this my 76th birthday, and my heart bounds with joy and gladness, for I realize that I have been the cause of opening up this wonderful lake for the pleasure of mankind, millions of whom will come and enjoy it and unborn generations will profit by its glories. Money knows no charm like this and I am the favored one. Why should I not be happy?” William Gladstone Steel

October 13


Slight earthquake felt.

November 17


Chief Ranger William Godfrey dies near Pole Bridge Creek after attempting to travel by foot from the South Entrance to Annie Spring, in a snow storm, after his car became mired in a snow drift. He left a wife and three children. A search party found him alive, but he died soon after his rescue. “Garden of the Gods” was changed to “Godfrey Glen”.

The following oral story was told to the authors by former CLNP ranger, Rudolph Luech, 88, May 16, 1992. Thirty inches of snow had fallen during the month, trapping a number of winter visitors and knocking down the phone lines into the Park. Chief Ranger Godfrey, in an effort to find out how everyone was doing, drove from K.Falls to the West Entrance, but found the road blocked by snow. The Chief then drove back around to the South Entrance and spent the night in his car. Early in the morning of the 17th Mr. Godfrey called the phone operator at Ft. Klamath from a nearby phone informing her of his decision to ski into the Park in hopes of meeting a snowplow. Meanwhile Ranger Luech, after learning that most of the trapped visitors were from Medford, directed the snow plow to open the West Road. Upon returning to the Annie Springs Checking Station, Luech checks the phone and finds the lines repaired. The Ft. K operator informs Rudy that the Chief was in the process of skiing into the Park. Since Godfrey hadn’t arrived a search party was organized. The group, led by Rudy, found Godfrey around 11 p.m. The Chief only lasted a few minutes before dying in Luech’s arms, probably of hypothermia. 

1930 Season


Lodge loses $2,000 for the year. $10,000 spent on Sinnott Overlook, completing its construction for a total budget of $32,500.

Early 1930’s


William Steel spends most of his time during the summers, sitting and visiting with staff and visitors in the Headquarters area. His wife was a small, devoted, and sweet mannered lady. The Steels most likely spent their last year or so in one of the lower stonehouses. Judge Steel was highly revered and honored by the park staff. Of the uniformed staff - Steel was the only one to wear long pants; the rest of the staff wore breeches and riding boots.

Season Visitation: 157,693

 

<< 1929   1930   1931 >>

 

 

 

 

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