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Smith Brothers' Chronological History of Crater Lake National Park



<< 1948   1949   1950 >>


Underground power cables are installed between Headquarters and the Rim Village. They last for the next 23 years. (See: August 16, 1972)

The Superintendent reports that: “It is important to finalize plans to move headquarters to South Boundary”. This move was planned for and talked about for years, but nothing definite was ever established.

February 13

The Crater Lake freezes over for three months. A long period of abnormally low temperatures forced the upper water strata of the lake down to freezing. Ice first appeared around the shorelines and gradually grew towards the center of the Lake. After the surface was solid, heavy snowfalls deposited four feet of snow on the 2 to 12 inches of ice.

March 14

Dr. Ruhle, C.R. Fitzgerald, Jim Kilburn (Park electrician, 3027 Muller Street, Redwood City, California 94061) and two others walk on the frozen Lake, over to Wizard Island. The only men to do so. The ice cracked and made grinding noises as the men were walking on it. Wayne Howell, Asst. Superintendent said the men were “nuts” for having walked on the frozen Lake and for having put themselves into such personal danger. 

The men had attempted to bring snowshoes with them, but the steep decent down the inner rim forced them to abandon the snowshoes. Some of the party returned the way they came, directly back to the Rim while one member of the expedition crossed Skell Channel and hugged the Western shore on his return route.

May 15

Elva G. Varnum is appointed the Park’s ninth postmaster, a job she held for 20 years.

June 14

Lodge concession begins daily bus service to Medford.

July 1

A private school is organized for the school age children living in the Park.

September 29

Fatal auto accident, with one injured critically.


Elmer I. Applegate, 82, grandson of famed Oregon pioneer, Lindsay Applegate, dies. Dr. Applegate established the herbarium at Crater Lake and conducted the first major studies of the Park’s flora. Elmer held honorary degrees from Stanford and other schools because of his contribution to the field of botany. His papers and collections were left to Stanford.

Season Visitation: 255,610

<< 1948   1949   1950 >>


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