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Smith Brothers' Chronological History of Crater Lake National Park

 

   

<< 1951   1952   1953 >>

 


Dick Brown of San Diego, California begins his long career at Crater Lake. Dick holds the record for holding the most seasonal and permanent positions in the Park. (1952 - 1957) Seasonal Naturalist, (1957 - 1960) Assistant Chief of Interpretation, (1960 - 1963) Interp Chief at Muir Woods, (March 1963 - 1966) Chief of Interp at C.L., (1966 - 1970) Chief of Park Research, (1970 until retirement) Chief of Research at Point Reyes.

March 15


Ernest P. Leavitt, Park Superintendent since 1937 retires to Central Point, Oregon. At the time of his retirement, Mr. Leavitt had served the longest of any employee within the National Park Service; 46 years. In a letter dated August 11, 1978 Mrs. Katherine Leavitt writes, “I have lots of interesting memories - some about the bears. They were in our home twice - resulting in the death of the second one. Also one wrecked the upholstery in Mr. Leavitt’s car the day before he was to meet the director. Mr. Levitt formed a children’s bottle brigade to pick up bottles and debris in the Park after gasoline rationing was over and visitors came in droves scattering bottles along the roadsides and leaving Kleenex blossoms on the shrubbery.”

March 20


Record snow depth of 218 inches on ground at headquarters. The average seasonal maximum snow depth at Headquarters usually is 155 inches.

April 1


John B. Wosky enters on duty as Superintendent. Wosky had been appointed to the position on March 3.

April 27


Dr. and Mrs. Arnold Toynbee visit the Park.

May 31


Two cars collide, 0.7 miles above Headquarters. Six people are injured, with two ambulances being called out from Klamath Falls. A coyote is killed by a car on the South Road.

July


Heavy rains and rock slides wash out completely the lower sections of the Lake Trail, three days before opening date. So much permanent reconstruction was required on the Trail, that it remained closed the entire summer.

July 19


Albert Marston Jones, 56, of Concord, Calf. and Charles Patrick Culhane, 52, of Detroit, Mich., are found murdered on the South Road, 3.5 miles north of the south boundary. Both men were executives with United Motors Service, a subsidiary of General Motors. The case has never been solved. The two men, taking a shortcut through the Park, had driven on ahead of their wives, agreeing to meet at a summer cabin at Union Creek. The men’s wives found the car the men had been driving, a green 1951 Pontiac, parked along a turnout overlooking Annie Creek Canyon. The doors to the car were standing open. When the missing husbands could not be found, the rangers were alerted. The two bodies were found a short time later, about a quarter of a mile off the road, in an open stand of Ponderosa Pine. Both men were found with their hands bound with rope, their shoes removed and powder burns to their heads, indicating an execution style of murder. The two men had been gagged but not tied up. Their stockings were clean which indicated they had not walked after removing their shoes. While Jones’ shoes were lying nearby, Culhane’s shoes were never found. In the excitement of the discovery, dozens of people trampled the murder site, destroying much of the evidence. Since the entrance rangers during these years recorded the license number of every car entering the park, the FBI began a massive investigation, taking years to trace each tag number. Some people were even tracked to Europe. Several local suspects were identified, but lacking hard evidence, no arrests were ever made.

Virginia Jones Cota, A.M. Jones’ daughter, always felt that the killing of the two men was actually a murder, made to look like a robbery. Even though over $300 was taken from their wallets and their watches taken, the men’s luggage was left in the car. In a letter to his daughter one month before he was murdered, Jones wrote, “Things are worse than they have ever been.” In a letter dated, Sept. 29, 1990 to the Mail Tribune, but never mailed, Ms. Cota writes, “I know who was responsible for my father’s murder. I don’t know the murder’s name, but I know the organization that arranged for my father’s death. I just don’t believe the story that it was a simple robbery. I have a feeling there was so much more to this, that the people who killed them knew them.”

August


Flocks of California Tortoise Shell butterflies are seen migrating through the Park. 

August 11


The 7th arrowhead ever found in Crater Lake is found by a Park visitor near Discovery Point.

August 19


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.

Summer


The Crater Lake (Mazama) Newt is extensively studied. Hundreds has been observed massing under debris. Since the newt is not found anywhere else in the world and since they were not in the Lake prior it its formation, this has become one of the most clearly dated cases of sub speciation available anyplace in the world. 

42 Clark’s Nutcrackers banded by the Farmers.

The Lake level is now 6 feet below the 1873 level. The government boat house, constructed in 1942, 18 inches above Lake level, is now so nearly submerged, the gunwales of a row boat will just slip under its eaves.

September


The South Entrance Kiosk sustains $300 in damages after being struck by a car.

September 26


New Mt. Scott Lookout completed at a cost of $12,682, replacing the old 1924 building.

Season Visitation: 323,410

 

<< 1951   1952   1953 >>



 

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