Chief Ranger Dan Sholly enters on duty from Yosemite National
Park (a Viet Nam Marine), thus begins a new and unique era for
Crater Lake because of his dynamic and energetic leadership.
Legislation introduced into Congress that would remove mining
claims from most National Parks, including Crater Lake.
Large Headquarter’s mantle photo (transparency) is installed,
taken by John Davis and Superintendent Frank Betts from an
elevation of 16,000 feet.
Canteen Company of Oregon completes the purchase of Crater lake
Lodge Company from the Peyton family.
Forced entry into the Rim Center discovered.
Superintendent Betts issues orders to prohibit cattle grazing
within the Park.
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.
One-way road moved to Cleetwood Cove. It is felt that when the
West Rim Drive was designated as a one-way drive, too many Park
Visitors were being forced to drive around the East Rim against
June 8 or 9
George Morrison, Chief Park Naturalist, spots a “Big Foot”
creature crossing the South Road at dusk, headed into Annie
Creek Canyon. With four steps, the up-right creature crossed the
road. Because of distance and tree shadows, a description is
difficult. Morrison could not locate any footprints. George is
an experienced ornithologist and experienced in nature
observation. Morrison was shaken by his sighting.
Mrs. Aline Smith slips and fall on Garfield Peak trail, braking
her hip. Dr. Lloyd Smith, assists his mother during the
Mr. Jack Jackman becomes separated from his son while
hiking along the Pacific Crest Tail and ends up walking 15 miles
north to Highway 130. The Park mounts an extensive search for
$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.
Self-service gas pumps at the service station are damaged as
vandals pull off covers.
Wettest August on record - 5.94 inches.
Superintendent Frank Betts sights a wolf in the vicinity of Mt.
Scott and Anderson Meadow. Betts, having been assigned to parks
in Alaska was well trained in wolf sighting.
New Headquarters area sewer lines are installed connecting every
building and residence.
First Annual Crater Lake Rim Run marathon. The event attracts 49
runners. This may be the highest elevation marathon in
America. A cool, foggy day.
Rim Run Winners:
Men: 6.5 miles, Dave Ellison, Klamath Falls,
13.0 miles, Bruce Manboyl, Crater Lake, Oregon 1:21.25
26.2 miles, Frank Shields, Chiloquin, Oregon 3:28.21
Women: 6.5 miles, Nancy Kurth, Klamath Fall, Oregon 52.46
Verbal threat of rape reported by YCC enrollee while hiking the
Pacific Crest Trail.
Seasonal Ranger, Phil Hixson rides the first horse over 5 miles
of the new PCT Trail near the South Park boundary.
Arrest of James MacGregor for the burglary of $30 from a cold
water cabin and for larceny of a car for $225.
Six inches of snow closes the Rim Drive for two days.
Large landslide scars the face of Cloudcap and “Chief Red
Eight inches of snow closes the Rim Drive for three more days.
The YCC (Youth Conservation Corps) becomes the direct
responsibility of the Park Service, rather than being handled on
a contract basis.
Major rerouting of Pacific Crest Trial at Pumice Desert. The
trail was moved east into the trees so as to cut down on plant
damage in the desert and to line up with a rerouting of the
trail around Mt. Thielsen.
Chief Ranger Sholly establishes physical standards and testing
for all employees.
24 hour operations are moved from the Headquarters building to
the Annie Spring Entrance Station.
Seasonal Ranger Phil Hixson’s only arrest when he takes in an 18
year-old man for trying to sell marijuana to a younger person in
the Headquarter’s comfort station.
Horse patrols begin for paroling the back country and Rim
The old Stone Pump House at Munson Springs is torn down.
Filming continues on the Park’s new film, “The Crater Lake
Story”, written and directed by award winning filmmaker, Kevin
Seasonal Ranger John White runs from Park Headquarters through
Rim Village, to the top of Garfield Peak and back again to
Headquarters without stopping.
$300 worth of vandalism done to a MG convertible top.
Rescue of two hikers from below the Watchman. The hikers had
been attempting to reach the Lake.
A Jacksonville man claims that he was offered $1,000 to go over
the Rim Wall and retrieve a wallet containing $2,000 that had
dropped from the owner’s coat as he leaned over the parapet to
look at the Lake.
September 6 - 7
NPS Director, Gary Everhart and Deputy NPS Director visit Crater
Lake. Director Everhart holds a press conference to discuss
President Ford’s announcement of a $1.5 billion proposal for
additions to and up-gradings of the country’s National Parks.
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
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.
Four airmen, stationed at Kingsley field in Klamath Falls, are
arrested for stealing nine interpretive and informational signs
valued at $650. The four men spend six days in jail and each are
assigned to 40 hours of community work in the Park.
A prescribed burn of 250 acres takes five weeks to burn itself
out among the Ponderosa Pines of the south Panhandle.
Two hikers, from Texas, turn in to Park Headquarters a ripped
and torn backpack they found while walking along a little used
trail in the Sphagnum Bog area of the Park. The two Texans had
been hiking the Pacific Crest Trail when they mistakenly took
the abandoned spur trail into the bog.
While inventorying the contents of a nearly empty, dirty, ripped
and torn backpack, Rangers Larry Smith and Marion Jack discover
a Volkswagen key in a zippered side pocket. A suggestion is made
to compare the VW key with a Xerox copy of a VW key from the
Charles McCullar file, who was thought to have disappeared
somewhere in the Park a year and half earlier. An “electric
charge” went through the two rangers as the overlaid key made a
perfect fit. A horse patrol, lead by Marion and Dave Lange set
out immediately to search the area where the backpack had been
found. At 1:30 p.m. the radio call came that McCullar’s remains
had been found, scattered over and down a steep bank of the
Bybee Creek drainage, four miles from Lightning Springs. The FBI
is called in to complete the investigation.
McCullar’s cause of death is ruled by natural causes, but the
mystery remains how it was possible for McCullar to have walked
from the North Entrance, on top of 105 inches of new snow, 14
miles into Bybee Creek, especially considering that the young
man was not prepared for winter survival. One theory is that
McCullar may have followed snowmobile tracks, but the machines
are not allowed into remote areas of the Park and secondly, the
new snow was so fresh and deep, it would have been impossible
for snowmobiles to have traveled the distance.
So, just how McCullar was able to get into the Bybee Creek
drainage remains conjecture, as does his exact cause of
death. The boy’s father remains convinced that his son was the
victim of foul play because none of McCullar’s expensive camera
equipment was ever found.
October, 1976 to June, 1977
The Lake level drops 2.16 feet, the greatest winter decline on
The second latest measurable fall snowfall on record. October 1
is normal for the beginning of the winter snow season. 50% of
the time, the Rim Road is closed for the season by the third
week of October.
Supervisory Park Ranger Bruce Wadlington and family drive
completely around the Lake on the Rim Drive. This is the latest
seasonal drive on record.
Snowfall for the past 60 years averages 650.66 inches (54 feet)
or 16.53 meters. The average yearly precipitation averages 65.99
inches or 1.676 meters.
Season 1976 Visitation: 606,636, the second highest on
record. This is an increase of 179,384 over 1976 and an increase
of 81,606 over the visitation in 1974. Good summer weather and a
dry fall contributed to the increase.