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Smith Brothers' Chronological History of Crater Lake National Park



<< 1981   1982   1983 >>

March 1

Kei Yasuda of Glendale, Oregon, wins the third annual Dutton Creek Ski race in the time of 33:49 minutes. Brian Smith, 12, of Jacksonville, Oregon sets a new Junior record of 46:10 minutes.


The original, hand made metal chandelier, rehung in the Headquarters building lobby, ten years after the building was “modernized” with recessed fluorescent lighting.

May 3

The Park’s pair of nesting Peregrine falcons begin their incubation of three eggs.

May 13

Two Peregrine falcon chicks are flown from California to replace the three unhatched eggs. The chicks fledge successfully. Tests show that the three eggs had died a week earlier.


YCC non-resident camp, based in Chiloquin, begins work in the Park. Camping fee raised to $5 in Mazama Campground.

Water year: 623.5 inches (52 feet) of accumulated snow recorded.

June 19

An earthquake registering 2.0 or 2.5 “rocks” the Park. This is the first record of quake since 1945.

June 30

Two men who had been drinking, are injured as their car flips over one mile south of Headquarters.

July 1

The North Entrance road opens.

July 3

Stan Diller, 702 W. Casino, Everett, Washington, nephew of Dr. J.S. Diller, visits the Park. Diller claims that he is the first member of the Diller family to visit Crater Lake since Dr. Diller explored the area back in 1896.

July 4

Cleetwood Cove plowed out, and the trail is opened.

July 5

A 70 mile, high speed chase begins on the West Road as Ranger Tom Young attempts to stop a speeding Datsun pickup driven by Larry Alexander of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Alexander was arrested and treated for facial cuts and a broken arm following an altercation with police following his collision with a stop sign in downtown Klamath Falls. A Klamath Falls police car was heavily damaged during the chase which involved five police agencies.

July 5

Plane wreckage and three skeletal remains are discovered by a hiker near Huckleberry Campground, one mile west of Crater Lake National Park. The plane had disappeared on February 26, 1975, during a snow storm, with a Klamath Falls high school teacher and two of his students on board.

July 9 to 10

Brian Smith, age 12, and Greg Tinseth, age 11, of Jacksonville, Oregon pull in 33 Kokanee salmon and one Rainbow trout from Cleetwood Cove after Chief Ranger Rudolph states, “Let’s get those fish out of the Lake.”

July 11

Lake tour boats begin operation, the latest seasonal opening in memory.

July 12

Ralph Peyton and the Crater Lake Lodge Company file an additional $117,515 lawsuit against the National Park Service claiming that the Government was at fault for the 1975 outbreak of water-born illnesses associated with the sewer overflow into the Park’s water system.

Using six shots, Ranger Tom Young dispatches an injured beaver near North Junction. The beaver had been hit by a car and was blind in one eye. The beaver could possibly have come up from either the Lake, National Creek or Boundary Springs. This was the first ever recorded sighting of a beaver on the Rim of Crater Lake.

July 14

Over $1,000 taken in cash and goods from five cars in Mazama Campground.

July 19

Second major car clout of the season in Mazama Campground. Seven cars clouted for over $3,000 in lost cash and equipment.

July 23

The “Square Knots” square dancing club from Newberg, Oregon, dance two square dances of two squares on the dock of Wizard Island. The club performs the first organized square dance inside the Rim of Crater Lake.

July 23

Two grand-daughters of Jacksonville’s pioneer newspaper man, Jim Sutton, visit the Park and take a boat ride. Sutton named Crater Lake. (Kathryn Sutton Schultz, 24001 Muirl Avenue, #329, El Toro, California 92630 and Wave Sutton White, 3233 Treat Circle, Tucson, Arizona, 85716)

July 23

Twelve year old Brian Smith catches 37 Kokanee salmon off Wizard Island in five hours.

July 28

Rim Drive is allowed to melt out and open “naturally”. An attempt to save money.

July 30

Eight deer are spotted swimming single file, in the Lake, below Sinnott Overlook, heading West.


K.C. Publications publishes the new book, Crater Lake, The Story Behind the Scenery, written by Larry Smith, Ron Warfield and Lee Juillerat. The book was dedicated “to all who find Nature not an adversary to conquer and destroy, but a storehouse of infinite knowledge and experience linking man to all things past and present. They know conserving the natural environment is essential to our future well-being.”

August 2

The second phase of the reconstruction of the last four miles of the West Rim Drive is begun. The project is expected to take at least two summers.

August 7

The snowbank that had partially blocked the Rim Promenade near the Old Lake Trail, in front of the Cafeteria Building, finally melts out. One of the latest Rim snow melts on record.

August 7

462 runners enter the 7th annual Crater Rim Marathon. 78 runners complete the full distance with 285 running the shorter 6.7 mile section.


26 miles  Dr. Al Glidden, 38, of Klamath Falls, Oregon  2:48:10
            Jeanne Otteman, of Klamath Falls, Oregon  3:47:14

13 miles  Dave Hall, of Klamath Falls, Oregon   1:19:14
            Cheryl Martin, 15, of San Diego, California   1:48:38

6 miles  Tracy Garrison, 15, of Klamath Falls, Oregon  34:08
            Marnie Mason, 16, of Klamath Falls, Oregon 41:12, a new women’s record

August 7

Monica Honz, 24, becomes separated from her hiking and research party near Timber Crater, and wanders the northern section of the Park for 27 hours. Monica spends the night in a tree after spotting four bear. A ground and air search is launched the following day and Honz is spotted and rescued by helicopter.

August 16 to September 15 1982

The completion of a four foot widening and pavement overlay of the West Rim Drive from the Wizard Island Overlook to the North Junction.

August 20

The Park’s “Cluster Office” or also known as: “The Klamath Falls Group”, or as the “Crater Lake Administration Office” is formally closed. All furniture, files and personnel are moved to Crater Lake. Several long term employees choose to take either early retirement or park transfers rather than moving to Crater Lake.

In order to accommodate the combining of the Klamath Falls office with the Park offices, Resource Management (two offices) are moved above the Fire Hall into the old “Nat Hall” . The building is promptly renamed “Rat Hall”. The large “School Room” in the Ad Building is divided into three offices and all remaining offices and employees, except for the Superintendent’s office shift up and down the halls. Basically these moves are a repeat of the major office shift that occurred in 1964 and again in 1969.

“Nat Hall”, the Interpretive Division, is moved into the downstairs of the old, and fast deteriorating Ranger Dorm. A snow tunnel is built out to the parking lot ensuring year round access.

August 22

The Redwood Alliance, a pro environmental group, releases balloons near the updraft of the cooling tower of the Humboldt Bay Nuclear Plant in Eureka, California while research the airborne drift of radioactive steam emissions. A broken balloon and card are found, the following day on the south face of Wizard Island, near the top of the cone, by a Park visitor. The balloon and card are turned over to Ranger Larry Smith who mails the card back to Eureka.

August 29

Patrol Ranger Alice Siebecker attempts to stop a slightly speeding, 1982 Volvo on the South Entrance Road. The driver refuses to stop and Alice gives chase. As Alice’s patrol car comes up from behind, the Volvo suddenly explodes, runs off the road, flies through the air and hits a pumice embankment 500 feet from the road. The driver, Amdris Merzejuskis, a German national, is instantly killed. The body remained in the wrecked car for four hours while the Jackson County Sheriff bomb squad and the F.B.I. check the car over for hidden explosives. The explosion was a military type of hand grenade which was being held in Merzdjuskis’s hand at the time of explosion. The German’s left hand was blown off, along with the victim’s face. Found during a search of the car was a knife, and a pistol, both stored in the driver’s door and a rifle was found in the trunk. Also found was several sets of identifications, all false, and two California license plates. The Volvo had been stolen from a car rental company out of San Diego, California. Merzejuskis is wanted in Texas for drug smuggling charges and had served time in federal prison. Amdris had either planned to use the grenade against the Park Ranger and had accidentally dropped the device or he used the grenade to commit suicide. Alice leaves the Park Service and returns to her former career of violin making.

August 31

The Federal Government agrees to settle out of court a $90,000 law suit filed against the government by former Lodge owner, Ralph Peyton stemming from the 1975 sewer/water problems. Peyton claimed that he had already paid out $81,989 in judgments to Park visitors who had either stayed or eaten at the Lodge and that he had paid out an additional $35,525 in legal fees. By now 76 claims have been settled and two more cases are still under arbitration.


Dr. Charles Bacon, USGS geologist publishes a summary of his 4 years of geologic study at Crater Lake titled, Eruptive History of Mt. Mazama, Cascade Range, U.S.A.

Don Morris, of the University of California, finds that the water visibility of Crater Lake is about two times clearer than the water of Lake Tahoe


Glen Happell, 68, General Manager for Crater Lake Lodge Company retires after working in the Park for 27 years.

September 8

Congress enacts Public Law 97-250 giving back 480 acres of the new Park additions to the Forest Service because of a previous timber sale on the land. The law also requires that the Secretary of the Interior is to promptly instigate studies to determine the status and trends of change in the water quality of Crater lake and to immediately implement action necessary to assure retention of the Lake’s natural pristine water quality. Every two years a report will be prepared, reporting the results of the studies. In anticipation of the Act’s passage, a 26 foot Monarch boat was purchased and launched on the Lake.

September 9

A 100 acre prescribed burn set in the Panhandle area.


A Klamath Indian shoots a cow elk in the Panhandle area.

October 20

Ron Dirigar, the Park’s new purchasing agent of only four days, found dead in Stone House #31. Dirigar apparently died of an epileptic seizure. Ron lived alone, except for his large dog.


Heavy snow and winds topple 191 trees onto the West Entrance Road.


New park folder written and printed, replacing the 20 year old blue mini-folder.

949 Park visitors participate in the ranger led winter snow shoe hikes.

14,561 visitors ride the boats. 55 government seasonals working for the Park.

21 larceny theft incidents result in a loss of $9,109 to Park visitors.

Total revenue from the entrance station and campground operations amounts to $200,272.

1,748 snowmobiles enter the Park. Three lightning caused fires burn 127 acres.

Season Visitation: 484,283

<< 1981   1982   1983 >>





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