Resources 1984 – Appendix B “Blue Lake”

Historic Resource Study, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, 1984

Appendix B


“Blue Lake”

One of the Party [J.W. Sessions]

On the afternoon of the 21st day of October last [1862], a small party of us were wending our way up the Cascade Mountains, about 15 miles south of Diamond Peak, leaving behind us the black pine desert of the Klamath country, and anxious to reach the summit in time to obtain a view of the Promised Land, viz., Rogue River Valley. Reaching the summit aimed at, one of the highest points of the range, our course was changed by an unlooked-for obstacle, and one that even a John Day party were obliged to go around. Before us, and at our very feet, lay a large lake, encircled on all sides by steep and almost perpendicular bluff banks, fully as high as that we were standing upon. The circumference of the lake we could not estimate at less than 25 miles, and from the banks down to the water, not less than 3,000 feet. At no place could we see the remotest chance of being able to climb down to the water, without the aid of long ropes and rope ladders. Near the south end of the lake rises a butte island, several hundred feet high, and drifts of snow lay clinging to the crevices of the rocky banks. The waters were of a deep blue color, causing us to name it Blue Lake. It lays about one mile west of Mount Scott, 15 miles south of Diamond Peak, and 80 miles northeast of Jacksonville. In the distance, and situated in the low pass that connects the Klamath country with the headwaters of Rogue River, another lake was visible, not so large, apparently, bordering, as it does, on a large prairie. From the banks of Blue Lake no outlet is visible, but on descending the west side of the mountain, which is densely covered with heavy hemlock timber, we found water gushing out, and fine grass, on what we called the water level of the lake, and following this level around the west and south sides, springs and small streams were crossed every few yards, the waters of which joined together in the large basin or valley below, form an important factor to the north fork of Rogue River, in fact, empty into it a volume of water equal in amount to one-quarter of the whole river at Table Rock ferry – Oregon Sentinel (Jacksonville), November 8, 1862

*These composed “the party”: Chancey [Chauncey] Nye, H. Abbott, S. Smith, J. Brandlin, James Leyman and J.W. Sessions.

From: Steel Points, v. 1, n. 2 (January 1907), pp. 85-86.


<< previousnext >>