Smith Brothers 1912

January 5
Major Clarence E. Dutton dies in Washington, D.C.

February 22
“The Oregonian” announces that Will Steel has received notice that the Interior Department has granted him a 20 year hotel concession in the Park and that he has recently organized a company for this purpose. Will Steel soon sells his financial interest in the Crater Lake concession to his Portland real estate partner, A.L. Parkhurst. Mr. Parkhurst invests over $80,000 in the Crater Lake Company, but by the time the hotel is built and the boats placed on the Lake, A.L. is replaced by other partners, but not before losing most of his money.

July 22
New auto record from Medford to Crater Lake set, 5 hours and 40 minutes. The car made it to within one half mile of the Rim.

August 8
Fred Carrit, pressman for the “Mail Tribune” sets a new land speed record of walking to Crater Lake in two days on foot, carrying a 40 pound pack.

A windstorm damages many of Camp Crater’s tents. A more permanent lodging facility is planned.

October 14
Superintendent Arant, reports that the Park’s roads are only ruts and that the pumice blows out in the summer and washes out in the winter. They are still using, with little improvement, the very crooked and narrow road built by the Army from Fort Klamath to Jacksonville 47 years ago. About five years ago autos started entering the park and it was quite a curiosity that there would be more than two automobiles per day on the Rim of the Crater. Later they became very common and without restriction until the season of 1911. “Autos restricted in the park from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. and from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. with the speed limit set at 6 mph, except on straight stretches of the road they could increase their speed up to 15 mph, but only if no teams were in view. Teams have the right-of-way. Autos must always go to the outside and back up if the road is too narrow for both to pass.”

October 15
Superintendent Arant reports to the Secretary of the Interior that the auto has made Crater Lake basically a one day park. Visitation comes mostly from people who have only Sundays for recreation and make the round trip in only one day. “The principle use of Crater Lake is one day visits.”

Winter 1912
William Steel spends the entire winter in Washington, D.C. until a bill passed Congress granting $50,000 on account for Crater Lake. The money was made available in 1914.

Park Service uniform button designed by Department officials. The button uses a stamped, bronze colored button that is still in use.

Season opens late, in the middle of July until the first of October. 492 autos. During one day, 39 automobiles visit the Park. 50% of the people entering Crater Lake, travel by autos. Superintendent Arant is happy to report to the Interior Secretary that there have not been any auto/team accidents since cars were first admitted to the Park.

Congress approves road projects calling for an expenditure of $627,000 of which $400,000 is to be used for the clearing, grading and draining of the new highway system and the remainder for surfacing. Appropriations were made each year until the outbreak of the World War, at which time the Park was put on a maintenance basis only.

Colored photographs of Crater Lake are hung on the walls of the U.S. Capitol. Superintendent Arant attempts to feed and tame the bears in the Park for the enjoyment of park tourists. He also carefully trimmed the trees along the roads to “help edify the park.” The U.S. Congress appropriates $627,000 for roads in the park. The addition of a second ranger. Extensive vandalism done to the Lodge and furnishings. $50,000 given for roads.

Season: 5,233 visitors.

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