Smith Brothers 1917

January 2
Judge Steel is given special recognition by Stephen Mather for his 17 year struggle to gain national park status for Crater Lake, during the Proceedings of the National Parks Conference in Washington, D.C. “Mr. Will G. Steel, who now has the dignified title of judge, spent 17 years, ladies and gentlemen, in working to procure for you and me and future generations the Crater Lake National Park. Seventeen years; think of the man so devoted to a cause that he will give the best years of his life and all the money that he could earn and borrow to create a national park. But he did.”

January 31
Small elk herd, from Yellowstone released in the Park. A month later another herd is released after being captured in Eastern Oregon. The Park’s herd consists of 15 Rocky Mountain Elk.

February 3
G.E. Goodwin appointed as acting superintendent.

April 15
Three-fourths of Crater Lake freezes over.

April 15
Telephone communication is established between the Lodge and Annie Springs.

May 5
In a letter to Acting NPS Director Horace Albright, Harry Rosenberg (of Harry & David’s fruit packing fame) of Medford writes that the NPS is allowing thousands of acres of grass in Crater Lake NP to go to waste and create a terrible fire hazard. Rosenberg proposes “that this grass is capable of supporting two thousand or more sheep with absolutely no harm to the grass…Not a half dozen people visit these grassy plains during the summer…I cannot understand a single reason why this tract should not be used. I am quite aware that Mr. Will Steele (sic) who is the present Supervisor of the Park–a fine old gentleman–is opposed to the pasturing of any portion for sentimental reasons since the Park is a hobby and “pet” with him…Mr. Steele can see only a barron (sic) waste land after a year of pasturing…Help to allow us to increase our herds, and thus the meat production of the country…This grassland…offers neither profit or enjoyment to anyone…”

May 6
William G. Carrol appointed as the Park’s new superintendent.

May 11
Responding to Mr. Rosenberg, Acting Director Albright responds, “I have your letter of May 5 suggesting that Crater Lake National Park be opened to the grazing of sheep during the coming season. I regret, therefore, that it will not be possible for the National Park Service to consider your application for the privilege of grazing sheep in Crater Lake National Park.”

May 17
In a letter to Horace Albright, in Washington, D.C., Park Superintendent Alex Sparrowsuggests some changes to the “Big” superintendent’s house at Annie Springs. “I would suggest converting two rooms into an office and retaining two bed rooms for myself and guests, turn the kitchen, dining room and two bed rooms over to some person that could fill the bill. (provide meals or a bed for guests). Have some one live in it that is willing to feed me and any person I chose to entertain. Mrs. Steel would not do this and could not if she would, she appears to have a holy horror of anything that suggests of work. With the exception of 1914 when her sister was clerk at headquarters, she never remained in the park more than four or five weeks during the season, and Mr. Steelmust be where his family is. Those were the conditions when he was Superintendent, and we could not expect any more from him as Commissioner…I could get a cook of my own, and let Mr. Steel have a bed room, provided he did not ask me to feed his wife…the small cottage would be available for Mr. Steel, if he should take a notion to visit the park. For the short time that he is likely to remain there, it sees to me that he should get a tent at the rim and live in it or at the hotel.

I want to be reasonable with all concerned, especially Mr. Steel, but I don’t feel justified in impairing the administration of the park to make it comfortable for people who did not live there when they were paid for doing so. Any suggestions would be cheerfully carried out.

Men are scarce, and two of our prospective rangers have gone to the ship yards. Am living in hopes of discovering a good man among our temporary employees this season.

The price of pumps, engines and galvanized pipe has gone over the top, and I doubt if we could get a pump and engine delivered before winter. signed, Alex Sparrow.

May 28
In a letter addressed to Park Superintendent Alex Sparrow, Assistant NPS Director, Horace Albright writes: “With further reference to Mr. Steel, I would observe that it is probably your duty to urge Mr. Steel to remain in the park during the entire tourist season. Congress authorized the appointment of a Commissioner to reside in the park in order to make it possible to promptly punish violations of the rules and regulations and to obviate the necessity of removing the offenders to points outside of the park. If the purpose of the Crater Lake Jurisdiction Act is not to be defeated Mr. Steel must remain in the park through the season.

Horace Albright, acting director of the National Park Service, visits the Park. J.F. Atkins and Lloyd Smith tack an American flag to the Phantom Ship.

July 11
Salter Construction is awarded a contract for the construction of two lodges, each 16 by 24 feet, to be begun by July 15. One lodge will be located at White Horse and the second will be placed at the Pinnacles. Because of early snow melt, these two areas will be available to Park visitors much earlier than the present accommodations at higher elevations.

August 1
H.E. Momyer officially vacates the office of superintendent.

August 2
Alex Sparrow appointed Superintendent of the Park.

August 19
The Portland Chamber of Commerce says that the Lodge should not be confused with an elaborate hotel of the summer resort variety. They say the building has 54 rooms, some with hot and cold water.

Dr. Bush, “Lady of the Woods” sculptor claims the distinction of being the first white man to camp over-night on Wizard Island. (Claim is unfounded)

The Lake Trail (Sparrow Trail), located between the Lodge and Garfield, and the Garfield Peak Trail are extensively rebuilt during the summer season. Superintendent Sparrow rides his horse to the top of and the bottom of both trails. It starts on the north side of the Lodge and is called the Lake Trail. The Trail is 1.25 miles long with a 15 percent grade. The Watchman Trail is built.

October 1 thru 19
Lady of the Woods carved by Dr. Ralph Bush, a doctor with the Rim road construction and survey crew. The man-created work of art is Dr. Bush’s desire for fulfillment: “The statue represents my offering to the forest, my interpretation of its stillness and response, its beauty, fascination and unseen life. Deep love of this virgin wilderness fastened itself upon me and remains to this day.” Name by Fred Kiser, photographer who built a photo studio on the Rim now being used a the Park’s Visitor Center.

October 17
Superintendent Alex Sparrow, rides his horse “Imp” down the Sparrow Lake Trail, below the Lodge. The first horse to reach the shores of Crater Lake.

1917 Season
State of Oregon relinquishes all jurisdiction in the Park. West Rim Road graded to Llao Rock and the East Rim Road is graded to The Wine Glass. Chief “powder monkey” Turner is killed while blasting for the Rim road. A small charge miss fires.

Superintendent’s Report: “There have been no wild flowers in the park since it was established. The sheep that ranged over this area before the park was established, utterly destroyed the wild flowers Wild animals are now more numerous and the wild flowers are returning.”

The West Entrance Ranger State is built for $933.50. Sentinel Rock area proposed as a site for a new Lodge.

Season: 12,042 visitors.

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