Smith Brothers 1934

The Rogue River Timer Company’s cutting of stand of timber along a 4.5 mile stretch of the Crater Lake Highway arouses such a storm of protest from the public, the Forest Service decides to acquire an 8,000 acre parcel north of Prospect in 1937.

The Fort Klamath Crater Lake Marathon Ski Race is shortened to six miles.

April 12
The bodies of Doris Sparks, 27, and Audrea Mardelle, 33, Hollywood beauty demonstrators are found 150 below the East Entrance Road in Sand Creek Canyon. The two women had driven around a road-closed sign and while turning their car around in the snow, the Chevrolet car plunged through a weakened guard rail. The two women had been the object of an intense search covering the Northwest for 6 months. Their bodies and the car were found by snow plower operators as the East Road was being opened. The broken guard rail lead to a further investigation and the discovery of their wrecked car. Fearing the two had driven into the Columbia River during a heavy fog, the local sheriff drug the river in several places searching for the car. An airplane search was also conducted. Apparently the accident happened on November 12, based on their intended travel plans. They left Spokane on the 11th of November and drove all night, planning to meet friends in Klamath Falls the next day. The two beauty experts had asked a service station operator in Crescent, Oregon about road conditions to Crater Lake. He warned them to not attempt to enter the Park because of heavy snows. The Park Service, based on this information, searched Sand Creek Canyon in November, but no trace of the car was found at that time.

June 6
Eight cent stamp of Crater Lake is authorized by the U.S. Post Office.

July 25
Phantom Ship loses a “sail” due to erosion.

August 1
First Lady, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, accompanied only by her secretary, visits the Park, unannounced. Mrs. Roosevelt, approached the entrance station and asked the ranger on duty if she could take a boat ride. While in the Park she hiked the Lake Trail and was given a personalized tour of Crater Lake.

Ranger Ernest Rostel was assigned to guide Mrs. Roosevelt’s visit to the Park. Ranger Rostel received his first letter of thanks written on August 9, 1934, “My dear Mr. Rostel: I want to thank you for the many services and kind things which were done for me while I was at the Pilot Butte Inn. It made my stay at Crater Lake most enjoyable and I am very grateful to you. Very sincerely yours, Eleanor Roosevelt.”

A second letter of thanks was written on October 26, 1934: “The White House, Washington, My Dear Mr. Rostel: Indeed I do remember with great joy my trip on Crater Lake, and I am delighted to have these pictures as souvenirs of the day and of that marvelous place. I hope you will carry out your plan to write a complete description of the park, and that you will not forget to send me one as I shall be only too glad to have it. Very Sincerely yours, Eleanor Roosevelt”

During her visit, Mrs. Roosevelt took special notice of a group of Wineglass Camp CCC boys engaged in Landscaping activities in the Rim Village area. “A fine piece of work you are doing”, she said. “Wherever I go, I hear so much of the good work you boys are accomplishing.”

Miss Henderson’s (Harrison) mother was always on her for not using proper table manners. When the girl spotted Eleanor Roosevelt eating in the Rim Cafeteria, she was happy to report to her mother that Eleanor sat at her table, with elbows firmly in place.

August 7
Fatal auto accident near Pumice Desert. George Pomeroy of Albany, California, is instantly killed when a tire blows out on a car he is driving, on the Diamond Lake Road, approaching Crater Lake.

Stone curbing placed around all driveways in Government Camp and around the Lodgeparking area.

The old log administration and dorm buildings are removed. The present headquarters building in completed in 1935 on the site of the old roadway that had formerly run in front of the old ad building.

54,000 Silver Salmon are liberated in the Lake.

Approved roads are surveyed for the Rim Camp (now the Picnic Area). The roads will consist of an entrance road with two main circulation loops bearing spurs for individual camping sites, all of which will be bordered with log barriers. The campground roads were finally oiled and graveled in 1938.

B.N. Moore publishes an account of the great pumice sheet that encircles the Lake. Moore is the first to recognize the dual character of pumice glowing avalanches (NUEE-Ardentes) and pumice showers carried by the wind.

9,745 trees, shrubs, and plants are moved from the lower elevations of the Park and planted by CCC landscaping crews in the Headquarters area, alongside roads and houses and up in Rim Village.

New Ranger Dorm, facing the new Headquarters Building, is completed. Oregon Caves National Monument is transferred from the Forest Service to the National Park Service. A new Wizard Island Trail is constructed. The former trail that wound around on Bear Cave on the north side of Island is removed. Visitation: 118,699 visitors.

Albert Mattson, 333 Howard Street, Medford, tells about the time, while building theRim road, that an explosive blast blew rocks out onto a fellow worker, cutting off his leg. Albert applied a tourniquet with a shoelace and gave a blood transfusion at the hospital, but the victim died.

Wildlife Census for the Park (estimated)
Black Tail deer- 150 Mule deer- 25 Elk- 15  Bears-60 Coyote-60 Cougars-4 (actual count) Fox-10  Beaver-18 Martins-300  Badgers-35 Racoons-2 (actual count)

September 1
Superintendent Solinsky is removed from Office. Dave H. Canfield appointed acting superintendent. (oral story from former park employee Doug Roach of Medford, Oregon) “ A Government boat had been destroyed while attempting to slide it down the Rim into the Lake. Funds were then shifted from other accounts to recover the loss. Soon funds from numerous accounts were being shifted for unauthorized living and travel expenses, including limo service. Two stone houses, using park material and labor, were built in Medford during Solinsky’s administration.

September 9
The M.T. reports that “Jumping Joe” Savoldi, famous wrestler, fails in an attempt to hurl stones into Crater Lake from the Rim.

September 26
The Lodge dining room is closed and used for auto storage.

November 21
Judge William Gladstone Steel, The Father of Crater Lake National Park, dies in Medford, Oregon and is buried in his NPS uniform. Jean Steel, the Judge’s daughter, is appointed Park Commissioner. Will Steel and daughter Jean, had lived out Will’s final two years at Cargill Court, 6th & Ivy Streets in Medford. His final days, at least the last few months, were spent at the Medford Hotel.

The epitaph on Will Steel’s grave marker, in Siskiyou Memorial Park in Medford, reads, “The Father of Crater Lake National Park”, while the epitaph on Mrs. Steel’s graver marker reads, “The wife of William Gladstone Steel.”

In the Mazama yearly report, C.H. Sholes writes of Steel, “If I am to write about my friend of forty-seven years, I must write as I knew him. Steel was more than an enthusiastic dreamer. He had vision; he walked among the stars. And he had indomitable will…an unyielding and tenacious as gravitation. Integrity of soul he had, and plain old-fashioned honesty, as immaculate as the skirts of God. To have known Will Steel intimately…to have received into the sanctuary of his confidence and love…was a greater honor than to receive a patent of nobility from the highest potentate on earth.

“There are literally hundreds in Oregon and Washington and a scattering all over the United States who owe the unforgettable glory of their first ascent of Mt. Hood to Will Stell. Of that fortunate company who will ever forget his rapt smile when at last the slowest climber in the lot…with palpitating heart, eyes glowing with triumph, gazed spellbound upon the scene? Never impatient, tactful and smiling, he measured his footsteps to the weakest; and if one dropped painting in the snow he halted the line to cheer and encourage. ‘Getting on fine,’ he’d say; ‘soon to be on top!’

“In private life Steel served as faithful public servant for some years, and he engaged in various business enterprises, some of which were moderately successful. One was financially catastrophic…With two partners the firm was conducting a prosperous real estate business in Portland. They had a large deal on…which had been delicately nursed for weeks…success was at the apex…there would be a million dollars honest profit…the deal would be closed tomorrow…today the cable from London announced the fall of the great house of Baring Brothers!”

“With the tragic sequel that a few days before the option on the coal land would expire, Steel, borrowed $25,000. Steel told us the story in January ‘33…with smiles and tears…but they were tears of triumph! Just two weeks before, in December ‘32 he made the last payment of principal and interest…after a thirty-two year struggle!…And he had two dollars left, but owed not a nickel. January First came his monthly salary…and immediately he made his long-contemplated visit to Southern California.”

“No words…certainly no words of mine…can add to or exalt such integrity and simplicity as Will Steel exemplified in his eighty years of struggle. He left no perishable fortune, but he did leave an imperishable monument in Crater Lake National Park, for which he labored incessantly seventeen years. Still another gigantic work, completed just before his death, is a collection of 58,000 place-names, giving their origin and significance as gleaned from authentic sources, covering every country in the forty-eight States. To this Herculean task he dedicated sixty years of his life. Concurrently he complied forty-nine scrap-books of 200 pages each, covering every phase of current history.”

“And so, instead of weeping, or regretting his passing, let us be grateful that he was our friend, and that he has left the stamp of his unswerving honesty, his devotion to truth, and his fealty to his friends…Let us cheer our departed comrade on his way. Climb on, Will Steel, climb on…and on…and on!”

Winter 1933 – 1934
Least accumulative snowfall to date, 382.0 inches or 36.8 feet.

Ann Strong, Box 25, Lions Bay, B.C. (Vonzeo) recalls reading a newspaper article about a Mafia murder at Crater Lake. The article stated that four men had been arrested for stabbing to death another man, and dumping his body somewhere on the Rim, above the Lake. (related, July, 1982)

December 15
David H. Canfield promoted to the office of Park Superintendent from Chief Ranger.

Season Visitation: 116,699

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