Smith Brothers 1944

February 11
Assistant Superintendent, Thomas Parker, in a memorandum to Park Superintendent Leavitt, writes that “no national park can hope to come into its own if operated only on a short seasonal basis….A safe and comfortable means of reaching the lake shore should be provided…I do believe that hiking, horseback riding, boating, fishing, campfires…are all compatible with each other. With this thought in mind, I see the urgent need for a tunnel, or elevator, to the lake shore, and the development of a fine winter sports area, and program…if a tunnel for vehicles was constructed from near headquarters, the entrance portal would be close to the (new) campground, with adequate space for parking of cars…When one reaches the park…and is given the choice of a bleak, cold windy camp ground, or a drafty room in a ramshackle lodge at prices that would put the blush of shame on the operator of a clip joint,…we cannot expect them to tarry long in our midst or praise us for our thoughtfulness towards our guests.”

Director Newton Drury condemns the idea of building a tunnel or elevator to the Lake’s surface as “mutilation”.

April or May
Dan Jackman (899-8719 of Jacksonville) reports that he while was stationed in Klamath Falls when a Grumman Torpedo plane TBF-VC 88-9=89, was reported crashing into the Lake. Two planes were flying in formation near Mt. Scott, when one partner turned away and when he looked back, the other pilot was gone. The government kept the crash a secret because they did not want it to get out to the enemy. The pilot did not actually see the plane go into the Lake. Jackman reported that 2 or 3 planes crashed each week near the Army air base in Klamath Falls.

Another plane story says that a SNJ trainer went down late fall of 1944, while heading north and was never found. The pilot and turret gunner were lost. Another time a plane’s engine quite over the park and the plane was guided southeast until it crashed into either Agency or Klamath Lakes. (Dick McCullock, 826-7237 and Tony Gallo 779-4611)

August 6
The Lodge is called a “fire trap of the worst sort” and a recommendation is made that it should be replaced as soon as possible. The Rim Village development is further described as an unsightly conglomeration of buildings which should be demolished and the entire area except for the road and parking lot be allowed to revert to nature. (R.D. Waterhouse, Associate Engineer)

Several oral sources tell of a plane that buzzed low over Rim Village and then dove toward the Lake near Sinnott. The plan was supposedly in such a steep dive, the pilot was unable to pull out and the plan entered the water.

Season Visitation: 42,385


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