Smith Brothers 1961

March 30
W. Ward Yeager enters on duty as Park Superintendent.

June 28
Work begins on the rebuilding of the road from Annie Springs to Rim Village. Completion is set for the fall. (The project ends up taking four years.) The contract sets the expenditure at $433,205. The new Mission 66 program in the Park calls for $5,966,199 to be spent on construction projects by 1972. $4,492,140 will be spent on buildings and utilities, with $2,474,093 to be used building roads and trails.

July 1
Long-time seasonal, Larry Smith, of Phoenix, Oregon, begins work as a seasonal maintenance laborer, transferring to the Ranger Division and Law Enforcement in 1964.

July 9
The Medford Mail Tribune, reports that erosion causes Bear Rock, a teddy-bear shaped landmark near Discovery Point, to fall into Crater Lake.

August 14
The Oregon Journal reports that the Park Service has programmed $350,000 to purchase and remodel the Lodge into a Visitors’ Center. “The improvements will not be completed until 1963.”

August 16
Park Rangers aid in the investigation of a fatal auto accident on Highway 230. (now Hwy 138)

August 26
The pilot of a Navy Crusader jet parachutes in the Lake and is rescued from his small inflatable boat by Ranger Glen Kaye. The jet, after completing a short circle of the Rim, goes into a gentle downward glide and destroys itself near Timber Crater. The exploding jet starts a forest fire. The Lake had been covered over by a heavy overcast, when, suddenly looking skyward, the members of Ranger Kaye’s boat tour group witnessed the parachuting pilot burst through the clouds. Being a Navy plane, the pilot was well equipped for water landings. The pilot’s wing buddy, buzzed the Lake, shortly afterward, making sure that the rescue had been successful. The two Crusaders had taken off minutes before from Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, when one of the jet’s fuel lines shook lose, spilling fuel and causing the flame out.

Rock falls from cliff near Discovery Point, completely destroying a travel trailer being towed by two lady school teachers.

Litter Patrol pick-up destroyed by fire when the driver allows the rear wheels of the truck to drop into the fire pit of the Park’s garbage dump.

Future Crater Lake Superintendent, Al Hendricks, visits the park and takes a boat trip. Young Hendricks was “particularly impressed with the clarity of the water”. (See: January 31, 1995)

Chief Naturalist Dick Brown and Medford resident Gene Parker discover a grove of Pacific Silver fir in the northwest corner of the Park. Four of the firs grow within the boundary of the Park.

Summer 1961 and 1962
Susanne Twight, being the Park’s only female Interpreter Ranger, receives extra attention as visitors wonder if she is an airline stewardess. (The Army-type of cap did not help the image.) Frequently Susanne was asked, “What are you?” These types of questions left Susanne “feeling rather like a new species of insect which had just undergone examination and classification.”

September 13
$297,000 is programmed to acquire the Lodge by the NPS. The building is to be converted into a visitor center, with construction starting July, 1963 and with completion by July of 1967.

November 25
E.P. Leavitt, 76, Park Superintendent from 1937 to 1952 dies in Central Point. At this time he had served the longest of any employee within the National Park Service: 46 years.
Season Visitation: 415,568, a new record.

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