Smith Brothers 1966

Winter 1966 or late 1965
Ski legend, John Day, of Medford, invites the Italian National Team coach and his two top skiers to Oregon for a training clinic. They ended their visit by skiing the Crater Lake Rim in a record six and one-half hours. At age 55, John Day tried out for the 1964 U.S. Cross Country team but was turned down. In 1966 John founded the Oregon Nordic Club. After Day had mastered the Norwegian techniques of skiing, he entered the grueling 60-mile Hardanger Katjulen ski race, finishing it in 17 hours. When John was 46, his doctors told him he would never walk erect again due to severe arthritis in his back. He decided to prove them wrong. Eventually he climbed six major peaks in Washington state in nine days and over 250 major peaks. (information from John Lund)

June 15
Gerald Reh and Ray Vincent kidnap a bear cub near Annie Spring. While being pursued by Ranger Jack Worth, the two men toss the cub from their speeding car. The two are fined $425 for “molesting park animals and speeding.” The mother bear from whom the cub was stolen became a dangerous pest in Mazama Campground during the summer and was eventually “destroyed”, by park rangers, along with her young cubs.

NPS Director George Hartzog’s visit to Crater Lake leads to an appraising of the Munson Valley buildings in anticipation of turning them over the concessionaire for day use and overnight visitor use. The Steel Circle apartments are to be converted into motel units. (Please see “Administrative History”, Chapter 17, Planning and Development at Rim Village by S.R. Mark for more detail.)

Record accent of Cleetwood Lake Trail by Ranger Owen Hoffman in 7.5 minutes. Owen was a champion runner from San Jose State and had his eye on an Olympic position. Eventually worked as a nuclear scientist and as a private consultant.

Two new housing units are constructed in Steel Circle. The new sewer lagoons are enlarged.

Construction (on Wizard Island) begins on a new Lake launch, the “Herron”, named for Paul Herron, Crater Lake boat operator for 27 years.

September 1
NPS Director Hartzog visits the Park and stays overnight in the Lodge. An agreement is made for the NPS to buy the building. The plan is to reduce the Lodge to a low profile structure to the height of the exterior masonry walls.

Mary Polston, age 35, of Crescent City, later of Grants Pass, is attacked by a large 6 foot black bear at Rim Village in front of the cafeteria. Several visitors had been feeding the bear, when it suddenly walked up behind Mrs. Polston, striking her across the face, cutting her face and tearing out her right eye. The injuries required 52 stitches and the eye was repaired.

November 23
An appraisal is done of the concession and NPS buildings at Rim Village and Munson Valley, so that Peyton can ascertain the value of NPS property at Park Headquarters. Peyton is willing to trade his Rim Village property for much of Munson Valley. He hopes to use the proceeds from the sale of the Lodge to finance this new development. Development of the new two-story visitor center is planned to be accomplished by 1970.

50th Anniversary of the National Park Service. The completion of the Mission 66 program.

A travel survey conducted at Annie Spring entrance indicates that 45% of all Park visitors are from California, 29% from Oregon, 9.4% from Washington, 1.4% from Arizona, 1.3 % from Illinois, 1.1% from New York, 1% from Michigan, 0.9% from Texas, 0.8% from Ohio and 1.5% are from Canada.

Visitation: 552,531

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