Smith Brothers 1972

Government assessment report places the value of all government buildings in the Park at $479,610 in preparation of the sale of The Steel Circle Residence Area to The Crater Lake Lodge Company.

March 5
Miss Jean Steel, daughter of Judge and Mrs. William G. Steel, passes away in Walla Walla, Washington. Miss Steel worked at Crater lake as Park Commissioner, following her father’s death before joining the Veterans Administration in Alaska and Washington State.

Rangers Kaye, Crawford, Holcome, and Panebaker become involved in a conflagration with two brother at Annie Spring Entrance Station. Jim Holcome’s finger is broken. The brothers are charged with assaulting Federal officers and fined $25.00.

May 22
70th Anniversary party celebrating the 1902 establishment of Crater Lake as now the Nation’s 5th oldest National Park.

Donald L. Spalding, General Superintendent of the Klamath Falls NPS Cluster Office, transfers to Buffalo National River in Arkansas.

July 1- August 15
Fifteen bears removed from the Park during a study to determine the effects on the bears’ eating habits following the closing of the Park’s garbage dump. One cub suffocates in a garbage can that was being used for a cage. Two of the bears released outside the Park were immediately killed by two hunters.

July 9
Two additional 60 passenger, $30,000 (some sources report $45,000) tour boats are added to the ever growing Crater Lake navy. The two boats, the “ Ralph Peyton” and the “Jim Griffin” (Crater Lake Lodge owners) were built during the winter by the Rudy Wilson Boat works of Portland, Oregon and trucked to Discovery Point. The two lake launches were air lifted, minus their engines, from Discovery Point parking lot to Wizard Island by a Sikorsky Sky Crane logging helicopter. The Peyton and Griffin will replace the aging launches “Fisher” and “Minn”. On the return trips, the helicopter brings out the Ranger’s patrol boat, which was sent to Olympic National Park, and an O.S.U. Research Boat. (The Griffin is renamed the “Glen Happel” in 1983 following the sale ofCrater Lake Lodge.) Mrs. Kathy Peyton dutifully christened the two launches with two bottles of Champaign moments before the airlift began.

July 8
The old East Entrance is reopened with entrance fees being charged for the first time in 14 years. The Forest Service spends $10,000 and the NPS $1,000 rebuilding the connecting road from the Sun Mountain Highway to the East Park Boundary. Park officials felt that with the new one-way road system now in effect, people would want a closer Eastern entrance or exit instead of being forced to circle the entire Lake.

Direct dialing telephone system established for calling into the Park.

New $43,000 Sleepy Hollow sewer system constructed to replace the aging and failing 1920’s septic tank system.

The beautiful dark Headquarters’ woodwork is painted white because “it looks old, and is too dark and depressing. Repaint it!”

The Park’s new Master Plan is approved.

The Mazama Sewer Lagoons constructed, along with a new Annie Spring water reservoir and pipe lines for the anticipated expansion of Mazama Campground and the construction of a new trailer village. ($227,000)

Reconstruction of the Watchman parking lot and overlook ($84,000). Because of the heavy use of peeler core logs being used around the ancient and badly eroded White Bark Pine grove, the area has since been known as the “Corrals”.

U.S. Commissioner’s office abolished. Frank Van Dyke is retained as Park Magistrate.

Construction of the Concession’s employee dorm is begun on the slope below the Lodge.

The Park Service forces the Lodge to remove their stock of life-size marijuana plants after several are found “growing” along the Cleetwood Cove Trail and out by North Entrance. The plastic replicas were a popular item among Lodge employees.

August 7
Toyota sedan kills a two year old female bear on the South Road near Annie Creek Falls.

August 8
The Lodge Company’s boat house is destroyed by a disastrous fire on Wizard Island. Rudy Wilson, boat builder, attributed the fire to a “faulty generator”. A spark from the muffler of the generated, vented through the rear wall fell on a rotten log, smoldering for several hours and finally bursting into flames about 8 p.m. Fire crews were immediately dispatched, but because of the distances involved, three hours passed before the initial attack began. The fire loss is estimated at $50,000. Since the boat house had been built in a heavy grove of 400 year old Shasta Red Firs, to help camouflage the building, dozens of the giant trees were destroyed in the 5 acre forest fire. Lodge owner, Ralph Peyton, blamed the boathouse fire on lightning so that the insurance claim could be settled faster and the company would not be held responsible for irreplaceable damage done to one of the most photographed areas in the World.

August 9
Fire destroys a pickup and camper on the West Road. The flaming vehicle sets the road on fire.

A herd of 30 to 40 elk is estimated to be feeding in the Union Peak area.

West entrance resident cabin torn down.

August 9
Lodge employee dorm construction begins between the Rim Campground and the Lodge. The government plans called for it to be built next the Cafeteria, but Ralph Peyton, Lodge owner decided on his own, without government permission, to move it so as to be better hidden from public view and not further clutter up Rim Village.

August 15
Three young boys rescued from inside the Rim below the Lodge.

August 16
The newest tour boat, the Peyton, breaks loose from its mooring at Cleetwood Cover during a snow storm, tearing a four foot hole in the bow as it crashes into rocks lining the shore. ($5,000 worth of damage.)

August 16
The underground power cable supplying Rim Village shorts out between Headquarters and Rim Village. The Lodge and Cafeteria are without light, power, or heat for the next 36 hours. A snow storm strikes the Rim area as rain and fog engulf the Park. Lodge patrons end up sleeping in the lobby, as the giant fireplace become the only source of heat. Candles are lit throughout the Lodge creating an enormous potential for fire. Meals are being cooked on white gas camping stoves. The residents take the whole emergency in stride and seem to enjoy the new challenge.

August 17
George Weetman, Lodge Employee, is struck on the back of the head and robbed of $7 while carrying a bag of linen to the laundry in the Lodge basement. At the time of the incident, the basement was dark due to an electrical failure. Weetman was unconscious for over an hour.

August 27
A new, prefab boat house is flown by helicopter to Wizard Island, in 15 prebuilt sections, replacing the 1962 boathouse burned three weeks earlier. The boathouse was increased in size without first obtaining permission from the National Park Service. The helicopter also airlifted out an old Lake launch, the “Min”, named after Minnie Price, wife of the Lodge owner (1921 – 1954). The Min was trucked to Klamath Falls and given to a local troop of Sea Scouts.

Also lifted out was the “Fisher”, which was burned at the Park’s old garbage dump. Two Park Service chemical comfort stations were air-lifted to the Island, replacing two old pit toilet.

A large passive telephone microwave reflector is flown to the top of Garfield Peak by helicopter replacing an older and smaller reflector. (Replaced again in September, 1995)

Government Report: “There are ninety buildings in the Park owned by the government, with 75 constructed prior to 1935”.

Following the expenditure of thousands of planning dollars, the Mazama trailer village and campground development is officially deleted from the Park’s Master Plan.

John Fulton, heavy equipment operator and B&U Foreman, retires after working 26 1/2 years at Crater Lake. John, hired in April of 1946 holds the longevity record at Crater Lake National Park for a permanent employee. Following his retirement, John obtained the Park’s mail contract and continued to drive to the Park daily from Chiloquin until health problems forced him to retire for the second time in 1981. John had worked in and around the Park for over 35 years.

Season 1972
Record number of visitors visit the Park exceeding the former record set in 1962 by 2,000

Visitation: 594,343

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