Smith Brothers 1979

A suit seeking $8.6 million in damages is filed by Ralph Peyton and Crater Lake LodgeCompany against the U.S. Government in Portland’s U.S. District Court. Peyton seeks $4,000,000 for alleged loss of business, physical damage to the property, medical expenses for his employees, loss of credit standing, and lost profits. The suit also seeks recovery from the government of $4,616,180 to cover pending claims against the Lodge. The suit claims that the national Park Service was responsible for sewage contamination in the water supply during the summer of 1975.

Fiscal Year 1979
For the first time the Park’s budget tops one million dollars. ($1.04 million)

111 inches of snow falls during the last three weeks of February.

February 8
Fire in the generator house causes minor damage.

March 18
A seventeen year old operator drives his snowmobile over the Caldera Rim, north of Merriam Point, near North Junction. The snowmobile falls 400 feet before sticking its rear end into a soft snow bank and stopping. The driver is thrown another 10 feet before he is able to catch himself and is finally rescued. The snowmobile is secured with a safety rope and pulled out in the Spring after the West Rim Drive is opened.

Nancy Jarrell and ski party observe and photograph a mountain lion in the snow, near Sun Notch.

May 22
A 28 foot U.S.G.S. research boat is lowered down a snow chute west of Rim Village. Because of its canvas sun shade, the boat is promptly christened the “Queen”.

May 27
Jerry Civitts is killed and passenger Sandra Coeiz is injured near the West Park Boundary, when the motorcycle they are riding slides out of control on a corner and strikes a tree.

In a period of 5 days, Rangers twice draw their weapons in order to disarm violators. One case involved threats to a Park maintenance employee at his quarters. The other involved two individuals hitchhiking in the Park and wanted for questioning in Indiana on murder charges.

June 20
The Rim Road is plowed out and opened.

Extensive geological study of the Lake, Caldera and the surrounding volcanic landscape by Dr. Charlie Bacon of the U.S.G.S. An exhaustive mapping of the Rim Wall is also planned. Bacon estimates the project will take ten years for him to update Mt. Mazama’s story and to produce new topographic maps. This will be the first major geological study of the Park since Howel Williams’ major study over 40 years ago.

The name of the Exhibit Building’s (EB) (formerly the Kiser Photo Studio) is changed to the Visitor Center (VC). Previously in the 1940’s &1950’s the building was known as the Information Building (IB).

June 12
Nancy Rohn, 21, from Chicago, becomes the first female law enforcement patrol ranger at Crater Lake.

June 12
Baby boy born to Ken & Jeannie Newfield, YCC Director, of Ashland, Oregon. The baby boy was home delivered in Building 34 and is the first recorded birth at Crater Lake. Young Newfield is temporarily named, “Mazama Wizard”, but is eventually named “Austin”.

June 15
Boat drivers, Clay Miller and Dan Sobel, pull the trail tractor trailer, by hand, up Cleetwood Trail in 2.5 hours.

July 9
Monday – Susie Stricker, seasonal ranger in fee collection, flies a 40 foot dragon kite from the top of Wizard Island. The kite was held aloft by winds ranging from 30 to 50 mph and reached a height of 500 feet, which was the total length of the line. Susie said, “I almost lost the kite due to the high winds.”

July 14
An extremely bright light is seen by many streaking over Crater Lake. Witness claim it was bright enough to have taken a photo. Some claim the meteor could have been the size of a car. The flame trailing the meteor had some blue light, turning to green.