Smith Brothers 1986

A section of rock wall on the back terrace of the aging Lodge collapses at about 2 a.m.

March 2
The NPS considers a new alternative restoration program for the Lodge that calls for the tearing down of the 1920’s addition and the building of a new lodge, back from the Rim near the Cafeteria. Estimated cost of this project is set at $5.3 million, with the main historic part of the Lodge being turned into a dining hall and gift shop with an interpretive center being built on the second floor. The new lodge planned for Munson Valley would have 60 rooms and would eventually be expanded to 100 rooms.

Oregon Congressman Bob Smith announces that NPS Director William Mott was considering a Lodge proposal to remove the annexes.

March 5
A five man team flies into the Caldera to stay on the island to gather information on why the Lake water has become “cloudy”. Water samples and data during the winter were being gathered for the first time. The trip had been scrubbed two previous times because of bad weather. A new boathouse and living quarters was built on Wizard Island last summer in preparation for the team.

The NPS announces that the cost of renovating the old Lodge outweighs its historic value, even though “there is a lot of sentimental value attached to the old building. The Lodge has limited architectural merit as a historical structure.” One alternative would be for the old building to be used only as a year-round visitor’s center, but unfortunately the building is located away from the center of Park activity at Rim Village.

Rep. Les AuCoin announces that objections to holding the 10th annual Crater Lake Rim Run has been resolved and the event will take place this summer as scheduled.

April 29
Eric Allen, former MT editor writes in favor of preserving the historic Crater Lake Lodge. “It comes down to a sense of values. To one who has been familiar with the park for more than a half-century, who has slept in the lodge and eaten in its dining room, relaxed around the fireplace in the evening, and loves its mysteries and legends…to such a one, the idea of demeaning the lodge with cheap-jack solution, or destroying it altogether, seems a little short of criminal.”

1985 – 1986
Snowfall: 495 inches, 41 feet.

NPS Director Mott makes an unannounced visit to the Lodge which leads to the preparation of further alternative plans for rehabilitating the building. Mott wanted to see controversial old lodge first hand. The Director eventually recommends partial restoration of the building, but remove the 1924 addition.

July 27
Jan Zack, 72, dies of a heart attach during a false alarm while evacuating the Lodge.

August 3
Three lightning caused fires on the west side of the Park, Castle Creek and Bald Mountain, burn 100 acres. The extremely dry weather severely strains the Park’s” let burn policy.”

August 12
An 11 year-old boy, whose parents are Lodge guests, sets two trash can fires in the Lodge’s main public restroom. The newly installed fire alarm system empties the Lodge by 200 employees and guests at 8:30 p.m. The boy is caught and held by a male guest. The boy and his parents are asked to check out.

August 21
10 fires reported smoldering in the Park. Some are allowed to burn, others are being attacked.

September 21
Geothermal test drilling begins east of Crater Lake. The plan is to drill a 5,000 foot hole in two or three weeks.

September 24
Early winter storms close down Rim Drive and forces the closure of the Rim Visitor Center.

While examining a core sample taken from the Lake bottom, scientists discover a 1 to 1.5 inch white worm in the lake ooze. The deep water worm lived for several days. Could be a new species.

Superintendent Bob Benton proposes the moving of Park Headquarters to the Prospect area. “This would place it closer to schools and shopping.”

October 1
A dozen Cold Water Cabins behind the Cafeteria are burned in anticipation of the new Rim Village planned development and Activity Center.

October 9
Park Superintendent Robert Benton calls a petition drive to save the old Lodgepremature. “We have not made a decision yet. At the present time we’re looking very carefully at costs and a number of alternatives, from keeping all of the lodge to keeping various portions.”

October 10
Kent Taylor, new Chief of Interpretation E.O.D’s. Transfers in from Ft. Vancouver N.H.S.

October 26
Park Superintendent Robert Benton announces a beautification effort for the Rim Village. 16 guest cabins from behind the Cafeteria were removed. “They were ugly, an eyesore, and they certainly were nothing to be proud of,” Benton says. He says he hopes that because of the improvements project visitors will see something more pleasant than what Benton calls an “asphalt jungle” when they enter Rim Village. “When People drive up now, the first thing they see is a big parking lot. We want to improve the rim area.”

North Entrance Road to Crater Lake closed to allow the contractor to finish widening and repaving the road before winter storms set in.

The old Headquarters Building is extensively remodeled, restored and renovated. The name is changed to the Merel Sager building. Mr. Sager was the landscape architect assigned to Crater Lake in the late 1920’s and early 30’s. Sager designed and built the rustic buildings in Munson Valley.

The 1932 Superintendent’s Residence designated as a National Historic Landmark.

1986 Season
32 fires burn 3,000 acres. One fire, the Castle Point Fire, burns over 1,000 acres

Season Visitation: 427,716

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