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Francis G. Lange Oral History Interview

 

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About the Crater Lake NP Oral History Series

 

Interviewer: John Morrison (1987), Crater Lake National Park historian and Stephen Mark (1988), Crater Lake National Park historian

Interview Location and Date: At Francis Lange's residence in Vacaville, California, August 8, 1987 and September 13, 1988

Transcription: Transcribed by Darci Desharnals Gomolski, 1992-93

Biographical Summary: Lange, Francis G. Junior landscape architect 1929-31, resident landscape architect 1934-40. Died 1998.

It is an understatement to say that Francis Lange is a rich source of information about the NPS landscape of the 1930’s.  Mr. Lange’s association with Crater Lake National Park began in 1930 as a young landscape architect based in San Francisco. He became the park’s landscape architect in 1933 under the Emergency Conservation Work program, the source of funds for the Civilian Conservation Corps.  His summers were spent at the park until 1940 when he accepted a permanent appointment is San Francisco.  Mr. Lange left the National Park Service in 1943.

Since this interview was conducted, Mr. Lange has assisted me and the regional project teams from the Seattle office in a number of was.  He has granted us numerous telephone interviews, loaned photographs, and visited Crater Lake several times so that I could talk with him.  Three publications, The Rustic Landscape of Rim Village (1990), Cultural Landscape Recommendations, Park Headquarters at Munson Valley (1991), Cultural Landscape Inventory, Oregon Caves National Monument (1992) are testimony to his help.

This oral history interview is actually two interviews.  The first was conducted by my predecessor, John Morrison, shortly after Mr. Lange’s wife had died.  I did a follow up interview the following year, which included the taped session presented here.  During the time I visited Vacaville, I was fortunate enough a have spent several afternoons taking notes from our conversations and reading his masters thesis.

Materials Associated with this interview on file at the Dick Brown library at Crater Lake National Park's Steel Visitor Center: Taped interview; correspondence and documents, as well as notes from telephone conversations and visits at Park Headquarters 1988-94. Francis G. Lange donated a number of photos to park collections; file contains some prints and photocopies of others. Slide of him taken at the 1988 interview, portrait c. 19361 in park photo file.

 

To the reader:

It is an understatement to say that Francis Lange is a rich source of information about the NPS landscape of the 1930’s.  Mr. Lange’s association with Crater Lake National Park began in 1930 as a young landscape architect based in San Francisco. He became the park’s landscape architect in 1933 under the Emergency Conservation Work program, the source of funds for the Civilian Conservation Corps.  His summers were spent at the park until 1940 when he accepted a permanent appointment is San Francisco.  Mr. Lange left the National Park Service in 1943.

Since this interview was conducted, Mr. Lange has assisted me and the regional project teams from the Seattle office in a number of was.  He has granted us numerous telephone interviews, loaned photographs, and visited Crater Lake several times so that I could talk with him.  Three publications, The Rustic Landscape of Rim Village (1990), Cultural Landscape Recommendations, Park Headquarters at Munson Valley (1991), Cultural Landscape Inventory, Oregon Caves National Monument (1992) are testimony to his help.

This oral history interview is actually two interviews.  The first was conducted by my predecessor, John Morrison, shortly after Mr. Lange’s wife had died.  I did a follow up interview the following year, which included the taped session presented here.  During the time I visited Vacaville, I was fortunate enough a have spent several afternoons taking notes from our conversations and reading his masters thesis.  The field notes, as well as other material, are in the park’s history files.

Stephen R. Mark

(Crater Lake National Park Historian)

December 1993

 

Dear Steve,

Thank you for your welcome letter of 22 December, 1992. I would have answered sooner but been away from Vacaville.

I enjoyed reading the interview by John Morrison in 8/8/87. It was my first opportunity to read the material. I remember at the time that my dear wife Burnaze was dying of cancer. (She died 9/16/87). I was not feeling too good at the time. Thanks for letting my read the material. I more than approve the material.

The report 13 September, 1988 was very interesting. Some of the questions you asked were very good. I answered to the best of my memory. I was somewhat vague in my response to the questions. The questions were interesting and of intelligent thought.

In some of my comments I was not too certain of myself and might have appeared to be irritated pardon me for using the “Oh hell” remark. You did an excellent job asking me those questions. I also approve this interesting report of 13 September, 1988.

Regarding the Crater Lake Lodge Entrance dated 14 September, 1931, I did not make the drawing. I believe either Scofield Long or Lyle Skidmore of San Francisco did the drawing. 

On 24 September, 1992, I sent Superintendent Dave Morris material and a photograph to his office. I had had no reply.

I regret that I could not attend the Crater Lake 90th Year Celebration. Although I sent information on Crater Lake to Frank Lange, Chairman, I was somewhat surprised that he did not reply.

Steve, I have enjoyed working with you the past five years. You have done an outstanding job. Thanks for the Oregon Caves report. I hope to be in Oregon this spring. Will keep you informed.

 

Sincerely,

Signed by Francis G. Lange

 

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About the Crater Lake NP Oral History Series

 

 

 

 

 

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