Martin Johnson, 1952-1953

Crater Lake National Park Centennial Oral Histories

Martin Johnson, 1952-1953

I was employed by the NPS as a fire control guard, assistant foreman of fire crew, and Mt Scott Lookout. In the summer of 1953 I was a seasonal Park Ranger stationed at Medford (West Entrance).

Because of my fire control back ground and mountaineering (rock climbing) background, I was also a member of the Search & Rescue Team in both 1952 & 53.


Johnson, Martin 1952-1953

I was a Assistant Foreman of (forest) fire control Aide. Also, lookout on Mt. Scott that year. Painted all signs for Rim road which wasn’t open that season due to record snow fall (69.5 ft.) that winter. Rescued fellow fire guard who fell into the rocks at the foot of Watchman. Repelled into Pinnacles Creek to look for murdered United Motors Executives. Live trapped nuisance bears from the Rim campground.

In 1953 I was seasonal park ranger stationed at west entrances. Repelled into Annie Creek Canyon to retrieve a park visitor’s body who fell 300 feet into Annie Creek and washed downstream. While doing ranger patrol I chased a bear off the road where a park visitor was trying to sit his three year old on the bear’s back. Answered questions from elderly ladies at the rim while on traffic control. Questions like “Have you seen any bears fall over the rim into the lake?” Answer, “None that I’ve ever talked to Mam.” or “What are you carrying in that can?” (A 5 gal. milk can with fingerling kokanee salmon). Answer, “This morning’s blue dye for the lake.” (I got a reprimand from the Chief Ranger for that one!)

Beer busts after hours at Diamond Lake; fishing for mackinaw (Lake) trout and kokanee from the wineglass. Dancing to juke box at Fort Klamath tavern. Sneaking women who worked at the lodge on and off the premises for parties at Diamond Lake, Chiloquin (movies), and Ft. Klamath, as well as Klamath Falls, and Medford trips.

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