Crater Lake National Park Centennial Oral Histories
Greg Hartell, 1957 +
THREE GENERATIONS AT CRATER LAKE
My Dad, Guy Hartell, retired from the NPS at Crater Lake in 1970. Guy first worked there in 1935. He related stories of the CCC boys during that period. He returned to work at Crater Lake in the mid-1950’s as an equipment operator, plowing snow in winter and patching roads in summer. Guy loved to plow snow and would dream about doing so even after he retired. He was known for his industrious attitude and dedication to excellence in his work. I have fond memories of living with my folks in Sleepy Hollow and later the stone houses above headquarters. My mother, Eva Hartell, especially enjoyed the birds and wildflowers of Crater Lake and the winter solitude.
I first worked for the park service in 1957 on Mission 66 projects including construction of the Cleetwood Trail. My brother, Ken Hartell, also worked seasonal on trail projects around this time. Ken and his wife, Barbara, lived in a trailer at the Annie Springs campground. My sister, Margaret, worked in the mess hall working at making brown bag lunches and serving meals to seasonal employees. Margaret related that she had also helped pick up the cooking duties when the cook didn’t make it back from town. Margaret boarded in the mess hall in one of the downstairs rooms. I think this was about 1948 or ’49.
I met my wife-to-be, Bev Proffitt, in the spring of 1964 at a park social function. Bev began work for the park in 1963 as secretary for Chief Park Naturalist Richard Brown. We were married in 1965 and have lived most of the time since in the Algoma area north of Klamath Falls.
I next worked at the park for private contractors as carpenter, carpenter foreman and superintendent on various projects including renovation of the mess hall (Canfield Bldg.), ranger dorm (Steel Center), administration building (Sager Bldg.), first phase of mechanic shop reconstruction, first and fourth phase of lodge rehabilitation, construction of Mazama Dorm complex and most recently the rehab of historic buildings on the rim; Comfort Station, Kiser Studio, Community House and Sinnott Memorial. On this latter project, Bev worked with me as superintendent’s secretary.
Our son, Jason, worked a summer as an apprentice carpenter on the buildings at headquarters. Later, he would work on the first phase of the lodge. On visits home to Oregon Jason and wife, Ann, usually work in a trip to Crater Lake and a fishing expedition to Wizard Island. Our daughter, Amy, started working at the park while still in high school for the natural history association and would later work for the park service as a seasonal interpreter and go on to work seasonal on the trail crew. Her husband, Steve Mark, is the park historian and they would live for a time in one of the stone houses next to where Amy’s grandparents had lived.
Bev and I have been members and very much involved with the Friends of Crater Lake National Park. We have a deep appreciation of its beauty and for the people we have known over the years who share our appreciation and strive to protect this most unique place.