Larry Smith

Larry Smith

Larry can be credited with initiating the first effort to compile the park’s history in an easily digestible format, the foundation of facts that began this website. It started as an extension of a report type that the NPS once called an “important event log,” but continual growth and refinement soon brought about The Smith Brothers’ Chronological History of Crater Lake National Park.  He and his twin brother Lloyd have contributed to park programs in many ways, most recently as volunteers in the Friends of Crater Lake. Larry served as an interpretive ranger at Crater Lake National Park.

See Larry’s online Oral History transcript.

My twin brother, Lloyd and I were raised on a small farm in Phoenix, Oregon. After graduating from Phoenix High, we attended both Southern Oregon College and LeTournau College in Texas.

I graduated with degrees in Engineering and Education and a MS in Education.

Started teaching 5th grade in Historic Jacksonville in 1966. Retired in 2000, but continue to sub teach – so have been working in the field of education for over 42 years.

I worked for 23 summers at Crater Lake National Park as a Park Ranger. This experience with the NPS and teaching kids about life in general, opened up my eyes to creating a livable environment. I continue to lead volunteer field trips to CLNP for school kids and am presently the Volunteer Coordinator for Crater Lake National Park.

My students and I produced an award winning video, “If Trees Could Talk…what would they say…?” It has won three national awards.

The educational awards and the associated grants have brought in over $3.5 million for woodlands land purchases.

In 1989, the citizens of Jacksonville, alarmed by the potential of uncontrolled growth and development, founded the Jacksonville Woodlands Association. In the ensuing years we have protected 21 wooded parcels, measuring 320 acres, and have constructed 12 miles of hiking and interpretive trails.

The JWA is most likely the most successful citizen based, volunteer driven, conservation group in Oregon.

Larry Smith was a founding board member of the JWA, has served as vice president and president. Currently he is serving as the (volunteer) Executive Director.

He also serves as a board member for the Friends of Crater Lake and on the board of the Crater Lake Institute.


Larry Smith (left) and his brother Lloyd (right) as rangers at Crater Lake National Park


Lloyd Smith (left) and his brother Larry (right), Jacksonville, OR, 2005


Larry Smith-related news articles:

 Mountain Climber Brian Smith – May 24, 2007

Mountain climber Brian Smith, a 1988 graduate of South Medford High School, reached the top of Mount Everest at exactly 2:50 a.m. today Nepalese time in dark and cold conditions.  Note: Brian is the son Larry.

Shadow Everest: Brian Smith  April 27, 2007

Brian Smith’s chest is racked by coughing spasms. His cuts don’t heal in the thin air. He wakes each morning inside his tent with his sleeping bag covered with ice. And he is bone tired.  Note: Brian is the son Larry.

 Brian Smith plans to answer call of world’s highest peak – December 31, 2006

“Mountain climbing gives you a chance to know yourself,” explains the veteran climber who graduated from South Medford High School in 1988. “You are totally alone in your thoughts. And, of course, the views are amazing…  Note: Brian is the son of one of the CLI’s board members, Larry Smith. Go Brian!

 History into Stories – July, 2006

For years, Larry Smith has been Jacksonville’s unofficial historian.  Come September, however, he will be officially recognized by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) with the Leadership in History Award.  The AASLH Awards Program recognizes excellent achievements in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout North America.

 Festival blooms in Jacksonville – April 7, 2005

“The warm weather of February pushed the normal blooming time forward by two weeks,” says Jacksonville Woodlands Association President Larry Smith.

Teacher takes lesson out doors celebrating woods of Jacksonville – February 7, 2005

As Larry Smith discusses his twin passions — teaching kids and preserving Jacksonville’s woodlands — his eyes reflect both soft sentiment and steely determination.

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