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REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF CRATER LAKE
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK,
Medford, Oreg., October 1, 1915. Sır: The annual report of conditions in the Crater Lake National Park, since the fiscal year ended June 30, 1914, is herewith submitted for your consideration.
Crater Lake National Park was created by act of Congress approved May 22, 1902, and is located on the crest of the Cascade Mountains in southern Oregon, about 60 miles from the California line. It is approximately 134 miles east and west and 18 miles north and south, and contains 249 square miles, including the wreck of Mount Mazama, at one time a giant among the mountains of the world. Subsequently all that portion above 8,000 feet elevation disappeared; sank into the bowels of the earth, leaving a vast crater 51 miles in diameter, which gradually filled with pure, crystal water to a depth of 2,000 feet, on all sides of which the walls of the cauldron still tower to a height of from 500 to nearly 2,000 feet.
It was first discovered by white men on June 12, 1853. There were 22 prospectors in the party, of whom the leader, Mr. John W. Hillman, then of Jacksonville, Oreg., was the last survivor. Mr. Hillman died in Hope Villa, La., February 19, 1915, at the advanced age of 83 years.
It was but little known, even among residents of southern Oregon, when the writer, on August 16, 1885, started a movement for the creation of a national park, which was successful only after 17 years of strenuous labor. Then came a long struggle for development, which is just now beginning to bear fruit. Probably the first step in that direction consisted in stocking the lake with rainbow trout, which was also done by the writer, who, in 1888, carried a few minnows nearly 50 miles and got them into the waters of the lake in good shape. The fishing now is unsurpassed and the fish are of excellent quality.
Several years ago an appropriation was made by Congress for the survey of a comprehensive system of roads within the park, the main feature of which consisted in a road entirely around the lake, close to the rim whenever possible. This survey was made under the direction of the Secretary of War, two seasons being required to
complete it, and a report thereof was submitted to Congress, estimating the total cost, including $65,000 for a sprinkling plant, at approximately $700,000, and recommending that it be placed under the continuing contract feature in a manner similar to certain har
TO SAN FRANCUS
Map showing routes to Crater Lake.
bors. Of this amount an appropriation was made of $125,000 for use during the season of 1913, $85,000 for 1914, and $50,000 for 1915.
Under these appropriations grading has proceeded steadily, resulting in new roads from the Klamath, Medford, and Pinnacles entrances to the rim of the lake, together with that portion of the
rim road extending from Cloudcap, on the easterly side, to the Watchman, on the westerly side, being 44 miles in all.
This is about two-thirds of the roads it is proposed to build, but owing to the fact that the soil is extremely light and cuts deeply by
Map of Crater Lake National Park.
travel, so that late in the season it is almost impassable, it is necessary at this time to pave them, then to construct and pave the remainder of the proposed system.
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A line of automobile stages is maintained by the Crater Lake Co. from Medford, on the main line of the Southern Pacific Railway, and from Chiloquin, on the northerly extension of the Southern Pacific from Klamath Falls, or the Crater Lake cut-off, that has rendered eminently satisfactory service. It is now possible to buy tickets from Portland to California points, or vice versa, and go via Crater Lake, at an additional expense of $13 for automobile fare between Medford and Chiloquin. Private automobiles and vehicles will now find good roads leading to the park during the season not only from Klamath and Medford but also from central Oregon by way of the Pinnacles entrance, on Sand Creek.
During the season of 1915 Crater Lake Lodge was opened to the public and is located directly on the rim of the lake, nearly 1,000 feet above the water, where comfortable quarters are available for guests. The lodge is a cut-stone building containing about 60 rooms, some of which contain hot and cold water and other conveniences. During the season of 1916 it is proposed to build along the entire front of this building, over 100 feet, a 16-foot porch and pergola, from which one can look directly into the lake, nearly 1,000 feet below. Tents will also be provided for those desiring them.
Besides the lodge, Anna Spring Camp, adjoining park headquarters, 5 miles from the lake, is maintained at cheaper rates, where comfortable quarters may be obtained, together with well-floored tents. A general merchandise store is also maintained at this point, where gasoline and other supplies may be obtained.
Free camping privileges are open to the public, subject only to rules and regulations of the Interior Department.
FISH AND GAME.
There are no fish in any of the waters of the park except the lake itself and Anna Creek, below the falls. Crater Lake is abundantly supplied with a fine quality of rainbow trout, and during the past season I placed 15,000 black spotted fry in the lake successfully that will soon be available. No fishing is permitted except with hook and line, and a limit of five in one day is maintained. The fish are large and the flesh is firm. A few have been taken 28 inches long, weighing 6 or 7 pounds.
The park abounds in black and brown bear, black-tailed deer, cougar, lynx, timber wolves, coyotes, pine marten, fisher, several varieties of squirrels, ringtail grouse, the common pheasant, Clark crow, and numerous varieties of birds common to the country at large.
The past season was the third unusually dry summer in succession, and forest fires were of frequent occurrence. However, they were kept well under control, so that no serious damage resulted.
During the past season a water system was installed at an expense of $1,200 that meets immediate necessities, but should be materially extended as soon as funds will permit. At this time it consists of a main water line approximately 1,000 feet long, containing 332 feet of 3-inch and 670 feet of 2-inch pipe, with branch lines to the various buildings of approximately 500 feet of three-fourths-inch pipe. Modern plumbing has been installed in the superintendent's residence, consisting of bath, toilet, lavatory, kitchen sink, hot and cold water. A sewer system has been installed that can be extended as may be necessary. It is connected with a cesspool 10 feet deep, and as the soil is of an extremely light, porous nature, it will doubtless serve every purpose for many years. However, it is only a question of time when something better will have to be provided. Temporary sprinkling facilities have been provided, but it will soon be necessary to materially increase the supply of water by providing another tank. A public watering trough and a permanent water supply for the barn have been provided. A new hydraulic ram, fully equal to the present water supply, has been installed, but during the season of 1916 an additional tank should be placed above the present one, which latter should then be used for conserving the overflow for irrigating, and with such facilities there would be adequate protection against fire.
TELEPHONE SYSTEM. Telephone facilities of the park have never been satisfactory, so during the past season private lines in the park were purchased and necessary lines constructed. Direct connection with Klamath Falls by way of Fort Klamath has been maintained for a number of years, but never before has there been direct connection with Medford and the Rogue River Valley. I was unable to build beyond the park line, which would leave a distance of 23 miles to connect at Prospect, and as the prospective business would not justify the expense of construction by a commercial organization, I was forced to provide ways and means, which I did by securing sufficient voluntary contributions, with which a good line was built and is now in excellent working order. A switchboard has been provided for the park office, and all lines are controlled therein.
The park office has entirely outgrown its usefulness, in that it is totally inadequate for the purpose. The park office proper and the post office are located in a little room 8 by 12 feet, into which at times 40 and 50 people try to crowd and transact business. When the mail arrives on busy days it is simply a physical impossibility to transact business expeditiously or at all satisfactorily either to the public or the employees.
A new modern building should be provided, as soon as possible, of sufficient capacity to meet all requirements for many years to come. The business is increasing rapidly and facilities for the systematic handling of it should keep pace therewith. Aside from convenient