The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

The Crater Lake Highway

A Cut-Off Road Is Proposed---It Is a Feasible Route,
Has an Easy Grade and Will Cost but Little Money.

    The establishment of the government road leading from the Rogue River road at the head of Annie Creek to Crater Lake is likely to divert a large portion of the Crater Lake travel from the natural route up Rogue River to the Dead Indian and Klamath Falls routes, and it behooves the people of this part of the valley to do something to counteract this. The road up Rogue River is admittedly the best and shortest route to follow in order to reach this great natural wonder, but in order to reach the turning-off place contemplated from this side the summit of the mountain must be crossed. This means a hard climb from either way.
    The solution of the problem seems to be the establishment of another road, loading from the main road to Crater Lake on this side of the summit. The plan is a feasible one, and the expense will not be great. This second road, naturally, must be built by subscription.
    S. S. Aiken, of Prospect, informs the Mail that some years ago the project of making a road to take the place of the present route up the side of Mt. Mazama was under consideration among the people of that locality, and that an easy, practicable route was found on this side of the summit. The road would leave the Rogue River road some distance this side of where the present one does, and crossing the head of Castle Creek Canyon, follow around the edge of what is known as the Castle Creek Flats, and with a comparatively easy grade and very little heavy work reach the lake at about the same point the road does now. Mr. Aiken estimates that this new road would be about seven miles long and that the cost would not exceed $700.
    It would have the advantage of the Annie Creek route in the fact that there would be good camping places all along, a convenience the Annie Creek road would not be so well supplied with.
    This Crater Lake travel is sure to become a source of considerable income to the valley, and it is to the interest of the people of this northern portion to secure as much of it as possible. With the bulk of the travel going around by the Dead Indian route or by Klamath Falls this part of the valley would get but a very small share, but with a good road from the railroad to the lake on this side of the summit we could secure a full share of the travel, and it is certainly worth the effort.
    The first step, to be sure, is to secure a right of way from the government, but there is not likely to be any great difficulty about that. If $700 will build that road, let's rustle around a little and see if we cannot dig it up. It is an investment from which the people of this part of the valley will receive substantial dividends.

Medford Mail, January 9, 1903, page 2

Ft. Klamath, Or., Jan. 22, 1903.
    I see in the Medford Mail, of January 9th, that there was talk of building a new road to Crater Lake, on the west side of the summit, in order to hold the travel on the Rogue River road to the lake. Uncle Sam is preparing to make a road from the head of Anna Creek to the lake and will keep the same in good repair. One good road to the lake will be sufficient for all the travel, providing the roads to get to that are made. A road from Prospect through the Red Blanket country to Ft. Klamath would make the distance between Medford and Ft. Klamath several miles shorter and would not make the distance to Crater Lake any greater. This would intersect the road from Ft. Klamath to the lake in the north part of Wood River Valley. This is a road that Medford could well afford to dig up quite freely on.
    The writer of the above is all right on many points. The road he speaks of is one that would be of great benefit to Medford and the Rogue River Valley, and is one that should be built. It will not only make the distance between Medford and Ft. Klamath and the great stock raising country east and west much less, but would be a road passable at all times of the year--something that the present road is not. But the building [of] the road our correspondent mentions does not make the road to Crater Lake from the present Rogue River road any the less necessary, rather increases. The Red Blanket route would be all right for traffic back and forth between the two sections, but the great volume of summer travel--tourists visiting Crater Lake and other scenic points--must still use the Rogue River road. If the Red Blanket route was established and the present one abandoned, the only way to get to Crater Lake from here would be to cross the mountains and go to the lake from the east side, and to get back one must retrace his steps several miles, and if he belongs on this side climb from Wood River Valley to the summit again. As it is, parties can go one way to the great scenic wonder and return another, and the object of the road proposed by the Mail was to make the trip more convenient. With the establishment of the government road on the east side and the one outlined by the Mail on the west, there would be no necessity for any retracing of steps or the second climbing of high ridges in order to make the trip "around the Horn," as it is called. We agree with the correspondent that the Red Blanket road is something Medford needs, but it also needs the other--ought to have both of them--and anything this paper or its editor can do to bring about such a result will be done.
Medford Mail, January 30, 1903, page 1

Jackson County Adds $50,000 to $100,000 State Appropriation.
    JACKSONVILLE, Or., March 24.--(Special.)--The County Court of Jackson County today entered and ordered the appropriation of $50,000 toward construction of the Crater Lake road. This will supplement the appropriation of $100,000 made by the recent State Legislature.
Oregonian, Portland, March 25, 1909, page 4

    The injunction proceedings to restrain the state from building the Crater Lake Highway, threatened by attorney L. M. McMahon of Salem, would be an exceedingly ill-advised move, and would profit no one if undertaken. It is hard to conceive what Mr. McMahon's object is in assuming this attitude.
    To begin with, the Crater Lake bill is not unconstitutional. It is not local, but general, and will benefit the entire state of Oregon. It was passed upon, both by the governor and attorney general, and pronounced constitutional. It was drawn with this very end in view. Decisions of the supreme court in previous instances sustain its constitutionality. So that, while Mr. McMahon might delay the building, he could not prevent its final construction.
    Crater Lake belongs to Oregon, to the world. It is America's greatest natural wonder, and it is the duty of the state to make it accessible. The construction of a highway is essential and the money so expended will bring more results beneficial to the state than any money it would be possible to expend in other ways.
    Crater Lake will make Oregon famous and talked about the world over. It will bring a never-ending stream of money-spending tourists and sightseers from all parts of the globe, and be the state's greatest advertisement.
    To delay or attempt to prevent the building of the Crater Lake Highway is little less than criminal--a move typical of mossbackism and unprogressiveness that have kept Oregon in the rear of her sister states in development so long, and which the new Oregon of today is striving so hard to overthrow.

Medford Daily Tribune, May 19, 1909, page 4

People of State Will Be Asked to Aid Crater Lake Road Fund.

    MEDFORD, Or., March 27.--(Special.)--The $25,000 for the Crater Lake Highway that was expected to be signed for in this city has been subscribed after the subscription paper was in circulation only two weeks.
    Now that Medford has pledged $25,000 toward the road's construction, people of the entire state will be asked to lend their aid to the enterprise.
Oregonian, Portland, March 28, 1910, page 5

Expert Lent by Government to Aid Medford Enterprise
Here to Attend Convention.

    Benjamin E. Heidel, connected with the office of the Public Roads of the United States Department of Agriculture, was in Portland yesterday to attend the Oregon Good Roads convention. Mr. Heidel was sent to the Medford people by the government to take charge of the work of constructing the road to Crater Lake, "45 miles of macadamizing through the greatest scenic section tn the world."
    After the Supreme Court held the bonds issued for the Crater Road were illegal, the city of Medford proceeded to obtain $30,000 by private subscription, $5000 of this being raised in Portland. The work of constructing this famous highway was started some time ago and 30 men and 12 teams are now engaged in building the road on Pumice Hill, where a 33 percent grade is being reduced to 4 percent.
    "The Crater Lake road, when finished," said Mr. Heidel, "will exceed in scenic beauty the Yosemite roadway or any road that traverses the Alps in Europe. It will be a rock-surfaced driveway 18 feet in width, while the main road will have a width of 23 feet. At Pumice Hill, where we are working, there are portions that will cost $14,000 a mile, most of it being rock work. The contract, which was let some time ago, is based upon the unit system and can be continued with the present contractor until it is finished."
    The work of the Medford people starts on the Rogue River and continues 45 miles. At the end of the road the government is taking up the work and building 17 miles through the forest reserve. This takes the traveler to the edge of the park, where the government is engaged in making surveys for a 12-mile drive to the lake. Provision is also being made for 60 to 80 miles of roadway in the park proper.

Oregonian, Portland, December 14, 1910, page 12

    Time is near when Crater Lake tourist season will open.
    Thanks to the energy of the Medford Commercial Club and the cooperation of the government authorities and the county court, a much better road is offered the tourist from Medford than ever before.
    Superintendent Arant is going over all of the roads in the Crater Lake National  Park and will have them in first-class condition by July 1.
    The United States Forestry Bureau is remaking the road through the Cascade Forest Reserve and promises a much improved highway before travel begins.
    The Pumice Hill grade has been replaced by one of the best roads in the county, built by public subscription jointly with the county.
    Jackson County is overhauling and rebuilding many sections of the highway. A new road from Derby with a steel bridge across the Rogue will shorten the distance and furnish a new route. Still another shortcut is being built--a highway across the desert to a new steel bridge across the Rogue at the Jackson place.
    From being an exceedingly hard trip to the lake, the journey has become an easy day's run by auto. Each succeeding year will see further improvements, and gradually as the roads improve the number of sightseers will increase.
    Subscriptions to the Crater Lake Highway fund are now due and should be paid to the Medford National Bank at once, in order that the underwriters may be refunded the money advanced.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 21, 1911, page 4

Section of Crater Lake Highway Built by Popular Subscription,
Pronounced the Best of Piece of Road Work In Oregon.

    Members of the party that visited Prospect Sunday as guest of Colonel Frank H. Ray are loud in their praises of that section of the Crater Lake Highway built by popular subscription through the Medford Commercial Club. They pronounce it, without exception, the finest piece of road construction in the state and the
greatest improvement yet made in the roads of the county. It is 20 feet in width, 2.7 miles in length, has a maximum grade of 4 percent, and can be traversed at a swift pace by either auto or team. It has entirely changed the trip to the lake by removing its greatest obstacle--the Pumice Hill grade,
    Generally speaking, the road to the lake was never in such good shape as at present, though cut up badly in newly graded and pumice stretches by the heavy teaming done for the Prospect power plant.
    Supervisor Grieves has just finished a section of new road extending through the forest to Skookum Gorge, about four miles from Prospect.
    The forestry service has rebuilt the worst parts of the highway through the forest reserve, and cut away the brush. Contractor Natwick has established a camp near Elk Creek and has the contract for straightening and widening a mile of the worst part of the road between Trail and Enyart's. In the national park, Superintendent Arant is busy overhauling the road.
    Preparations for the care of tourists are better than ever.  Accommodations can be secured at Allen's or Middlebush's at Trail, at Enyart's, near the mouth of Big Butte, at the Prospect Hotel and in the park and at the lake.

Medford Mail Tribune, July 17, 1911, page 4

Residents Off Highway on Which Governor Would Work Prisoners
Express Fear for Families.

    MEDFORD, Or., Oct. 20.--(Special)--Residents in the vicinity of the Crater Lake Highway, on which Governor West has promised to furnish convict labor during the winter, are not pleased with the Governor's suggestion.
    According to reports received in Medford tonight the people of Trail and Prospect as well as the ranchers along the road are up in arms and intend to file a protest against the plan which, they say, will expose their property and wives and children to the depredations of criminals who are allowed to be in their neighborhood without guard and without restraint
    Governor West has submitted his offer and steps have been taken by the committee appointed by the Commercial Club and the county court to import about 25 convicts by November 1.
    The Governor has appointed Dr. J. F. Reddy to act as prison representative and take full charge of the men. Jackson County, if it agrees to the offer, will pay the men 25 cents a day and furnish them with board and lodging. The county will also have to pay the men's railroad fare. If the plan works the Governor declares the county can have men indefinitely.
Oregonian, Portland, October 21, 1911, page 6

One of Governor West's Honor Men Now at Work on Crater Lake Highway
Tells of Camp and Work--Club Is Organized.

Prospect, Oregon, Nov. 4.
    To the Editor: The convict camp near this city is now permanently established. A few of the prisoners under the supervision of John [sic] Grieve, who has them in charge, commenced work on the Pumice Stone Hill yesterday morning, and it is expected that by Monday the entire gang will be put to work on the new county highway. Part of the men are at present employed at the camp, fixing up their quarters.
    The prisoners appear to be a fine class of fellows, and take to their tasks willingly, and not one has tried so far to escape. The boys have organized the Westville Club, the principal purpose of this organization being good government.
    Chas. Gay, who has charge of the commissary department, speaks highly of the boys, and is much impressed with the manner in which they enforce discipline among themselves, by means of their unique organization.
    The gang is composed of practically all mechanics, who have at some previous time represented various crafts and all [have] practical knowledge of how the work should be done.
    The camp is situated on Mr. Peelor's ranch, near the Pumice Stone Hill, where fuel, water and fresh air is abundant and it appears to have a good deal to do toward enlivening the spirits of the boys, as they seem to be as joyful as school "kids." Some one of the boys was heard to remark that he was sorry that he did not have twice as much time to do and it would be a shame to "beat it" as long as the grubstake remained in its present abundant condition. If the wealth remains as good as it has been for the past two weeks, the officers in charge anticipate a great showing in the work.
JOHN W. CANON, No. 6349.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 6, 1911, page 5

Commercial Club Passes Resolution Rechristening It
"Honor Camp No. 1"--Governor West Is Commended by Club.

    "Convict Camp No. 1" is no longer to be thus designated. The Medford Commercial Club at its meeting Monday evening passed a resolution rechristening it "Honor Camp No. 1" and requesting all to hereafter call the prisoners at work upon the Crater Lake Highway "Honor Men" instead of convicts.
    Talks were made commending Governor West for his interest in this section and approving his prison policy, which it is evident has struck a popular chord.
    Monday "Honor Camp" was visited by Dr. J. F. Reddy and engineer Harmon. They found the men well contented and pleased with their surroundings and enjoying their work. A request for old magazines and literature is made to the people of Medford by the honor men. It can be left at the Pacific & Eastern depot addressed to "Honor Camp No. 1," Prospect, Ore., or given to County Engineer Harmon, Dr. J. F. Reddy or to Dr. E. H. Porter, who has volunteered his services as physician to the camp and will visit it weekly.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 7, 1911, page 6

Dr. Reddy in an Interview in the Oregon Journal Says Men Happy and
Well Taken Care of and That None Think of Betraying Trust.

(Oregon Journal.)

    After trying the convict labor on the Crater Lake wagon road for fifteen days the citizens of Medford and the section of Jackson County in which the work is being carried on are enthusiastic over the results and predict a success beyond the expectation of even Governor West, according to Dr. J. F. Reddy of Medford, who is visiting in the city.
    "When Governor West sent the convicts to us he gave the charge of them to George Putnam of the Mail Tribune, William Gerig, general manager of the Pacific & Eastern Railway and myself." said Dr. Reddy. "Of course we are not now in actual charge of the men, but we are responsible for them while they are there.
    "The camp contains twenty-seven at present and but one man is with them, Superintendent Grieves, representing the county court and supervising the construction work. No firearms, barricades, chains or anything else of that character are to be seen around the camp, and the dress of the men would not indicate that the camp was other than an ordinary road camp.
    "The convicts are far happier than at the penitentiary and all say that they would far rather be there than at Salem. We are providing them with as good food and quarters as possible.
    "Instead of looking upon the establishment of such a camp with disfavor and apprehension the people of that section are all pleased with the work being accomplished and are boosting the system. We have found the work to be a great success and very efficiently done. In fact, the efficiency of this crew is equal to if
not a little better than that of a regularly paid crew.
    "The convicts are being paid at the rate of 25 cents a day and all expenses. We have found that as far as the expense of building roads under this system is concerned it is about 50 percent of what it would be with ordinary paid labor. Thus we can make our road funds do twice as much.
    "We hope to get more men for this work and will not quit when this road is completed. The next to be taken on will probably be the Pacific Highway and after that the roads throughout the county.
    "As to how the convicts feel about being placed on their honor, an incident occurred the other day which gives an illustration. One of the men had been sent seventeen miles from camp with a team and wagon for supplies. Time passed and he did not return. The superintendent became somewhat worried. A fellow convict [said] to the superintendent that it was a safe bet that the man would return, and sure enough about 9 o'clock that evening he appeared. The men are all anxious to show that those who are knocking the system are wrong and that they can be trusted.
    "For the present we are keeping them as far as possible in the more mountainous and less thickly populated districts in order that they need not be subjected to any more temptations than necessary. When they have had their liberty long enough to become accustomed to it they will be proof against temptation."
Medford Mail Tribune, November 17, 1911, page 4

Westlake Club, Composed of Men Living at Honor Camp No. 1,
Prepares Letter of Thanks to Local Residents.

Westville, Ore., Nov. 17.
Editor Mail Tribune:
    We, the members of the Westville Club, wish to thank the citizens of Medford who so kindly assisted in promoting a source of amusement for this camp. The club acknowledges receipt of a beautiful Edison phonograph and records, a donation made by the Whetsel Music Company, also we are in receipt of several packages of  cigars, tobacco, candies, nuts, literature and other sources of amusement and gratification.
    We wish to assure those who have contributed toward this fund that we appreciate the interest and attention they have shown us, and we trust that this camp will prove, through diligence and integrity, to mark the beginning of a new and more circumspect means of dealing with the so-called criminal.
    We also wish to thank our honorable governor, Oswald West, for the confidence he has seemingly taken in us, and we are all striving to do our share toward bringing about the wonderful change he has undertaken.
    Honor Camp No. 1.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 18, 1911, page 3

In Test Case Jury Finds Subscribers to Crater Lake Highway Fund Must Make Good Their Obligations--Affairs of Crater Lake Committee of Commercial Club Aired in Court
    After five minutes deliberation the jury in the case of the Medford Commercial Club versus M. H. Payne returned a verdict for $200 in favor of the plaintiff. The suit was brought to secure payment of a subscription made to the club for the building of the Crater Lake Highway. It was a test case, as many other subscribers have withheld their payments, hoping to escape payment. About $8000 is due the club on these subscriptions, $5000 of which is due the banks who underwrote the subscriptions.
    Mr. Payne set up in defense that the subscription had been obtained by false representations, that the Commercial Club had not constructed the entire road, that the construction already done had been of no benefit to him and that consequently he should not be compelled to pay the same.
    The history of the subscription list and of the efforts of the Commercial Club to secure the construction of the highway were gone into at length and the probe inserted into the affairs of the Crater Lake Highway Commission.
    Minutes of the meeting, reports, road and sundry expenses incurred were brought out, the court allowing a wide latitude in the presentation of evidence.
    It was brought out that the subscriptions totaled about $30,000, that about $8000 was still due and collectable, that the survey made by Engineer Heidel cost $4000, that the survey notes and $10,000, secured from the underwriters, had been turned over to the county which had finished the Pumice Hill grade at a cost of $9480 additional, and that the subscription lists were in the custody of F. H. Merrick, trustee for the underwriters, to whom $5000 is still due.
    Mr. Payne stated that he had been promised by the soliciting committee that he need not pay the subscription unless $100,000 was raised, but members of the committee denied making any such promises.
    The following witnesses testified: J. A. Westerlund, F. E. Merrick, Geo. L. Davis, Geo. Putnam, W. W. Harmon, Dr. C. R. Ray, J. M. Root, Wm. M. Colvig, A. Coleman, Spence Childers, L. G. Porter, D. T. Lawton and C. A. Weaver.
    The jury was composed of: W. H. Norcross,. foreman; George Holcomb, Asbury Beall, Chas. Owens, Geo. E. Moore, J. E. Roberts, W. W. Gregory, R. P. Campbell, Grant Mathews, Frank Crump, W. A. Tresham, A. S. Furry.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 27, 1912, pages 1 and 6

History of the Effort to Get Appropriation from Congress.
    OREGONIAN NEWS BUREAU, Washington, Sept. 9.--Credit for the appropriation of $50,000 for beginning construction of a government road in the Crater Lake National Park, which was carried by the sundry civil bill as it became a law, belongs largely to Senator Bourne, and a contrary statement contained in a Washington dispatch to The Oregonian, under date of August 23, was erroneous.
    Some confusion arose over the Crater Lake road amendment early in the session, due to the announcement of Senator Chamberlain that he proposed to offer an amendment, appropriating $100,000 for this road after the House appropriations committee had turned down a like amendment submitted by Representative Hawley. This amendment, instead of being offered by Senator Chamberlain, was proposed by Senator Bourne, under agreement with his colleague, as Bourne was a member of the appropriations committee. When the sundry civil bill was reported to the Senate it carried the Bourne amendment appropriating $100,000. and both Oregon Senators aided in securing its adoption by the Senate.
    When the sundry civil bill went back to the House, that body refused to accept this amendment, along with others, and the bill went to conference. There a determined fight was made by Representative Fitzgerald, chairman of the House appropriations committee, to knock out the entire Crater Lake appropriation, but Senator Bourne, being also a member of the conference committee, resisted Fitzgerald's attacks, and when the sundry civil bill was finally reported it carried $50,000 for the Crater Lake road, half the amount of the original Bourne amendment.
    During the time the sundry civil bill was in conference, Representative Hawley appealed to the House members of the conference committee, but was turned down by the Democrats, though assured by Representative Cannon, the Republican conferee, that he would aid in getting an appropriation for the Crater Lake road. Senator Bourne insists that Mr. Cannon did not favor, but actually opposed this appropriation from start to finish, and that its ultimate adoption was due entirely to his own efforts.
    It is true that Senators Bourne and Chamberlain and Representative Hawley all worked to secure an appropriation of $100,000 to begin construction of the $900,000 road, but Mr. Hawley's efforts were blocked by a Democratic House.
Oregonian, Portland, September 10, 1912, page 2

Sand Creek-Pinnacles Route Is Completed to Rim.
    KLAMATH FALLS, Or., Nov. 15.--(Special.)--The government road builders in Crater Lake Park have made good progress this season.
    The road by way of Sand Creek and the Pinnacles has been completed to the crater's rim, a distance of six and a half miles from the limits of the park. This will be resurfaced and rolled next season.
    One and a half miles of permanent road was built from the rim toward Fort Klamath, and several miles of road cleared and partly graded.
    The Pinnacles on the Sand Creek road and Anna Canyon on the Fort Klamath road rival the lake itself in interest.
Oregonian, Portland, November 16, 1913, page 8

    By the end of the present season, 40 miles of highways will have been graded by the government in the Crater Lake National Park, leaving approximately 25 miles still to be graded and the entire system to be hard surfaced.
    Engineer Goodwin of the War Department, in charge of construction, states that an appropriation of $100,000 will be asked for work the coming year, for use in paving the main traveled roads now graded. This surface will be of the Warrenite type of bitulithic pavement, and cost approximately $10,000 per mile. The pavement will be laid 15 feet in width, with the road from Anna Creek to the rim the first section paved.
    From 180 to 200 men are now employed. As only $50,000 was secured this year, it is impossible to finish the grading as could have been done if the $100,000 asked for had been appropriated. The completed grading will comprise the road from the new Jackson County entrance to Anna Creek, from the eastern entrance up Sand Creek to the rim, from the Klamath entrance to Anna Creek, and the rim boulevard from a junction of the Sand Creek road to Anna Creek, from Anna Creek to the tavern, and around the rim for a few miles from the tavern.
    This is considered by those in charge a critical time in the life of the park. Every friend of the park must work for a large appropriation for the coming year so that improvements may be carried on uninterruptedly.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 9, 1915, page 6

Crater Lake Road Work Is Begun.
    ROSEBURG, Or., Nov. 10.--(Special)--Work on the Tiller-Crater Lake road was begun Monday when a force of men was placed at work at Tiller clearing the right of way. The work ts under the direction of C. F. Bartrum, forest supervisor, and B. F. Finch, an engineer from Portland. When the road is completed the distance of wagon travel between Roseburg and Crater Lake will be reduced 10 miles.
Oregonian, Portland, November 11, 1915, page 16

Crater Lake Highway Offers Many Attractions for Leisurely Trip.
Streams, Mountains and Forests, with Splendid Fishing Places,
Lure Traveler to Make Frequent Breaks in Journey.
(Written at Union Creek Camp, Crater Lake National Forest,
during Mr. Stovall's recent automobile tour.)

    It is the tourists who take their time and stop long enough here and there to enjoy the many beauty spots along the Crater Lake Highway who get the most, in real enjoyment, from a trip into the big Oregon playground. All the way from Medford to the stone monument that marks the entrance into the park the road is a succession of interesting features--a moving picture of wonder and charm. It is beautiful even to those who spin over the fine mountain road in four or five hours, but it is more beautiful, more impressive, to those who halt now and then.
    The government hatchery at Trail Creek is one of the interesting things. Though this is not the biggest hatchery in the West by any means, it is one of the most important, in that it keeps the Rogue and its tributaries stocked with the royal chinook, silverside, steelhead and other salmon. The little hamlet of Trail is a veritable mountain gem, and with its new hotel and improved grounds it is yearly becoming more popular, especially to Rogue River Valley folks, who can run out there and back in a day, with plenty of time to fish or bask in the cool shade.
Picturesque Falls Delights.
    A wonder that is too often overlooked is beautiful Mills Falls. Though this is not as high as Multnomah, it rivals the latter in picturesque charm and beauty. It is more wildly grand than Multnomah. It cannot be seen from the main highway, but is only a short half-mile walk--or climb--from Prospect bridge. The trail is easily followed to the brink of the gorge and is then a zigzagged stairway down the rocky bluff to the river’s edge, just opposite the base of the falls. A thousand rainbows play continually in the narrow gorge, formed by the flying white spray from the falls and the bright sunshine overhead. The ever-flying mists keep the big boulders covered with deep moss and give succulence to the maidenhair ferns that find rooting in the rock crevices.
    Rogue River Gorge, just above the falls, is one of the grandest sections of this wild river in all its course. The river here has a fall of several hundred feet within a half mile, making a roaring, turbulent cataract and offering opportunity for unlimited power. Some of this power is already being utilized by the California-Oregon Water Power Company.
    The hamlet of Prospect is no longer the unattractive "shack town" that it was in years gone by. Clean white buildings, broad grounds with a velvet-green lawn, an artificial lake, fountains, gorgeous flower beds and water flowing everywhere make the place most inviting.
Prospect Road Charming.
    At Prospect the drive through the big sugar pine woods really begins. In all the West there is a no more charming forest road than this. For miles, or all the way to Union Creek, the road winds in and out among the tall trees. In places the big pines stand just wide enough apart to allow the passage of the road. It is like driving through the fabled forests of Robin Hood. The great trees, for the most part, are bare of limbs for many feet up, the trunks being brown and smooth. The undergrowth is wild cinnamon and manzanita, two shrubs that are an ornament anywhere. Always and ever the air is delightfully cool and tanged with the rich fragrance of pine and fir.
    At the upper limit, or near the upper limit, of the reserve a short side road is reached that leads a brief mile to Rogue River Natural Bridge. A visit to this Oregon wonder is well worth the time and trouble. In all America, or all the world, for that matter, there is no natural bridge like this one. It is disappointing to those who look for high arches and tall buttresses. At this point the Rogue narrows till it is but little wider than a valley creek. It is flowing here in a gorge of lava rock, irregular, round and honeycombed. Of a sudden the river disappears--just tumbles its waters into a great hole in the rocks. Two hundred feet below, the water pours out again--gushes out from the mouth of an immense cavern at the base of a rock cliff. Undoubtedly the river takes an irregular course under the surface. This surface, all of lava, is the "bridge." It is not a high bridge; on the contrary, it is lower in the center than at either end--so low that the river runs over it during the times of freshet. But it is a real bridge for all that and in olden times was used by ranchers as a convenient crossing place with sheep and stock. In truth, before the Prospect bridge was built, this was the only bridge on the Upper Rogue.
Camping Spot Lures.
    There are holes in the honeycombed lava of the bridge. The surging of the water through the underworld cavern or passageway causes a rush of air through these holes. Some visitor fashioned a whistle from a brass cartridge and placed it in one of these holes. The continual shriek of this whistle can be heard long before the bridge is reached.
    There is a fine camp in the shade of the big pines at Natural Bridge. Here, also, is a huge open fireplace that is abundantly used and enjoyed. Fishing is good on the river here. Just a mile beyond is Union Creek Camp. This is directly on the highway and one of the most popular camps on all the Crater Lake road. Many of those who visit the lake come back down to Union Creek to camp. It is not so cold at night here. There is plenty of parking space for cars and no end of delightful places to pitch a tent. Union Creek, above the crossing, is one of the best fishing streams in Oregon. A supply store, for the convenience of campers, has been established here and there is telephone connection, not only with all the surrounding forest stations but with the outside world as well.
    So delightful is Union Creek camp that many of the touring parties remain over here from one to three days, and not a few stay for two or three weeks.
Oregonian, Portland, August 13, 1916, page 8


    C. E. Gates and H. L. Walthers have returned from Portland, where, as a committee representing the Medford Commercial Club, they spent two days working to secure state and federal aid for the Crater Lake Highway, under the terms of the Shackleford and Bean bills. They secured the endorsement of the Portland Chamber of Commerce at a luncheon Friday. The chamber adopted resolutions favoring the highway. They then succeeded in securing an endorsement of the project from S. Benson, chairman of the state highway commission; Chief Forester H. S. Graves of the forestry bureau, who had been antagonistic to the project, was won over, and promised to give the subject earnest consideration. Highway Commissioner E. J. Adams was next visited at Eugene, and went on record as favoring the highway.
Passing the Buck.
    The highway commission has been passing the buck to the forestry service, which had passed it back again, and between the two, there was every probability that the five years cooperative road work between state and federal governments would entirely ignore Crater Lake Highway, and that not a penny would be spent upon it. As a result of the efforts of Messrs. Gates and Walthers, the state highway commission has recommended it, and if the highway does not receive consideration, it will not be the state commission's fault.
    The portion of the highway sought for immediate improvement is that between Prospect and the park lines, 22 miles, estimated to cost $100,000. Concerning the subject, the Portland Oregonian says:
    "Plans to make Crater Lake National Park easily accessible to automobilists are being put before members of the highway commission and officials of the forest service by Mayor C. E. Gates and H. L. Walther, of Medford, who arrived in the city yesterday in the interests of the project.
Work Would Cost $100,000.
    "The suggestion of Medford civic and commercial organizations for the improvement of the 22-mile strip, as explained yesterday, is that the state highway commission and the forest service divide the expense. The cost of putting the road into condition equaling that of the remaining stretches, as estimated, would be $100,000.
    "The reception of the plan by officials here has been favorable. S. Benson, chairman of the highway commission, meeting with Mayor Gates and Mr. Walther at the luncheon of the chamber of commerce governing board yesterday, promised his support for the project, and other members of the commission are reported to be inclined in the same direction. The chamber of commerce governors were enthusiastic in their approval of the plan.
Mr. Graves to Consider Plan.
    "The necessary government appropriation for its half of the expense has not yet been obtained, although Henry S. Graves, chief forester, with whom a conference was held yesterday, promised that the matter would receive attention as soon as possible."
    Messrs. Gates and Walthers were given a vote of thanks for their efforts by the road committee of the club, for had they not made the trip and used the utmost tact the prospect of improvement of the Crater Lake Highway would have gone glimmering.

Medford Mail Tribune, April 3, 1917, page 5

    It is time that the business and commercial interests of Jackson County united to wage a campaign for the construction of the Crater Lake Highway its entire length. Some $23,000,000 of state and general funds are available for highway construction and it is the psychological time to secure the adoption of a definite plan for the necessary expenditures on this important highway.
    The Crater Lake Highway has been surveyed, located and estimates completed from Medford to the lake by  the government engineers and the right of way secured for what will be one of the scenic highways of the world. That portion between Prospect and the national park boundary, some 23 miles, will be constructed this year, the money having been appropriated two years ago--but no effort has been made and no plans adopted for the construction of the portion between Prospect and Medford.
    With the construction of the highway from Prospect to the park, the touring public will have a boulevard to and around the lake, when Prospect is reached, but a comparatively poor road to Prospect--though many portions will be utilized in the permanent highway.
    Crater Lake is the only national park in Oregon and the greatest tourist attraction in the state--but to reap the benefit, it must be made easily accessible. Klamath County is energetically striving to capture the Crater Lake tourist traffic and virtually annex the lake with a paved highway from the California border--a definite program towards this end having been adopted--and unless Jackson County acts along the same lines, traffic will come and go via Klamath, instead of in one way and out the other--as it should be.
    The Crater Lake Highway has been designated as a forest highway--that is one in which the state and the government contribute equally, the highway being constructed under government supervision. The Shackleford law is liberal in that it authorizes expenditures for roads "wholly within or partly within national forests," and under a liberal construction, the entire Crater Lake road could be constructed as a forest highway. That it was so contemplated would be indicated by the government survey of the entire highway.
    If the forestry bureau refuses cooperation, the  highway to Prospect could possibly be classed as a post-road, and constructed jointly by government and state. Some plan could doubtless be worked out with the state and federal authorities, for where there is a will, there is a way, but immediate action is necessary, or all available funds will have been appropriated with Jackson County asleep at the crossroads.
    Medford has been so absorbed in securing the completion of the Pacific Highway and Ashland in securing the Green Spring Mountain road, that they have lost sight of the Crater Lake Highway--the most important tourist asset of all.

Medford Mail Tribune, March 15, 1919, page 4

    K. E. Hodgman, district engineer of the Pacific Highway, has returned from Salem and says the commission has decided not to pave the section of the Crater Lake Highway from Medford to Eagle Point this year but will make permanent surveys of the Crater Lake Highway, and locate the same from Medford to Prospect, via Eagle Point, which has not been done, and will first lay macadam and then pave afterwards.
    This means the Eagle Point section of the road will not be paved this year and that no macadam will be laid on that road this year. This road was all arranged to be paved to Eagle Point this year and the commission was ready to advertise for bids, but a row was raised among our own people with the result of losing the work this year.
    The Clark-Henery Company is laying about 800 feet of base and 1200 of macadam daily on the Gold Hill-Central Point section of the Pacific Highway.
    Schell and Campbell are making splendid progress on the highway from Grants Pass to Gold Hill and have several miles completed.
    Oscar Huber is getting everything in readiness and will soon be laying pavement over the Siskiyous.
    Mr. Gilbisch, contractor for grading one section of the Green Springs Mountain road, is at work. The county court has the other section and hopes to get started soon.
    Brown, von der Hellen & Natwick, contractors, are making the dirt fly on the Prospect-Crater Lake road.
    Mr. Hartman, of Jacksonville, has the contract for the two small trestles between Central Point and Gold Hill. Mr. Parker is building the concrete bridge across the Rogue River at Rock Point.
    All this road activity furnishes employment for lots of labor and in a week or two twice as many men will be at work on the roads.

Medford Mail Tribune, July 16, 1919, page 6


    It was my privilege to attend the recent Park to Park convention in Denver, where I was brought in close contact with national highway plans, particularly as they have to do with the Crater Lake National Park, and while a tentative route for the proposed Park to Park Highway was agreed upon as outlined by Col. Westgard in his wild rush through the country, still it is tentative only, and the task of permanently locating it will be put up to the general government, and will await developments so it stands up in hand to prepare for a decision that shall be favorable to the best interests of Crater Lake.
    The most comprehensive and effective road building program in the history of this country will be presented to the next Congress, supported by the American Automobile Association, which organization has worked out with infinite care and forethought all plans of that character, since automobiles have come into general use. These plans will not only embrace every section of the nation, but will require a series of years to be worked out.
    That portion of the program affecting the construction of a highway to connect the great national parks of the country directly affects this region and should receive the immediate attention of every citizen in Southern Oregon. To this end purely local issues should be forgotten and all sections get together and work out a plan satisfactory to all concerned, with the single thought of developing Crater Lake. Forget each of the half dozen roads leading to it and recognize all as one unit, under one name, which is suggested as the Crater Lake Highway.
    At this time Lane and Klamath counties are preparing to open the park to the north, thus reducing the distance from Crater Lake to Portland and all other northern points by 126 miles. During 1921 the present prohibitive grade will be reduced to six percent, and a northern entrance to the park will be in order.
    It then becomes necessary to unite the six roads under one name to avoid confusion in Washington and elsewhere, so that the Crater Lake Highway will be as follows: From Goshen, on the Pacific Highway, in Lane County, following the Willamette military highway to the summit of the Cascades, thence along the summit by the Skyline Road to Crater Lake, then over the Crater Lake Rim Road and the roads of the park to park headquarters, thence over the Medford-Crater Lake Highway to the Pacific Highway at Medford. Also, from park headquarters over the Klamath road to Klamath Falls, thence over the Green Spring Mountain road to the Pacific Highway in Jackson County near Ashland.
    Please bear in mind the fact that all great national highway constructive legislation has been worked out and presented to Congress by the American Automobile Association, and that the Oregon State Motor Association is a branch of that institution, and you will comprehend what it means to this community to have the latter organization working in our behalf.
    With rare exceptions, only such tourists visiting Jackson County as leave home with the idea of seeing Crater Lake will make the trip, as they seriously object to doubling back, particularly for a distance of over 80 miles. With one of the most scenic roads in the world leading to the north, they will practically all go through the park, and instead of having 20,000 visitors as in 1920, it will not be long until the figures will pass 100,000 and Jackson County will become a great tourist center.
    If Jackson, Klamath and Lane counties will get together, as suggested, and work in harmony, the Oregon State Motor Association will place permanent offices in Medford, Klamath Falls and Eugene, and together with the American Automobile Association and the National Park to Park Association, will cause the proposed Crater Lake Highway to become an important section of the proposed National Park to Park Highway, supported by the general government.
    If liberal support is accorded the Oregon State Motor Association, it will not only maintain a permanent office in Medford, but among many other things, it will send to every visitor to the park during the past season a letter, requesting him to intercede with his congressman in support of the measures, agreed upon by the three counties mentioned. This work is expected to be appreciated and a strong membership provided, for which purpose I have been sent here to secure a membership of 200 in Jackson County, which will in part pay the necessarily heavy expense of maintaining an office and carrying on the publicity work of turning tourists this way from all parts of America. At these offices the latest road maps and reliable road information will be provided to members and tourists.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 3, 1920, page 9

    At a meeting of the county court Tuesday a sprinkler was ordered placed on the Crater Lake Highway between the Dodge Bridge and Long Bridge to settle the dust. This is a new stretch of road and has been the source of some complaint from tourists, being the dustiest stretch on the way to the scenic wonder. By use of water, this will be eliminated and the road material hardened.
    A new road was ordered established between Dodge's Bridge and the new Crater Lake Highway, in the Eagle Point district, producing a direct route from Bybee's Bridge to the highway, and doing away with some hill climbing.
    A contract was granted Chris Natwick for the hauling of gravel from Reese Creek to put on the Reese Creek road. This will be finished before winter.
    The supervisor was ordered to make the necessary repairs on the Trail road at once, and before the winter rains. Citizens of that section recently appeared before the court and testified that the road was in bad shape, and that they risked their lives and limbs in attempting to travel over it in bad weather. The repairs will be temporary.
    A large batch of bills were considered, approved and disapproved.

Ashland Weekly Tidings, July 27, 1921, page 1

    Word reaches Medford that the matter of improvement of the Crater Lake Highway between Trail and Prospect has been worked through at Portland, and most of the work on that link in the road to the lake will be done next summer, with the last of the rocking in all probability the following summer,
    Ben Sheldon, president of the Chamber of Commerce, and the members of the county court appeared before the state highway commission twice and in addition had a lengthy session with the district forester and the engineer of the U.S. Bureau of Roads. Under the cooperation provision of the federal law authorizing the expenditure of federal money on this road, the contracting will be done under the supervision of the federal authorities. Mr. Cecil, district forester, and Mr. Purcell, the road engineer for the government, assured the Jackson County delegation that contracts would be let just as soon as the surveys made for this section had been checked up and approved and the funds were in hand. It is believed that this can be done so that actual construction work can be commenced early in the spring.
    The importance of keeping the road open to travel during the months of July, August, September and October so as not to interfere with the Crater Lake travel was impressed upon the forestry men by the local speakers, and satisfactory assurances were made that a most earnest effort would be made to so direct the contracting work that those sections where construction work would necessarily block traffic could be worked out during the earlier or later months of next season.
    At the October meeting of the highway commission, Mr. Sheldon obtained assurances of work during the forthcoming season up as far as Cascade Gorge. This last negotiation has increased the work contemplated so as to include the six miles between that point and Prospect. This work, when completed, and taken in conjunction with the work between Eagle Point and Medford, a contract for which was authorized by the commission at Portland last Thursday, will close every gap between this city and the lake so far as a standard grade is concerned and will provide for the macadamizing of the same to a point six miles above Prospect.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 19, 1921, page 3

Report on Crater Lake Road
    PORTLAND, Ore., July 2.--Medford-Crater Lake highway open for travel.
    All this summer there will be a good travelable road between Medford and Crater Lake, according to the local office of the bureau of public roads, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Tired business men who wish to be rejuvenated, tourists who desire to see one of America's scenic wonders, and campers who enjoy the easy freedom of the forests, and the fishing in the mountain streams, may all get into their automobiles and make the trip to Crater Lake with ease and comfort.
Log of the Road
    Medford to Trail, 25 miles--Surfaced, all year round road, in good condition.
    Trail to McLeod, 7 miles--Surfaced, all year round road, in good condition.
    McLeod to Cascade Gorge, 9 miles--Now being graded by the state of Oregon, and maintained in a satisfactory condition for travel.
    Cascade Gorge to Prospect--6 miles, graded road in good condition.
    Surfacing of Easterly [sic] 5 miles, now being completed.
    Prospect to park boundary--22 miles, road in good condition.
    First 8 miles from Prospect surfaced, and the balance graded.
    Park boundary to Crater Lake--12 miles, graded road.
    Total distance, Medford to park boundary, 69 miles.
    Total distance Medford to Crater Lake, 81 miles.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 5, 1923, page 7

    "Sunset on the Rogue" is the entirely appropriate name for a new tourist auto park to be opened this Sunday by Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Hutchinson of this city. The park is located on the bank of the Rogue River, about 25 miles north of Medford on the Crater Lake Highway.
    The general store on the camp grounds, at which tourists may obtain refreshments, groceries and other supplies, will be opened this Sunday, and in the near future summer cottages and tent houses will be constructed for the convenience of guests, which will be partly or completely furnished for those who do not carry their own tent and camping equipment. Other resort attractions will be added as soon as time permits.
    Because of its easy accessibility to Medford on the Crater Lake Highway, and with its fishing and swimming attractions, "Sunset on the Rogue" will undoubtedly prove popular to local people as well as tourists.

Medford Mail Tribune, May 10, 1924, page 2

    The Medford and valley motorists need have no hesitation about going over the Crater Lake Highway on Fourth of July trips to Crater and Diamond lakes, the Prospect, Rogue Elk and other resorts, as the oiling, as announced yesterday morning, was discontinued for the year Wednesday evening. No oil was poured yesterday, and today gravel is being poured over the road where the oil had been spread, and the oiling machinery was being taken away from this district.
    By Saturday morning this oiled section of about three or four miles this side of Trail Creek will be in fine condition for travel. As it was yesterday and the evening before, local cars, including the Crater Lake stages, came through over the oiled section without splashing one bit of oil on them.
    The news published yesterday that the oiling program had been discontinued for the year was received with much satisfaction and joy by local and valley motorists and also tourists.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 2, 1926, page 6

Crater Lake Road
    Set speedometer at zero at corner Riverside and Main streets in Medford, east across Bear Creek, three blocks, turn north and follow Crater Lake Highway, good macadam road.
    2 miles. Camp Jackson, U.S. military reservation.
    10.9 miles. Eagle Point service station, right side of road, lunch goods, fine view of Mt. McLoughlin.
    At right, road to Eagle Point, a thriving city on the banks of Big Butte Creek, splendid fishing, free camp ground.
    15.8 miles. Butte Falls road to right.
    21.4 miles. Cement bridge, affording first view of the Rogue River. Excellent fishing.
    Shady Cove, cabin sites, south end of bridge to right. Fishing, bathing, boating.
    23.7 miles. Middlebusher hotel and store. Service station, homey mountain resort on the Rogue River. Steelhead fishing.
    26.3 miles. Sunset on the Rogue, tourist camp.
    26.8 miles. Rogue Elk Hotel, A. B. Shepard, proprietor. Camp grounds, beautiful mountain resort, service deluxe, dancing pavilion, cabins on bank of Rogue, good fishing.
    27 miles. Rogue Elk Camp, on Elk Creek, near junction of the Rogue, excellent fishing, camp grounds.
    27.1 miles. U.S. government fish hatchery.
    30.1 miles. Casey's Auto Camp on the Rogue, rustic inn, excellent meals.
    30.6 miles. McLeod Camp on the hanks of the Rogue, service station, store, confectionery. New cabins, good fishing.
    43.3 miles. Kandy Kitchen, Skookum Gorge. Homemade candy and pies, ice-cold spring water, camp grounds, store, service station.
    44 miles. California Oregon Power Co. hydroelectric plant, one of the largest power plants on the Coast; beautiful view of the canyon below.
    45 miles. Mill Creek Falls to right of road, concrete bridge, wonderful falls. This is truly one of the beauty spots on the Crater Lake Highway.
    45.7 miles. Prospect, a thriving village in the heart of the pine forests; school, gymnasium, dance hall.
    The Prospect Resort, conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Jim Grieves, one of the most noted resorts for meals and service on the coast. Modern hotel and cottages, beautiful grounds, general store, garage, service station. Best of fishing.
"Summer Vacation Directory," Medford Mail Tribune, August 29, 1926, page 11

'Gates Process Paving' Will Be Used to Crater Lake
Entrance--Pacific Highway to Be Widened by Same Method
    Preliminary work for the oiling of the Crater Lake Highway is now under way, and the actual work will start early next spring, according to State Highway Commissioner C. E. (Pop) Gates of this city. Gravel is now being distributed, the  machinery being at Union Creek this week. Next week work will start distributing gravel along the highway between this city and Eagle Point.
    According to Commissioner Gates, the oiling will be completed before the tourist travel starts.
    The oiling will be by what is called the "Gates process." It consists of mixing oil and gravel and rock to the proper consistency, and then rolling with a steam roller. It is then left to harden. A mile of the "Gates process" was used on the Crater Lake Highway, near this city, and has proven highly satisfactory and able to stand the heavy travel.
    "When the oiling is completed," said Commissioner Gates this morning, the Crater Lake Highway will be free of dust and a pretty boulevard.
    The highway commission at the present time is leveling six feet on both sides of the Pacific Highway for a mile south of this city limits, and will apply the "Gates process" over the filling and the present pavement. This will be an experiment, and if it tests out satisfactorily, eventually the Pacific Highway will be given the same treatment as far as Ashland, and maybe further. The experiment will give this city an 18-foot pavement to the fairgrounds and beyond, enabling four cars to travel abreast.
    The highway commission intends to ask the city of Medford to widen the highway similarly between South Riverside Avenue, where it joins the Pacific Highway, to the city limits. Under the law, the state highway commission can expend no money for improvements in cities of over 2,000 population.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 18, 1927, page 1

One-Way Traffic Plan for Crater Lake Highway
Postponed to March 8
Army Announces Delay of Week on Highway Switch
Because of Plans Change

    The one-way traffic plan for Crater Lake Highway and the Midway Road will not be put into effect until 12:01 a.m., Sunday, March 8, one week later than originally intended, the office of the area engineer announced today.
    Simultaneously the office of the civilian coordinating board said that the state highway commission had decided to put its one-way traffic ruling regarding Riverside Avenue and Central Avenue into effect at the same time as an experiment. Under this plan Riverside Avenue (Pacific Highway) will be one-way for northbound traffic from its junction with Central Avenue to the north city limits and Court Street-Central Avenue will be one way for southbound traffic from the north city limits to the junction of Central and Riverside avenues.
    In a resolution adopted by the state highway commission and presented to the city council February 17, it was stated that the one-way traffic plan would not be put into effect until the commission had made certain improvements at the points where Court Street met Riverside Avenue and Central Avenue. Yesterday, however, R. H. Baldock, state highway engineer, said at a conference here that the commission would like to try out the one-way plan as an experiment before any of the taxpayers' money was invested in the improvements. It was thought that the best time to try out the change would be when the army's one-way traffic plan went into effect.
    The army's one-way traffic scheme was deferred a week because of "changes in plans," the announcement said. Under this plan, northbound traffic will be routed on the Midway and Wellen roads and southbound traffic will be routed on Crater Lake Highway. A large map showing the direction of travel in the area affected by the one-way system was published in the Mail Tribune last Sunday.

Medford Mail Tribune, February 26, 1942, page 1

    Extension of one-way traffic regulations on routes between Medford and the cantonment has been found necessary, Camp White officers said yesterday, revealing that permission had been secured from Engineer R. H. Baldock of the state highway commission for inauguration of the changes.
    Starting Monday, the one-way traffic requirement on Crater Lake Highway will end at the junction with the old airport road, that is the road coming into Crater Lake Highway near the county trailer camp.
    Because a bottleneck has developed at certain times of the day on the highway north, the one-way rule will be extended, effective April 6, on the old Pacific Highway to the junction with the new Pacific Highway at the Big Y corner. This will make continuous one-way traffic on Riverside Avenue out to the cantonment, for northbound traffic.
    Coordinator Frank Van Dyke will provide two guards to enforce the new regulation from the Big Y corner on north, and one guard will be stationed at the Crater Lake Highway-airport road junction.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 29, 1942, page 12

9¾-Mile Artery from Riverside to Antelope Creek--2-Way Traffic.
    The scheduled completion date of the access road to Camp White, to be called the new Crater Lake Highway and now under construction, is August 31, according to the local office of the resident engineer of the Oregon State Highway Commission.
    The new road will be 9¾ miles in length, stretching from the intersection of North Riverside Avenue and McAndrews Road at the south end to Antelope Creek at the north end, and will provide two-way traffic, according to present plans, between here and the cantonment.
Of Concrete
    From the north end of the access road to the divided lane, controlled traffic area near the present Court Street and North Riverside Avenue intersection, the road will be 22 feet wide with a 10-foot gravel shoulder on each side. It will be of concrete pavement.
    Contractors for this stretch of road, 8.35 miles, are Berke Bros. of Portland. C. J. Montag of Portland will do the paving.
    The work on North Riverside Avenue and Court Street, including the controlled traffic area, has been contracted to Jacobsen and Jensen, Tru-Mix of Medford. This portion of the road includes 1.4 miles.
    The controlled traffic area will see an intricate system of divided lanes constructed to take care of southbound traffic on the Pacific Highway, which will be routed south on Court Street; of northbound traffic on Riverside Avenue and of traffic going and coming from Camp White.
One-Way Feeders
    Court Street will be a one-way street, southbound, and Riverside Avenue will be one-way, northbound. All southbound traffic on the Pacific Highway through the controlled traffic area will be non-stop, as will all northbound traffic on Riverside Avenue.
    Automatic control signals will be erected at the main intersection, where the Pacific Highway and the access road meet in front of the present Denney's grocery store, which will be moved next week to quarters in the Walden building a short distance south on the Pacific Highway.
    Thus, while northbound through traffic on the Pacific Highway to either the cantonment or Grants Pass and points north, will be non-stop, traffic signals will control motorists turning left into Court Street. Southbound traffic on the Pacific Highway, turning left for the cantonment, will also be controlled by signals.
    The southbound lane through the controlled traffic area will be 24 feet wide with a 10-foot shoulder, while the northbound lane on Riverside Avenue will be 26 feet wide with no shoulder. All connecting lanes between the north and southbound routes and the access road will be 26 feet wide, of asphaltic concrete.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 13, 1942, page 1

9¾-Mile Stretch From North Riverside to Cantonment
Speeds Traffic Movement

    The new Crater Lake Highway to Camp White and points east, under construction since early May of this year, was opened to traffic at noon today.
    The concrete paved artery, 9¾ miles in length, stretches from the intersection of North Riverside Avenue and McAndrews Road at this end to Antelope Creek in the cantonment area, and provides for two-way traffic.
    Although some work on the new road remains to be done, the completion of a bridge near the controlled traffic area close to the Court Street and North Riverside intersection made possible the opening of the highway, according to Tom Edwards, resident engineer of the State Highway Commission. Remainder of the work will be completed as weather permits, he stated.
Go Out Riverside
    Outgoing motorists using the new highway are to travel north on Riverside Avenue and turn right at the controlled traffic area, while incoming traffic connects with the Pacific Highway and is routed onto Court Street and thence to Central Avenue.
    The old Crater Lake Highway, which connects with East Main Street in Medford, can still be used, Edwards explained, but he pointed out that the new highway to Camp White was shorter, more level and with fewer curves.
Lights Control "Y"
    An intricate system of lights control traffic at the "Y" intersection. The lights do not flash at specific intervals, but are tripped by cars entering the intersection from both directions to provide the right-of-way for machines arriving there first.
    Prime contractors for the paving of the new highway were Berke Bros. of Portland. Jacobson and Jensen Co. were the contractors for the controlled traffic area at the"Y," and subcontracted the work to Tru-Mix Concrete Co. of Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 9, 1942, page 1

    McNutt Brothers of Eugene have started regrading a section of the Crater Lake Highway between Reese Creek and Antelope Creek, according to R. H. Baldock, state highway engineer. The stretch of road, about six and one-half miles long, will eventually be paved with concrete, according to Baldock, but this may not be done until another summer.
    Cost of the project is to be $543,700, the engineer reports.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 22, 1946, page 3

In the Black Column
    Recent payment of the last of its outstanding highway bonds puts Jackson County within the select circle of Oregon's debt-free counties. As a matter of fact, County Treasurer Ralph E. Sweeney points out, that happy state could have been reached some years ago--there was money available to pay off the bonds--but they weren't due until this year.
    The $4000 payment wound up the $500,000 issue authorized in 1922 for installation of pavement on part of the Crater Lake Highway and on the Jacksonville-Ruch highway.
    In 1943 the county paid off the last bonds of a $500,000 issue, authorized in 1913, which financed building the pavement between Ashland and Central Point, the first paving on the Pacific Highway in this section of the state.
    Ordinarily there is much can be said against heavy bond issues, for any purpose, especially from the standpoint of the long-drawn-out interest payments, but time and growth of population in the areas served have amply proved that the million dollars voted for the two road improvement projects was money well spent.--E.C.F.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 21, 1952, page 4

Autumn Best Time to See Crater Lake;
Road-Building Tales Told
    (Editor's note: The following story. about Crater Lake and the time fhe Rim Road was under construction was written by Nelson Reed of the Klamath Falls Herald and News. It is reprinted from that newspaper.)
    If vou want to see Crater Lake at its best go now. The tourist mobs have departed, most of the "overstuffed" golden mantle chipmunks have gone to bed for the winter. The bears have given up the summer's WPA and have gone off to rustle on their own for a while until they find a snug den for the winter.
    While you eat a picnic lunch at one of the many magnificent view points and gaze with never-ending awe at the unbelievably blue water a thousand feet below, flocks of migrating speck and snow geese pass a few hundred feet over your head. From the endless yakking you guess that last year's migrants are telling this year's children all about the country: "Sure, Crater Lake is beautiful to look at, but there is nothing to eat for a hungry goose down there. Just wait until we get to Tule Lake and the Lower Klamath barley fields." Gosling: "It makes my bill water to think of it."
Rim Road Days
    The trip around the Rim Road brings back many memories. As the first manager of the reemployment office during the depression in charge of the CWA programs, we furnished all the labor for the contractors who built most of the Rim Road. Dunn and Baker, who bid a fixed price for a tough-looking stretch that appeared to be a solid lava rock flow, "struck it rich" when they dug into it with a steam shovel and it turned out to be a mountain of pumice overlaid with a light cover of drift lava.
    Bill von der Hellen's outfit, for whom I had to get "special dispensation" to use "un-naturalized Swedes." hard rock and jackhammer men, because no others understood or took kindly to that kind of work. I well remember the first time Bill came into my office and said "I want to hire some Yail Men." I was puzzled. "Oh, those squareheads with the big feet that they put down hard, and the tough hands who have been out on a big drunk and who have been thrown in jail. Soon as they are out I want them."
Men Stagger
    I recall hauling several carloads of them up to the job. Barely able to stagger around, I watched them hang onto the handle of a thumping, jumping, banging jackhammer their first day on the job. I wondered how any human with a hangover headache could stand it.
    Then there were those other Swedes who all day long carried two five-gallon tin cans of water suspended from a yoke on their shoulders up the Wineglass Trail from the lake to the camp. They furnished all the drinking water before a pump and pipeline were installed. I have watched them as we plodded up the Wineglass Trail from fishing, and never once did they stop to rest. I saw them swing suspended from ropes from the sides of the rock cliffs while they drilled powder holes with those jumping jackhammers. Sometimes I think a plaque should be put up there to the squareheads without whom the Rim Road could never have been built.
Job Shut Down
    On around the Rim near the Diamond Lake turnoff, my toughest contractor and biggest headache had a rock quarry and crushing job. He repeatedly refused to hire his help through the Klamath employment office, as he was bound to do by law, and tried to bring in whomever he pleased from all over the country. Three times I went up there and checked his payroll and warned him to obey the rules or else. Then I had the Bureau of Public Roads Authorities shut his job down and fine him $100 a day.
    He came roaring into my office the fourth day and offered to lick me. I laughed at him and told him he wasn't big enough, which was true.
    After I got him calmed down a bit he tried to hire me for twice what I was getting. I told him to go jump. Then he gave up and agreed to obey the rules.
    Next thing I knew the bureau engineer discovered that he was docking everybody 10 minutes every time they blasted in the quarry, which was a dozen or so times a day. Even truck drivers several miles away got docked. Then they found he was keeping three sets of books, one for the men, one for Uncle and one for himself. It took all kinds to build the Rim Road.
Beautiful Stonework
    Ever notice the beautiful stone walls at all the view points? Examine them carefully the next time you are up there. "Old Shakespeare," as we called him because of his goatee, can take credit for them.
    He was the bureau's inspector in charge of stone work. Nothing but the finest was good enough for Shakespeare. We combed the country for fine Italian and Austrian stone masons who could satisfy him.
    When they showed up on the job he never questioned them. He just looked over their stonecutting tools. Only real workers in stone ever went to work.
    One day Harold Ickes, the eternally unhappy Secretary of the Interior, showed up and was taken for a drive over the almost completed Rim Road.
    "It's too narrow," he bellowed. "Make it 20 feet wider!" So the contractors who had all the fancy sloping completed cursed, and the engineers had fits, and it cost Uncle Sam a lot more money. They went back and made it 20 feet wider.
Ickes Right
    Today, of course, it is easy to see that Ickes was right, but why wasn't it planned that way originally? Only a government bureaucrat could tell you, but he won't.
    So next time, while you drive around the Rim Road and enjoy the magnificent scenery, pause and give some thought to the men who built it, who sweated and cursed and risked their necks every day while they got it done come hell or high water.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 12, 1958, page 5

Crater Lake Highway Project Eliminating Several Major Curves
New Construction Is Planned

    Tourists and log truckers traveling over Crater Lake Highway, Oregon Highway 62, are seeing a new face on the old roadbed in the wake of projects totaling nearly a million dollars.
    Carried out over the last year by the Oregon state highway department and the bureau of public roads, this building project is causing the biggest change in the highway since it was first built n the early Twenties.
    Largest of the projects was the building of a new 2.8-mile section in the Cascade Gorge area east of Trail under the supervision of the bureau of public roads. Costing $832,966, the new alignment eliminates some 43 major curves that limited speed to about 20 miles per hour. It now contains only 10 gentle curves, all easily traveled at 50 miles per hour.
39-Foot Roadbed
    The contractor, State and Hall of Portland, built a roadbed 39 feet wide, in contrast to the old section which contained stretches as narrow as 20 feet from shoulder to shoulder. Final touches were put on the project last month, prior to a final inspection, opening, and turning over to the Oregon state highway department for maintenance.
    Being prepared for letting on contract is another four-mile section directly east of the new stretch, where the bureau of public roads plans a similar straightening and widening project. Right of way acquisition work got under way this month by the Oregon state highway department, and agents hope to complete purchases by December.
    Letting of contracts for the new construction probably will closely follow the completion of the right of way transactions, according to bureau spokesmen.
    The Oregon state highway department has contracted two shoulder widening projects totaling $93,550 in the Trail-McLeod area, the last of which was completed in March. Angel Brothers of Portland were low bidder in June, 1960, for a $47,000 project, and Ray Norquist, Sweet Home, was awarded a $46,550 job last December.
    In addition, state highway department maintenance men worked on widening portions of the road outside the national forest boundaries to a width of 20 feet and built up two to eight feet of shoulder along the narrow old roadbed.
    Goal of the state highway department and the U.S. bureau of public roads, the two agencies responsible for this part of the highway, is the establishment of a road which allows 50-mile-per-hour curves and a width sufficient to permit the heavy log traffic to move with increased safety among the increasing tourists driving to and from Crater Lake.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 23, 1961, page 11

Last revised June 10, 2020