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Knights of Pythias Bury Register on Wizard Island

A sealed lead tube containing a document wrapped in oiled silk is buried on Crater Lake’s Wizard Island, lying there undisturbed for 100 years. The Knights of Pythias planted it there when scores of Knights from all over the Northwest and Northern California met on Aug. 18, 1915, to initiate 26 new members. The Knights of Pythias is a fraternal organization that holds members to lofty ideals.

The Southern Pacific Railroad offered a reduced round-trip fare for any Knights who came to the event. On Saturday, Aug. 17, ninety automobiles started from Medford for Crater Lake where they were joined by 35 more. The Medford Pythians set up tents and provided supper for more than 300 knights.  A brass band played a concert at the lake’s rim.

The next morning after breakfast, 250 Knights packing box lunches and water flasks descended down 1,000 feet to the lake edge. There, launches took them to Wizard Island and a secret ceremony that culminated with burial of a list of names of all the men in attendance.

Source: "Merry-Go-Round." Google News.comNewspapers. Toledo (Ohio) Weekly Blade, 18 May 1916. Web. 14 Sept. 2015. Path: "Knights of Pythias at Crater Lake."

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.