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As It Was: National Register Lists Crater Lake Road System

The National Register of Historic Places has listed a road system in Crater Lake National Park as worthy of preservation.  The Army Corps of Engineers built the historic road segments during the summers of 1913 through 1918.

The road system joins three previously listed historic districts at the lake: Rim Village, Park Headquarters, and along Rim Drive. 

A Crater Lake National Park press release describes the road system, including the original Rim Road, as a precursor to the present-day Rim Drive that circles the lake.  It says the system is “significant for its association with the earliest period of highway engineering in Oregon” and for being the “first federally funded and supervised highway project in Oregon and the only one attributed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

Included in the historic district are segments of the original Rim and Pinnacles roads, a trail to Sentinel Rock, and sections associated with construction camps.

Present-day lake visitors can encounter the original Rim Road as trails along the western rim of the lake, including part of the trail to Watchman Peak.

 

Sources: Juillerat, Lee. "Old Crater Lake roads get historic designation." Mail Tribune, 22 Nov. 2019 [Medford, Ore.], local ed., p. B1+; "National Register Listing for Army Corps of Engineers Road System." National Park Service, Crater Lake National Park, 19 Nov. 2019, www.nps.gov/crla/learn/news/national-register-listing-for-army-corps-of-engineers-road-system.htm. Accessed 12 Dec. 2019.

Kernan Turner is the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s volunteer editor and coordinator of the As It Was series broadcast daily by Jefferson Public Radio. A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Turner was a reporter for the Coos Bay World and managing editor of the Democrat-Herald in Albany before joining the Associated Press in Portland in 1967. Turner spent 35 years with the AP before retiring in Ashland.