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Mail Tribune 100, Sept. 3, 1921

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago

Sept. 3, 1921


E.O. McCormick, Vice President of S.P. and Geo. Collins Drive Auto Over Short Route for First Time in History — S.P. to Boost.

Completion of a road linking up the wonderful scenic region of Diamond Lake with Crater Lake, probably before winter sets in, and at least in plenty of time for the opening of the Crater Lake season next year, was the word brought back to Medford late yesterday afternoon by E.O. McCormick, vice-president of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and Geo. T. Collins, who enjoyed the distinction this week of having made the first auto trip between the two lakes by the wagon trail route from the Crater Lake rim road, hitherto regarded as almost an impossible feat.

Mr. McCormick made a trip on horseback from the rim of Crater lake to Diamond Lake recently and was so impressed with the beauties of the spot and realizing the possibilities of a short route direct from Crater Lake to Diamond Lake that he returned this week determined to do through by automobile in order to demonstrate that it was a practical thing to do. After getting permission from Mr. Cecil, district forester at Portland, to make such slashing as were necessary through the portion of the national forest that had to be traveled, he wired Alex Sparrow, the superintendent of Crater Lake National Park, to provide a team, necessary camping equipment to proceed over the route and blaze the trail.

Leaving Medford at 8:30 a.m. with George T. Collins in the latter’s Peerless car, they drove to Crater Lake, arriving there about 11:30 and left about 2 for Diamond Lake. Taking the rim road north from the lodge, they turned off on the wagon road leading toward the desert and followed that to the edge of the timber.

From there on it was a case of making a new road for several miles where apparently even a horse had not traveled. The old horse trail leads down through a canyon, which would be impassable for a machine, but by following a hog-back to the east the grade was not at all difficult. It was necessary to let the air out of the rear tires to negotiate some soft, sandy places.

Through the timber the going was not as difficult as one would imagine. Fallen trees were encountered, but a little slashing was all that was necessary to make a detour around them. The brush for the most part was not very heavy and the car had little difficulty in pushing its way through. The rangers who had gone on ahead had blazed the trail and cut out a few small trees, but it did not require more than two or three hours at the outside for them to do their work. Most of the fallen timber was decayed and readily crumbled up under the weight of the car. The distance from the rim of the lake to Diamond Lake is 14 miles, the last four miles of which is over the Klamath Falls-Bend road.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com