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Crater Lake Lodge a testament to tenacity

It was William Gladstone Steel, known as the “Father of Crater Lake,” whose tenacity made Crater Lake a national park in 1902. Steel dreamed of having a lodge built overlooking Crater Lake. He formed a company, known as the Crater Lake Company, and set out to raise $250,000 to build the lodge.

Undeterred by the difficulty in raising funds, Steel decided to go ahead and begin construction, even though he had only raised $75,000.

In 1909 construction began on the lodge. Challenges included a three-month building season and bringing in building materials by horse-drawn wagons at an elevation of 7,000 feet.

By 1910 the first floor of the lodge was completed, but it had taken the entire $75,000. The unfinished lodge sat idle for two more years.

Steel finally received $50,000 from the federal government, as well as a donation of lumber from a local sawmill. Crater Lake Lodge was completed in 1915.

The years were not kind to the lodge, and in 1991, the doors closed. The building went through a massive remodeling, which took four years to accomplish. The doors opened to the public again in 1995, and today the lodge welcomes visitors from all around the world.

Source: Nielson, Carol. Southern Oregon Historic Traveler. Oregon: Nielson Studio Productions.

— As It Was is a co-production of Jefferson Public Radio and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. As It Was stories are broadcast weekdays on Jefferson Public Radio and are available online at asitwas.org.

Photo from the Southern Oregon Historical SocietyCrater Lake Lodge is shown under construction in the early 1900s.{ }