7,700 years ago, a volcano erupted and collapsed, forming beautiful, blue Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States. The Makalak people witnessed the eruption of Mount Mazama, and their stories were passed down orally to their descendants, the Klamath Indians. Read a brief account of the great battle waged between Chief Llao and Chief Skell to learn more about the eruption and the formation of Crater Lake.
Archaeological Fun Fact: During the 1930s, at the Fort Rock cave site, archaeologist Luther Cressman found dozens of woven sagebrush sandals preserved under a layer of ash from the eruption of Mount Mazama. The sandals were radiocarbon dated as 9,000-10,000 years old. Researchers returned to the Fort Rock cave site for further investigations in 2015.
Park website: www.nps.gov/crla/
Visitors to the park can see a reconstruction of the 1825 fur trading post Fort Vancouver, which was founded on the north bank of the Columbia River as the Northwest headquarters of the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1849, when Americans began settling the area via the Oregon Trail, the U.S. established Vancouver Barracks near the fort—the first U.S. Army post in the Northwest. Pearson Field, at the Barracks, later became a popular practicing ground for early aviators.
Archaeological Fun Fact: Outside the walls of Fort Vancouver, working-class, non-British employees lived in a settlement known as the Village. Hailing from all over the New and Old Worlds its citizens included French Canadian, Scottish, Irish, Hawaiian, Iroquois, and people from over 30 different regional Native American groups. Ongoing archaeological research at the Village continues to uncover information about the daily lives of its diverse population.
Park website: www.nps.gov/fova/