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Banes-Howland Crater Lake Auto Trip Photograph Album, 1916

By Trevor Sandgathe

Collection Overview

Title: Banes-Howland Crater Lake Auto Trip Photograph Album, 1916

ID: P 339

Primary Creator: Banes, W. H. (William Howard)

Extent: 0.03 cubic feet. More info below.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2016

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Banes-Howland Crater Lake Auto Trip Photograph Album documents a 17-day automobile journey from Portland, Oregon to Crater Lake, Oregon and back in July and August 1916. The album is comprised of 59 photographs and an extensive newspaper article detailing the trip from Portland to Crater Lake via Central Oregon and the return trip through the Willamette Valley. The journey was undertaken by the Banes and Howland families in an Oakland 6 touring car and marks one of the first visits to the rim of Crater Lake via automobile.

Scope and Content Notes

The Banes-Howland Crater Lake Auto Trip Photograph Album documents a 17-day journey through Oregon from Portland to Crater Lake and back. The trip was a joint effort between the Banes and Howland families of Portland and appears to have been led by W.H. Banes. The journey was taken in an Oakland 6 automobile carrying as many as seven individuals, food, and equipment. The exact makeup of the group remains unclear. However, it appears to have included W.H. Banes, a man from the Howland family, two adult women (likely the wives of Banes and Howland), a young woman (possibly a teenager), and at least one adolescent girl.

The group left the Mount Tabor area of Portland on July 22. They traveled through the Columbia Gorge and then followed what is now U.S. Route 97 through Central Oregon and into Southern Oregon. From Crater Lake, the group traveled modern day Oregon Route 99 through the Willamette Valley back to Portland. In total, the group drove approximately 880 miles.

The trip is described in detail by an accompanying newspaper article which was published on August 25,1916 and includes a day-by-day description of the journey. The article gives a detailed report of the route, campsites, road conditions, automobile accidents (involving other travelers), and recreational activities including swimming and a motorboat tour of Crater Lake. It also refers to numerous individuals met during the journey including several ranchers and William Gladstone Steele, the superintendent of Crater Lake. The article also includes six photos from the trip. Of note, what was likely a reference to the Howland family in the first paragraph of this article appears to have been intentionally obscured.

The album includes 58 pasted-in silver gelatin photographic prints and one loose print. The photographs include notable features in the Columbia Gorge such as Rooster Rock, Crown Point, Shepard's Dell Bridge, Bridal Veil Falls, Oneonta Tunnel, and Multnomah Falls; Central Oregon landscapes; road scenes; Crater Lake and the surrounding area; and numerous shots of the travelers in their Oakland 6, hiking, swimming, and in camp.

The album was likely assembled by W.H. Banes or another member of the Banes family.

Biographical / Historical Notes

W.H. (William Howard) Banes was born in Iowa in 1873 but relocated to Portland, Oregon by 1910. Banes married Fern May Jobson and the couple had two children, Virginia (b. 1901) and Elenor (b. 1904). Banes appears to have operated the Motor Equipment Co., an automobile parts distributor on North Broadway Avenue in Portland, Oregon. The Howland family referenced in the album may have included Luther H. Howland and his wife, Alice D. Howland. Additional information about the Banes and Howland families is unavailable.

Crater Lake is the only National Park in the state of Oregon and the fifth designated National Park in the United States. Crater Lake was first seen by white settlers in 1853 and the first depth sounding was taken by a USGS expedition in 1886. William Gladstone Steele, now known as "the father of Crater Lake" oversaw efforts to gain national recognition for the lake and develop tourist infrastructure. Due in part to Steele's efforts, Crater Lake National Park was established in 1902, the Crater Lake Lodge was opened in 1915, and construction of the Rim Drive was completed in 1918.

The Oakland Motor Car Company was founded in Pontiac, Michigan in 1907 and purchased by General Motors in 1909.  The company initially produced a 2-cylinder vehicle. After takeover by GM, the company began producing 4, 6, and eventually 8-cylinder options. The vehicle appearing in this album was likely a post-1913 6-cylinder touring model.

Author: Trevor Sandgathe

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 59 photographs; 1 oversize box

Statement on Access: This collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The Banes-Howland Crater Lake Auto Trip Photograph Album (P 339) was acquired by the Special Collections and Archives Research Center in 2016.

Related Materials:

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center includes numerous collections of photographs, maps, film, publications, oral histories, and ephemera documenting Crater Lake National Park. Materials related to Crater Lake can be found in the Crater Lake National Park Maps (MAPS CraterLake), OSU Memorabilia Collection (MSS MC), the Harold C. Williams Papers (MSS WilliamsH), the Frank Patterson Photographic Postcards (P 312), the Gerald W. Williams Slides (P 314), and other holdings.

Other collections documenting early 20th century outdoor recreation and tourism in Oregon include the Lucy Lewis Scrapbook (MSS Lewis), Mount Hood Area Excursion Photograph Album (P 310), and the William L. Finley Papers (MSS Finley).

Preferred Citation: Banes-Howland Crater Lake Auto Trip Photograph Album (P 339), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Banes, W. H. (William Howard)

People, Places, and Topics

Automobile travel.
Banes, W. H. (William Howard)
Columbia River Gorge (Or. and Wash.)
Columbia River Highway (Or.)
Crater Lake National Park (Or.)
Landscape photography--Oregon.
Outdoor recreation--Oregon.

Forms of Material

Photographic prints.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.