REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PLATT NATIONAL PARK
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
SIR: In compliance with departmental instructions of May 28, 1913, in which I was requested to forward to the department a report of the condition of affairs in and the management of the Platt National Park since June 30, 1912, I have the honor to submit the following:
By the acts of Congress of July 1, 1902 (32 Stat., 641), and April 21, 1904 (33 Stat., 220), 629.33 and 218.89 acres, respectively, at the town of Sulphur, Okla. (then Ind. T.), were segregated as the "Sulphur Springs Reservation," which designation, by joint resolution approved June 29, 1906, was changed to "Platt National Park."
The park, with a total area of 848.22 acres, extends in irregular form a distance of approximately 3 miles from northeast to southwest along Travertine Creek, including a portion of Rock Creek, which empties into the former, and it has a circuit of 9 miles.
Within the park are 33 known mineral and 2 nonmineral springs. The principal groups are the Bromide and Bromide-Sulphur Springs in the southwestern part of the park, Beach and Pavilion Springs in the northwestern corner, and the Wilson group in the southern part. Sulphur springs predominate, but there are also bromide, soda, and iron varieties. The Antelope and Buffalo Springs, non-mineral in character, are situated at the extreme northeastern end of the park, with an elevation of 1,083 feet above sea level and an approximate discharge of 5,000,000 gallons daily into Travertine Creek. A spring has recently been discovered, known as Medicine Spring. The work of completing the development and installing water from this spring in the pavilion at Bromide Springs has been completed.
From all information I have been able to gather, I should say that not less than 35,000 persons visited the Platt National Park during the year ended June 30, 1913. Of this number, but 481 came into the park and camped for three days or more, a decrease in the number of campers from the previous year of 253, there having been 734 persons camped within the park during the year ended June 30, 1912. I attribute this to the fact that on the west side of the city of Sulphur a camp ground has been established, through which a clear stream of water runs from an artesian well, and many camping parties coming in from the west pass through this camp ground and stop there before learning of the camp grounds within this park. The greater number of persons who visited the park during the past year came in by rail and stopped in the hotels and boarding houses in the city of Sulphur.
As shown by the records of the watchman at the Bromide Springs, the visitors there during the year just ended numbered 90,106, which exceeded the attendance during the preceding year by 741. This aggregate number does not represent as many individuals, but is made up from day to day of visitors and resident citizens who make frequent trips to the springs, the same persons ofttimes being counted day after day. The waters of this group of springs (which includes the Medicine Spring) are growing in popularity each year, and their curative properties are becoming more widely known and recognized by physicians. During the year just ended 191 orders were issued from this office, on physicians' prescriptions, for the shipment of these waters in 5-gallon quantities to persons outside the city. During the year 56,438 gallons of these waters were taken away from the springs, exceeding the record of the previous year by 269 gallons.
LIVE STOCK CROSSING THE PARK.
During the year just ended 3,233 cattle and 30 mules were transported trough the park. Part of the herds were being driven from Wapanucka to Lindsay and Chickasha, Okla., others to pasture near Scullin, Okla., and others to the stockyards in Sulphur for loading out to markets in Kansas City and Oklahoma City.
BUILDINGS AND THEIR CONDITION.
The following is a list of the buildings in the park, their location, condition, and the purposes for which they are used:
Frame cottage, 7 rooms, 2 halls, 2 porches, with laundry room, wood room, and storeroom attached. Located about 700 feet south of the Pavilion group of springs. In fair condition, but needs some repairs and two new coats of paint. Used as a residence for the superintendent.
Frame cottage, 5 rooms, 1 hall, and 3 porches. Located about 450 feet due east of Panther Falls. In good repair. Formerly used as a residence for Ranger Earl. At present unoccupied, windows and doors boarded up.
Frame cottage, 5 rooms, 1 porch with cement floor. Located about 600 feet southeast of Pavilion Springs. In good repair. Formerly used as a residence for Ranger Townsley. At present unoccupied.
Frame cottage, 6 rooms, 1 hall, 3 porches. Located approximately one-third of a mile south of Pavilion Springs. In fairly good repair, with exception of 2 porches, which need rebuilding. At present occupied by former Teamster Milligan, who is acting as caretaker.
Frame cottage, 3 rooms, 1 pantry, and 1 porch. Located 10 rods north of Bromide Springs. In good condition with exception of the porch, which needs rebuilding. At present occupied by George W. Stinson, who is acting as caretaker.
Stone building, 2 rooms, 1 porch, and coal shed attached. Located near Hillside Spring. In very bad condition. Needs to be replaced with new building. Used as superintendent's office.
Frame pavilion at Bromide Springs with storeroom attached. In good, serviceable condition.
Two frame pavilions at the Pavilion group of springs. The larger in very bad condition; needs either to be repaired and repainted or to be replaced. The smaller needs to be repainted; otherwise in fairly good condition.
Pavilion at Hillside Spring, conglomerate rock columns with pagoda roof and cement floor. In good condition.
Pavilion at Black Sulphur Spring, frame. In good condition, but needs to be repainted.
Pavilion at Sulphur-Bromide Spring, frame. In good condition, but should be repainted.
Pavilion at Wilson Spring, frame. In bad condition and should be rebuilt.
Pavilion at artificial spring near old Vendome, frame. Serviceable, but needs repainting or to be torn down.
Ten new rest houses, in excellent condition. Frame.
Nine old rest houses, in fair repair. Frame structures. All located as indicated on map herewith.
Four small horse barns, all frame, old and dilapidated. Located near the residences in the park.
One new frame barn, with hay loft and buggy shed (the buggy shed with cement floor). In excellent condition.
Several old frame henhouses at locations near the residences in the park. Old and dilapidated.
ROADS AND TRAILS.
All of the roads and trails throughout the park have been thoroughly maintained during the past year, some of them requiring only to be properly kept up, others requiring extensive repairs. In some few places it was necessary to change the alignment of the old roads entirely in order to make a thoroughly satisfactory piece of work. This was the case along the Brookside trail between the third and fourth crossings of Travertine Creek, past Pebble Falls and the Cold Spring. These two crossings were badly worn, and the fourth one (near Cold Spring) especially had never been satisfactory, so I considered it advisable to change this section of this trail to the other side of the creek, thus doing away with the necessity of keeping these two crossings in repair. The newly constructed section of road between the two crossings comprises 1,525 linear feet of well-built macadam road, with six concrete culverts built at intervals to take care of the surface drainage and prevent washing of the road. Including this last piece of road-construction work there are now within the boundaries of this park 10,337-1/2 linear feet of thoroughly maintained macadam road. In addition to this there are 25,062 linear feet of road, the greater part of which has been graded to a surface and which is now in good condition. Numerous culverts are built along these roads at places where it was necessary to provide for the surface drainage. These culverts are nearly all substantially built of cement or rock and concrete. A few are merely box drains. In all (exclusive of the 6 new culverts on the new road to the Cold Spring) there are 7 cement culverts, 10 of rock, 2 of rock with board tops, 1 of rock with cement top, and 3 box drains.
During the past year there was built in the vicinity of the Bromide Springs a cement sidewalk which has an area of 3,108 square feet. This increases the total cement walks now within the park to 7,573.57 square feet.
The 48 cement steps along the mountain side to reach Cliffside Trail, which were built during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1912, are still in good condition, and no repairs have been required during the year just ended, but the iron chain which is strung through the banister posts on the outer edge of these steps should be occasionally painted with a good iron graphite paint to prevent rusting.
There are approximately 7,825 linear feet of foot trails which are known as the Riverside and Cliffside Trails. These trails are in fairly good condition at present, the worn places having been frequently repaired by the park force during the past year, and about 200 feet of the Cliffside Trail along dangerous places, near Robber's Roost, having been safeguarded by the erection of woven-wire fence on the outer edge. These trails should be carefully maintained and further improved, as visitors seem inclined to favor these routes to the Bromide and Medicine Springs from the city.
IMPROVEMENT OF SPRINGS.
The repairs previously made to springs in the park generally frequented by visitors have proven to be somewhat of a permanent nature, as few improvements or repairs have been essential during the year just ended. One spring which had never been previously confined was inclosed by sinking an 18-inch tile pipe around its outlet onto which a small iron pipe was cemented for an outlet. A board platform about 5 feet square was then built around the spring, because of the fact that it is located low on the bank of the Travertine Creek, and the flood waters of the creek would otherwise make the spring inaccessible. The water obtained from this spring is clear and cold, and apparently devoid of mineral qualities, hence it has been named "Cold Spring."
REPAIRS TO BRIDGES.
Owing to the thorough repairs made to the bridges in the park during the year ended June 30, 1912, no repairs have been required during the fiscal year just ended. All bridges are in excellent condition, and it is not likely, without some unforeseen disaster, that any repairs will be necessary during the coming year, except that the ironwork on the Washington Bridge should be given an occasional coat of paint to preserve it from rust.
PROPOSED SEWER SYSTEM.
In the Indian appropriation bill approved August 24, 1912, provision was made, among other things, for a sanitary sewer system in Platt National Park, as follows:
For the construction of a sanitary sewer system in Platt National Park, Okla., to be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, $17,500: Provided, That the said sum shall be available whenever a like amount is appropriated and made available by the town of Sulphur, Okla., for the same purpose: Provided further, That whenever said appropriation is made by the town of Sulphur, Okla., the entire amount, or so much thereof as may be necessary, of the total appropriation made by this act and the town of Sulphur, Okla., shall be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior.
The town of Sulphur having paid into the Treasury of the United States its prorata share of the estimated cost of the construction of the sewer in accordance with the terms of the above-mentioned act, the Interior Department caused an inspector to visit the park and examine a survey that had been made in prior years for a sanitary sewer system in the reservation, and as a result of such inspection plans and specification were prepared. Under the plan adopted the main trunk line of the sewer starts just below the Artesia Hotel in the town of Sulphur, enters the park and crosses Rock Creek near Lincoln Bridge, follows the north side of said creek, thence discharging into the same about 1,000 feet below Bromide Springs. The sewer has two branch lines, one to provide for sewerage on the north part of the town by way of the valley of Rock Creek, and the other is so located that the northern and eastern portions of the town, including the five new buildings for the proposed deaf and dumb school in the town of Sulphur can be connected with it by following large coulees. The normal population of Sulphur is between 3,500 and 4,000, which is considerably augmented during the tourist season. The main trunk line of the sewer on the west side of Rock Creek is designed so that when flowing half full it will accommodate about 18,000 persons, while the siphon under Rock Creek is designed to accommodate 8,000 persons through each barrel of the siphon, or a total of 16,000 persons with both barrels of the siphon open. In order to properly accommodate the flush tank for cleaning this siphon at Rock Creek, it was necessary to secure a permanent water supply of about 1,000 gallons every 12 or 24 hours, and to make provision for this the town of Sulphur has granted to the Interior Department authority to take water from the spring at the Park Hotel or other available source in the vicinity and lay a pipe line thereto over the lands of the town of Sulphur to convey water to such flush tank.
The plans also provide for the extension of the sewer system beyond the park limits at Bromide Springs, the town of Sulphur having agreed to procure right of way for that purpose over lot 5, block 236 in the town, and has also agreed to take care of the sewerage where it empties into Rock Creek, so that it will not become a nuisance to the lands in that vicinity, and will take such action as may be necessary to that end by the construction of a sceptic plant or other means to be constructed in connection with the sewer system.
The Interior Department has advertised for proposals for the construction of the above sewer based upon the plans above referred to, which will be opened at the department in Washington on August 19, 1913.
In East and West Central Parks and along the Buckhorn Road 108 young shade trees were set out in the early spring. All of these got a fairly good growth during the spring and early summer, with exception of perhaps 10 or 12 which died and had to be replaced with new trees. The summer season here has been an excellent one for growing things until the last month, and during that time the young trees are showing the effects of the drought, and unless it rains very soon, it is quite likely that numbers of them will die.
Up to the present date there have been two alfalfa crops cut and stored and a fairly good oat crop harvested and put way, with prospects for an excellent corn crop if the present hot winds do not burn it up, which is hardly likely as the corn seems to be too far developed to be greatly injured by the drought. I believe there will be no necessity for the purchase of forage for the park team during the coming year.
During last winter I had about 50 acres of timber in the vicinity of Cold Spring thinned out and the underbrush cleared out along both sides of the road. About one-half of this plat has been set to Bermuda grass. The healthiest and hardiest trees were left standing, and the weeds and underbrush should be kept cleared out from among them so they may have the full benefits of all the substance in the soil. This makes a very pretty grove of trees, and, because of the proximity of the Cold Spring, it has become a favorite resort for picnic parties. A table 36 feet in length has been built there with benches all around it, and additional benches and two comfort stations have been placed in the grove.
Forty-eight new benches were built during the year and distributed in various portions of the park, some of them in West Central Park, some in the vicinity of the Bromide Springs, and the remainder in the vicinity of the Cold Spring, as indicated above.
Up to the end of the fiscal year just past I kept the weeds and grass cut in all the frequented portions of the park, and had succeeded in almost eradicating the Canadian thistles which grow rank in some places within the park. The weeds are getting another good start, however, since the failure of the appropriation for the new fiscal year.
The fencing in and around the park has been kept in repair during the year, and some new woven-wire fencing was built around a lot near the superintendent's residence and that formerly occupied by Ranger Townsley.
The greater number of recommendations I shall make for the coming fiscal year are merely repetitions of recommendations I made in my last annual report, which were not provided for by Congress. They are as follows:
The high flood waters of Rock Creek have washed the bank away between the main Bromide Spring and the Cliff Bromide Spring, so that the trail between the two springs has become very narrow, with a likelihood of the improvements at the last-named spring being eventually washed away down the creek. Rock Creek has been eating into this bank for years, gradually lapping its way nearer to the Cliff Bromide Spring and cutting off communication between it and the main spring. The scarcity of the Bromide water makes it essential that the passageway between the two springs remain intact as they both find outlet on the side of Rock Creek not available to vehicles except by way of the Bromide Bridge. This is owing to the fact that the waters issue from the side of a very steep cliff, and the only other means of reaching the springs is by way of the Cliffside Trail, which comes down the cliff near the main Bromide Spring, so it will be noted that if the path between the two springs should become impassable the Cliff Bromide Spring would be cut off entirely even though it should remain intact itself. Therefore it is highly important that a revetment wall be constructed along the south side of the creek, beginning at the south end of the Bromide Suspension Bridge, running east past the Cliff Bromide Spring and connecting with the rock ledge on Bromide Bluff, which overhangs the creek. The cost of this wall would probably not exceed $300.
NEW PAVILION AT WILSON SPRING.
The pavilion now over Wilson Spring was constructed during the latter part of 1907 out of old material, and was only a temporary makeshift. It should be supplanted by a permanent, serviceable pavilion, which would also be an ornament to the Park. I believe this could be done, with native conglomerate rock columns, at a figure in the neighborhood of $140.
The building at present occupied as an office was originally constructed of rock and a cement composed of lime and sand, the intention of the two old Germans who built it being that it was to serve merely as a summer camping house. It is loosely constructed, so that rodents, and even snakes, have been known to inhabit the walls, the rats having stocked them with winter provisions, so that at all seasons of the year, on damp days especially, the office is pervaded with an unhealthy and offensive odor. The cheap quality of the cement with which the stone walls are built makes them permeable to water, so that for some days after a rain the atmosphere in the office is exceptionally obnoxious and chill and disease breeding.
In the center of the house, where the chimney is built, it has been necessary to place a prop between the ceiling and the floor in order to hold the chimney up, and even the ceiling is so loosely put together that rats and mice inhabit the portion of the building above it. The mice run at random through the office and build nests in the desk drawers, cutting up the office supplies in building them.
The present site for the office is also undesirable and inconvenient to the visiting public, and in my opinion it should be abandoned and a new, sightly, and comfortable administration building be provided. I recommend that Congress be asked to appropriate not less than $10,000 for this purpose, and suggest that the building be located in West Central Park just at the foot of Second Street West and facing Davis Avenue. This location would be convenient in every way to visitors, the office could be easily reached from all parts of the city by good walks in bad weather, and would be accessible to invalids who require information and who are unable to take so long a walk over rock hills to obtain it. The location recommended would also be a sightly and comfortable one. I can think of no other location in the park that would be so desirable, all things considered.
REFORESTATION OF PORTIONS OF PARK.
In the latter part of 1908 Mr. R. L. Rogers, of the Forest Service, made an examination of the park with a view to ascertaining the practicability of reforesting certain portions, and early the following year made a full report covering his findings. In the spring of 1909 the former superintendent, Mr. A. R. Greene, planted a number of young trees, but the drouth of that year killed all of them but one before they could get a start. During the last two years about 178 young trees have been planted, the greater number of which are still living. During the first year or two after the trees are planted it is necessary to keep them watered during the drouths of the summer season, and until their roots can go deep enough into the earth to sustain them through long dry periods. New trees of varieties suitable to this locality should be set out each year. I find elms, oaks, walnuts, pecans, and box elders all thrive here. I believe $100 would be sufficient for this work during the coming year.
WATER SYSTEM AND IRRIGATION.
In connection with the system of reforesting the park and the eventual laying off of garden spots for ornamental purposes, I have worked out a plan for irrigation which would be of great benefit to the park during years of drouth. This system would also serve for domestic purposes for the regular park force. My plan is to bring water from Lake Placid by gravitation through pipes, connecting with the pipes which now supply both the superintendent's office and residence. Such a system would save the expense of replacing young trees which die after having been set out before they have adapted themselves to the new soil and obtained sufficient growth to enable them to live through hot, dry weather. The estimated cost of purchasing pipe for this work and installation of the system, $3,722, was made from prices obtained from the Central Foundry Co. on 4-inch mains and 2-inch laterals, f. o. b. Sulphur, Okla.
Owing to the dilapidated condition of the barns located near the residences of the parkforce and the necessity for the proper storage of the crops raised upon park lands, I deem it necessary to construct an additional barn to be located near the teamster's residence. This barn should be built with the idea in view of providing comfortable stalls for the park team and a place for the protection of the park wagon from the elements. The old barns could still be used for some time to come as a shelter for all the park implements and tools, and the new barn, together with the one now located near the residence of the superintendent, would provide ample facilities for the storage of forage for the park team. I estimate the cost of such a barn as would be necessary at not to exceed $350.
The estimated cost of electric lights furnished in West Central Park, the pavilions and bridges, as well as in the residence of the superintendent, and the purchase of electric-light globes, is $250.
Telephone service for this office can be obtained at a rate of $30 per annum, and since no telephones for private residences are now allowable under the law, I recommend that only this amount be requested for this service.
ROADS, TRAILS, FORDS, BRIDGES, CULVERTS, AND PURCHASE OF CAR OF CEMENT.
The roads, trails, fords, bridges, etc., within the park require constant maintenance and repairs in order to keep them in good shape for the traveling public. Often it is necessary to build new culverts, and these should all be made of a permanent nature. I find cement is the best material of which to build them, and I should recommend that a car be kept always on hand for this purpose, as well as for the building of new sidewalks and repairs to springs and bridges. I recommend an appropriation of not less than $1,500 for all these purposes.
CUTTING WEEDS, THISTLES, AND UNDERBRUSH.
I recommend that an allotment of not less than $400 be set aside during the coming year for the purpose of continuing the work of exterminating the Canadian thistles which have grown rank within the park, and for the purpose of keeping down the weeds and small underbrush in the frequented parts of the park, at least.
MISCELLANEOUS, EMERGENCIES, CONTINGENCIES, ICE, ETC.
Not less than $200 should be provided for the purchase of ice for the superintendent's office, miscellaneous expenditures, emergencies, and contingencies. Emergencies constantly arise in the administration of the park which can not be foreseen, and must be provided for in this manner.
SHOEING TEAM, REPAIRS TO HARNESS, WAGON, IMPLEMENTS, TOOLS, ETC.
The necessity for the provision of $100, more or less, for the above-named purposes is apparent. The park team must be kept well shod, and the harness, wagon, implements, etc., be kept in good repair so that the best possible service may be rendered by their use.
The regular park force employed during the fiscal year just ended consisted of a superintendent at a salary of $1,500 per annum; a clerk at a salary of $1,000; one ranger at an annual salary of $900; and three laborers, one who did service at the Bromide Springs for an annual salary of $540, one who had charge of the park team, and who acted as a teamster on all park work at a salary of $480 per annum, and another who did small odd jobs, ran errands, and acted as janitor for the park office at an annual salary of $120. This made a regular roll during the year just ended of $4,460, and for the year to come I recommend that Congress be asked to appropriate a total amount for the regular pay roll of $4,690 so that the salary of the teamster may be increased to $500 per annum and that of the janitor to $150 per annum.
The allotment of $80 for fuel to be used in providing heat for the superintendent's office and residence, and for the pavilion at the Bromide Spring for last winter was barely sufficient, and we had some coal left over from the previous year and some wood taken out of the park, hence I feel that it would be advisable to increase the amount requested for fuel to $100, as we have very little fuel left on the park that would be available by the time this appropriation is obtained.
The principal requisite toward the improvement of the park, in my opinion, is a complete survey of the park preparatory to landscape gardening and permanent improvements. This should include the establishment and location of grades and the furnishing of blue prints and specifications of the work to be done, so that all expenditures would be of a permanent nature. This work should be done at as early a date as possible, and would probably cost about $1,000.
IMPROVEMENT OF SPRINGS.
The Beach Springs are located on a sandy bank of Rock Creek just north of Coney Island Ford. These are three of the best springs in the park, and are still undeveloped. Each time Rock Creek rises the flood waters completely cover these springs, and some plan should be worked out for their protection and improvement. The Cold Spring should also be further improved and protected from the overflow waters of Travertine Creek. Other springs within the park need repairs and improvements from time to time, and I ask that $700 be provided for these purposes.
FOOTBRIDGE OVER ROCK CREEK NEAR BEACH SPRINGS.
Because of the general inaccessibility of the Beach Springs to the visiting public and the popularity of these springs, a footbridge should be constructed across Rock Creek from West Central Park to a point near the springs. Such a bridge as the Bromide suspension bridge would, in my opinion, be desirable, and I estimate that it could be built for about $1,500.
NEW PAVILION OVER PAVILION SPRINGS.
The present structure over the Pavilion Springs has been standing almost since the original segregation of the park, and was at that time erected out of old material taken from a dilapidated pavilion which had previously served at this location. The present pavilion is now held together by strong stays, it having been blown almost from its foundation in a heavy windstorm several years ago. It should be dismantled and an appropriate structure erected in its place. The new pavilion should be two stories in height and of ornamental architecture. These springs are probably the most frequented of any in the park because of their accessibility and proximity to the town, and numbers of visitors congregate around them daily. It would require, probably, an expenditure of $2,000 to provide a suitable structure.
UNDERGROUND DRAIN AT PAVILION SPRINGS.
Between the Pavilion Springs and the entrance to the pavilion from both the north and west sides a small draw, locally known as "Sulphur Run," cuts off access to the springs except over a small cement bridge from the north and a disfiguring wooden bridge from the west. These should both be torn away and a cement drain built in the draw large enough to carry all the water that might have to flow through it even in rainy weather, and a dirt and gravel filling put in over the drain, obviating the necessity for bridges and making smooth approaches to these springs from all sides. This would probably cost in the neighborhood of $400.
BAND STANDS IN THE PARK.
I recommend the construction of two band stands in the park, one in West Central Park and one at the Bromide Springs. These should not cost to exceed $800. One band stand would not be sufficient, as visitors seem to congregate in both these portions of the park, and the citizens of the town generally provide two bands for the entertainment of visitors.
Cement walks have already been built in West Central Park and others in the vicinity of the Bromide Springs, but there are still other walks which should be built within the park for the proper comfort and convenience of the visiting public. The completion of the system should be provided for in the next appropriation. I estimate that $1,000 will be sufficient to complete them.
FENCING PASTURE FOR DEER AND ANTELOPE.
In my last annual report I recommended the building of a fence around a pasture of approximately 52-1/4 acres in the south part of the park for the purpose of providing for the care and keep of some deer and antelope which should be furnished this park. The approximate cost of such a pasture complete would be about $415.90, and I again recommend that this amount be requested of Congress for this purpose.
PAINTING AND REPAIRING SUPERINTENDENT'S RESIDENCE.
The roof to the superintendent's residence has been leaking in places for some time and should be repaired. The inside of the house should be repapered and the whole house repainted. I estimate that this could be done for about $125.
DEEP WELL NEAR ANTELOPE SPRING.
I have thought it would be a good idea to sink a deep well near Antelope Spring for the purpose of reclaiming the flow of water which originally came out of the rocks at that point, thus renewing the large flow in Travertine Creek and the pretty waterfalls, which formerly were so much more beautiful than now. I estimate that this well could be put down for $2,000, and recommend that this be requested of Congress for such a purpose.
BENCHES FOR PARK.
Although a number of benches have been built for the park during the year just closed, the increased number of visitors who come here annually necessitates the building of additional benches during the coming year. I recommend that $108 be asked for with which to build 48 new benches.
I believe $60 will be sufficient for the above purpose, and recommend that this sum be included in the annual estimate.
REPAIRS TO FENCING.
The fencing in and around the park requires constant repairs in order to keep it maintained. I recommend that $200 be included in the annual estimate for this purpose.
Just below Hillside Spring is a natural excavation which would make an excellent location for a swimming pool, through which the water from the Hillside Spring could flow naturally in a constant stream, thus keeping the water always fresh. This naturally low place could be further excavated, making the pool deeper than it is naturally, and the entire surface covered with cement at a cost not to exceed $1,000, and I recommend that this be asked for. Since the old Vendome building has been torn away and the bathing pool there destroyed, it would make a bathing pool at this location quite an added interest to the park, and I should be glad to have it available for the visitors.
Briefly, the appropriation asked for above will total $33,190.90, and I trust that the entire amount will be authorized by Congress for use in the proper maintenance and improvement of this park. This park is the only national park in the Southwest, and one of two or three in the whole country which is available as a resort during the entire year. It is not only a pleasure resort for the middle classes of the Southwest, but is a health resort which is becoming more widely known each year, and as such it should be properly provided for by the Congress of the United States.
WILL. J. FRENCH,
The SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,
REGULATIONS OF JUNE 10, 1908.
Pursuant to the authority conferred by the acts of Congress approved July 1, 1902 (32 Stat., 656), April 21, 1904 (33 Stat., 220), and the Oklahoma statehood act of June 16, 1906 (34 Stat., 272), the following rules and regulations for the government of the Platt National Park (formerly Sulphur Springs Reservation), in Oklahoma, are hereby established and made public:
1. It is forbidden to injure in any manner any of the springs, mineral deposits, or natural features within the park.
2. It is forbidden to cut or injure any timber or plants growing on the park lands, or to deface or injure any Government property.
3. No camping shall be permitted within 1,000 feet of any spring, nor upon any land except such as may be specifically designated for that purpose by the superintendent. Fires shall not be lighted except by the express permission of the superintendent; when so allowed, campers shall use only dead or fallen timber for fuel, and the utmost care must be exercised at all times to avoid setting fire to the timber and grass.
4. It is forbidden for any person to deposit garbage or refuse upon the park lands, except at places designated for that purpose by the superintendent, or to contaminate any of the springs or streams therein, or to divert or conduct the waters of such springs or streams from the natural or regular course.
5. No person shall remove from any of the bromide, iron, or soda springs more than 1 gallon of water in any one day, nor remove from any of the other springs more than 5 gallons in any one day, nor shall any water be taken therefrom for commercial purposes, except in pursuance of a license issued by the Secretary of the Interior. Whenever in his judgment the circumstances warrant, the superintendent may prohibit the use of the waters of any of the springs in the park other than for immediate drinking purposes at such springs, the facts in such case to be reported to the Secretary of the Interior.
6. Hunting or killing, wounding or capturing any bird or wild animal on the park lands, except dangerous animals when necessary to prevent them from destroying life or inflicting an injury, is prohibited. The outfits, including guns, traps, teams, horses, or means of transportation used by persons engaged in hunting, killing, trapping, ensnaring, or capturing such birds or wild animals, or in possession of game killed on the park lands under other circumstances than prescribed above, will be taken up by the superintendent and held subject to the order of the Secretary of the Interior, except in cases where it is shown by satisfactory evidence that the outfit is not the property of the person or persons violating this regulation and the actual owner thereof was not a party to such violation. Firearms will only be permitted in the park on written permission from the superintendent thereof.
7. Fishing with nets, seines, traps, or by the use of drugs or explosives, or in any other way than with hook and line, is prohibited. Fishing for purposes of merchandise or profit is forbidden. Fishing may be prohibited by order of the superintendent in any of the waters of the park, or limited therein to any specified season of the year, until otherwise ordered by the Secretary of the Interior.
8. No person will be permitted to reside permanently, engage in any business, or erect buildings or other improvements in the park, without permission, in writing, from the Secretary of the Interior.
9. The herding, grazing, or otherwise trespassing of cattle or loose stock of any kind within the park is strictly forbidden. Stock or cattle may be driven across the park, but must be confined to the roads and kept in motion under competent care while in the reservation.
10. No vehicles will be permitted to travel through the park except upon the roads designated for such traffic by the superintendent, and driving or riding over roads or bridges at a high rate of speed is prohibited.
11. Private notices or advertisements shall not be posted or displayed within the park, except such as may be necessary for the convenience and guidance of the public.
12. The sale of intoxicating liquors in the park is strictly forbidden.
13. No gambling or game of chance shall be permitted within the limits of the park; nor shall any person use profane or obscene language, commit or maintain a nuisance, or be guilty of disorderly conduct or any act involving immorality therein.
14. Persons who render themselves obnoxious by disorderly conduct or bad behavior, or who violate any of the foregoing rules, will be summarily removed from the park and will not be allowed to return without permission, in writing, from the Secretary of the Interior or the superintendent of the park.
No lessee or licensee shall retain in his employ any person whose presence in the park shall be deemed and declared by the superintendent to be subversive of the good order and management of the reservation.
15. Any person who violates any of the foregoing regulations will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and be subjected to a fine, as provided by the act of April 21, 1904, of not less than $5 nor more than $100, and may be imprisoned for a term of not more than six months for each offense.