REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PLATT NATIONAL PARK
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
SIR: Complying with the departmental instructions of May 16, 1914, 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, 1913, 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 218.98 acres, respectively, at the town of Sulphur, Okla. (then Indian Territory), 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, into which the Travertine empties, and it has a circuit of 9 miles.
Within the park are a number of known mineral and 3 nonmineral springs, one of the latter (the Cold Spring) having been developed and confined during the year ended June 30, 1913. The principal groups of springs in the park are the Bromide and Medicine Springs in the extreme western portion of the park; the Beach, Pavilion, and Hillside Springs in the north-central portion of the park; and the Bromide-Sulphur, Black-Sulphur, and Wilson Springs in the south-central part of the park. Sulphur springs predominate. The Antelope and Buffalo Springs, nonmineral in character, are situated at the extreme northeastern end of the park, with an elevation of 1,080 feet above sea level at the Antelope Spring and 1,078 feet at the Buffalo. They have an approximate discharge of 5,000,000 gallons daily into Travertine Creek. The Medicine Spring has been discovered within the last few years, and the work of development and installation of the water from this spring in the pavilion at Bromide Springs has been completed, although in a rather unsatisfactory manner, as the spring in its present condition fills up with every flood which comes down Rock Creek. The matter of further improvement to this spring is considered on page 10.
Failure of the sundry civil bill carrying appropriations for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1914, to embrace an appropriation for this park caused the work of care and maintenance of the park to be suspended beginning July 1, 1913, just at the height of the season for visitors; and this condition continued throughout the entire season and until October 25, 1913, after the passage of the urgency deficiency bill, in which was incorporated an appropriation of $8,000. However, before the appropriation in the deficiency bill became available the weeds in the park had obtain a rank growth and the park generally assumed a neglected appearance which caused the visitors to return to their homes, or to move on to other resorts, carrying with them the report that the park had been abandoned by the Government, which materially decreased the number of visitors during the present summer among the class who generally come and stop at the best hotels and boarding houses. I estimate that not more than 25,000 to 30,000 persons visited the Platt National Park during the year ended June 30, 1914. However, although the park office was not open for a part of the time between July 1, and October 25, 1913, at the time when there was no appropriation for its maintenance, so that the campers who came into the park camp grounds during much of that time were not registered, yet there were registered during the year a total of 864 who came into the park and camped for three days or more, an increase over last year of 383 persons, and exceeding the year previous to last by 130 persons.
As shown by the records of the watchman at the Bromide Springs, the visitors there during the year just ended numbered 112,667, which exceeded the attendance during the preceding year by 22,561, and these figures do not include the watchman's record for the month of August, 1913, which was forwarded to the department by the former superintendent and no copy retained in this office. This aggregate number of visitors to this spring 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 by day. The increased attendance at this spring during the past year, despite the fact that the number of visitors at the hotels and boarding houses had decreased, was due to the fact that an immense Socialist picnic camped for about a week along a clear stream of water running from an artesian well on the west side of the town, and these persons visited the Bromide Spring daily, thus swelling the general attendance.
The waters from this group of springs (which includes the Medicine Spring) continue to grow in popularity, and their curative properties have become more widely recognized. During the year just ended 157 orders were issued from this office, on physicians prescriptions, for the shipment of these waters in 5-gallon quantities to persons outside the city, the shipments having been made throughout Oklahoma and Texas and a few shipments into Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas. During the last six months of the year a record was kept of the total gallons shipped from these springs, the total amounting to 2,980 gallons. During the entire year a total of 58,232 gallons of these waters were taken from the springs (including the water shipped), exceeding the record of the previous year by 1,794 gallons. For the last 10 months of the year a separate record was kept showing the total gallons of medicine water taken from the springs as distinguished from the total gallons of bromide removed, and the record shows for that length of time a total of 13,048 gallons of medicine water and 32,381 gallons of bromide.
This record does not include the water shipped, nor does any of the above data include the watchman's record for the month of August, 1913, a copy of which (as indicated above) was not retained in this office.
LIVE STOCK CROSSING THE PARK.
During the year 2,416 cattle were transported through the park. Part of the herds were being driven to pastures adjacent to the park and at 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 servant's room near by. Located about 700 feet south of the Pavilion group of springs, in good condition except for the underpinning, which needs repairs, and the roof, which should be replaced and painted. 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 fairly good repair. At present occupied by Caretaker R. A. Earl.
Frame cottage, 6 rooms, 1 hall, 3 porches. Located approximately one-third mile south of Pavilion Springs. In fairly good repair, with exception of 2 porches which need rebuilding. At present occupied by Laborers W. K. and A. C. Milligan.
Frame cottage, 3 rooms, 1 pantry, and 1 porch. Located 10 rods north of Bromide Springs. In fairly good condition, but needs roof to the entire house and the porch floor repaired, also a new flue. Occupied by Caretaker H. T. Long.
Frame cottage, 5 rooms, 1 porch with cement floor. Located about 600 feet southeast of Pavilion Springs. In fairly good condition, but needs flues and roof repaired and two rooms should be repapered. Until the last few days occupied by Inspector E. A. Keys. At present unoccupied.
Stone building, 2 rooms, 1 porch and coal shed attached. Located near Hillside Spring. Needs repainting inside and out, repapering inside, and the roof painted. Also needs a new porch and storm door on front. At present used as superintendent's office, and with repairs mentioned will do very well for this purpose for some time to come.
Frame pavilion at Bromide Springs with stove room attached. In serviceable condition, but of very crude construction and should as soon as possible be replaced.
Two frame pavilions at the pavilion group of springs. Both recently repaired and repainted.
Pavilion at Hillside Spring, conglomerate rock columns with pagoda roof and cement floor. Recently repainted and in good condition.
Pavilion at Black Sulphur Spring, frame. Recently repainted and in good condition.
Pavilion at Sulphur Bromide Spring, frame. Recently repainted and in good condition.
Pavilion at Wilson Spring, frame. Recently repainted, but still needs some repairs, especially to roof.
Pavilion at artificial spring near old Vendome, frame. Recently repainted and roof replaced.
Ten frame resthouses, in excellent condition.
Seven old resthouses, in fair repair. Frame structures.
One resthouse with sewer attachments at ranger house near superintendent's residence.
Four small horse barns, all frame, old and dilapidated. Located near residences in 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 residences in park. Old and dilapidated.
During the early part of September, 1913, this park was visited by Inspector M. L. Dorr of the Interior Department, who made a thorough inspection and investigation of conditions here and forwarded to the department a report and recommendations for improvements here which are now on file in the Secretary's office.
On October 10, 1913, Mr. E. A. Keys, inspector for the Interior Department, arrived in Sulphur to supervise the construction of the sanitary sewer system, and on October 25, 1913, after the passage of an appropriation for the park, Mr. Keys was made acting superintendent, pending the appointment of a new superintendent, which was made on the 3d of February, 1914, and I assumed my duties as superintendent on the 14th day of that month.
I consider the visits of these inspectors to this park of incalculable benefit. Nothing is more needed in the proper administration of the park than an intimate knowledge by the department of its conditions and needs; and too much can not be said in commendation of the faithful and conscientious work done by Mr. Keys and his assistant engineer, Mr. R. R. Hornor, in the supervision of the construction (which was done under contract) of the main line of the sewer, nor of the superior quality of the construction by force account, under their supervision, of the extensions to this system and the building of the Travertine Road via Antelope and Buffalo Springs.
Along this line, I consider the recent appointment of a general superintendent and landscape engineer of national parks to be of inestimable value in the proper management and improvement especially of this park, as I feel that some one thoroughly versed in the knowledge of how to improve it without destroying its natural rustic beauty, could make of it a most attractive place, which combined with the curative properties of the waters and its availability as a resort during the entire year would make it one of the most valuable national parks in the country.
SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM.
On September 12, 1913, contract was let to E. M. Eby, of Wellington, Kans., for the construction of the sanitary sewer system, Platt National Park, from the joint funds contributed by the city of Sulphur, Okla., and the United States Government, which amounted to $35,000. Under the original plan adopted for this sewer, it consisted of the main line which started just below the Artesian Hotel in the town of Sulphur, entered the park and crossed Rock Creek by means of a siphon just north of Lincoln Bridge, follows the north side of Rock Creek, thence discharges into the same not quite 1,000 feet below Bromide Springs. The system, as originally designed, had two branch lines, one to provide for the 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 can be connected with it.
Just prior to the completion of Mr. Eby's contract complaints were made by the citizens of the west side of the town of Sulphur to the effect, that the sewer system as designed failed to embrace a plan for sewering that part of the city. This was taken up with the department by the inspector in charge of construction, and he was instructed to have the contractor submit a bid for the construction of this additional branch, which was later known as line D. The contractor submitted a bid of $3,000, which was considered to be excessive, so the work was undertaken by force account and constructed at a total cost of $1,366.55. Later it was determined to build another extension to this system which would connect with the superintendent's office and residence, and a ranger house near the superintendent's quarters, this branch being known as line E extension, which was constructed at a total cost $1,231.07, including a siphon under Travertine Creek to connect with the flush tank for the siphon under Rock Creek for the main line of the sewer.
The total cost of the entire system, including the contractor's original bid with additional charges and deductions for the main line and two branches, $16,475.38, and all extensions, was approximately $20,238.13, which also included all miscellaneous expenditures and repairs so far as known in this office, leaving an unexpended balance on the appropriation and funds contributed by the city of Sulphur for this system of $14,761.87; and it has been said by one engineer who visited the city during the construction of this system that he had never before in all his engineering experience of over 40 years seen sewers built with that degree of engineering precision which characterizes the construction of the sewer in this park.
To properly accommodate the flush tank for cleaning the siphon under Rock Creek it was necessary to obtain from the city of Sulphur permission to connect with the city water main near the Park Hotel, running a 1-1/4-inch water-supply pipe parallel to line B of the sewer system (which runs from just south of the Park Hotel to the flush tank for the siphon under Rock Creek) and there connecting with the flush tank. The park water supply has been connected with this 1-1/4-inch main about 500 feet northwest of Lincoln Bridge, and this supply is conveyed to the flush tank for the siphon under Travertine Creek from a point just south of Lincoln Bridge.
The normal population of Sulphur is between 3,500 and 4,000, which is considerably augmented during the tourist season. The main line of the sewer system below the Rock Creek siphon is constructed so that when flowing half full it will accommodate about 18,000 persons, while the siphon under Rock Creek is built to accommodate a total of 16,000 persons with both barrels of the siphon open. The outfall of the sewer was so constructed that it now empties right into the creek, it having been determined that the appropriation for constructing this sewer was not available for building a septic tank outside the limits of the park, and there having been insufficient room inside the park to permit of its being built without spoiling the little Bromide Park, which is one of the prettiest parts of this park. It was considered by the engineer in charge of the sewer construction that this outfall would not become a nuisance in its vicinity for many years to come.
Under date of January 2, 1914, the department made an allotment of $300 for the survey of this road, and under date of April 2, 1914, allotment of $3,000 was made for the construction of same. Under date of June 15, 1914, further allotment of $300 was made, to be used in the survey and construction of the above-mentioned road, making a total allotment for same of $3,600.
Under date of April 15, 1914, a reconnoissance was made of the route to be followed, and the final survey was prosecuted as rapidly as possible, and the work of clearing the right of way and grading the roadbed was commenced on May 7, 1914. By date of June 13, 1914, the grading was practically completed, and before the end of that month all of the concrete culverts had been completed and the work of surfacing the road had been begun. A contract was let to William E. Harvey for hauling the gravel for the surfacing, and one to William H. Ray for completing the work of spreading the gravel and sprinkling the road, all of which was finished by the 2d day of August.
The completed road is 1.93 miles in length, or practically 2 miles, the grade on the road between ditches being 18 feet wide, and the surfacing, or paved way, 14 feet in width, with a depth of 6 inches of gravel. It has been well constructed, with 20 cement culverts ranging in size from 12 inches to 6 feet in diameter, at intervals which are thought to be ample to properly care for the drainage. It traverses a very beautiful section of the park, following the meanders of the Travertine Creek, so that the pretty waterfalls along this creek are easily visible by occupants of passing vehicles, and the beautiful wild flowers and overhanging trees on both sides of the road complete the attractive scenic effect.
The total cost of this road was $3,483.99 out of the $3,600 allotted, and it has been money well spent, and economically so, the unit price per mile having been approximately $1,741.99-1/2.
The total amount of surfaced roads in this park previous to the construction of the Travertine Road, according to office records, was 8,812.5 linear feet, approximately 1.67 miles, which, added to the 1.93 miles of the Travertine Road, makes a total length of surfaced roads now in the park of about 3.6 miles.
These roads should be carefully and constantly maintained to prevent their deteriorating, and it was the opinion of Inspector Keys that it would require about $500 each year to keep them in perfect condition.
Contract was let about the end of the year to S. Browning, of Sulphur, Okla., for the painting of all the spring houses in the park (except the Bromide Spring pavilion, which had been painted recently enough so that it was not essential to repaint it at this time). The pavilions painted are as followstwo at the Pavilion group of springs, the Hillside, Wilson, Black-Sulphur, Bromide Sulphur, and a pavilion in West Central Park, seven in number. After contract had been let for the painting of these pavilions it was discovered that the roof to the pavilion in West Central Park was in bad repair, so the roof was replaced before the pavilion was painted. The pavilions in the park are now all in fairly good shape, although there are still a few repairs which should be made to some of them.
REPAIRS TO BRIDGES.
The only repairs necessary to bridges in the park during the year just ended was the taking up, retarring, and replacing of the creosoted blocks on the Washington Bridge floor. This was done during the month of April under the supervision of Inspector Keys, at my request, and it is now believed that the floor will not again soon buckle up as a good expansion joint was left between the blocks.
REPAIRS TO RESIDENCES.
The interior of the ranger house just southeast of the superintendent's residence during its occupancy by Mr. E. A. Keys, inspector for the Interior Department, was painted and one room repapered, the windows were furnished with new screens, and the front door screen covered with new wire. The front steps were also repaired and new newel posts, banister, and handrail placed thereon. The pantry was furnished with shelving and given two good coats of paint throughout. There are still some repairs necessary to this residence in the nature of repairs to roof and flues, and the repapering of two rooms.
Before moving into the superintendent's residence, I had it thoroughly renovated, repapered throughout, and repainted inside and out with the exception of the roof, which will probably have to be replaced before having it repainted, as it is old and I find leaks in places. The underpinning to this residence needs repairs, the rear foundation of the residence being in some places 4-1/2 feet off of the ground, the underpinning at present being only rocks piled loosely one on the other, and these are constantly falling out, permitting vermin to get under the house. Otherwise the house is now in good shape.
In November, 1911, two applications were received by this office and transmitted to the department for leases of bathhouse sites in this park, one to cost from $12,000 to $16,000, the other to cost about $15,000; the supply of water for both bathhouses to be obtained by gravitation from Hillside Spring, the sewage from both bathhouses to have been emptied into Rock Creek within the park limits. In reply the department advised that it was not deemed advisable to permit sewage to be emptied into the creek within the park, and that further consideration would be given the matter of bathhouses after the sanitary sewer had been constructed in the reservation.
In view of the recent completion of this sanitary sewer system and the numbers of complaints heard from visitors every year relative to there being only one bathhouse in the town, and the prices in that excessive, I recommend that leases be granted for bathhouses in the park at the earliest date possible, or else that they be built, maintained, and operated by the Government as sources of revenue.
During the year just ended a lot of old unsightly wire fencing was removed from locations near the pavilion and Bromide groups of springs, and some old paling fences near the superintendent's residence, which had long been a blemish on the park, were removed, greatly improving the appearance of the place, and some loose lumber, farm machinery, and other unsightly materials were removed from this location as well as around the superintendent's office.
All roads in the park have been frequently gone over with a road drag, washouts regraveled so as to bring the crown of the roads to the original shape, side ditches cleaned out and culverts kept open to prevent washing of the roads. The foot paths in the park have also been regraveled in places and crowned, and small bridges over ravines repaired.
Weeds and underbrush were cleared out of the little park near the Bromide Springs, as well as both East and West Central Parks, and along the Rock and Travertine Creeks from the Bromide to the Antelope Springs. The lower branches of the trees along these creeks were also trimmed so that the creeks might be seen from the trails and roads.
Red, white, and Japan clover was set out in the park near Coney Island Ford, around Bromide Springs, along Travertine Creek to Lake Placid, and along Rock Creek to about 300 yards below Coney Island Fork.
Around the Pavilion group of springs 29 young trees were planted early in the spring and kept watered through the dry season, and all are now flourishing. Flowers and shrubs furnished by the Agricultural Department and the Botanical Gardens at Washington have been planted in the park, the most of which are growing nicely.
Crops in the park which had been harvested during the past year, and which exceeded the amount required for the use of the regular park team, were sold by me, the total receipts for same amounting to $192.81. One crop of alfalfa was sold in the field for $50, making a total receipt for crops of $242.81. During the present season two crops of alfalfa have already been harvested and another is about ready for harvest. The corn crop has also been harvested.
Contract was let near the end of the year to J. T. Chapman for the construction of 48 new benches for park use, and these have been distributed around through East and West Central Parks, the little Bromide Park, and near Cold Spring.
ANTELOPE AND BUFFALO SPRINGS.
In 1911 the flow from the Antelope and Buffalo Springs, which form the source of the Travertine Creek, began to weaken, and in March of that year the Antelope (which is higher than the Buffalo) ceased to flow entirely, the water seeping out in the creek bed some 80 to 100 feet below the spring proper. In June of the same year the Buffalo Springs discontinued to flow, leaving the upper end of the creek dry, the lower end being supplied by springs in the creek bed farther down the creek. On April 7, 1912, the Buffalo Springs resumed their flow, percolating through the sand as formerly at about one-fifth its normal capacity. At the same time the Antelope began to seep through in the bed of the creek below the original outlet at about one-twentieth of its normal flow, after a hibernating period of almost a year. On the 28th of April of the same year the Antelope resumed its flow at the original outlet, the supply of water in the creek increasing perceptibly. On the 18th day of September, 1912, the Antelope Spring again ceased to operate at its original outlet and came through just below the spring in the creek bed, the Buffalo Spring continuing to flow, but leaving the creek very low. This condition continued until some time during the latter part of November, 1913, when after heavy rains throughout the country both springs resumed normal operations and have continued to flow steadily ever since.
It is said by natives in this part of the country that this was the first time in 30 years that these springs have ceased to flow normally, and from my own personal knowledge, which covers a period of 20 years, I have never before known of their going dry. This condition was probably brought about by the excessive drought which has prevailed for some years past throughout the greater part of the country. One theory has been advanced by an old Indian to the effect that these springs are supplied by a subterranean branch of the Canadian River, his reason for so believing being that every time the Canadian River bed becomes dry these springs cease to flow. He claims that this has occurred twice within his recollection previous to the years 1911 and 1912.
BIRDS AND WILD FLOWERS.
A most profuse collection of beautiful wild flowers grow in this park. One student of these has been able to identify 52 varieties, the classification of countless others not having been determined. During January of the present year one student of bird lore advised this office that he had been able to recognize 30 varieties of birds within the park during that month, some of which he had never seen listed this far north at that season of the year, and one of which (the painted bunting) is very rare in this section of the country. The mocking bird is found here the entire year, and during the breeding season (like the nightingale) is ofttimes heard singing in the park throughout the night.
These birds should be protected in every way possible, and the wild flowers carefully preserved, as with the rapid advance of civilization throughout our western country, they will otherwise soon become extinct. Quail and plover within the park, as well as squirrels, have multiplied with the protection afforded them by the rule against hunting in the park, until they are now quite plentiful, and the blue jays hop around the visitors to the park to be fed with the squirrels.
The following recommendations are respectfully made for maintenance and improvements for this park during the fiscal year which will end June 30, 1916:
That there should be constructed a suitable comfort station in the vicinity of Lincoln Bridge and one in the vicinity of Bromide Springs, and these properly connected with the sewer system. They should be constructed artistically of stone or concrete and large enough to accommodate about 5 people of each sex. Inspector E. A. Keys estimated, in a report to the department of date November 3, 1913, that these would cost about $1,000 each including the necessary equipment and connection with the main sewer. The water supply for flushing these can be obtained from the city water supply, the one at Lincoln Bridge by tapping the water main which supplies the flush tanks.
That $500 be provided for improvements at the Medicine Spring, to be expended under the advisement of the general superintendent of national parks, but which should embrace some plan for the prevention of the overflow of this spring by the creek.
That a new pavilion should be erected along the Bromide Cliff, which will embrace both the Medicine and Bromide Springs, in accordance with a report submitted to the department by Inspector M. L. Dorr in September of 1913, and in the construction of which careful attention should be given to its artistic appearance. The building should be constructed so as to conform as nearly as possible to the contours of the cliff side against which it will have to be built, and should be composed of one long room with glass front, opening out onto a balcony which would overhang the creek, and which might be supported by native conglomerate rock columns. The glass front to the room should be so arranged that it could be closed in winter and opened in the summer season, and underneath the room a small heating system and coal house could be built, the cost of which would be insignificant. These springs are quite a distance from the resident portions of the town, and the supply of water which may be taken from them is limited, often in the summer being reduced to such quantities only as may be drunk at the springs; hence it is quite a common occurrence for visitors who come here for various disorders to hire a conveyance to take them to the springs and leave them there for half a day or more, returning for them later; and it is imperative that they should be made comfortable while there. I believe that an artistic, permanent structure, such as I have in mind, could be built at this location for about $3,000.
Many visitors and residents of the town of Sulphur seem to prefer the waters from the Beach Springs, (three in number) which are located just north of Coney Island Ford, and which during high waters of Rock Creek are completely submerged by the creek, and which, except at times when the waters of the creek are extremely low, are inaccessible to the persons residing in the northern and eastern parts of the town. Complaints are ofttimes heard because of these facts and some plan should be formulated by an engineer who is familiar with such work to improve these springs so as to prevent their overflow by the creek, erect a pavilion over them, and to build a footbridge over the creek so that they may be reached from the northeast side. The improvement to the springs and the pavilion would probably cost about $1,000, and the bridge probably not to exceed $2,000.
Mr. E. A. Keys, who supervised the construction of the Travertine Road, has estimated that it would require annually an expenditure of about $500 to properly maintain the 3 miles of surfaced roads within this park. Before the end of the present fiscal year I expect to continue this road (the Travertine) from Lincoln Bridge, following the north bank of Rock Creek to connect with the Bromide road at Bromide Springs, for the survey of which Mr. Keys recommended an allotment under date of December 13, 1913, of $100, and before the appropriation asked for in this report will have become available, this road along Rock Creek will be added to the 3 miles now within the park to be maintained, so I estimate that it will be necessary for Congress to provide at least $750 for the care and maintenance of roads during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1916.
I recommend that $100 be provided for setting out young trees in the park.
That $150 be provided for electric-light service in West Central Park, the pavilions and bridges, as well as the superintendent's residence and office, and for the purchase of electric-light globes.
That $30 be provided for telephone service in the superintendent's office.
That $400 be set aside for exterminating weeds in the park and for cutting out small underbrush.
That it will require about $50 for the shoeing of the park team and repairs to implements, harness, wagon, tools, etc.
That $60 be provided for fuel for the superintendent's office and residence and at the Bromide Springs.
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; and three laborers, one at a salary of $540 per annum; one at $480 per annum; and one at $300 per annum; a total of $3,820 for salaries, which I recommend be provided for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1916.
That $100 be included in the appropriation for planting and harvesting crops, and for planting grass seed in the park.
That a swimming pool be provided in Travertine Creek by building a cement dam at a location near Panther Falls where there is naturally a deep hole which would require but little excavation. The cost would probably not exceed $150.
That $300 be provided for miscellaneous and sundry expenditures and emergencies.
Briefly, the appropriation asked for above will total but $14,410, all of which could be expended advantageously in the year for which it is requested, and I feel that the entire amount should be provided for the proper management and improvement of this park.
I have the honor to be,
R. A. SNEED,
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 designed 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 l 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.
REPORT ON SEWER CONSTRUCTION.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
SIR: The following report on the construction of the sanitary sewer system, Platt National Park, is respectfully submitted:
Under date of September 12, 1913, the department entered into a contract with E. M. Eby, of Wellington, Kans., for the construction of the sanitary sewer system, Platt National Park, Sulphur, Okla., from the joint funds contributed by the city of Sulphur and the United States Government, which amounted to $35,000.
Under date of March 15, 1914, E. M. Eby completed his contract, and on March 17, 1914, voucher for final payment, less 5 per cent withheld for repairs, was prepared and forwarded to the department.
Reports on the progress of this work have heretofore been forwarded to the department from time to time, and this is in the nature of a final report.
Attention of the department is called to the fact that the four months' guaranty to maintain this system in perfect condition, as provided by section 30 of the specifications and article 13 of the above-mentioned contract, expired on July 15, 1914, and up until that time no defects had appeared in the system except those which were repaired by myself in April, 1914, amounting to $26.68, which was deducted from the 5 per cent withheld.
I have prepared a voucher for final settlement and have deducted therefrom all expenses incurred in the repairs to the system which are properly chargeable to E. M. Eby, which I am inclosing herewith in order that the department may take proper action in the matter.
In connection with the construction of the original sewer system, I have to advise that the siphon under Rock Creek is operating satisfactorily, although under very adverse circumstances, for the reason that the city of Sulphur has not yet connected lines B and C with the city line of sewer, and for this reason the siphon is passing only the sewage from the 8-inch line A containing the sewage from a small district in the vicinity of the Artesian Hotel.
Under date of January 3, 1914, the department authorized the construction of the extension to the sewer system known as line D. Under date of April 13, 1914, this line was completed by force account, and a report submitted on April 21, 1914, to the department showing an itemized statement of the cost thereof.
I have to advise that this line has not yet been connected with the city sewer system and is not carrying any sewage at the present time.
The following is a corrected itemized statement of the cost of line D:
Under date of February 10, 1914, the department authorized the construction of the outfall for the trunk lime, or line A, below the Bromide Springs. A report on this feature has heretofore been submitted to the department by myself, with an itemized statement of the cost thereof, which is again shown below:
I have to advise that the outlet so far has given no trouble, there being no obnoxious odors in the immediate vicinity. This condition will probably continue until the city reaches larger proportions than at the present time.
Under date of March 20, 1914, the department authorized an extension to the sanitary sewer system, known as Line E, extending south from the flush tank for the siphon under Rock Creek, at Station A 996.4, on the east bank of Rock Creek, to the residence of the superintendent, the park office, and the ranger house northeast of the superintendent's residence.
This line crosses under Travertine Creek by means of a siphon approximately 100 feet long, consisting of National Standard full-weight wrought-steel merchant pipe.
The following is an itemized statement of the total cost of Line E:
The amount allotted by the department for the construction of this line was $1,500, and from the above it will be seen that this line has been constructed well within the allotment. A large part of the construction was through solid conglomerate rock, and it is believed that the work, in view of the nature of the excavation, has been economically performed.
Superintendent Sneed has had the connections at his residence, at the office, and at the ranger house northeast of the superintendent's residence made with Line E. Attention of the department is called to the fact that the work of constructing the line to the ranger house above mentioned and the necessary toilet which has been constructed there has cost approximately $225, and it is my judgment that some member of the park force should occupy this dwelling.
Attention is called to the fact that this 1-1/4-inch main has been connected with the park water supply at Station B 6 86.8, on the east side of the manhole at that point, so that ample water is now provided for the office, the superintendent's quarters, and the ranger house mentioned above, which buildings, I understand, have heretofore had little or no water. The park is supplied this water under a form of agreement between the city of Sulphur and the department for the right of the city to take water from Travertine Creek.
Repairs on account of a cloudburst were authorized to be made on this sewer system under date of April 4, 1914, and an itemized statement of the total cost of same is given below:
The only other items of expense chargeable to this sewer system, as shown by the records of this office, are in the nature of miscellaneous items, and an itemized statement of these is given as follows:
A statement of the total cost of the entire sanitary sewer system, Platt National Park, as shown by the department and park records, is as follows:
From the above it will be seen that the city's part of this balance will amount to $7,380.94. In this connection, I have to advise that the State of Oklahoma has constructed three new buildings of considerable proportions for housing the State School for the Deaf at this place. I understand from the mayor of Sulphur that these buildings will be ready for occupancy about September 1, and as I understand the situation, the town is to install the trunk-line sewer from the school to connect with the sewer system through Platt National Park at Station O, Line B, near the Park Hotel. For the above reason the mayor seems anxious that the city's part of this fund revert to the city as soon as possible. So far as I am aware there is no reason why this should not be done, and if practicable I would recommend that this fund be returned to the city.
Referring to departmental letter of July 10, 1914, requesting an itemized list of all tools, instruments, and other material purchased from the joint funds and now in the Platt National Park, showing the original cost and present value in each case, I have to submit herein a correct list of such tools, instruments, etc., as have not been expended in service, showing their original cost.
In this connection, I have to advise that I communicated with the city commissioners of the city of Sulphur, requesting to be advised as to whether it was their preference to have these tools divided between the city of Sulphur and this park, or to sell the entire list of tools and divide the funds obtained in this way, and was told by them that they preferred to have the tools divided, so I recommend that this be done. However, as the one piece of 18-inch cast-iron pipe can not be divided, I recommend that this be sold and the receipts therefrom be divided.
I should say that the present value of these tools, etc., would amount to about 50 per cent of the original cost.
E. A. KEY, Inspector.
The SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.