Why the Hartell Fund?
Who was Greg Hartell?
Why a Historic Preservation Internship?
Following a conversation with George and Judy
Buckingham and their request for further information about Greg to
include in the friends website, I asked Steve Mark, park historian,
friend and part of our family, to give his thoughts of Greg and the
establishment of an internship in his name.
Here is that commentary.
We thank him for giving you a better understanding of who Greg
was and why he was so honored.
Out heartfelt thanks for all those who have contributed
to the internship in the past and who continue to support this
Bev Hartell (Mrs. Greg Hartell)
From Steve Mark:
Greg Hartell chose a life-long association with Crater Lake
National Park, but found a calling in historic preservation.
Born on the park’s doorstep at Fort Klamath in 1939, he held his
first job after high school on the NPS trail crew.
Greg worked at his last position at the park during 2004-05, as a
job superintendent doing contracted restoration of the Superintendent’s
Residence, a national historic landmark in Munson Valley.
Over the intervening 48 years, he plied his trade as a journeyman
carpenter at Crater Lake several times, but also volunteered time as a
charter member of the park’s friends group.
His death in April 2006 sparked an effort to establish an endowed
internship for historic preservation students at the University of
Oregon. It is partly the
result of an identified need for help with cultural resources project
work, yet allows the National Park Service an opportunity to build a
partnership with the only graduate program in historic preservation
located west of the Rocky Mountains.
Each student has a core project, though most have also assisted
NPS staff with ancillary undertakings, ones that range from
archaeological survey to condition assessments of historic structures.
To some extent this reflects the spectrum of abilities of the
internship’s namesake, whose skills in construction projects were
augmented by being a builder, inspector, and blacksmith, but one whose
craft might best be described as making things look as if they had
always been there.
Greg’s way of teaching cannot be described as formal; he conveyed
instructions and ideas by examples and sometimes through story, with the
latter usually accompanied with a wry sense of humor.
In his absence, the writer can only provide some semblance of
Greg by referring the reader to Gary Snyder’s poem called “Riprap” set
deep in the heart of the Sierra Nevada.
Greg never worked there, but Snyder’s poem makes the point that
members of a trail crew must understand the nature of rock and its
linkages in order to master the ancient erosional control technique
called riprap, otherwise known as “pitching” or stone pavement.
It has been labeled by some with experience in the backcountry as
one of the “old ways,” but also a key to knowing the “where,” of who we
Much of what Greg taught operated on the subconscious level, so
that people lucky enough to be around him inherently looked in his
direction for leadership.
He never had to call himself “boss” or chief of anything, since titles
mean nothing to someone who could fashion things from the most
rudimentary materials, or for that matter, run a winter trap-line in
remote country. The respect
and admiration so often accorded him by others not only stemmed from
recognition of his multiple talents, but from kindness and an innate
ability to tell a story.
His trade contributed to deafness as he aged, but just when you thought
he did not hear the point one attempted to make in conversation, Greg
could make everyone laugh with a clever turn of phrase that reflected a
mastery of oral tradition.
“Riprap” is also an analogy for how the mountains and their “old
ways” flow along almost subversively, separate and free from technical
manuals, bureaucratic dictates, or week-long training sessions.
Greg possessed energy that often defied his age, yet he could
also pace himself when on the job, doing chores, or organizing yet
another volunteer effort at the park.
Attuned to rural life more than an urban one, part of Greg lived
in another century—as his wife Bev and other family members readily
recall. I often think of
him crafting a wood strip canoe in his shop, which is located not far
from Upper Klamath Lake. My
mind’s eye often still sees Greg dipping his paddle on that vast body of
water, sometimes near sunset, when the light is just right.