USGS HOME
Contact USGS

  • About
  • Observatories
  • Activity
  • Education
  • Publications

Volcanoes and History
Cascade Range Volcanoes - "Volcanoes and History"

Cascade Range Volcanoes
Volcano Names



  • Mount Adams, Washington
    Mount Adams was named after the 2nd President of the United States, John Adams, a mistake in a scheme by Hall J. Kelly to call the Cascade Range the "Presidents Range".


  • Mount Baker, Washington
    Mount Baker was named on April 30, 1792, after British Third Lieutenant Joseph Baker, of the Captain George Vancouver expedition.


  • Mount Bailey, Oregon
    According to Lewis McArthur in Oregon Geographic Names (2003, Oregon Historical Society Press): early maps show the peak labeled "Old Baldy" or "Old Bailey" with "Bailey" possibly being a drafting error. The summit's bald, burnt-over appearance might indicate the origin of the designation "Baldy". No record of a person named Bailey who was connected with the peak has been found. In 1992 the Oregon Geographic Names Board voted to name the mountain in honor of naturalists Vernon and Florence Bailey. According to William G. Steel, the Klamath name for the mountain was Youxlokes, which means "Medicine Mountain". According to Klamath tradition, their medicine men and priests would feast on the mountain's summit and commune with the upper world.


  • Belknap Shield Volcano, Oregon
    The Oregon Department of Transportation Website (2002) said that the name "Belknap" was after early settlers along the McKenzie River. R.S. Belknap developed Belknap Springs and his son, J.H. Belknap, was involved in the toll road over the McKenzie Pass in the early 1870s


  • Crater Lake, Oregon


  • Glacier Peak, Washington
    According to Mastin and Waitt in their publication "Glacier Peak -- History and Hazards of a Cascade Volcano" (2000, USGS Fact Sheet 058-00):    "The stunning snow-capped volcanoes of Washington State have long been recognized by Native Americans in their language and legends, and they immediately caught the eyes of U.S. and European explorers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. By the 1790s, Mounts Baker, Rainier, and St. Helens were noted and named in the first written descriptions of the Columbia River and Puget Sound regions. In 1805 Lewis and Clark noted Mount Adams. By the mid-19th century each of these four volcanoes had their place on a published map. Glacier Peak wasn't known by settlers to be a volcano until the 1850s, when Native Americans mentioned to naturalist George Gibbs that "another smaller peak to the north of Mount Rainier once smoked." Not until 1898 did Glacier Peak appear on a published map under its current name."


  • Mount Hood, Oregon
    Mount Hood was named in October 1792, after British Admiral Lord Samuel Hood. The peak was spotted on October 29, 1793 by William Broughton, a member of the Captain George Vancouver Expedition. Although Broughton first spotted Mount Hood while on the Columbia River, slightly downstream of the location of today's Vancouver, Washington, however the journals do not name the peak until the next day, October 30, 1792, when Lieutenant Broughton came to the end of his journey up the Columbia River to a location today known as Point Vancouver.


  • Mount Jefferson, Oregon
    Mount Jefferson was named by Lewis and Clark on March 30, 1806, while on their return journey up the Columbia River. They named the peak after President Thomas Jefferson, the president who authorized their expedition.


  • Lassen Peak, California
    Lassen Peak was named after Peter Lassen, an early guide and setter near the peak. According to the Lassen Volcanic National Park Website (2000):    "History here generally describes the period from 1840, even though Jedediah Smith passed through in 1828 on his overland trek to the West Coast. California's gold rush brought the first settlers. Two pioneer trails, developed by William Nobles and Peter Lassen, are associated with the park. In 1851, Nobles discovered an alternate route to California, passing through Lassen. Sections of the Lassen and Nobles Emigrant Trail are still visible. Lassen, for whom the park is named, guided settlers near here and tried to establish a city. Mining, power development projects, ranching, and timbering were all attempted. The area's early federal protection saved it from heavy logging."


  • Mount Mazama
    Mount Mazama is the name for the large stratovolcano that Crater Lake use to be (see Crater Lake above). It was named after a local Oregon climbing club which called themselves "Mazamas". According to the Mazamas FAQ page on their website (2002):    "From the unabridged Webster's dictionary: From mazame (see mazama) from Nahuatl "mazatl" (deer) "A name applied by early writers to various American ruminants supposed to be the Rocky Mountain Goat." The club founders thought that the strongest climber in the mountains (the goat) was an appropriate symbol. The southern Oregon mountain that collapsed and became Crater Lake (Mt. Mazama) was named for the club."


  • Mount McLoughlin, Oregon
    Mount McLoughlin was named after an important figure in Oregon history, Dr. John McLoughlin. An excerpt from the Oregon State Archives, 50th Anniversary Exhibit Website (2001)states:    "John McLoughlin was one of the most influential figures of the fur trade and settlement periods of Pacific Northwest history. Chief Factor of the Columbia District of the British Hudson's Bay Company, he reigned as a benevolent autocrat, befriended Americans, and eventually became an American citizen at Oregon City. ... John McLoughlin has been honored in many ways for the role he played in Oregon's early history. In 1905 the Oregon Legislative Assembly renamed the 9,495 foot Mount Pitt in southern Oregon to Mount McLoughlin. The United States Board of Geographic Names recognized that change in 1912." -- [Excerpt from the Oregon State Archives, 50th Anniversary Exhibit Website, "John McLoughlin: Father of Oregon", June 2001]


  • Newberry Caldera, Oregon
    Newberry Crater is named for Dr. John Strong Newberry, a physician and naturalist, who accompanied the 1855 Topographic Corps Expedition, mapping future railroad routes. Paulina Peak is named for a Snake Indian chief who led raiding parties against white settlers in the 1850s and 1860s.


  • Mount Rainier, Washington
    Mount Rainier, the largest peak in Washington State, was named on May 8, 1792, by Captian George Vancouver. He called the peak "Mount Rainier" after his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier.


  • Mount Shasta, California
    Peter Skene Ogden, a chief trader with the Hudson's Bay Company, is given credit for naming Mount Shasta, even though he was looking at a different peak.


  • Mount St. Helens, Washington
    Mount St. Helens was named on October 20, 1792, by Captain George Vancouver as he sailed off the mouth of the Columbia River. He named the peak for British diplomat Alleyne Fitzherbert (1753-1839), whose title was Baron St. Helens.


  • Mount Thielsen, Oregon
    According to Lewis A. McArthur in Oregon Geographic Names (1982, the Oregon Historical Society Press) states that Mount Thielsen was named "about 1872" by John A. Hurlburt of Portland, in honor of Hans Thielsen. Hans Thielsen was a prominent pioneer railroad engineer and builder. The U.S. Forest Service, Umpqua National Forest Website (2002) states:    "Mount Thielsen was also known as Big Cowhorn. This mountain was known as Hischokwolas to Indians of the area. This rugged horn-like mountain is unique and very distinguishable."


  • Three Sisters, Oregon
    The U.S. Forest Service, Deschutes National Forest Website (2002) states:    "The Three Sisters appear as the "Three Sisters" on Preston's map of Oregon of 1856. The name was probably originally applied by members of the Methodist Mission in Salem in the early 1840's, and the individual peaks were given the names "Mount Faith", "Mount Hope", and "Mount Charity", beginning from the north." The Deschutes County Landmarks website, "The City of Sisters History" (2002) gives more possibilities:    "The town of Sisters derives its name from the three prominent Cascade peaks that grace the southwestern skyline: Faith, Hope, and Charity, collectively known as the Three Sisters. A very old story suggests that the mountains were named in the 1840s by members of a Methodist mission based in Salem. Others credit trappers who frequented the region in the early part of the 19th century."


 
Related Articles:
  • 1839 -- Presidents Range -- Kelley
    In the 1830s Hall J. Kelley proposed naming the volcanoes of the Cascades the "Presidents Range", with each of the peaks bearing the name of a U.S. President. This quotation from Kelley's 1839 Memoir appeared in the March 1917 edition of The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society. Annotations are from the author, Fred W. Powell.

  • 1843 -- Presidents Range -- Farnham
    This version is Thomas J. Farnham's version, as given in his 1843 publication "Travels in the Great Western Prairies, The Anahuac and Rocky Mountains, and in the Oregon Territory".

  • 1845 -- Presidents Range -- Hastings
    This version is Lansford Hasting's version, as given in his 1845 publication "The Emigrants Guide, to Oregon and California ... ". Annotations are interpreted from Hall J. Kelley's map "Territory of Oregon".

  • 1912 -- Nomenclature of Northwest Mountains -- Himes
    Excerpts from an article appearing in the October 1912 edition of Mazama, written by George H. Himes, which gives explanations for the naming of the major peaks of the Cascade Range. The article also refers to Hall J. Kelley's "Presidents Range".


 


If you have questions or comments please contact: GS-CVO-WEB@usgs.gov
2008 - 2011, Lyn Topinka
Return to: Volcanoes and History | CVO Home Page