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

First Ascent of Mount Adams, Washington
Late August or Early September, 1854

Excerpts from:
Meany, Edmond S., 1917, History of the Adams-St. Helens Region, IN: The Mountaineer, December 1917, vol.X, p.26-28.

A.G. Aiken, Edward J. Allen, and Andrew J. Burge are given credit for the first ascent of Mount Adams.

Mr. George H. Himes wrote in Steel Points, ca.1907, and re-told in an article by Edmond S. Meany titled "History of the Adams-St. Helens Region (The Mountaineer, December 1917):

"In conversation with Mr. A.G. Aiken, of Marshfield, Coos County Oregon (who, by the way, was in the same train to which I belonged while crossing the plains in 1853), I learned that Edward J. Allen, Andrew J. Burge and himself made the ascent late in August or early in September, 1854. These persons belonged to a party of men who left Steilacoom a few weeks before the ascent was made to work on the military road that was then being constructed by government authority from the Columbia River through the Naches Pass to Puget Sound, following generally the trail pertially made by the immigrant party of the fall of 1853. It was while this company was camped a few miles northeast of the base of Mount Adams that the three above-mentioned persons decided to make the climb. As I have ahd a personal acquaintance with all three men, I have no doubt as to the fact of their making a successful ascent."

Edmund Meany in the 1917 The Mountaineer goes on to say:

"If any of those three men kept diaries or wrote letters about their climb, such writings may yet come to light. If not, this record rescued by Mr. Himes will probably have to stand as the account of the first ascent of Mount Adams."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Excerpt from:
Himes, George H., 1907, First Climbers of Mount Adams, IN: Steel Points, vol.1, no.3, April 1907, p.134-135.


In a communication to the Oregonian on July 31, 1901, I gave the names of several parties whom so far as known at that time, were believed to have been the first white people to ascent Mount Adams, as follows:

"August 6, 1867 -- Samuel L. Brooks, Malcolm A. Moody, Miss Julia Johnson, of The Dalles; W.C. Johnson, Oregon City; A.R. Booth, White Bluffs, W.T.; Edwin Eells, Walla Walla, W.T., and Miss Catherine Aubert, Hood River, ascended Mount Adams, reaching the summit in seven hours. Brooks descended on a tin plate in one and one-half hours."

Recently I received information which shows that the above quoted statement is incorrect, and it is as follows:

In the summer of either 1863 or 1864 a camping party left White Salmon for Mount Adams, made up of the following persons: Nathaniel Coe and his son, Henry C. Coe, Hood River; Mr. Phelps and W.D. Stillwell, of The Dalles; Mrs. Joslyn, of White Salmon; Miss Julia A. Johnson and Miss Sarah Josephine Fisher, of Oregon City, and probably two others whose names cannot be recalled, and started up the mountain. Of the seven and possible nine, four reached the summit, viz., Henry C. Coe, Mr. Phelps, Miss Julia A. Johnson and Miss Sarah J. Fisher. This date was obtained from the latter person, who is now Mrs. Sarah J. Henderson, for many years a resident of this city. Captain Coe is also a resident of Portland and well known up and down the Columbia river. These two persons are the only survivors of the party referred to, so far as known. -- Oregonian, September 16, 1904.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Excerpt from:
Mazama, 1896, vol.1, no.1, p.124-125


(note, only those who climbed in 1864 and 1867 are shown here, later climbers and dates are in the publication ... note names differ from Himes above)

1864 ... Clayton, H.
1864 ... Coe, Henry C., Hood River
1864 ... Coe, Charles C., Hood River
1864 ... Condon, Rev. Thos., The Dalles
1864 ... Johnson, "Indian," White Salmon, Wn.
1864 ... Stillwell, William B.

1867 ... Aubert, Catherine, Hood River
1867 ... Booth, A.R., The Dalles
1867 ... Brooks, Samuel, The Dalles
1867 ... Eells, Edwin, Walla Walla, Wn.
1867 ... Johnson, Julia A., Oregon City
1867 ... Joyhnson, W. Carey, Oregon City
1867 ... Winston, Mrs. Jas. R., Oregon City

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Excerpts from:
Bent, Allen H., 1913, Early American Mountaineers, IN: Appalachia, May 1913, vol.XII, no.1 p.45-67.

[p.62 ...]    Mt. Adams, 12,307 feet, the next to the highest of the mountains in Washington, was climbed in 1854 by Colonel B.F. Shaw, Glenn Aiken and Edward J. Allen ...


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