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

Peter Skene Ogden

Viewing Mounts Hood, St. Helens, and Adams, 1825,
discovering Newberry Caldera, 1826,
and the naming of Mount Shasta, 1827

Excerpts from:
1) Journal of Peter Skene Ogden; Snake Expeiditon, 1825-1826, as copied by Miss Agnes C. Laut in 1905 from Original in Hudson's Bay Company House, London, England, IN: The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, vol.X, no.4, p.331-365, December 1909, editorial notes by T.C. Elliott.

2) Journal of Peter Skene Ogden: Snake Expedition, 1826-7, as copied by Miss Agnes C. Laut in 1905 from Original in Hudson's Bay Company House, London, England, IN: The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, vol.XI, no.2, p.201-222, June 1910, editorial notes by T.C. Elliott.

3) The College of the Siskiyous "Mount Shasta Collection" archives website, 2009.

Peter Skene Ogden was a chief trader with the Hudson's Bay Company. In the period 1824-1829, he led five trapping expeditions to the upper reaches of the Columbia River, at the time known as "Snake Country" after the Snake Indian tribes which resided there.

Viewing Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams
Monday, December 5, 1825

... Started at 8 A. M. Our guide informed us there were some small deer to be seen. I despatched 3 hunters; about 12 o'clock came to the end of the hills - a grand and noble sight - Mount Hood bearing due west, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Nesqually [Mount Adams from near Tygh Valley] Northwest, covered with eternal snow, and in a southern direction other lofty mountains in form and shape of sugar loaves. At the foot of all these mountains were lofty pines, which added greatly to the grandeur of the prospect. Could anything make it more so? After descending the last hill, which occupied nearly 2 hours, we reached a fine plain; sandy soil covered with wormwood. We crossed over to this place, a large fork of the River of the Falls; another fork of the same was also seen near, taking its course S. E., and the latter S. W. Both forks were wooded and formerly stocked with beaver, but the Nez Perces Indians have destroyed all; both appear to take their rise from a mountain not far, and covered with snow. The mild weather must account for the high water and muddy colour - in fact so thick we could scarcely swallow it. My hunters had no success. An Indian who killed an antelope gave me a share; a most acceptable present; the first meat since we left the fort. Some petrifactions of the fir tree were collected. Course S. E.; distance 15 miles. ...

Discoverying Newberry Caldera, Paulina and East Lakes
Wednesday, November 16, 1826

... Ascended the divide [presumably Paulina Mountains] descended and had the pleasure of finding 2 lakes [Paulina Lake and East Lake] one small the other large due west Salt Lake. These lakes are a God-send. It was a consolation to see our poor horses quench their thirst. Pines and hemlocks are the only trees. Numbers of bear tracks seen. This is the season bears seek winter lodgings and are fat. Our hunters came in without success. ...

Naming of Mount Shasta
February 14, 1827

... Wind blew a gale. If the ship destined for the Columbia be on the coast in this stormy weather, I should feel anxious for her. Having 40 beaver to skin and dress I did not raise camp. It is a pleasure to observe the ladys of the camp vieing who will produce on their return to Ft. Vancouver the cleanest and best dressed beaver. One of the trappers yesterday saw a domestic cat gone wild. It must have come from the coast. All the Indians persist in saying they know nothing of the sea. I have named this river Sastise River. There is a mountain equal in height to Mount Hood or Vancouver, I have named Mt. Sastise. I have given these names from the tribes of Indians. ...

The "wrong" Mount Shasta

From "College of the Siskiyous" website's "Mount Shasta Collection" (2009):

"... According to Miesse, Peter Skene Ogden (in his 1826-27 journal) refers to a mountain, a tribe, and a river as "Sastice" "Castice" "Sistise" and "Sasty." Based on his description, we know the mountain he was referring to was actually what is now known as Mt. McLoughlin in Southern Oregon. The Sastise River is now called the Rogue (some Indians in the area referred to themselves as "Kqwu'-sta"). It is also believed that the Wilkes Expedition (1838-42) mistakenly transposed Ogden's Sastise to the mountain that we call Shasta today. This is not as hard to do as it seems. By the time of the Gold Rush (1849) lots of maps showing our local mountain with names such as "Shasty", "Shaste", and "Sasty" were printed. Also, between 1842 and 1850 a number of journals and maps listed our mountain as Saste, Sasty, Shaste, Shasty, Shatasla, Sastise, Castice, and Sistise. ..."

Digital versions of "The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society"
were found at "Google Books" Website (2009).


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2008 - 2011, Lyn Topinka
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