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Place Names of the High Sierra (1926)
by Francis P. Farquhar

[ A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, & Z. ]


EAGLE PEAK (7773)[Yosemite]
“This was so named from its being such a favorite resort of this famous bird of prey. I once saw seven eagles here at play; they would skim out upon the air, one following the other, and then swoop perpendicularly down for a thousand or more feet, and thence sail out again horizontally upon the air with such graceful nonchalance that one almost envied them their apparent gratification.” (Hutchings: In the Heart of the Sierras, 1886, p. 479.)

EAST LAKE[Mount Whitney]
Thomas Benton East, hunter, trapper, and cattleman, of Eshom Valley, Tulare County. Named by State Hydrographic Survey party about 1881 or 1882. (Chester Versteeg, from S. L. N. Ellis.—Water Fry.)

EDITH LAKE[Dardanelles]
Named in 1910 by Major Forsyth, acting superintendent of Yosemite National Park, for Edith Nance, daughter of his friend, Colonel Nance, U. S. Army.

EDNA LAKE[Mount Lyell]
Named by R. B. Marshall, U.S.G.S., for Miss Edna Bowman, of San Jose, now (1926) Mrs. Charles J. Kuhn, of San Francisco. (R. B. Marshall.)

EHRNBECK PEAK (11,194)[Dardanelles]
Lieutenant Arthur R. Ehrnbeck, Engineer Corps, U. S. Army, who made a report in 1909 on a comprehensive road and trail project for Yosemite National Park; born in Wisconsin, 1880; graduated U. S. Military Academy, second lieutenant, 1905; first lieutenant, 1908; captain, 1913; major, 1917; retired, 1922. (See appendix A of Report of the Acting Superintendent of the Yosemite National Park for 1909.

EL CAPITAN[Yosemite]
“The native Indian name is To-to-kon oo-lah, from To-to-kon, the sandhill crane, a chief of the First People.” (C. Hart Merriam, in S.C.B., 1917, X:2, p. 206.)

The Indian name appears in various forms of spelling and accent through Yosemite literature, and is given various interpretations. (Hutchings: In the Heart of the Sierras, 1886, p. 396. Hutchings: Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity in California, 1860, pp. 103-106. Whitney: Yosemite Guide Book, 1870, p. 16. Powers: Tribes of California, in Contributions to North American Ethnology, III, 1877, pp. 363, 366-367. Bertha H. Smith: Yosemite Legends, 1904, pp. 47-54. Merriam: The Dawn of the World, 1910, p. 35.)

“In adopting the Spanish interpretation, ‘El Capitan,’ for Tote-ack-ah-noo-la, we pleased our mission interpreters and conferred upon the majestic cliff a name corresponding to its dignity.” (Bunnell: Discovery of the Yosemite, 1880, p. 211.)

The lake was named in the ’60s by the Whitney Survey for Eleanor Goddard Whitney (1856-1882), daughter of Josiah Dwight Whitney, state geologist of California. Shown on Hoffmann-Gardiner map of 1863-1867, in Whitney’s Yosemite Guide Book, 1870.

Lake converted into reservoir for City and County of San Francisco system, under act of Congress of December 19, 1913. (See Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.) Construction of dam begun 1917; completed 1918.

Named by R. B. Marshall, U.S.G.S., in 1909, for a daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Samuel E. Simmons, of Sacramento. (R. B. Marshall.)

Stewart Edward White and Mrs. (Elizabeth Grant) White crossed from the head of Deadman Cañon in the Roaring River country to the Middle Fork of Kaweah River and named the pass for Mrs. White. (White: The Pass, 1906, pp. 157-158.) The account of their expedition was first published inOuting Magazine, March, April, May, 1906. By mistake, they crossed the divide a difficult route. The name is now generally accepted for the true pass, a little to the west of the one used by the Whites.

ELLERY LAKE[Mount Lyell]
Nathaniel Ellery, of Eureka, State Engineer in charge of construction of the State Highway from Mono Lake via Leevining Cañon to Tioga Pass in 1909. (R. B. Marshall.)

Sam L. N. Ellis, for many years head ranger of the U. S. Forest Service in the Kings River region, and one-time supervisor of Tulare County. (Walter Fry.)

EL PORTAL[Yosemite]
Spanish for “The Gateway,” “The Entrance.” Named by officers of Yosemite Valley Railroad Company, about 1907.

Portion from Pohono Bridge to Old Blacksmith Shop originally part of Coulterville Road; portion from Old Blacksmith Shop to El Portal built by Yosemite Valley Railroad Company, 1907, and, with exception of a mile outside park boundary, turned over to Government; completely reconstructed, 1916-1918, 1920; portion from park boundary to El Portal rebuilt by state, 1920, and paved, 1922. (W. B. Lewis.)

Named in 1925 by Superintendent John R. White, of Sequoia National Park.

EMERALD PEAK (12,517)[Mount Goddard]
Named by Theodore S. Solomons, in 1895, on account of its color. (Appalachia, 1896, VIII:1, p. 46.) First ascent by Norman Clyde, Julie de C. Mortimer, Eleanor E. Bartlett. (S.C.B., 1926, XII:3, p. 307.)

Named by Lieutenant N. F. McClure, U.S.A., in 1895, for Henry F. Emeric, of San Francisco, president of the Board of Fish Commissioners, State of California, a charter member of the Sierra Club. (N. F. McClure.)

EMERSON, MOUNT (13,226)[Mount Goddard]
“I have named a grand wide-winged mountain on the head of the Joaquin Mount Emerson. Its head is high above its fellows and wings are white with ice and snow.” (John Muir in a letter to Mrs. Ezra S. Carr, September, 1873. —Badè: Life and Letters of John Muir, 1923, I, p. 389.) An illustration by William Keith in Picturesque California, edited by John Muir, 1888, vol. I, opp. p. 4, suggests that Muir’s Mount Emerson is the present Mount Humphreys.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882); poet, essayist, and philosopher; A.B., Harvard, 1821; LL.D., Harvard, 1866.

Emerson visited Yosemite Valley in May, 1871, spending most of his time for several days with John Muir, who accompanied him to the Mariposa Grove. (John Muir: Our National Parks, 1901, pp. 131-136; Badè: Life and Letters of John Muir, 1923, I, pp. 252-257; Thayer: A Western Journey. with Mr. Emerson, 1884.)

Name given by Theodore S. Solomons, in 1895, to the gorge between Scylla, and Charybdis on Disappearing Creek. (Appalachia, 1896, VIII:1, p. 55.)

EPIDOTE PEAK (10,900)[Bridgeport]
“Epidote, a complex lime-iron-alumina silicate, often recognizable by its peculiar pistachio-green color, is derived from other silicates, and is rather common in many varieties of crystalline rocks.” (Chamberlin and Salisbury: Geology, vol. I, 2d edition, 1909, p. 430

ERICSSON, MOUNT (13,625)[Mount Whitney]
Captain John Ericsson (1803-1889), inventor of the Monitor. Named by Professor and Mrs. Bolton Coit Brown, in 1896, when they made the first ascent.

“As it seemed that we were the first to make this ascent, we built a monument and left a record, naming it in honor of Capt, John Ericsson, and in recognition of its extremely craggy character, ‘Crag Ericsson.’” (S.C.B., 1897, II:2, p. 92.)

Named for a man named Eshom, who was one of the first residents of the region. Eshom. Valley was a camping-place of Indians. The Indian name, Cha-ha-du, means “Place where clover grows the year round.” (George W. Stewart.)

Evelyn Clough, sister of William 0. Clough, who discovered Clough’s cave, married George Cahoon. By subsequent marriages she was Mrs. Busby, Mrs. Mentier, Mrs. Long. (Ansel F. Hall.)

EVELYN LAKE[Mount Lyell]
Named for a daughter of Major Forsyth, acting superintendent of Yosemite National Park, 1909-1912. (R. B. Marshall.)

Theodore S. Solomons, in July, 1895, named the peaks at the head of what was then called “The Middle Fork of the South Fork of the San Joaquin River” for Darwin, Wallace, Huxley, Haeckel, Spencer, and Fiske—the “Evolution” group of philosophers. He called the lake at the foot of Mount Darwin, Evolution Lake. The name was naturally extended to the creek, and the mountains are often spoken of as the Evolution Group. (T. S. Solomons.)

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Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management