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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. ]


“This name was given in honor of the devoted wife of the great arctic voyager, Sir John Franklin, who paid Yo Semite a visit in 1863. From this rock one of the best of all views is obtained of the Vernal Fall.” (Hutchings: In the Heart of the Sierras, 1886, p. 440

“Lady Franklin—bless her loyal woman‘s heart—was carried in a litter up to this point and rested on the broad flat rock which bears her name.” (H[elen] H[unt] [Jackson]: Bits of Travel at Home, 1878, p. 118.)

Lady Jane Franklin (1792-1875); second wife of Sir John Franklin, British naval officer and arctic explorer, who was lost while trying to find the Northwest Passage in 1847. Lady Franklin fitted out five search expeditions between 1850 and 1857, the last of which brought back news of the disaster. Thereafter Lady Franklin traveled extensively over most of the civilized world.

LAMBERT DOME (See Lembert Dome)

LANGILLE PEAK (11,981)[Mount Goddard]
Harold Douglas Langille, formerly forest inspector, U. S. General Land Office, Department of the Interior; now residing in Portland, Oregon; visited Sierra Forest Reserve on inspection tour in 1904. Peak named by U.S.G.S. at suggestion of Charles H. Shinn. Pronounced “Lan'jill.”

“I think it was not more than ten days that the Inspector and the Head Ranger [Charles H. Shinn] rode the Sierra trails, but they saw every ranger, every timber-purchaser, almost every stockman, and to all three classes of men, H. D. Langille made clear what the Government was driving at, what the regulations meant, and why they should be observed. Thoroughly familiar with similar forests in Oregon, from his boyhood, and an early graduate of the Yale Forest School, he was able to act as the ideal inspector should, showing in his reports as well as in his talks with the men, exactly where the weakest places in their work were,—and also where the good work had been done; and, as we afterwards learned, showing the Washington men what unnecessary hardship some of their regulations worked on the western users of the forests.” (Letter from Julia T. [Mrs. Charles H.] Shinn, December 15, 1925.)

LANGLEY, MOUNT (14,042)[Mount Whitney]
Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906); professor of astronomy and physics, Western University of Pennslyvania and director of Allegheny Observatory, 1867-1887; secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1887-1906; conducted expedition to Mount Whitney, 1881, for researches in solar heat; experimented in problem of mechanical flight, pioneering the way for development of aviation.

This mountain is famous for being confused for several years with Mount Whitney. In 1871 Clarence King, accompanied by a Frenchman from Lone Pine, Paul Pinson, climbed from Lone Pine to the summit of what he supposed to be the peak that he and his companions in 1864 had named Mount Whitney. (King: Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada, 1872, pp. 264-281.)

“On the 27th day of July, 1873, Mr. W. W. Belshaw, of Cerro Gordo, and myself [W. A. Goodyear, rode our mules to the highest crest of the peak southwest of Lone Pine, which for over three years now, has been known by the name of Mount Whitney, and which was ascended and measured as such by Mr. Clarence King, in the summer of 1871. . . . Certain it is, however, that the peak which for over three years has borne the name of Whitney, has done so only by mistake, and that a new name must be found for it; while the name of Whitney must now go back to the peak to which it was originally given in 1864, and which is, in reality, the highest and grandest of this culminating cluster of the Sierra Nevada.” (Goodyear: Situation and Altitude of Mount Whitney, in Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 1873-74, V: pp. 139-144.)

“This peak has since been called Mount Corcoran by the artist, Mr. Albert Bierstadt.” (Wheeler Survey: Geographical Report, 1889, p. 99.)

As the name “Sheep Mountain,” by which this summit was commonly known, was not sufficiently distinctive, the name Langley was placed on it in 1905. (S.C.B., 1910, VII:3, p. 141.)

LE CONTE DIVIDE[Mount Goddard]
LE CONTE, MOUNT (13,960)[Mount Whitney]
Named for Joseph Le Conte, professor of geology and natural history at the University of California, 1869-1901.

Born February 26, 1823, on the plantation “Woodmanston,” Liberty County, Georgia; University of Georgia, A.B. 1841, A.M. 1845; College of Physicians and Surgeons (N. Y.), M.D. 1845; Harvard (Lawrence Scientific School), S.B. 1851; LL.D., University of Georgia, 1879, Princeton, 1896; at Harvard studied under Agassiz; professor of natural history at University of Georgia, 1853-1856; professor of chemistry and geology, South Carolina College, 1857-1869; went to the new University of California in 1869 with his brother John; member of the American Philosophical Society, National Academy of Sciences, and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; lectured and published extensively; a charter member of the Sierra Club.

“In the summer of the same year [1870], at the end of the first session of the University, eight of the students invited Professor Frank Soulé, Jr., and rne to join them in a camping trip to the Sierras, and we joyfully accepted. This trip was almost an era in my life. We were gone six weeks and visited the Yosemite, the high Sierra, Lake Mono and the volcanoes in the vicinity, and Lake Tahoe. . . . I never enjoyed anything else so much in my life—perfect health, the merry party of young men, the glorious scenery, and, above all, the magnificent opportunity for studying mountain origin and structure.” Autobiography of Joseph Le Conte, 1903, p. 247.)

The account of these “Ramblings Through the High Sierra” was published privately in 1875 and reprinted in Sierra Club Bulletin, 1900, III:1, pp. 1-107.

Professor Le Conte visited the Sierra many times. In 1900 he went on a six weeks’ camping trip in the Kings River region with his son (Joseph N. Le Conte), his daughter (Mrs. Emma Le Conte Furman), and Miss Helen Gompertz (later Mrs. Joseph N. Le Conte). (Sunset Magazine, October, 1900, v:6, pp. 275-286.)

In 1901 he returned to Yosemite for the eleventh time. There he died on the morning of July 6th after a few hours’ illness. (S.C.B., 1902, IV:1, pp. 1-11.)

The Sierra Club erected the Le Conte Memorial Lodge in Yosemite Valley in 1903 and dedicated it in 1904. (S.C.B., 1904, V:1, pp. 66-69; S.C.B., 1905, V:3, pp. 176-180, 254.) It was removed from the original site to its present location in 1919. (S.C.B., 1920, XI:1, pp. 91-92.)

The Le Conte Divide separates the South Fork of San Joaquin from North Fork of Kings River.

“Cross this ledge well to the right and gradually approach the river, which can be followed to the head of what is in many respects the most majestic cascade in the whole cañon, the Le Conte Cascade, so named by us in honor of our esteemed Professor, Joseph Le Conte.” (Robert M. Price: Through the Tuolumne Cañon. S.C.B., 1895, I:6, p. 204.)

“A conical mass of rock about 150 feet high and 250 feet in diameter forms the apex of Le Conte. After careful investigation we found this utterly impossible to climb. So we placed the monument on the north side of the dome where it can be easily seen by anyone approaching the summit; and in a small can we put a photograph of the Professor, with the following memorandum: ‘Today, the 14th day of August, 1895, we, undersigned, hereby name this mountain Le Conte, in honor of the eminent geologist, Professor Joseph Le Conte. . . . A. W. de la Cour Carroll, Stafford W. Austin’.” (S.C.B., 1896, I:8, pp. 325-326.)

First ascent of Mount Le Conte, by Norman Clyde, July, 1925. (S.C.B., 1926, XII:3, pp. 305-306.)

LE CONTE CAÑON[Mount Goddard]
Named for Joseph Nisbet Le Conte, professor of engineering mechanics, University of California; son of Professor Joseph Le Conte, born 1870; B.S., University of California 1891; M.M.E., Cornell, 1892; president of the Sierra Club, 1915-1917, a charter member, and for many years a director.

Le Conte, James S. Hutchinson, and Duncan McDuffie brought pack-mules over Muir Pass and down Le Conte Cañon July 18, 1908. (S.C.B., 1909, VII:1, pp. 16-17.)

The point above Little Hetch Hetchy was named by R. B. Marshall, U.S.G.S. (R. B. Marshall.)

“Leroy Vining and a few chosen companions, with one of Moore’s scouts as guide, went over the Sierras to the place where the gold had been found [in 1852], and established themselves on what has since been known as Vining’s Gulch or Creek.” (Bunnell: Discovery of the Yosemite, 1880, p. 278.)

Erroneously spelled LAMBERT on many maps and references.

John Baptist Lembert took up a homestead quarter-section of land in Tuolumne Meadows in 1885. The property included the soda springs and the meadow land across the river. He had previously lived in and around Yosemite. He built a log cabin on his claim and lived there, raising angora goats until the winter of 1889—go when he lost his goats in the storms. Thereafter he collected butterflies and botanical specimens, which he sold to museums. In 1895 he was issued a United States patent on his claim.

He continued to live on his soda-springs property during the summers, but spent the winters in a cabin near Cascade Creek below Yosemite Valley. Here, in the winter of 1896-97, his body was found, evidently murdered.

The Tuolumne Meadows property passed to his brother, Jacob Lembert who sold it in 1898 to the McCauley brothers. In 1912 it was purchased by members of the Sierra Club and held in trust for the club.

The Dome, being the most prominent object in the neighborhood, came to be known by the name of the hermit settler. (William E. Colby.—See, also, S.C.B., 1913, IX:1, pp. 36-39.)

Named for the brothers, Frank M. Lewis and Jeff Lewis, pioneer stockmen, prospectors, and hunters, of the Kings River region. Frank M. Lewis, born in what is now Madera County, 1857; has spent most every summer in the Sierra since 1870; prospected over Cartridge and Pinchot passes about 1875; probably first white man over these passes. (Frank M. Lewis.)

The resemblance in form of the mountain to the cap of Liberty on the half-dollar of the early nineteenth century was brought to attention of Governor Stanford in 1865 by J. Hutchings. Standing before the mountain, Stanford proposed that it be called Cap of Liberty instead of Mount Broderick or other names by which it had been known. (Hutchings: In the Heart of the Sierras, 1886, p. 445.) In recent years the name Liberty Cap has become the usual form.

LION ROCK[Tehipite]
Mansell Brooks, a sheepman, killed a mountain lion near there in 1883. (Chester Versteeg, from S. L. N. Ellis.)

LIPPINCOTT MOUNTAIN (12,263)[Tehipite]
Joseph Barlow Lippincott, hydrographer for U. S. Geological Survey and U. S. Reclamation Service, 1894-1904; born in Pennsylvania, 1864; now (1926) living in Los Angeles.

“After about three miles [up Soda Creek] we turned south abruptly up a difficult hill to a little mountain lake, one of the exquisite sort so frequently met with, which rested in a hollow of the country rock just below an unnamed granite peak, which merely on account of its symmetry and position had for some time been holding our attention. Here we made a mid-day camp, naming the bit of water ‘Little Claire Lake,’ tacking the sign to a tamarack-pine tree on the northern shore.” (Willis Linn Jepson in S.C.B., 1903, IV:3, p. 214.)

This was on a trip over the Hockett trail with Ralph Hopping in August, 1900. Named for Ralph Hopping’s daughter, then about seven years old, now Mrs. Parker Talbot of Redding, California. (Guy Hopping.)

Pierre (Pete) Giraud, the “Little Pete” of Mary Austin’s The Flock (1906, pp. 52, 160), a well-known sheepman of Inyo County. (W. A. Chalfant.)

LOG MEADOW[Tehipite]
First visited by Hale D. Tharp, 1858, when he carved his name and the date on a huge fallen sequoia at the edge of the meadow. Later, Tharp occupied this hollow sequoia log as a summer cabin, fitting it with a door and window. “This fallen tree is 24 feet in diameter at the butt and is estimated as having been 311 feet in height when it fell. . . . The hollowed out portion of the log in which Mr. Tharp lived consists of a room 56 1/2 feet in length and 8 feet high in front, tapering to 4 feet in height and width at the rear.” (Walter Fry, in Sequoia National Park Nature Guide Service, Bulletin No. 1, Nov. 22, 1924.)

“By the middle of the afternoon [I] discovered his noble den in a fallen Sequoia hollowed by fire—a spacious loghouse of one log, carbon-lined, centuries old, yet sweet and fresh, weather proof, earthquake proof, likely to out-last the most durable stone castle, and commanding views of garden and grove grander far than the richest king ever enjoyed.” (Muir: Our National Parks, 1901, p. 305; also, in Atlantic Monthly, September, 1901, p. 313.)

“The name was suggested to us by the very distinct profile of an Indian’s face and feathery head-gear in the mountain south of the lake. If you will look in Volume IV, no. 3, of the Sierra Club Bulletin, 1903, plate LXXI, opposite Page 197, you will find a photo of the lake, showing the mountain in the background, and by looking at the photo sidewise you will see the face distinctly. I believe that the mountain which suggested the name is the one marked 11,469 feet in height, just south of the lake. I notice in the article that my brother speaks of the mountain as being west of the lake, but in this I think he is mistaken. In those days our maps were very crude.” (Letter from J. S. Hutchinson, 1924.)

LONGLEY PASS[Mount Whitney]
“Upon reaching its farther end, we had conquered the first divide, and were overlooking Bubbs Creek and the Kings River country. We blazed the trail from the point where we left Roaring River until we got above timber-line. This pass was 13,075 feet in elevation, by the barometer. As the writer had been the first to reach its summit, the party concluded to call it Longley’s Pass, as a means of identification in the future.” (Howard Longley: From Fresno to Mt. Whitney by Way of Roaring (or Cloudy) River, in S.C.B., 1895, I:6, p. 90.)

The pass is just south of Mount Brewer and leads to Lake Reflection.

LOST ARROW[Yosemite]
Ummo. Rocks between the Yosemite Falls and Indian Cañon; means ‘lost arrow’.” (Whitney: The Yosemite Book, 1868, p. 17.)

“The rocks near which we were encamped, between ‘Indian Cañon’ and ‘The Falls,’ were now called by the Po-ho-no-chee scouts who were with us, ‘Hammo,’ or ‘Ummo,’ ‘The Lost Arrow,’ in commemoration of the event.” (Bunnell: Discovery of the Yosemite, 1880, p. 169.—For the “event,” see Bunnell, p. 162.) For another version, see Powers: Tribes of California, in Contributions to North American Ethnology, III, 1877, pp. 363-364.

For the imaginary legend, see Hutchings: In the Heart of the Sierras, 1886, pp. 370-374; and Bertha H. Smith: Yosemite Legends, 1904, pp. 19-30. See, also, Galen Clark: Indians of the Yosemite, 1904, pp. 76-78, 96-100.

John W. Loyd ran sheep there in the ’70s. Name spelled “Lloyd” on maps but family use spelling “Loyd.” (Chester Versteeg, from E. W. Loyd, of Porterville, son of John W. Loyd.)

Named in 1894 by R. B. Marshall, U.S.G.S., for Theodore Parker Lukens (1848-1918); mayor of Pasadena, 1890-1895; interested in reforestation; made several trips in the High Sierra. (R. B. Marshall.)

The May Lundy mine was discovered in 1879, and operated during the early ’80s; named for a young girl whose family lived at the head of Lundy Lake. (Grant H. Smith—Eighth Annual Report of the State Mineralogist, 1888, pp. 367-371.)

LYELL, MOUNT (13,090)[Mount Lyell]
“Mount Lyell, from Sir Charles Lyell [1797-1875], whose admirable geological works have been well known to students of this branch of science, in this country, for the past thirty years.” (Whitney: Yosemite Guide Book, 1870, p. 100.)

“The culminating point of the Mount Lyell group was ascended [1863], by Messrs. Brewer and Hoffmann; but they were unable to reach the very summit, which was found to be a sharp pinnacle of granite rising up above the snow.” (Whitney Survey: Geology, 1865, p. 431.)

“Members of the State Geological Survey Corps having considered it impossible to reach the summit of this lofty peak, the writer was astonished to learn from Mr. A. T. Tileston, of Boston, after his return to the Valley from a jaunt of health and pleasure in the High Sierra, that he had personally proven it to be possible by making the ascent. Incredible as it seemed at the time, three of us found Mr. Tileston’s card upon it some ten days afterwards.” (Hutchings: In the Heart of the Sierras, 1886, p. 488.)

First ascent by John Boies Tileston (1834-1898), of Boston, Massachusetts, August 29, 1871. (Letters of John Boies Tileston, Boston, 1922, pp. 89-90— S.C.B., 1926, XII:3, pp. 304-305.) This is undoubtedly the ascent referred to by Hutchings, who merely made a mistake in the initials. That John Muir did not climb the mountain until late in the fall of 1871 is indicated by his notes and writings.

“In 1889 the only records on the summit were: Edward A. Parker, —— McLean, July 2, 1875; 1. C. Russell, G. K. Gilbert, Aug. 12, 1883; W. D. Johnson, John Miller, Aug. 23-24, 1883; Gustave Starke, Sept. 12, 1885; H. P. Dyer, A. C. Dixon, J. A. Marsh, V. K. Chestnut, July 23, 1889.” (J. N. Le Conte, in S.C.B., 1922, XI:3, p. 247.) Parker and McLean were students of Professor Joseph Le Conte. (J. N. Le Conte.)

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