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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. ]


PALISADES[Mount Goddard, Bishop]
North Palisade (14,254); Middle Palisade (14,049); South Palisade (14,051). South Palisade was named Split Mountain by Bolton Coit Brown in 1895, and is generally so called. (S.C.B., 1896, I:8, p. 309.) This group also includes Agassiz Needle, Mount Winchell, and Mount Sill.

“At the head of the north [middle] fork, along the main crest of the Sierra, is a range of peaks . . . which we called ‘the Palisades’.” (Whitney Survey: Geology, 1865, pp. 393-394.)

The Wheeler Survey used the names N. W. Palisade and S. E. Palisade for the North and South Palisades, respectively, in 1878. (Wheeler Survey: Tables of Geographic Positions, 1883, p. 19.—S.C.B., 1922, XI:3, p. 251.)

Lil A. Winchell, in 1879, named the highest peak for Frank Dusy; and in 1895 Bolton Coit Brown named it for David Starr Jordan; but the name North Palisade, based on the Whitney and Wheeler surveys, has been retained. (S.C.B., 1904, V:1, p. 3; 1896, I:8, p. 296.) First ascent of North Palisade, July 25, 1903, by Joseph N. Le Conte, James K. Moffitt, James S. Hutchinson. (S.C.B., 1904, V:1, pp. 1-19.—See, also, S.C.B., 1921, XI:2, pp. 204-205, and 1922, XI:3, p. 313.)

First ascent of Middle Palisade, August 26, 1921, by Francis Peloubet Farquhar and Ansel Franklin Hall. (S.C.B., 1922, XI:3, pp. 264-270.—See, also, S.C.B., 1926, XII:3, p. 307.)

First ascent of South Palisade. (See Split Mountain .)

There are large glaciers on the eastern side of the Palisades. (S.C.B., 1915, IX:4, pp. 261-263; S.C.B., 1922, XI:3, plate LXXIX.)

PALMER MOUNTAIN (11,264)[Tehipite]
Joe Palmer, a pioneer miner and mountaineer of the Kaweah and Kings River region. The name was originally applied to the mountain directly above Moraine Meadow. Through an error, the names of Palmer Mountain and Avalanche Peak became transposed on U.S.G.S. maps. (J. N. Le Conte, J. B. Agnew.)

PANTHER CREEK, GAP, PEAK (9044)[Tehipite]
The creek was named because of a panther (mountain lion) killed there by Hale Tharp in early days. (G. W. Stewart.)

Northwestern Mountain Lion (Felis oregonensis), also known as cougar, panther, puma. (Grinnell and Storer: Animal Life in the Yosemite, 1924, pp. 95-98.)

PARKER CREEK, PASS, PEAK (12,850)[Mount Lyell]
The creek was named for an early settler of Mono County; the pass and peak derived their names from the creek. (W. L. Huber.)

PARSONS PEAK (12,120)[Mount Lyell]
Named by R. B. Marshall, U.S.G.S., for Edward Taylor Parsons, for many years a director of the Sierra Club and a member of its outing committee; born, 1861, near Rochester, N. Y.; died May 22, 1914. (S.C.B., 1915, IX:4, pp. 219-224.)

In the summer of 1915 the Sierra Club erected the Parsons Memorial Lodge at Tuolumne Soda Springs. (S.C.B., 1916, X:1, pp. 84-85.)

An old name, origin not definitely ascertained. T. S. Solomons says the name should be spelled “Pait.”

PAVILION DOME (11,355)[Mount Goddard]
Named by L. A. Winchell in 1879. (L. A. Winchell.)

Peck ran sheep here about 1870. (Chester Versteeg, from S. L. N. Ellis and Harry Quinn.)

PEELER LAKE[Bridgeport]
Named for Barney Peeler, of Bridgeport. (W. H. Spaulding, in S.C.B., 1925, XII:2, p. 126.)

PERKINS, MOUNT (12,557)[Mount Whitney]
Named by Robert D. Pike in 1906. (J. N. Le Conte.)

George Clement Perkins (1839-1923); native of Maine; governor of California, 1880-1883; U. S. Senator from California, 1893-1915; a charter member of the Sierra Club.

PETER, LAKE[Tehipite]
“The judge [W. B. Wallace of Visalia] stated that he was in the upper part of the basin of the Kaweah with Joe Palmer in 1877, a year of extreme drouth. They were camped at Wet Meadow, between the Giant Forest and Mineral King. On one occasion when following a dim trail up the canyon above Wet Meadow it gave out, and Palmer named a little body of water they discovered, Lake Peter, because the trail petered out at that point.” (George W. Stewart.)

PETTIT PEAK (10,775)[Mount Lyell]
Named by Colonel Forsyth for James Sumner Pettit; graduated U. S. Military Academy, second lieutenant, 1878; first lieutenant, 1882; captain, 1891; major, 1900. (W. W. Forsyth.)

PICKET GUARD PEAK (12,311)[Mount Whitney]
“There is a fine pyramidal peak at the eastern end of the third range, which was always in the background of the view as we entered and ascended the narrow cleft of the Kern-Kaweah. This was named the Picket Guard.” (William R. Dudley, in S.C.B., 1898, II:3, p. 189.)

PINCHOT, MOUNT (13,470, PASS[Mount Whitney]
Occupied as triangulation station in 1905 by members of the U.S.G.S. This was the first ascent. (J. N. Le Conte.—Gannett: Results of Primary Triangulation and Primary Traverse, Fiscal Year 1905-6, U.S.G.S. Bulletin no. 310, 1907, p. 162.)

“Only five miles south [from summit of Split Mountain] there stood a great rounded mass of red slate on the Main Crest, and I allowed myself to change the name Red Mountain given it by Professor Brown [S.C.B., 1896, I:8, p. 309], and already applied to scores of the slate peaks of the Sierra, to Mount Pinchot.” (J. N. Le Conte, in S.C.B., 1903, IV: p. 362.)

Gifford Pinchot; chief of Division of Forestry, U. S. Department of Agriculture (afterwards called Bureau of Forestry, and, later, U. S. Forest Service), 1898-1910; born in Connecticut, 1865; A.B., Yale, 1889; LL.D., McGill, 1909; professor of forestry, Yale; governor of Pennsylvania since 1923.

PIONEER BASIN[Mount Goddard]
Named by R. B. Marshall, U.S.G.S., at time of naming peaks for Stanford, Huntington, Hopkins, and Crocker, pioneer railroad builders of California. (R. B. Marshall.)

Elias Pitman, who had a hunting cabin on its banks in the early days; lived on a ranch six miles below Toll House; moved to Arizona in the late ’70s. (L. A. Winchell.)

PIUTE CREEK, PASS[Mount Goddard]
PIUTE MOUNTAIN (10,489)[Dardanelles]
“A well-known, or rather two well-known Shoshonean divisions, too wide-spread and too loosely organized to be truly designable as tribes, but each possessing a considerable uniformity of speech and customs. The Southern Paiute, who appear to have been first called by this name, lived in southwestern Utah, northern-most Arizona, southern Nevada, and southeastern California, and may be said to include the Chemehuevi and Kawaiisu. Their language is similar to Ute. The Northern Paiute, who disdain this name, although it is universally applied to them by Americans in their habitat, and who have also been called Paviotso in literature, speak a dialect virtually identical with Bannock. They live in eastern Oregon, northwestern Nevada, an eastern fringe of northern and central California, and apparently shade into the Mono. Thus the Indians of Owens River Valley, who appear to be substantially Monos, are commonly called Paiutes. The usual American pronunciation of Paiute is Paiyut, but the meaning of the word, which has been interpreted both as ‘water Ute’ and ‘true Ute,’ cannot be considered as positively determined. Most of the places in California called Piute or Pahute are in or near the range of the Southern Paiute or their close kindred; but a Piute mountain and creek in Tuolumne County are apparently named after the Mono-speaking Indians of Mono County, who affiliate with the ‘false’ or Northern Paiute.” (Kroeber: California Place Names of Indian Origin, 1916, p. 55.)

The pass was named by L. A. Winchell because it was used by Owens Valley Indians. The cañon of the creek was known from early days among the French sheepmen as French Cañon. (L. A. Winchell.)

J. N. Le Conte applied the name of the pass to the creek in 1904, to avoid the name of North Branch of the South Fork of the San Joaquin River. (S.C.B., 1905, v:3, p. 255.)

“The whole basin drained, as well as the meadows adjacent, was known to us of the battalion, as the Pohono branch and meadows.

“The band who inhabited this region as a summer resort, called themselves Po-ho-no-chee, or Po-ho-na-chee, meaning the dwellers in Po-ho-no. . . . I found it impossible to obtain the literal signification of the word, but learned beyond a doubt that Po-bo-no-chee was in some way connected with the stream. I have recently learned that Po-ho-no means a daily puffing wind, and when applied to fall, stream, or meadow, means simply the fall, stream, or meadow of the puffing wind, and when applied to the tribe of Po-ho-no-chees, who occupied the meadows in summer, indicated that they dwelled on the meadows of that stream.

“Mr. Cunningham says: ‘Po-ho-no,’ in the Indian language, means a belt or current of wind coming in puffs and moving in one direction.’. . .

Mr. Hutchings’ interpretation is entirely fanciful, as are most of his Indian translations.” (Bunnell: Discovery of the Yosemite, 1911, pp. 212-213.—See, also, Hutchings: Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity in California, 1860, p. 109.)

(See Bridalveil Fall.)

POLLY DOME (9786)[Mount Lyell]
Named by R. B. Marshall, U.S.G.S., for Mrs. Polly McCabe, daughter of Colonel Forsyth, and wife of Lieutenant Edward Raynsford Warner McCabe, U.S.A. (W. W. Forsyth.)

POST PEAK (10,996)[Mount Lyell]
Named for William S. Post, of the U.S.G.S. (R. B. Marshall.)

Named by R. B. Marshall, U.S.G.S., in 1909, for Dr. Charles Potter, of Boston. (R. B. Marshall.)

Name proposed by Colonel George W. Stewart for old Indian campground at junction of Marble Fork and Middle Fork of Kaweah River. The name of a branch of the Yokut Indians.

“The Potwisha Indians lived along the river above the Wiktsumnes. They were the highest people on the river, and in the summer-time went high into the mountains. They are all dead now. . . . The name of the tribe, or sub-tribe, in question has been called Padwisha, Padwoosha, Badosha, Palwiska, Patwisha, and Potwisha. . . . I believe the correct pronunciation of this tribal name to be Potwisha, or Patwisha, with the sound of the first a as in park or palm. . . . The headquarters of this tribe were near Three Rivers in the winter months. In the summer the headquarters were at Hospital Rock, above the junction of the streams mentioned, where there was also a rancheria.” (Letter from G. W. Stewart, March 29, 1926.)

POWELL, MOUNT (13,361)[Mount Goddard]
Named by R. B. Marshall, U.S.G.S., for John Wesley Powell (1834-1902); explorer of the Colorado River, first to navigate through the Grand Cañon (1869); geologist in charge of the U. S. Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region, 1876-1879; succeeded Clarence King as second director of the U. S. Geological Survey, 1881-1894; first director of the Bureau of Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution. (For biography, see, Frederick S. Dellenbaugh: The Romance of the Colorado River, 1902.)

First ascent by Walter L. Huber and James Rennie, August 1, 1925. (S.C.B., 1926, XII:3, pp. 250-251.)

PRICE PEAK (10,603)[Dardanelles]
George Ehler Price, born in Kentucky, 1875; private, 7th Cavalry, U.S.A., 1896; second lieutenant, 10th Cavalry, 1901; first lieutenant, 14th Cavalry, 1909; retired, 1912. (R. B. Marshall.)

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