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Mt. Emerson (13,204 ft.)
Named by John Muir in 1873
Muir made a mistake in location; he was putting Emerson's name on Mount Humphreys, which had already been named by the Whitney Survey. The present Mount Emerson was probably designated by the USGS in 1907-09 during the survey for the Mt. Goddard 30' map, first published in 1912. The Mt. Goddard 15' map (1948) shows 'Mt. Emerson' as the eastern of two peaks, with an altitude of 13,225. The Mt. Darwin 7.5' quad shows that peak as being 13,204, but puts 'Mt. Emerson' on the western peak of 13,118.
Emerson Lake was originally called 'Tobe Lake,' after Tobe Way, the packer
who first stocked it (Art Schober.)"
- Erwin Gudde, California Place Names
One day in May, 1871, the distinguished poet and essayist Ralph Waldo
Emerson, arrived in the Valley with an escort of Bostonians who hung
upon his every word. There had been letters of introduction, but Muir was
too diffident to present himself in person, so left a note at
Hutchings' hotel. Next day Emerson sought
out the writer and found him at the sawmill. Cordiality was immediate.
Muir invited him to his hang-nest, 'not easy of access, being reached
only by a series of sloping planks roughened by slats like a hen ladder;
but he bravely climbed up and I showed him my collection of plants and
sketches, which seemed to interest him greatly.' Emerson invited Muir to
accompany him to the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, and Muir accepted with
the urgent stipulation that they camp out beneath the giant trees.
Emerson was enthusiastic, but his friends, 'would have none of it, and
held Mr. Emerson to the hotels and trails. "It would never do to lie out
in the night air -- Mr. Emerson might take cold." Sad commentary on
culture and the glorious transcendentalism.' They did visit the Grove,
however, and Emerson was impressed, 'but he was past his prime, and was
now in the hands of his affectionate but sadly civilized friends, who
seemed as full of old-fashioned conformity as of bold intellectual
independence. The party rode away in wondrous contentment. I followed to
the edge of the grove. Emerson lingered, turned his horse, took off his
hat and waved me a last good-by. After sundown I built a great fire, and
as usual had it all to myself.'"
- Francis Farquhar, History of the Sierra Nevada
Poetry by Ralph Waldow Emerson:
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Mt. Emerson
This page last updated: Sat Apr 7 17:02:14 2007
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