Saturday, October 15, 2016

Garfield Peak in Crater Lake National Park named for politician and lawyer James Rudolph Garfield

Garfield Peak with Crater Peak in the background
Craggy Garfield Peak (left half of picture) with cone-shaped Crater Peak in the background
Garfield Peak in Crater Lake National Park was named by William Gladstone Steel for James Rudolph Garfield (1865-1950), who was the son of the 20th President of the United States, James Abram Garfield (1831-1881). J. R. Garfield was Secretary of the Interior in the Roosevelt administration. He was the first cabinet officer to visited Crater Lake in the summer of 1907—five years after Crater Lake was declared a national park during Teddy Roosevelt's presidency [1-3].

From the rustic lodge in Crater Lake's Rim Village, a hiking trail follows the craggy rim to the summit of Garfield Peak (8054 ft, 2455 m). The round-trip, with an elevation gain of 1010 ft (308 m) during the ascend, is 3.4 miles long. The hike was rated difficult (Hike 5 in Trails of Crater Lake by William L. Sullivan, Navillus Press, Eugene, 2014). 

References and more to explore
[1] Names and Places of Crater Lake. Appendix H in Crater Lake Historic Resource Study [].
[2] Oregon Hikers: Garfield Peak [].
[3] Wiki 2: Garfield Peak (Oregon) []. 

Crater Lake's Merriam Cone named for the American scientist and educator John Campbell Merriam

Illustration of Merriam Cone, an underwater cinder cone southwest of Cleetwood Cove, Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake's Merriam Cone is an underwater cinder cone—hidden from view in contrast to Wizard Island (another cinder cone), which can be seen from almost any place on the rim, including the Sinnott Memorial Overlook at Rim Village. While volcanic Wizard Island is named for its resemblance with a sorcerer's hat, the underwater volcano is named in honor of John Campbell Merriam (1869-1945) [1-5].

Merriam was a paleontologist, conservationist and educator. He achieved scientific prominence at UC Berkeley, California, from where he led expeditions to study fossils in California, Nevada and the Pacific Northwest. In Oregon, he was influential in turning the John Day Fossil Beds into a state park. In the 1920s, Merriam became director of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, fostering scientific research. There, he tapped Carnegie money to augment federal funding for the Sinnott Overlook with its educational exhibits. Merriam viewed the dramatic landscape of Crater Lake National Park as a “superuniversity of nature,” inspiring and educating visitors [6]. Stephen R. Mark writes [6]:

For Merriam, Crater Lake stood out as a superb case study, an opportunity to show how a scientist could develop a formalized program of “interpreting” nature for the general public.

Today, “nature & science lovers” can find various interpretive sites at Crater Lake, but also uninterpreted ones to test their own knowledge and skills in appreciating and understanding creation through natural processes—geological processes reshaping our dynamic Earth.

Keywords: geography, traveling, natural history, geology, cinder cone, outdoor learning.

References and more to explore
[1] USGS: Merriam Cone, Crater Lake, Oregon [].
[2] Stephen R. Mark: John C. Merriam (1869-1945). The Oregon Encyclopedia. [].
[3] Chester Stock: John Campbell Merriam (1869-1945). National Academy of Science, Washington D.C., 1951 [].
[4] UCSB: John Campbell Merriam (1869-1945) [].
[5] UCMP: John C. Merriam (1869-1945) [].
[6]  Stephen R. Mark: A Study in Appreciation of Nature. John C. Merriam and the Educational Purpose of Crater Lake National Park. Oregon Historical Quarterly 2002, 103 (1), pp. 98-123 [].

Friday, October 7, 2016

Crater Lake's Wizard Island named for its shape resembling a sorcerer's hat

Crater Lake with Wizard Island and Llao Rock
Wizard Island and Llao Rock (top right) named by William Steel, who initiated the national park idea of Crater Lake
Wherever standing on the rim surrounding Crater Lake, visitors marvel at the deep blue water and the green-gray island of the lake's west side: Wizard Island. This volcanic island appears cone-shaped whether you see it from the Sinnott_Lookout at Rim Village, a West Rim Drive spot or any other rim lookout. To get on to Wizard Island, you need to descend Cleetwood Cove Trail and get on a tour boat with an interpretive ranger. While approaching the cinder cone you may wonder how the island got its name.  

Crater Lake's early promoter William Gladstone Steel, who first visited Crater Lake in 1885, thought the cone looks like a sorcerer's hat [1]. He named the island Wizard Island and stuck to his witchcraft & sorcery approach by calling the crater on top of the island the Witches Cauldron [2,3]. 

Keywords: geography, geographic names, Wizard Island, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.

References and more to explore
[1] William L. Sullivan: Trails of Crater Lake. Navillus Press, Eugene, Oregon, 2014. Note: see Hike 11.
[2] Crater Lake Institute: William Steel [].
[3]  Crater Lake Historic Resource Study: Names and Places of Crater Lake [].