Return to Mount Shasta Companion

Mount Shasta Companion


Return to Mount Shasta home page - Mount Shasta Companion Logo

The following thirty-two introductory essays, arranged by subject, are chapter introductions to "Mount Shasta: An Annotated Bibliography." Taken together, the essays cover a wide variety of topics concerning the history of Mount Shasta and give an overview of the entire written history of the mountain. These essays distil and summarize much of the information which is contained in the aproximately 1500 entries of the bibliography itself. The bibliography was written as a guide to finding selected historical materials (books, articles, manuscripts, etc.) held by the College of the Siskiyous' Mount Shasta Collection. The overriding theme of the essays is that there are historical 'problems' yet to be fully solved. These problems range from simple questions such as when might the mountain next erupt, to more complex questions such as why do people believe in the existence of a subterranean city within the mountain. There really are never complete answers to such questions, and the best one can do is to present what is known so far, and draw conclusions.

1. Comprehensive Histories of Mt. Shasta

The Nineteenth Century at Mount Shasta was full of science, art, literature, and exploration, but it was not until the Twentieth Century that anyone took the time to compile and interpret what had transpired in the previous hundred years. Thus the first general account of Mount Shasta history, Ansel Franklin Hall's "Mount Shasta" Sierra Club Bulletin report, did not appear until 1926. A few years later, in 1929, Charles Lockwood Stewart presented as a U.C. Berkeley master's thesis a major comprehensive history of the mountain. Stewart's thesis, "The Discovery and Exploration of Mount Shasta" is still used by scholars today because of it's wealth of original research. Nearly three decades passed by until 1957, when the next significant general Mount Shasta history, Arthur Francis Eichorn's "The Mount Shasta Story," would be published. In his book, Eichorn began to answer the kind of historical questions about mountaineering, the legends, the early exploration, the naming of Mount Shasta, and so on, that the old and new residents of the area were eager to read about. The new ski area of the late 1950's had enlivened the region by bringing new people, and had brought about the need for updated information. Throughout the decades, however, the eminent artist, scholar, and mountaineer Edward Stuhl had been collecting historical material and was kept an extensive ongoing bibliography about the mountain's past. Stuhl first came to Mount Shasta in 1917, was a friend and collaborator of Charles Stewart in 1929, and had been planning a general history of the mountain all along. In 1981 he published his famous "Wildflowers of Mount Shasta," which in fact (albeit overshadowed by his wonderful art) contains much of the history he wished to see in print. The complicated presentation and incompleteness of Stuhl's book were evident, and so a need still existed for an accessible and readable history of the mountain. It was Stuhl's good friend and fellow mountaineer Michael Zanger who finally, in 1992, brought out an up-to-date, readable, illustrated history of Mount Shasta. Note that each work selected for this section of the bibliography is wholly devoted to the comprehensive history of Mt. Shasta. This history has many facets, and, given the varying interests of the authors, no two of the works in this section cover exactly the same topics. Unique material will be found in each book or report. Each work is in and of itself a worthy overview of, and introduction to, Mt. Shasta studies. Other historical works which are specific about particular subject matter, for example, Willis Linn Jepson's 1942 "Early Botanical Ascents of Mt. Shasta" (in Section 31. Science: Botany), will be found in the appropriate topical sections of the Mount Shasta Collection annotated bibliography.

2. Native Americans of the Mt. Shasta Region

This section of the Mount Shasta Collection bibliography contains a diverse selection of scholarly studies on the Shasta, Wintu, Achomawi, and other tribes historically located about the base of Mt. Shasta. Several entries were included because of their relevance to determining the tribal origins of the name "Shasta." A few studies of ethnography, archaeology, and linguistics were included for their importance in helping to identify the historic geographical distribution of the Shasta and other local tribes. A few entries were added because of their importance in illustrating the wide range of scholarly approaches to Mt. Shasta's Native American history. Some native legends of Mt. Shasta, including native names for the mountain, can be found in this section of the bibliography, but are more fully treated in Section 15. Legends: Native American. An important group of materials concerning the philological naming of the Shasta language is found in Section 9. Early Exploration: American Government Expeditions, 1841-1860, in particular those entries pertaining to the Native American vocabulary collected by the Wilkes-Emmons overland expedition at the base of Mt. Shasta in 1841. For materials on the possible relationship between the name "Shasta" and the southern Oregon "Chastacosta" tribe, see Section 3. Chastacosta Tribe.

3. Chastacosta Tribe

In 1907 Roland Burrage Dixon discussed the derivation of the name "Shasta" and added the following comment: "The matter is further complicated by the difficulty of clearing up the precise relationship of the so-called 'Chasta' of Oregon, and of explaining the recurrence of the same term in the name of the Athabascan tribe of the Chasta-Costa of the Oregon coast" (see Dixon 1907). The entries in this section were selected for their relevance to Dixon's comment. It appears from the entries that the Athabascan-speaking Chasta and Chastacosta may have been one and the same tribe, different from the Hokan-speaking Chasta and Shasta. It is also possible that the Chastacosta extended geographically at some point in time as far east as the present town of Medford in the Rogue River Valley. One interesting problem raised by the following entries has to do with the identity of the tribe written of by Peter Skene Ogden in 1826 as the "Sastise," and who were the namesake of the mountain later called Mt. Shasty and presently called Mt. McLoughlin (see LaLande 1987). It is possible that the name "Shasta" was originally an Athabascan name.

4. Early Exploration: Lapérouse Expedition, 1786

Laperouse, contrary to legend, did not see Mount Shasta in eruption in 1786. The legend began with R. H. Finch, an associate vulcanologist of the Lassen Volcano Observatory. He was the first geologist to publish a proposal that Mt. Shasta or Mount Lassen erupted in 1786. Finch's 1930 article postulated that an erupting Mt. Shasta or Mt. Lassen was seen by French explorer Jean-François Galaup de Lapérouse, on September 7, 1786, from a ship sailing along California's Mendocino coast. The Lapérouse expedition was one of the greatest scientific charting expeditions of the 18th Century, comparable in scope and purpose with the voyages of Cook, and of Vancouver. Lapérouse and his two ships were shipwrecked in 1788, never having returned to Europe. Fortunately Lapérouse intermittently, from various ports of call, sent reports back to France. A large portion of his journals and maps he sent in 1787 via a messenger who traveled for two years across Siberia to reach Paris with the precious documents. Lapérouse's manuscript journals mention the vivid 1786 eruption, and his original manuscript map (kept in Paris at the French National Archives) depicts the volcano's smoke in dramatic full purple color. But the manuscript map (and the published versions as well) clearly shows the location of the volcano directly on the sea coast, not inland at all. Books and an atlases based on the manuscripts were published in 1797. The 1786 eruption of Mt. Shasta has become, in textbooks and in popular accounts, almost an accepted geological fact. But the position of the volcano as depicted on the manuscript map and published maps of Lapérouse make it very doubtful that what he saw took place as far inland as Mt. Shasta or Mt. Lassen. Consider, too, that in 1816, thirty years later at the same place, on Cape Mendocino, the French fur trader Camille de Roquefeuil, saw the same sight as Laperouse, but recognized it as fires set by the native peoples. De Roquefeuil says: "It was, doubtless, this circumstance, which was unknown to our illustrious La Peyrouse, and that was the cause of his error, when seeing a great fire on Cape Mendocino, about the same time of year, he thought it was a volcano."

5. Early Exploration: Spanish Expeditions, 1808-21

These entries pertain to three Spanish expeditions into the upper areas of the Sacramento River Valley. The expeditions were led by Gabriel Moraga in 1808 and Luis Antonio Argüello in 1817 and 1821. Moraga's diary from 1808 records his act of assigning the name "Jesús María" to the river now known as the Sacramento River. The 1817 diary of Argüello expedition member Fray Narciso Duran contains what is often considered to be the first recorded sighting of Mt. Shasta. Duran wrote about a "high snow-covered hill," and a river near it, both named "Jesús María." The 1821 expedition diaries of Argüello himself and of Padre Blas Ordaz both mention "Los Quates" or "the Twins," possibly in reference to Mt. Lassen, Mt. Shasta and/or other mountains. Over the years historians have presented many theories and conflicting opinions over the routes of these three expeditions. The Argüello 1821 diary, translated and published for the first time in 1992, adds details that the "Twins" were of equal form and height and nearly joined, and that they had been visited by the Scotsman John Anthony Gilroy some time before 1821. The true identities of the Jesús María "high snow covered hill," and of "los Quates" are, however, still unknown.

6. Early Exploration: Russian Explorers, 1812-41

That "Shasta" is a Russian name is one of the most interesting of Mt. Shasta legends. Unfortunately there are not many documents supporting this idea, and it is difficult to find materials on this subject. The classic account of the Russian derivation of the name "Shasta" was by historian Harry Wells. He explained in his 1881 History of Siskiyou County that the Russians who settled at Bodega could see Mt. Shasta from the highest mountains of the Coast Range, and called it "Tchastal," or the white and pure mountain. He explained that the early Americans adopted the name, pronouncing it "Chasta." Wells's account, and other accounts related to the American trappers' pronunciation and spelling of "Chasta," will be found in Section 14. The Name Shasta. The 1821 diary of Argüello as discussed in Section 5. Early Exploration: Spanish Expedition 1808-1821 lends support that the Russians had found their way into the Sacramento Valley. See also Michael Zanger's book Mt. Shasta: History, Legend and Lore for a discussion of the 1841 ascent of Mt. St. Helena by a Russian from Bodega Bay. In this section are a few entries which may provide leads to future research into this important aspect of Mt. Shasta history. It stands to reason that the Russians, who settled in Bodega Bay in 1812, would have ventured inland more than once or twice; the problem is finding evidence to that effect. There is also a large body of evidence which suggests that the name "Shasta" is not derived from a Russian word at all, but is derived from Native American tribal name.

7. Early Exploration: British Hudson's Bay Company, 1826-42

The explorers Peter Skene Ogden, Alexander Roderick McLeod, Francis Ermatinger, Michel Laframboise, and John Work, as well as the administrators Alexander Caulfield Anderson, John Douglas, John McLoughlin, and George Simpson, are all famous Hudson's Bay Company personalities who in their own writings have mentioned at one time or another the names "Shasta" or "Siskiyou." Their writings are relevant to the history of Mt. Shasta, the Siskiyou mountains, the Pit River, Mt. McLoughlin, Klamath Lake, and other places of the Shasta region. The location of the "Pass of the Siskiyou," as noted by Gibbs in 1863, is of importance to determining the location of Alexander R. McLeod's "Chaste Mount." A number of entries in this section were selected for their relevance to the origins of the name "Siskiyou." Several of the entries in this section concern the "Mount Sistise" or "Mount Sastise," and the "Sasty" River, both named by Peter Skene Ogden during his 1826-1827 exploration of the mountains called today the Siskiyous. Ogden's spellings are probably the very first recorded of the name which eventually became known as "Shasta."

8. Early Exploration: American Trade & Migration, 1828-49

Jedediah Strong Smith, Ewing Young, Hall J. Kelley, Philip Leget Edwards, James Clyman, Lansford Hastings, Jesse Applegate, Jesse Quinn Thornton, and many other American explorers and settlers made their way through the Mt. Shasta Region between 1828 and 1849. Through their influence the names of "Snowy Bute," "Mt. Simpson," "Mt. Jackson," among others, became some of the earliest Euro-American names for present-day Mt. Shasta. The entries in this section document the migration of civilian Americans through the Mt. Shasta region of Cailfornia. See also Section 9. Early Exploration: American Government Expeditions, 1841-1860 for information on U. S. Government expeditions into the Mt. Shasta region.

9. Early Exploration: American Government Expeditions, 1841-1860

This section pertains to the Wilkes Expedition of 1838-42, the Frémont Expeditions of 1843-44 and 1845-46, and the Pacific Railroad Surveys of the 1850s. The Wilkes Expedition of 1838- 1842, officially known as the United States Exploring Expedition, sailed around the world. At the Columbia River in 1841 commander Charles Wilkes ordered lieutenant George Foster Emmons to lead an overland expedition from Fort Vancouver southward to California. Though frequently written of in historical annals as the 1841 "Wilkes overland expedition," it should be kept in mind that Wilkes himself was not a member of the overland party. In this bibliography the name "Wilkes-Emmons overland expedition" has been adopted as a name for the overland expedition. At least six of the men on this 1841 Wilkes-Emmons overland expedition kept detailed day-to-day journals. These six journals still exist. Taken together, the journals have recorded in exceptional detail impressions and scientific observations of Mt. Shasta as it was in 1841.

It is noteworthy that this Wilkes-Emmons overland expedition may have been responsible for the transposition of the name "Mt. Shasty" from its prior use as a name for present Mt. McLoughlin to its present use as a name for today's Mt. Shasta. Also important historically is that the Indian vocabulary collected by the expedition at the base of Mt. Shasta in 1841 became the type vocabulary for all of philologist Horatio Hale's geographically extensive southern Oregon "Shastean" language family (see Hale Philology1848 in Section 14. The Name 'Shasta'). This vocabulary led to the name Shasta later being applied to all tribes speaking this language, although name "Shastean" might have originally been more appropriate for Indian languages in the Rogue and Umpqua areas of southern Oregon, had the overland expedition collected a vocabulary there. Beyond its importance in establishing names, however, the 1841 Wilkes-Emmons overland expedition was important in being the first group of American scientists and artists to visit Mt. Shasta. The four-year Wilkes Expedition itself was comprised of 600 sailors in several ships, who escorted nine hand-picked civilian scientists and artists around the world. The Smithsonian Institution was founded upon the scientific collections from those nine gentlemen. Five of those nine were on the Wilkes-Emmons overland expedition to Mt. Shasta in 1841.

In 1843-44 and again in 1845-46 John Charles Frémont led expeditions into the Mt. Shasta region. His published narratives about these expeditions were best sellers in their time, and Mt. Shasta is mentioned on occasion. Frémont's topographer, Charles Preuss, kept notebooks in 1843-44, which have not been published in full, but which show present Mt. McLoughlin named as "Sasty," and present Mt. Shasta named as "Pit." In 1848 a map published by Frémont and Preuss reversed these names (using the variant spellings "Tsashtl" and "Pitt"), following the new convention as established by the maps resulting from the Wilkes Expedition. Note that the maps of Wilkes in 1844 and Frémont in 1848 both retained the name 'Shaste' for the Rogue River.

The publications resulting from the Pacific Railroad Surveys of the 1850s have been called America's "first environmental impact statements." These volumes, 12 in all, often illustrated with color lithographs and detailed illustrations of the botany, geology, and anthropology of the routes, and which cost the government more than the surveys themselves, set a publishing standard unmatched by later government publications. Two of the Railroad Surveys passed near Mt. Shasta, and the artwork and descriptions of the Shasta region as found in the published reports are a major contribution to the legacy of Mt. Shasta arts and sciences.

10. Early Exploration: Historical Interpretations & Reviews

The entries in this section are mostly general works which place Mt. Shasta in an historical context. Mt. Shasta was the main sentinel on the California-Oregon trail during the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s. It stood squarely in the middle of a remote territory fiercely defended by Native Americans. It was a landmark that commanded attention. In a physical sense it drew attention because of height, size, and beauty. In a symbolic sense it represented a route of uncertain and difficult passage. As early as 1840 British and American historians such as John Dunn and Robert Greenhow were busy writing books and articles which included mention of the mountain. These early histories were important tools used to support claims of ownership of the Oregon Territory. By the late 19th Century historians such as Hubert Howe Bancroft and Harvey Scott wrote books and articles in order to piece together a clearer view of the disparate facts of the multinational settlement of the West. In the early 20th Century historians such as Reuben Gold Thwaites began to publish and annotate the journals and writings of important and interesting early figures from the Fur Trade and California settlement era. By the middle to late 20th Century, historians such as Edwin Gudde and Carl Wheat on occasion mentioned Mt. Shasta in their extensive writings about California place names and cartography.

11. Mountaineering: 19th Century

Climbing Mt. Shasta is a memorable and challenging experience. During the mid-19th Century the climbing excitement was magnified by the fact it took a considerable amount of effort just to reach the mountain. Personal accounts by scientists and explorers who climbed Shasta are found in the following books, articles, diaries, and letters, which taken together, constitute a remarkable legacy of expression. Some of the prose is simple and mundane, while some is inspired and sophisticated. Many famous people wrote about Mt. Shasta: Josiah Dwight Whitney, John Muir, Clarence King, William Henry Brewer, and their accounts are justifiably cherished. But there are just as many lesser known persons who wrote their own stories of the ascent of Mt. Shasta, and they often wrote in as equally an inspired and expressive manner as their better known contemporaries. Several of the entries in this section are not generally available and deserve to be better known. J. D. Whitney's own account of his 1862 climb, published in 1865 in Volume 1 of the Geological Survey of California, is a good example of a little-known work of great style.

12. Mountaineering: 20th Century

The 20th Century brought changes to the Mt. Shasta climbing experience: mountain marathons, mountaineering clubs, new roads, and a new mountain hut. The entries in this section have no easily discernible common thread, except of course, for the hint of challenge and adventure inherent in climbing a peak more than 4,000 meters high. Among the more unusual entries are G. H. Fitch's account of a 1903 climb accompanied by a distinguished East Indian swami-mountaineer, F. H. McNeil's 1915 account of the contents of the crammed-full record box on Shasta's summit, Edward Stuhl's journal of his first attempt climbing for the summit in 1917, and Paul McHugh's story of Reverend Douglas Smith's 1971 war protest from the summit of Mt. Shasta. The 20th Century accounts of climbing Mt. Shasta record a wide variety of climbers and climbing motivations.

13. History after 1849

This section contains entries about the settlement of the Mt. Shasta region, and includes materials about pioneers, railroads, lumbering, newspapers, and other post Gold Rush activities. Most of the works cover the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. Mae Helen Bacon Boggs's My Playhouse was a Concord Coach... is the most complete available compilation of newspaper articles about a variety of topics in local history. Other historical works are comprehensive about more specific topics, for example, railroad construction and operation around Mt. Shasta are discussed in such books as John Signor's 1982 Rails In the Shadow of Shasta...(and his updated version in the year 2000 entitled :"Southern Pacific's Shasta Division: Over a Century of Railroading in the Shadow of Mt. Shasta") and Robert Hanft's Pine Across the Mountain. See also Section 1. Comprehensive Histories of Mt. Shasta for other works describing the varied activities of the settlement era.

14. The Name 'Shasta'

This section contains entries for some of the more important scholarly contributions pertaining to the origins of the name "Shasta." This section also contains a selection of primary documents, from the 1830s and 1840s, which serve to illustrate the wide variety of past uses of "Shasta" as a name for various mountains, rivers, and peoples. Taken as a whole, the entries in this section have been grouped together to draw attention to the fact that there is a bewildering number of possible sources to the name "Shasta."

Evidence points to the conclusion that Peter Skene Ogden was in 1826 and 1827 the first Euro-American to use the Native American tribe name "Shasta" as a name for an Indian tribe, a mountain, and a river. Ogden did not spell the name as it is spelled today, but spelled it in several variations as "Sastise," "Castice," "Sistise," "Sarti," and "Sasty." Ogden's 1826-27 journal, which unfortunately exists only as a clerk's transcribed copy with transcription errors, contains descriptions which indicate that the mountain he named was present Mt. McLoughlin in southern Oregon and not present Mt. Shasta. See Jeff LaLande's 1987 First Over the Siskiyous for a detailed commentary on Ogden's 1826-1827 journal. Note that Ogden's manuscript maps from 1826-27 were catalogued in the Hudson's Bay Archives, but have never been located by scholars. Ogden's manuscript maps may someday clarify the location of his 1827 Mt. "Sastise" and "Sasty" River.

Several pieces of evidence outlined in this section of the bibliography point to the conclusion that present Mt. Shasta was named through a transposition of the name "Shasta" from Mt. McLoughlin to present Mt. Shasta. In all probability the official transposition was effected through the published reports and maps resulting from the 1838-1842 Wilkes Expedition. The 1841 Wilkes-Emmons overland expedition, an important side venture of the Wilkes Expedition, seems to have been directly responsible for the mistaken transposition of the name. The first printed maps to transpose the name appeared in 1844. A few of the entries in this section, see for example the entry for the Mitchell map of 1846, show how the transposition of the name became widely and permanently established. Although Peter Skene Ogden's journal from 1826-1827 and the Wilkes-Emmons overland expedition journals of 1841 are important documents in the history of the naming of Mt. Shasta, it must be kept in mind that there are dozens of other important early books, articles and manuscripts which use "Shasta" in some spelling or another and which indirectly suggest alternative origins of the name. The "Shatasla" tribe mentioned by Alexander Henry in 1814, the "Tchastal" Russian name described by Harry Wells in 1881, the "Chastacosta" tribal name described by Swanton, and so on, are all important names which fit into the overall picture of the history of the Mt. Shasta region. The entries in this section demonstrate the complexity of the story behind the name "Shasta."

One of the more surprising findings is that the modern spelling of the name "Shasta," beginning with an "S–" and ending with an "–a," does not appear in any publication or manuscript until the year 1850, when the California State Legislature adopted the spelling of "Shasta" for the County of Shasta. See the entry under Madison Walthall, 1850, for the first such spelling. It appears that the spelling of "Shasta" was adopted as a spelling for present Mt. Shasta at the same time that the spelling was adopted for the County. Between 1844 and 1850 the spellings of "Shasty," "Shasté," and "Sasty" were by far the most prevalent spellings for present Mt. Shasta, although many other spellings were also used, such as "Tsashtl," "Shastl," etc.

As indicated above, this section of the bibliography contains entries representative of the vast array of published and unpublished documents which directly or indirectly pertain to the history of the name "Shasta." Consult Sections 1 through 14 of this bibliography for many other works which pertain to the origins of the name "Shasta."

15. Legends: Native American

This section contains entries referring the reader to books and articles containing Native American stories and legends of Mt. Shasta. Note that the stories and legends have in general not been transcribed or quoted in this bibliography due to limitations of space. Several well-known Californian and American ethnologists, including Jeremiah Curtin, Roland B. Dixon, John Wesley Powell, and C. Hart Merriam, have collected the myths of the Wintu, Shasta, Achumawi, Klamath and other tribes. The anthropologists Cora DuBois and Dorothy Demetracopoulou spent a considerable amount of time collecting Wintu myths. Other ethnologists collected stories from outlying tribes, see for example the "Love Medicine-The Mt. Shasta Women" story from the Chilula Tribe of the Coast Range. Often Mt. Shasta is the site of action of some story, see for example B. G. Rousseau's 1923 "What Happened When the Thunder God is Mocked." Modern Native American story-tellers and scholars are adding to the published Mt. Shasta Indian lore, describing stories learned from tradition. Particularly interesting are Darryl Babe Wilson's stories mentioning "Mis Misa," about the spirit inside Mt. Shasta which holds in repose the balance of the Universe. Theodoratus and LaPena, in their 1992 "Wintu Sacred Geography" article elaborate the Wintu use of Mt. Shasta in traditional tribal lore. See also Section 2. Native Americans of the Mt. Shasta Region for additional Native American Mt. Shasta legends.

16. Legends: Lemuria

The lowly primate, the lemur, was named after ancient Roman mythological ghosts called 'lemures.' According to the Oxford Classical Dictionary, 1970, there was a Roman festival called 'Lemuria.' But the modern name of 'Lemuria' was named for the mammal lemur. In the mid-19th Century paleontologists coined the term 'Lemuria' to describe a hypothetical continent, bridging the Indian Ocean, which would have explained the migration of lemurs from Madagascar to India. Lemuria was a continent which submerged and was no longer to be seen. By the late 19th Century occult theories had developed, mostly through the theosophists, that the people of this lost continent of Lemuria were highly advanced beings. The location of the folklore 'Lemuria' changed over time to include much of the Pacific Ocean. In the 1880s a Siskiyou County, California, resident named Frederick Spencer Oliver wrote A Dweller on Two Planets, or, the Dividing of the Way which described a secret city inside of Mt. Shasta, and in passing mentioned Lemuria. Edgar Lucian Larkin, a writer and astronomer, wrote in 1913 an article in which he reviewed the Oliver book.

In 1925 a writer by the name of Selvius wrote "Descendants of Lemuria: A Description of an Ancient Cult in America" which was published in the Mystic Triangle, Aug., 1925 and which was entirely about the mystic Lemurian village at Mt. Shasta. Selvius reported that Larkin had seen the Lemurian village through a telescope. In 1931 Wishar Spenle Cervé published a widely read book entitled Lemuria: The Lost Continent of the Pacific in which the Selvius material appeared in a slightly elaborated fashion. The Lemurian–Mt. Shasta legend has developed into one of Mt. Shasta's most prominent legends. The entries in this section document the books and articles about Mt. Shasta and its Lemurians.

Especially interesting from a historical standpoint is the 1960 book by 'Mother Mary' entitled "Atlantis Speaks Again." The book discusses the publishing history of the Oliver manuscript, replete with appearance of Phylos the Tibetan after the death of Oliver. 'Mother Mary' was part of a tradition of people associated with Frederick Spencer Oliver and the book contains essays by Oliver himself, and contains as well reproductions of the original Oliver manuscript.

17. Legends: Ascended Masters

Mount Shasta has been an inspiration to many people interested in the Ascended Master teachings of Guy Warren Ballard and his "I AM" religious activity. Ballard, writing under the pseudonym Godfré Ray King, stated in his 1934 Unveiled Mysteries that he met the Ascended Master Saint Germain on the slopes of Mt. Shasta in 1930. The Ascended Masters, according to Ballard, are great spiritual teachers who have mastered the relationship between thought and feeling and have learned to manifest the "Luminous Essence of Divine Love." These Ascended Masters are said to have ascended to a higher dimension from which they guard and help the evolving human race. The teachings learned from Saint Germain, as presented in Ballard's books, the fantastic parts notwithstanding, have an undeniable empowering appeal to many persons. Ballard's books and religious movement attracted many followers. Splinter groups based on similar teachings have formed. Over the years, other authors, including Nola Van Valer, Earlyne Chaney, Mah-Atman-Amsumata, Pearl Dorris, and Elisabeth Clare Prophet, have written of their own experiences with Ascended Masters on Mt. Shasta. Many of these writings are of the 'channeling' genre.

Guy Warren Ballard's 1934 Unveiled Mysteries was the first book to describe Mt. Shasta's most famous Ascended Master: "Saint Germain." In the preface to Unveiled Mysteries, Ballard states that Saint Germain " the same Great Masterful 'Presence' who worked at the Court of France previous to and during the French Revolution..." Historically, there was a Comte de Saint-Germain (the Count of Saint-Germain) who lived from c.1710–c.1780, and who was, according to the 1964 Encyclopedia Britannica, an 18th Century 'Wundermann' and adventurer who traveled widely throughout Europe; he was very influential at the Court of France, was a founder of freemasonry, and professed the discovery of a liquid which could prolong life. He was not a saint, however, he was a count. His family name was Saint- Germain, a name derived from one of the many French villages and places named in honor of Germain, a Catholic saint and 6th Century Bishop of Paris. Thus the name of Mt. Shasta's "Saint Germain" may be misleading to those looking for a historical "saint." (Another Comte de Saint-Germain, 1707-1778, was a famous French general whose life history is sometimes confused with that of the 'Wundermann.')

Although the appearance in the 1930s of an 18th Century European mystic on the slopes of Mt. Shasta might seem a bit far-fetched, there is some cultural context for the event. Maurice Magre wrote in his 1930 book The Return of the Magi: "Between 1880 and 1900 it was admitted among all theosophists, who at that time had become very numerous, particularly in England and America, that the Comte de Saint Germain was still alive, that he was still engaged in the spiritual development of the West, and that those who sincerely took part in this development had the possibility of meeting him." Guy Warren Ballard's story of meeting the Ascended Master Saint Germain is one of the most engaging legends of Mt. Shasta.

18. Legends: Other

This section contains a number of unrelated entries, including material about the oft-mentioned bell legends, the little people legends, and UFO legends. Some miscellaneous entries, arguably termed legends, include an entry about two Alaskan mountains named for Mt. Shasta, and an entry for the 1930s' slang phrase "From Mt. Shasta." Some of the materials exhibit a rare originality, especially Caroling's comic-book styled Mount Shasta and the Galaxy People. This section also includes a number of miscellaneous entries which in one way or another convey the mystic and spiritual expectations of some visitors to Mt. Shasta.

19. Legends: Historical Interpretations & Reviews

Several authors have attempted to place the legends of Mt. Shasta into a cultural or historical perspective. Foremost among these works is Walter Kafton Minkel's 1989 Subterranean Worlds... which explains in a scholarly manner how the Mt. Shasta legends of a city inside of the mountain are part of a long tradition of such legends from around the world. He states that these kinds of legends serve to fulfill a basic and necessary human need for myth. Not all of the entries in this section attempt to explain the function of myth, but several of them do at least attempt to explain why Mt. Shasta has such a unusual panoply of legends. Lawerence W. Jorden Jr. said quite simply, for example, that " A prolonged, quiet contemplation of the peak tends to foster mysticism." Some authors, like Edwin Bernbaum, have traveled around the world to sacred places of pilgrimage and of natural beauty, and have attempted to explain Mt. Shasta's legendary mystic appeal on the basis of their own observations. A few of the books and articles in this section contain general reviews of the unusual and amusing tales associated with California's most legendary mountain. Noteworthy is John Calderazzo's chapter "Eighteen Views of a Volcano: Mount Shasta, California" in his book: "Where the Earth Begins: Volcanoes and Our Inner Lives."

20. Literature: Joaquin Miller

"There loomed Mount Shasta, with which my name, if remembered at all, will be remembered." So wrote Joaquin Miller in his 1873 classic Mt. Shasta novel, Life Amongst the Modocs: Unwritten History. Miller was a young gold miner in the Mt. Shasta region from 1854 until 1857. Remarkable among extant Miller materials is his 1850s diary which, among other things, records his living for an entire year in Squaw Valley on the southern flank of Mt. Shasta. It was a year in which he lived with an Indian woman among her tribe. His experience living among the Indians, mostly out of contact with white people, gave him an unprecedented sympathy for the Indian and for nature. In later life Miller wrote book after book and poem after poem utilizing the themes he had learned from experience during those early years. Several of Miller's books, including the 1873 Unwritten History..., the 1884 Memorie and Rime, and the 1900 True Bear Stories, contain considerable autobiographical material about his life at Mt. Shasta.

Note that Miller was a man far ahead of his times, and critics up until the late 20th Century did not fully appreciate his unconventional philosophy. Miller created a retreat for the homeless, spearheaded the first California Arbor Day, personally planted thousands of trees over a period of decades, founded an artistic commune based on the teachings of silence and nature, and wanted it to be known that he worked with his hands. Miller's 1885 log cabin, which still stands in Rock Creek National Park in Washington, D. C., and his Oakland, California commune grounds, now known as Joaquin Miller Park, exist together as a coast to coast testament to his philosophy. The following entries were selected because they contain material relevant to Miller's 1850s' life in the Mt. Shasta region. Miller was a prolific writer and many of his most interesting works have never been reprinted. It was in England in the 1870s that Miller first became known as the 'Poet of the Sierras,' but his 'Sierras' were really the mountains of the Mt. Shasta region.

21. Literature: John Muir

John Muir's exceptional mental and physical stamina enabled him to rigorously pursue, often in solitary fashion, the exploration of California's mountains. In the Fall of 1874 and the Spring of 1875 he climbed Mt. Shasta three times. Among the entries listed in this section are Muir's pocket notebooks kept during these climbs. His 1875 notebook contains many detailed drawings of the Shasta region. In one case, on April 28, 1875, he drew from the summit of Mt. Shasta a picture depicting an approaching storm, a storm similar to the one which would two days later, on another climb of the mountain, trap him and his climbing partner Jerome Fay on the summit of Mt. Shasta. Also listed in this section are the reports of A. F. Rodgers, who had hired Muir and Fay in the Spring of 1875 to go and take summit barometric readings. Rodgers wrote a fascinating report which vividly details the appearance and condition of Muir and Fay immediately following the overnight ordeal on April 30, 1875. Muir himself wrote stories of the ordeal that were published in several sources, including Harper's Magazine in 1877 and Picturesque California in 1888.

Many of Muir's other published works describe Mt. Shasta. His earliest Mt. Shasta writings were a series of five articles printed in the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin in 1874 and 1875; these have been edited and published by Robert Engberg as part of John Muir: Summering in the Sierra (not the same book as Muir's own book My First Summer in the Sierra). Muir was an ardent preservationist. Ironically, Muir participated in the hunting and killing of what were perhaps the last of the region's Big Horn Sheep, as described in the Nov. 29, 1874 article entitled "Shasta Game." But Muir's developing sentiment for preservation is also a part of these early articles—he says exuberantly, for example, "Long may McCloud salmon swim!" in the Nov. 29, 1874 article "Salmon Breeding: McCloud River." A man far ahead of his time and a tireless worker, John Muir will be remembered as an integral part of Mt. Shasta's past. William F. and Maymie B. Kimes have written the definitive bibliography of John Muir's writings. See also Michael Zanger's 1992 Mt. Shasta: History, Legend & Lore, for descriptions of Muir's Mt. Shasta climbs and a photograph showing Muir and Fay's signatures from the summit register. Note that one of the best but little-known Mt. Shasta stories, entitled "A Conversation with John Muir" appeared in 1906 in the English magazine 'World's Work'

22. Literature: Novels, Plays, Essays

Mt. Shasta has been used as the setting for fiction and non-fiction books and magazine articles. Travel writing was the first literary genre to focus on Mt. Shasta. Among the earliest of such travel writings were California publisher James Mason Hutchings' 1857 personal description of the mountain, Fitz Hugh Ludlow's uniquely written 1864 account of a two-week Mt. Shasta sojourn with Albert Bierstadt, and R. E. Garczynski's Shasta journey published in William Cullen Bryant's immensely popular 1872 Picturesque America. Travel writing continued throughout the late 19th and all of the 20th Century, including works by well-known authors like Mary Austin and English journalist- artist William Simpson. Novels featuring Mt. Shasta began with the 1873 Joaquin Miller classic Life Amongst the Modocs: Unwritten History. Other 19th Century novelists such as Bram Stoker, William Morrow Chambers, Daniel Boone Dumont, and Mary Glascock, used Mt. Shasta as a setting for their romances and adventure novels. See especially Duncan Cumming's 1897 "A Change with the Seasons; or, an Episode of Castle Crags" for a little known but creative work of American fiction about the lives of the well- to-do San Franciscans who would come each year to summer at Castle Crags tavern. Several remarkable works of 20th Century prose stand out: actor Hal Holbrook's 1959 autobiographical account of a summit climb, scientist Liberty Hyde Bailey's 1905 account of a Shasta sunrise, educator George Wharton James's 1914 philosophical account of the importance of Mt. Shasta as an enduring teacher of California, and science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein's imaginative 1940s' Shasta short-story. One interesting French short story, untranslated unfortunately, details multiple levels of racism and self-criticism among a black family living near the mountain. This story, by Maryse Conde, and entitled "Mount Shasta, altitude 15,000 Pieds," somehow underscores a lack of deep emotional conflict in most of the Mount Shasta literature. Nonetheless, the entries in this section represent a wide variety of thoughts and emotions provoked by the spectacular mountain setting.

23. Literature: Poetry

Mount Shasta as a symbol of high ideals, as a symbol of God's domain, as a symbol of purity, and as an inspiring presence, are just some of the varied themes which run through the 19th and 20th Century poems about this majestic mountain. In 1854 John Rollin Ridge, a Cherokee Indian who later became editor of the Sacramento Bee newspaper, wrote one of the earliest Mt. Shasta poems; entitled Mount Shasta it became one of the most famous California poems. Ridge's message was one for the entire state, and the poem contains lines such as "And well this Golden State shall thrive, if like Its own Mount Shasta, Sovereign Law shall lift Itself in purer atmosphere—so high..." The well-known abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier, in 1863, used Shasta as a symbol of God's works: "Amidst the glorious works of thine, The solemn minarets of Pine, And awful Shasta's icy shrine,-Where swell thy hymns from wave and gale..." Many Mt. Shasta poems are less abstract and more personal in sentiment. Joaquin Miller, who lived from 1854-57 near Mt. Shasta, and who visited many times thereafter, wrote several poems about his old home mountain. In his Shadows of Shasta poem, reprinted in this section, one sees his recurring theme of the 'Shadows,' or dark secrets, he saw inflicted on the lives of the Indians at the hands of the whites: "In the place where the grizzly reposes, Under peaks where a right is a wrong...." See also Section 20. Literature: Joaquin Miller for more of Miller's Mt. Shasta poems. Poets have expressed and published their personal experience of Mt. Shasta for well over 130 years. Even publisher William Randolph Hearst could not resist the creation of a poem eulogizing Mt. Shasta and the rivers which flow off its slopes. In the main the poems in this section are from the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Later 20th Century poems, although numerous, are excluded due to limits of space.

24. Literature: Children's Books

Three of the four books in this section are introductions to the Cascade volcanoes. The fourth book, about Shasta the cat, is not really about the mountain, though it may be admitted that the soft sound of the name Shasta suits a kitten very well. No other children's book about Mt. Shasta were found. There should be more children's books about Mt. Shasta. Perhaps some enterprising authors would like to write good children's books to add to this section.

25. Recreation & Tourism

Mt. Shasta was one of California's great summer resorts during the latter half of the 19th Century. The cultural elite from San Francisco, as well as common folks from small towns in the Sacramento Valley, came to enjoy the fresh air, the forests, and the rivers. Here they could escape the heat of more southerly sun-baked climates. Even before the railroad arrived in 1886 there were tourist resorts for those that came to hunt, fish, paint, and hike. After the railroad was built tourism began in earnest. It was the railroad itself, the Southern Pacific Company, which produced and distributed for more than forty years scores of different materials featuring Mt. Shasta and promoting the "Shasta Route" between San Francisco and Portland. Mt. Shasta was not only a summer resort. In the wintertime, especially in the 20th Century, skiing and winter sports drew great numbers of people to enjoy the snow. This section of the bibliography includes miscellaneous items, old and new, pertaining to both summer and winter recreation and tourism. Because so many materials exist about this subject, only unusual or important items are included. Among them is a 1962 detailed State of California Mt. Shasta visitor's center proposal, a multi-media State of California promotion campaign, resort brochures from the 19th Century, modern climbing guides, and so on. For guide-books to the natural history of Mt. Shasta, however, see the Science sections of this bibliography. Note that the successful resorts of the past had unique approaches to tourism which went beyond standard "boosterism." There was often a genuine understanding of the discriminating tourist's and recreationist's wants and needs. For example, Chautauqua meetings, popular nationwide, were held as part of summer activities at Shasta Retreat. In all, a wealth of innovative ideas and information about recreation and tourism can be gleaned from these materials.

26. Environmental Issues

This section contains environmental impact statements, wilderness proposals, The Wilderness Act, national and state park proposals, government hearing testimony, editorials, newspaper and magazine articles, and other materials, all of which help document the many controversies over development of Mt. Shasta. Environmental controversies pertaining to Mt. Shasta have existed for over a hundred years. Joaquin Miller, in his 1873 Life Amongst the Modocs: Unwritten History, proposed making Mt. Shasta the center of an Indian Republic. In January 1888, the Yreka Journal reported a national park plan was being proposed by the railroad, a plan that included Mt. Shasta, Black Butte, Castle Crags, and much of the Sacramento River Canyon. John Muir and John P. Irish both published articles in the 1888 Picturesque California outlining the need for preserving the Shasta region. Most of the early controversies addressed the entire region. As time progressed the environmental arguments became more specific as to land and issues. In modern times Native Americans have added their voices to various controversies. The entries in this section are those that were deemed integral to the history of concern over development of Mt. Shasta. See Section 1. Comprehensive Histories, especially Berenice Lamson's environmental issues-oriented Mt. Shasta, A Regional History for a data-filled report about development on the mountain, and Michael Zanger's 1992 Mt. Shasta, History, Legends, and Lore, for a history of environmental issues. Time did not allow for the location of many unpublished studies about Mt. Shasta cited in Economic Research Associates' (San Francisco) excellent Social and Economic Environment and Baseline Assumptions for Mt. Shasta Ski Area Socio-economic Impact Study...October, 1987; the studies listed included several Mt. Shasta archaeological reconnaissance papers, ski area market reports, land classification orders, etc.

27. Art: Fine Arts

Entries in this section either contain illustrations of Mt. Shasta or contain information pertaining to the experiences of various artists at Mt. Shasta. The earliest known artworks of Mt. Shasta date from 1841, when both Alfred Agate and James Dwight Dana sketched the mountain as part of their duties as members of the Wilkes-Emmons overland expedition. Since then literally hundreds of artists, including some of the best known American artists of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, have come to Mt. Shasta for inspiration. For an account of Mount Shasta's extensive art history see Miesse: The Significance of Mount Shasta as a Visual Resource in 19th and early 20th Century California Art.

28. Art: Photography

The entries in this section include books and articles which are relevant to the study of Mt. Shasta photography. Some of America's best-known 19th and 20th Century photographers, including Carlton Watkins, William Henry Jackson, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Imogen Cunningham have produced images of Mt. Shasta, and their work is listed in this section. Mt. Shasta is perhaps unique in California in having the unusual lens-shaped lenticular clouds which, at certain times of the year, hover over the mountain. The 1986 book Celestial Raise contains perhaps the best collection of photographs of these lenticular cloud formations. There are fine photographs of Mt. Shasta in many books entered in other sections of this bibliography, see for example Michael Zanger's extensively illustrated 1992 Mt. Shasta: History, Legend and Lore. Individual unpublished 19th and 20th Century photographs of Mt. Shasta, of which there must be thousands, are not listed, though the College of the Siskiyous Library does have a large collection of such pictures.

29. Audiovisual Materials

Mt. Shasta has been the subject of a wide array of videorecordings, motion pictures, slide presentations, and sound recordings. Several of the entries in this section contain interviews with prominent local personalities, or contain historical information not found anywhere else. Many of the entries are about the mystic reputation of the mountain. Other entries feature tourism, railroads, the forests, commerce, etc., all with Mt. Shasta featured at some point. Two of the more widely distributed productions were the 1986 The Californians advertising spots produced by the California Department of Commerce, and the 1992 Rescue 911-The Box Canyon Incident produced by CBS News. Not all of the entries have been located; for example, neither the 1935 Lemuria: The Lost Continent, nor the 1919 The Brute Breaker motion pictures have been seen. Entries which are on reserve at the College of the Siskiyous Library have a COS Media Center number following the entry, e.g., [COS Media Center #VC-67-007].

30. Science: Geology & Climate

Materials in this section are mostly scientific reports of the 20th Century. The more literary geological exploration accounts by the great 19th geologists, such as Josiah Dwight Whitney and Clarence King, will be found in Section 11. Mountaineering: 19th Century, though James Dwight Dana's 1841 geological observations of Mt. Shasta will be found in Section 9. Early Exploration: American Government Expeditions, 1841- 1860. The pioneering geological studies of 20th Century geologists Joseph Silas Diller and Howel Williams are well- represented here; they set the parameters for future study. Subjects studied by modern geologists on Mt. Shasta include petrology, glaciation, mineralogy, magnetization, ancient avalanches, mud slides, volcanic hazard potentials, soils, geothermal activity, earthquakes, gravity, radiometric dating of the rocks, water resources, and so on. Volcanic activity prediction is of course an important topic, but many of the studies relate more to basic questions of science, such as how plate tectonics work, or how Mt. Shasta lavas give clues to the composition of the inner earth.

Two contemporary geologists, Robert L. Christiansen and C. Dan Miller, have written a considerable amount of material about Mt. Shasta; their work is perhaps the most up-to-date reporting of the geologic evolution of Mt. Shasta. A few books of popular science which discuss Mt. Shasta, such as Stephen L. Harris's 1988 Fire Mountains of the West have been also been included as entries. A few entries concern climate. Note that Mt. Shasta is included in the 1992 Guinness Book of World Records for the greatest snowfall ever recorded from a single storm (the storm date was February 13-19, 1959).

31. Science: Botany

Mt. Shasta stands as if an island in the sky of northern California. The higher reaches of the mountain are a unique environment. Any such isolated habitat such as the heights of Mt. Shasta holds the promise of containing plants and trees which perhaps have evolved in some way independently of outside influences. From the times of earliest exploration on, botanists have desired to explore Mt. Shasta to see what grows upon its slopes. Comparisons with the flora of other peaks and alpine regions of the West helps give botanists insights into the geographic distribution and evolution of the plant kingdom. The Scottsman William Brackenridge, who discovered the California Pitcher Plant (Darlingtonia californica) near the base of Castle Crags in 1841, was the first botanist to cross over the slopes of Mt. Shasta (see Section 9. Early Exploration: American Government Expeditions, 1841-1860). During the latter half of the 19th Century some of the most famous botanists of the time came to Mt. Shasta. Scottish botanist John Jeffrey discovered the Jeffrey Pine in the Shasta Valley, possibly on northern slope of Mt. Shasta, in 1852. The famed American botanist Asa Gray, and English botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker, botanized on Mt. Shasta with John Muir in 1877 (see Section 21. Literature: John Muir). John Gill Lemmon, who climbed to the summit of Shasta in 1879, later scientifically named the specific variety of Red Fir trees he found upon the mountain's slopes as the Shasta Red Fir (see also Section 11. Mountaineering 19th Century). The California Academy of Science's botanist Alice Eastwood climbed and botanized Shasta in 1893. C. Hart Merriam led the 1898 Biological Survey (See Section 31. Science: Zoology) and discovered several new species of plants which were formally described by Edward Lee Greene in 1899. Mt. Shasta offered the 19th Century botanists a chance to achieve some real discoveries.

In the 20th Century more thorough studies of Mt. Shasta's flora were conducted. One of the most complete was Lester J. Matthes's 1942 The Plant Communities of Mount Shasta. At about the same time the eminent Mt. Shasta botanist William Bridge Cooke completed and published the first of his four-part Flora of Mt. Shasta, a work which the late Dr. Cooke had planned to compile as a one volume work. Dr. Cooke wrote often about Mt. Shasta, as will immediately be evident from the number of entries under his name. All in all, however, there are not that many available studies on the flora of Mt. Shasta, a situation in part due to the reality that the mountain does not have as diverse a flora as the early botanists had hoped for. Note that the entries in this section of the bibliography were selected on the basis of their relevance to the flora of Mt. Shasta, but are not entirely limited to scientific subjects. Marquiss Lloyd's 1931 article on the unique properties of the Shasta Red Fir as a violin maker's perfect wood is an example of some of the more popular subjects also covered in this section. Edward Stuhl's exceptional 1981 publication Wildflowers of Mt. Shasta contains many chapters on the botany of Mt. Shasta and includes information about the "Phacelia cookei," a rare plant discovered by W. B. Cooke and only found on Mt. Shasta (see Section 1. Comprehensive Histories of Mt. Shasta).

32. Science: Zoology

The first zoologist to cross the slopes of Mt. Shasta was artist-naturalist Titian Ramsay Peale. He was a member of the 1841 Wilkes-Emmons overland expedition. His mammalogy and ornithology report, containing descriptions of the animals and birds of southern Oregon and northern California, was published in 1848 and is entered in Section 9. Early Exploration: American Government Expeditions, 1841-1860. Incidentally, Peale was the first to scientifically describe the "Mule Deer" and to do so he used specimens collected during the 1841 overland journey. In 1860 John Feilner, working for the Smithsonian Institution, studied the birds of the Shasta region. During 1883 and 1884 Charles Haskins Townsend roamed northern California. His Field Notes on the Mammals, Birds, and Reptiles of Northern California, published in 1887, contains some of the most interesting of early naturalist accounts of Mt. Shasta. Among other things Townsend writes about the unexpected company of a bald eagle on the summit of Mt. Shasta. The Division of Biology of the United States Department of Agriculture sent scientist C. Hart Merriam to Mt. Shasta in 1898. Merriam's report, entitled Results of a Biological Survey of Mount Shasta, California, was published in 1899 and is a classic of Mt. Shasta science. (The Division of Biology later became the U. S. Department of Fish and Wildlife.)

By the late 19th Century Mt. Shasta's Big Horn Sheep, Grizzly Bears, and Elk had been eliminated through predation and disease. These largest of Mt. Shasta's creatures, for which the mountain and the region were at one time well-known, have never come back. For first-person Mt. Shasta accounts of these not-so- long-gone great creatures, see the writings of Joaquin Miller and John Muir in Sections 20 and 21 of this bibliography. In the 20th Century very few zoological studies specifically about Mt. Shasta have been published. One interesting 20th Century discovery was that the unique Hepburn variety of the Grey Crowned finch was breeding only on Mt. Shasta and nowhere else in the world. But in general during the 20th Century no great discoveries have been reported about the zoology of Mt. Shasta. Mt. Shasta continues to be a habitat for a great wealth of creatures, who perhaps themselves are content in not being disturbed by curious zoologists.


Geology ~ Environment ~ Native Americans ~ Folklore ~ History ~ Art ~ Literature
Recreation ~ Maps ~ Mount Shasta Collection ~ Bibliography ~ Lesson Plans ~ About Project