Newspaper reports eruption of Mount Baldy on January 10, 1895.

  • By Mildred Andrews
  • Posted 12/04/1998
  • Essay 416
On January 10, 1895, a newspaper, the Buckley Banner reports the eruption of Mount Baldy. The paper reports explosions "like the roar of a cannon" and a "crater alive with a terrible heat" (Buckley Banner). Although geologically unlikely and otherwise unconfirmed, the event is portrayed vividly with tendrils of molten lava snaking their way down the slopes and plumes of smoke that can be seen from as far away as Seattle, 50 miles to the northwest. The peak in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains looms above what is now (1999) the King County Fair Grounds on the east side of Enumclaw.

Local promoters and the Northern Pacific Railroad downplayed the area's potential for volcanic disaster, making no mention of the "eruption" in promotional booklets and brochures. Ironically, the name "Enumclaw" comes from a local Indian legend about the thunderous roar that emanated from within a nearby mountain, frightening warriors away.

Sources: Buckley Banner, January 11, 1895; Nancy Irene Hall, In the Shadow of the Mountain: A Pioneer History of Enumclaw (Enumclaw: Courier-Herald Publishing Company, Inc., 1983), 92-93.

Related Topics:   Environment | Media

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