Juan Perez and his crew on Spanish ship Santiago sight and name Mount Olympus on August 11, 1774.

  • By Antonio Sanchez
  • Posted 4/03/2004
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 5682
On August 11, 1774, Spanish explorers on the ship Santiago, commanded by Juan Perez, sail past the future state of Washington, sight the peak that will later be named Mount Olympus, and name it "Cerro Nevada de Santa Rosalia." Juan Perez's Spanish expedition represents the first European discovery and exploration of Nueva Galicia (the Pacific Northwest).

The Santiago continued north to Nootka Sound and the Queen Charlotte Islands. Juan Perez and his mostly Mexican crew made contact with the Haida, and mapped the area.

Sources: Herbert K. Beals (translator), Juan Perez on the Northwest Coast: Six Documents of His Expeditions in 1774 (Portland: Oregon Historical Society Press, 1989); Santiago Saavedra, To the Totem Shore: The Spanish Presence on the Northwest Coast (Madrid, Spain: Ediciones El Viso, 1986.

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