Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Skamania County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

Mount St. Helens

Fire Mountain of the Cascades

 

— Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument —

 
Mount St. Helens Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2015
1. Mount St. Helens Marker
Inscription.  Native people knew her. Their names for the mountain translated to "Fire Mountain" or "Smoker." They watched her erupt repeatedly, building most of the visible mountain over the last 2,800 years. Eruptions and heavy ash fall caused them to abandon sites for centuries.

Mount St. Helens is the youngest and most explosive of the Cascade volcanoes. Several eruptions were larger than that of 1980. Thirty-five hundred years ago she erupted, producing 13 times more pumice, ash and rock than on May 18, 1980.

By studying the mountain's volcanic deposits, geologists better understand her eruptive history and likely future. Mount St. Helens should continue intermittent eruptions for decades before resting. We are witnessing "Fire Mountain" living up to her name.

1 • Koapk Site
During an eruption around 3,500 years ago, Mount St. Helens deposited this deep layer of pumice and ash over a day or so. Native Americans abandoned the site, returning 2,000 years later. Final abandonment around 1860 A.D.

2 • Layser Cave Site
Repeated eruptions deposited close to 15 inches (40 cm) of ash and pumice at the site. The
Marker detail: A growing lava dome glows in the crater in November, 2004 image. Click for full size.
By Elliot Endo
2. Marker detail: A growing lava dome glows in the crater in November, 2004
inhabitants abandoned the site permanently around 3,900 years ago.

3 • Boundary Trail Site
St. Helens dropped this lighter colored layer of ash (up to the white band) over several hundred years. The site was permanently abandoned between 3,500 and 3,900 years ago.

4 • Lower Falls Site
Received at least 31 inches (80 cm) of ash and pumice over several hundred years. The inhabitants left the site around 3,900 years ago. Reoccupied from 1880-1900 A.D. Final abandonment 1960.

[background photo caption]
In 1847, artist Paul Kane painted a dome-building eruption occurring on Mount St. Helens’ north flank. Eruptions between 1842 and 1857 built the Goat Rocks lava dome.
 
Erected by Gifford Pinchot National Forest, US Department of Agriculture.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyDisastersNative AmericansScience & Medicine.
 
Location. 46° 15.137′ N, 122° 7.119′ W. Marker is in Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington, in Skamania County. Marker can be reached from Forest Road NF-99 15 miles from Forest Road NF-25. Marker is located at the Smith Creek Picnic Viewpoint in Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Touch for map
Marker detail: Native Historic Territories Map image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Native Historic Territories Map
Native people abandoned sites as repeated eruptions buried food sources, contaminated drinking water, and killed fish.
. Marker is in this post office area: Cougar WA 98616, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hearts of Volcanoes Beat Beneath Peaceful Facades (a few steps from this marker); The Pumice Plain (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Earth’s Monumental Power (approx. 4.6 miles away); Working with Nature to Rebuild an Ecosystem (approx. 4.6 miles away); More Than He Bargained For (approx. 5.8 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Mount St. Helens History. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Mount St. Helens began growing before the end of the Ice Age; its oldest ash deposits date to at least 40,000 years ago. Mount St. Helens had nine main eruptions prior to the 1980 eruption. Each “pulse” of eruptions lasted less than 100 years to up to 5,000 years, with long intervals of dormancy between them. (Submitted on October 31, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Geology and History Summary for Mount St. Helens. It was only during the past few thousand years that the volcano grew to its pre-1980 elevation of 2,950m, making it the, then, fifth highest peak in Washington. Starting about 3,000 years ago, substantial amounts of basalt and andesite began to erupt as lava flows between phases of eruptive activity. These lava flows buried large parts
Mount St. Helens Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2015
4. Mount St. Helens Marker
(Mount St. Helens, north flank, in background)
of a central cluster of dacite domes and flanking fans, which started the cone building in earnest. (Submitted on October 31, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Mount St. Helens. The local Indians and early settlers in the then sparsely populated region witnessed the occasional violent outbursts of Mount St. Helens. The volcano was particularly restless in the mid-19th century, when it was intermittently active for at least a 26-year span from 1831 to 1857. The mountain gave little or no evidence of being a volcanic hazard for more than a century after 1857. (Submitted on October 31, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Mount St. Helens (<i>north flank • view from marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 17, 2015
5. Mount St. Helens (north flank • view from marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 31, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 49 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 31, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Paid Advertisement
Mar. 1, 2021