Summer Lake in Lake County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Summer Lake and Winter Ridge were both named in 1843 by Captain John C. Fremont, leader of a US Army Topographical Corps expedition whose ambitious goal was to explore and map the Great Basin lands of eastern Oregon, Nevada, and Utah.
On December 16, 1843, Fremont and his party stood shivering and windblown atop the steep ridge just southwest of here. Peering down, through the cold air to the sunny lake below, the explorers were instantly inspired:
"...we found ourselves on the verge of a vertical and rocky wall of the mountain. At our feet… more than a thousand feet below… we looked into a grass prairie country, in which a beautiful lake, some twenty miles in length, was spread along the foot of the mountain… Shivering on snow three feet deep, and stiffening in a cold north wind, we exclaimed at once that the names of summer lake and winter ridge should be applied to these proximate places of such sudden and violent contrast."
Captain John C. Fremont, December 16, 1843
Propelled to the national stage by his achievements at western exploration, Fremont was nominated as the Republican candidate for President in 1856; later, he served in the Civil War, advancing to the rank of major-general.
Fremont died in 1890, but the many names that he applied to the local landscape
Location. 42° 58.33′ N, 120° 46.653′ W. Marker is in Summer Lake, Oregon, in Lake County. Marker can be reached from Fremont Highway (Oregon Route 31) south of Thousand Springs Lane (County Highway 4-17), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker located in the Summer Lake Rest Area. Marker is at or near this postal address: 54198 Fremont Highway, Summer Lake OR 97640, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. Fremont Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker).
Also see . . .
1. John C. Frémont, American explorer, military officer, and politician. In 1842, as emigration to the Oregon country in the Pacific Northwest was growing dramatically in importance for the nation, the War Department sent Frémont on an expedition to survey the route west from the Mississippi River to the Wyoming region. While in the Wind River Range there, he scaled the mountain that now bears his name (Fremont Peak). In 1843, accompanied by the colorful guide Kit (Submitted on February 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. 1847 - Fremont appointed Governor of California. When Mexico and the U.S. declared war in May 1846, Fremont and his men were in Oregon. Upon hearing the news, Fremont immediately headed south, calling his return “the first step in the conquest of California.” By January 1847, they had put down the small number of Californians determined to maintain a nation independent of the United States. With California now clearly in the U.S. hands, Stockton agreed to appoint Fremont as the territorial governor. However, a dispute broke out within the army over the legitimacy of Fremont’s appointment, and the young captain’s detractors accused him of mutiny, disobedience, and conduct prejudicial to military discipline. Recalled to Washington for a court martial, Fremont was found guilty of all three charges, and his appointment to take the position of governor was revoked. (Submitted on February 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Fremont names the Golden Gate Bridge. On July 1, 1846, two years before the discovery of gold in California U.S. Army Captain John C. Fremont gazed at the narrow strait that separates the Bay (Submitted on February 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Exploration • Politics • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 8, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 67 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.