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11A Josephine Peak

Location: Los Angeles County, California

Named for Josephine Lippencott, wife of USGS surveyor Joseph Barlow Lippencott who used this elevation for a triangulation station (1894). He would later insure the city of Santa Barbara with a steady source of water by planning the Gibraltar Dam on the Santa Inez River (1903, completed 1921), and was later the Hydraulic Engineer of the Owens Valley Aqueduct (1919). He was also involved in the planning of the Angeles Crest Highway.

The HPS Peak Guides continue to uncritically accept Grace J. Oberbeck's notion that this peak was named for a daughter of La Cresenta landowner Phil Begue, who was also one of the first Rangers in the old San Gabriel Timberland Reserve. In the words of mountain historian Grant Brown, Begue was notorious for "gilding the lily". June Dougherty of the La Canada Historical Society considers Oberbeck's research "mainly fables", adding that "she wasn't very critical of her sources". Furthermore, William V. Mendenhall (Angeles N.F. Supervisor, 1929-57) wrote in a letter to John Robinson: "I am quite certain that it was named by J.B. Lippencott for his wife. I do know that it was never named by Philip Begue, nor for any member of his family." This is widely accepted.

"Lippincot" is an incorrect spelling still found in many sources.

A fire lookout existed on the summit (1937-76).

Known as "Josephine Mtn" on first USGS topo, and "Mount Josephine" on the original HPS Peak List.

Name first appears on USGS Tujunga topo (1900).

Peak was on the original 1946 HPS Peak List. Weldon Heald climbed this peak in 1939.


Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
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Updated 25-February-2003