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30D Santa Rosa Mountain

Location: Riverside County, California

Named is derived from the local Santa Rosa band of the Cahuilla. Indians, one of whose villages was on the slope of this peak and whose imagined daily life elicited nostalgic musings from C. F. Saunders.

Name was in local use when it was accepted by the USGS in 1904.

Santa Rosa is a widespread place name in California with ten ranchos, two creeks, an arroyo, a range of hills, an island, a camp, and a city.

Saint Rosa of Lima was (until recently) the only female Saint of the New World. Alternatively, some of the names could honor Saint Rosa de Viterbo, a Franciscan of the 13th Century.

A frigate named "Santa Rosa" was one of two ships under the famous Argentine privateer Captain Hippolyte Bouchard who raided California (1816). Argentina had just declared her independence from Spain and sought to encourage other revolts elsewhere, these two ships were commissioned to fight Spanish ships and to try to create a revolt in California. But the Santa Rosa was badly damaged by a shore battery commanded by (then Corporal) José de Jesus Vallejo, who captured its commander, Joseph Chapman, who would become the first American to live in Los Angeles.

On the summit of this peak are the remains of the log cabin of "Desert Steve" Ragsdale who built himself a ladder and platform to the top of a large tree and "adopted" the surrounding National Forest as his protection area in the 1939's. The USFS never interfered with his hobby but never sanctioned this spot as an official lookout either.

The range of mountains south of this peak, have been known by many other names. They were called Sierra de San Sebastian by Pedro Font, the chaplain of de Anza's overland expedition (1875-76); San Jacinto Mountains in the Map of Public Surveys (1856); Bancroft called them the Coyote Mountains (1868); they were mistaken as part of the San Bernardino range by the Roesner map and the General Land Office Plat (1876); as part of the San Gorgonio Mountains by Rand McNally (1888); Riverside Press & Horticulturist printed them as the Tauquitz Mountains (1896), and USGS surveyor John B. Leiberg, charged with mapping the new San Jacinto Forest Reserve, divided the area into three parts calling the Santa Rosa's the Toro or Bull Mountain Range.

Name first appears on USGS Indio Special Map (1904).

Peak was on the original 1946 HPS Peak List. Weldon Heald climbed this peak in 1937.


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