The many names of Half Dome

Half Dome – Yosemite Musings

Domeps light

We know the granite monolith as Half Dome. But that wasn’t always its name. Here’s a quick listing of some of the monikers attached to it. There is some good research that says that a hunter named William Penn Abrams was actually the first non-Indian to see it in 1849. In his diary he called it “The Rock of Ages.” Lafayette Bunnell was pat of the Mariposa Batallion that first came upon the Yosemite Valley and Half Dome in 1851. In his seminal work “The Yosemite…”  published 30 years later, relates that although the name “Half Dome” was suggested by Private Champion Spenser, it went by several other names for the first few years after the Mariposa Battalion came into the Valley. North Dome, South Dome, Tis-sa-ack, and Cleft Rock all were used. Other suggestions that did not stick were: “Goddess of Liberty,” “Mt. Abraham Lincoln,” and “Spirit of the Valley.”

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “There she was just a walkin’ down the street, singing ‘Do wa diddy diddy dum diddy do.’” – Manfred Mann

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –


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