Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Conness Survey Crew of 1890 (Mt. Conness Hike Epilogue)

One thing to point out is that technical climbers like to do the Harding Route. It is great to take pictures of, but not something I will ever intend to try. Mt. Conness has taken the lives of some people. This is a composite of three pictures I took because the face was so big from this area that I could not get it all in one shot! Look at that drop off!
The reason I added on this last blog to this series about my hike to the summit of Mt. Conness is because of the following cemented rock structure. There were a few like this up there, but this one caught my eye:
I looked closely and saw the name S.H. Finley, Santa Ana, Cal, 1890. Who in the world is that? Even stranger is I live close to Santa Ana so I wanted to find out what was going on here.
A simple Google search revealed that Solomon Henderson Finley was an Orange County engineer. Google has a lot items related to him. He was picked along with a bunch of other experts to lead a scientific expedition to survey the area for map making. He is the man sitting down in the middle of this picture of the expedition crew to Mt. Conness.
The following is a picture of some of the members of the men on top of Mt. Conness. That is the observatory they built up there for the tests they needed to make. I would have loved to see how they carried the parts of the building up there along with the rest of the heavy equipment.
The funny thing is I had no clue about this when I was up there. I got very close to getting the exact same shot. To get the shot above I would have to move to the left a few feet. You should be able to line up the same rocks. Wow, a comparison with a 118 year old picture! Not a lot has changed!
For more on the survey crew of 1890, refer to the following article by George Davidson. He is the white bearded man in both of the old pictures above. He led the team.

For more about the life of S.H. Finley: