By Becky Clark
Dave Hunt, a regular participant in “So you think you know the Hill” was the first to answer, followed by two more correct answers.
“Marion Mountain was named after Marion Kelly by Edmund Perkins Jr. who surveyed and mapped the San Jacinto Mountains in the 1890s. Marion was a teacher from Michigan who taught at the Morongo Indian Reservation. They met while she was camping and fell in love :),” wrote Hunt.
Mark Dean wrote, “Found this on Wikipedia.” These peaks were named in 1897 by USGS topographer Edmund Taylor Perkins, Jr. Perkins named Jean Peak for his sweetheart and future bride, Jean Waters of Plumas County, whom he married in 1903. He named Marion Mountain after Marion Kelly, his girlfriend, a teacher for the Indian Bureau at the Morongo Valley Reservation. According to a local legend, Perkins spent the summer of 1897 deciding which woman to marry while he conducted his topographical survey of San Jacinto Peak and its environs.
The reference refers to “The San Jacintos,” a masterful history book of our area by John W. Robinson and Bruce D. Risher.
And finally, our local renowned historian Bob Smith gave us even more information: “According to John Robinson, topographer Edmund Perkins, who directed the first careful survey of the San Jacintos in 1897-98, named Marion Mountain ‘for Marion Kelly of White Cloud, Michigan,a young school teacher employed at the Morongo Indian Reservation. Perkins met her when she was camped with friends in Strawberry Valley. The story goes that Miss Kelly fell deeply in love with Perkins, who was described as tall and good-looking, but he kept putting her off by saying he was married to his work. But he did think enough of the young woman to place her name on the mountain.’ He goes on to say that Marion Mountain’s neighboring summit, Jean Peak, Perkins named for Jean Waters, whom he married in 1903.
“P.S. Perhaps somebody could convince the county (?) to correct the spelling of ‘Marian View Drive’?”