Stranded Dutchman Dies in Snow Storm on Siskiyou Peak

Sep 8, 2014

 Dutchman Peak, west of Mount Ashland, was named for a German immigrant who died on the mountain in about 1870.  A ranger in the Applegate District, Lee Port, recorded his oral history in 1945 of the story.

According to the ranger, the German, a gold miner named Hensly [sic], was working through the winter on Ward’s Fork, near the Oregon-California border in the Siskiyou Mountains.  As Christmas neared, he took a pack horse down to the Bumblebee Trading Post near Hilt, Calif.  A winter storm stranded him as he headed home with winter provisions and a gallon of whiskey.   The following spring, his horse was found alive, grazing near Squaw Lakes, and when the snow finally melted high in the Siskiyous, Hensly’s body was found on the west slope of what would thereafter be called Dutchman’s Peak.  The melting snow also revealed the still untouched whiskey bottle and winter provisions.  They buried Hensly where he was found, outlining the grave with white rocks, which the ranger said were still visible in 1945 from a quarter-mile away. Still in use today, a cupola-shaped Forest Service lookout building has stood on the summit since 1927. 

   Sources: LaLande, Jeff. "From Abbot Butte to Zimmerman Burn: A Geographic-Names History and Gazetter of the Rogue River National Forest ." Southern Oregon Digital Archives. Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Feb. 2007. Web. 19 Aug. 2014;  Port, Lee. "Notes on Historical Events: Applegate Ranger District." Southern Oregon Digital Archives. Web. 19 Aug. 2014.