Mount Thirst, San Clemente Island

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Mount Thirst, San Clemente Island, at 1965 feet in elevation, is the island's highest peak. In 1972 the Navy installed an AN/FPS-20 general surveillance radar at Mount Thirst. It is the site of major communications equipment.

Thirst, San Clemente Island , California, William E. Greenwell, 1862; Stehman Forney, 1879.—On the highest point on the northeast side of the island, at the head of a large gulch running in a southerly direction to the ocean. About 400 meters to the southeast and across a small valley is a conspicuous knoll, covered with large bowlders [sic]. The center of the station was not marked in 1862, but three holes were drilled in rocks to the east, west and north, one in a fixed rock and the other two in rocks placed in the ground, each distant 5.8 feet from the center. They were found in 1879, and the center of station was then marked by a stone, 0.2 foot square and 0.6 foot long, with a leaden bolt and copper tack, buried 2 feet below the surface of the ground. The surface mark and the reference stubs and stones were as described in note 3, page 615, except that the stones were placed northwest, northeast, and south. [[Annual Report of the Director, U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey, 1904]

In the News~

October 1942 [USNIP]: “…While standing on Mount Thirst, the highest point on the island, one can survey it from end to end and it is hard to imagine how the Indian came out here and chiseled out an existence for himself while the white man has to rely on help from the mainland to subsist. One wonders which race was relly civilized.” » Flynn, S. E. The History of San Clemente Island U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings 68(476):1417-1426 October 1942.