On August 10, 1890 Fay Fuller summitted Mt. Rainier, the first woman to accomplish the climb. Here’s a post I did a couple years ago on Fay over at Recaptured City with Andy Cox on the image mix.

This 1926 portrait could be a photo shoot for a Ralph Lauren ad instead of the YMCA Girls Outing Club gearing up for a trip to Paradise. Taken in front of the main YMCA Building on Market Street, completed in 1910, the young women in the photo echo the spirit of Fay Fuller, the first woman to reach the summit of Mt. Tacoma on August 10, 1890. Fay made her pioneering climb with her face unfashionably blackened with charcoal and wearing crystal goggles against a fierce summer sun glare. She wore heavy flannel underwear, a thick blue flannel bloomer suit and long skirt, woolen hose, calfskin boy’s boots with caulks, a straw hat and an alpenstock. Climbing with four others including Leonard Longmire, the party reached the summit at Columbia Crest late on the first day of climbing from Camp Muir at 10,000 feet. They spent the night in a sulfur vent ice cave where Faye remembered sleeping quite well except for the occasional roaring of avalanches. The next day they made the descent in gale force winds and then camped at Paradise for five days nursing sunburns and sore feet. Seven years later, when she was 28 years old, Faye made the climb a second time and then went on to a career as a journalist and writer. She was 89 when she died in 1958 after proving that determination is the essence of style.

Washington State Historical Society,Catalog ID Number: 1957.19.09.451

Written by tacomahistory

This site is about the way history, in this case of a city and it's surrounds, is remembered or recorded in stories and small bits of memory. It's also about the way images and stories go together, how they inform and enrich each other and how we as thinking people fill in the content between a narrative and a visual document. So here is my city in time past, the way it looked and the people and events that create its character. For more than 20 years I have taught a 5 credit course on the History of Tacoma at the University of Washington Tacoma. With an average of 30 or 40 students a year, each doing a research paper as their primary focus for the course, I have benefited from many paths of inquiry and many researched and assembled stories. Here are some of them in the retelling along with the treasures of photographs and images in the collections of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma Public Library, University of Washington Digital Archives, Washington State Archives at the Office of the Secretary of State, Library of Congress, Washington State University, Alaska State Library, and many other archives, libraries and private collections.

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