Information Entries for Mt. Shavano

Name History (Mt. Shavano)

Title: Naming of Mt. Shavano

Entered by: 14erFred

Added: 05/17/2010, Last Updated: 05/17/2010

Sources: Borneman, W.R., & Lampert, L.J. (1978). A climbing guide to Colorado's Fourteeners. Boulder, CO: Pruett Publishing Company. Eberhart, P., & Schmuck, P. (1970). The Fourteeners: Colorado's great mountains. Chicago: The Swallow Press. Hart, J.L.J. (1977). Fourteen thousand feet: A history of the naming and early ascents of the high Colorado peaks (Second Edition). Denver, CO: The Colorado Mountain Club. Marsh, C.S. (1982). The Utes of Colorado: People of the Shining Mountains. Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company. Pettit, J. (1982). Utes: The Mountain People. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Century One Press. The Colorado Mountain Club Foundation. (2010). The Colorado 14ers: The standard routes. Golden, CO: The Colorado Mountain Club Press. Simmons, V.M. (2005). Naming the Indian group of the Sawatch Range. Colorado Central Magazine, June issue. [See]

One of three 14ers in the "Indian group" of the southern Sawatch Range (along with Mt. Antero and Tabeguache Peak), Mt. Shavano is named for the strong and loyal chief who led the Tabeguache band of Utes from the 1850s through the 1870s. Shavano played a prominent role as peacemaker throughout his life, and his courage and convictions saved many lives among both his people and the whites.

In 1867, when miners first trespassed on Ute land, a brave named Kaneache organized a war party against the whites. At the request of Colonel Kit Carson, Chief Shavano led a band of Tabeguaches who captured Kaneache and prevented bloodshed. Shavano was fourth on the list of 133 Native American signers of the Brunot Treaty between the Utes and the U.S. Commissioner in 1873, which gave most of the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado to the whites. In 1878, when miners again violated Ute territory, Shavano traveled to Washington DC for negotiations that produced a second treaty, again resolving the problem in favor of the whites. And in the Ute War of 1879, Shavano again remained loyal to the settlers. In the infamous 1879 Meeker Massacre, after Utes killed Indian Agent Nathan Meeker and all his employees, and kidnapped his family, Chief Shavano once more interceded on behalf of the whites and rescued the captives. In 1881, as a final reward for their loyalty and courage, the U.S. government deported Shavano and his tribe to a reservation in the Utah desert, where he died in 1885. The names of the 14ers, Shavano and Tabeguache, remain as a constant reminder of this wise and loyal leader and his long-lost tribe.

The Wheeler U.S. Government Survey originally called the mountain "Usher Peak," probably for Judge J. P. Usher, chief counsel for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. However, the U.S. Board of Geographical Names rejected this name in favor of Mt. Shavano in 1907. The earliest map on which the name "Mount Shavano" appears is dated 1875.

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