WARRENSBURG After a years-long effort that prompted a bit of controversy and some international attention, a mountain peak in Warrensburg has been officially named after James Cameron, an original settler and founder of the town of Thurman.
The highest summit on Bald Mountain was named “Jimmys Peak” by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names at their June 13 meeting. Bald Mountain is the southernmost of a trio of mountains known as the “Three Sisters.”
The middle hill has been officially named Willard Mountain, and the northern summit remains as Pine Mountain, Thurman town Supervisor Evelyn Wood said July 1.
Several years ago, Susan Jennings of Thurman, a descendant of James Cameron, launched the process to have a mountain named after him — but she had targeted the middle of the three summits for the Jimmy’s Peak moniker in accordance with popular usage. But Lilly Cameron of Thurman, wife of James’ descendant Myron Cameron, later submitted evidence that Bald Mountain was referred to as Jimmy’s Peak during the very beginning of the 20th century, and the U.S. agency decided to follow her reasoning — and the mountain will bear both designations, Wood said.
James Cameron was already memorialized on a historical sign along Rte. 418 as a pioneer, woodsman, farmer and justice of the peace who settled in the valley in 1773.
The issue of the Jimmy’s Peak gained international attention this May in the Wall Street Journal. WSJ reporter Barry Newman focused on Thurman when he examined the issue of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names’ policy of deleting apostrophes when designating locations and natural features — a practice that has distressed grammatists since it was enacted 113 years ago. The issue involving Jimmy’s Peak was aired on television and published in print media from San Jose to Canada and throughout Europe. Within days, the article, describing the Thurman apostrophe affair, was mentioned on about 500,000 web pages.