East Dix officially has been renamed “Grace Peak” in honor of Grace Hudowalski (#9), long-time historian for the 46ers and the first woman to climb the 46 High Peaks. The United States Board of Geographic Names (USBGN) has approved the petition submitted by the Forty-Sixers to rename East Dix “Grace Peak.” The name designation was approved on June 12, 2014, at the monthly meeting of the USBGN.
The decision by the USBGN brings to a successful conclusion the campaign that the 46ers began in the early 2000s to name a high peak after Grace. In response to the approval Douglas Arnold (#4693W), who has led the naming effort on behalf of the Forty-Sixers for the past twelve years said: “Everyone has a mentor – a coach, parent or grandparent, friend, or teacher – who influences the outcome of their life. These angels are remembered but rarely honored.
Grace Hudowalski was a mentor to thousands of people as she shared her enthusiasm for the Adirondacks with everyone. The naming of Grace Peak is a tribute, not only to the lives she touched, but to all of those angels who make a positive impact on our lives.” Sally Hoy (#2924W), President of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers added, “How fitting to honor a woman whose love of the Adirondacks has had far-reaching effects, not only in eco-tourism but in promoting protection of this amazing resource.”
The Forty-Sixers chose East Dix as an appropriate mountain for renaming because it did not have a unique name. Its appellation is a reference to its proximity to Dix Mountain (named for John A. Dix, New York Secretary of State, 1833-1839), the highest peak in the Dix Mountain Wilderness. Robert Marshall (#3) gave East Dix its associative name so it would not be a “nameless mountain.” In his book Peaks and People of the Adirondacks (1927), Russell M. L. Carson noted that the most interesting fact about East Dix (and its neighbor South Dix) is that “their names are not important enough to be retained and that they can be given distinctive titles, when the right occasion comes, without violation of old-established names.” With the naming of Grace Peak, the “right occasion” has come, and the mountain now has its own, permanent designation.
The naming effort has received widespread support from recreational groups, individuals, local governments, and state agencies. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following groups and individuals for their support that helped to make the naming of Grace Peak a reality:
– Adirondack Mountain Club, and a number of its regional chapters;
– Adirondack Mountain Club Executive Director Neil Woodworth;
– The Town of North Hudson and Supervisor Ronald Moore;
– The County of Essex Board of Supervisors and Chair Randall Douglas;
– Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens and Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann;
– NYS Committee on Geographic Names;
– Assemblyman Daniel G. Stec (114th district);
– Fred Schwoebel , producer/director of the documentary The Mountains Will Wait for You;
– The Glens Falls Rotary Club;
– Catskill 3500 Club;
– New York Folklore Society;
– Dozens of individuals who wrote letters of support and who have referred to East Dix as “Grace Peak” for the past 12 years.
For additional information on Grace Hudowalski and the Grace Peak renaming project see: gracepeak.info