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Why was it named Mount St. Helens?

It's been 40 years since the vast eruption of Mount St. Helens. Before May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens' summit altitude of 9,677 feet (2,950 meters) made it the fifth highest peak in Washington. However, on May 18, 1980, the volcano lost an estimated 3.4 billion cubic yards (0.63 cubic mile) of its cone (about 1,300 feet or 396 meters in height), leaving behind a horseshoe-shaped crater, with the highest part of the crater rim at 8,365 feet (2,550 meters) in elevation. 

The modern name, Mount St. Helens, was given to the volcanic peak in 1792 by seafarer and explorer Captain George Vancouver of the British Royal Navy. He named it in honor of a fellow countryman Alleyne Fitzherbert, who held the title ‘Baron St. Helens’. Fitzherbert at the time served as the British Ambassador to Spain.

Captain Vancouver also named three other volcanoes in the Cascades, Mount BakerMount Hood, and Mount Rainier, all named after British naval officers.

Some Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest called the mountain, 'Louwala-Clough,' or 'smoking mountain.'

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