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Thurston proclaims March as Women’s History Month –
Yelm teacher Fay Fuller was first woman to climb Mt. Rainier! 

Fay Fuller
Photo credit: PBS via the City of Yelm

Reported previously here: Thurston proclaims March as Women’s History Month!

An opportunity to recognize Fay Fuller, Yelm teacher and first woman to climb Mt. Rainier. 

+ From History Link, 2006: Fay Fuller becomes the first woman known to reach the summit of Mount Rainier on August 10, 1890.

+ From The Yelm History Project, 2010: Yelm and Mt. Rainier: Fay Fuller’s Ascent

+ From Thurston Talk, 2021: Fay Fuller: Yelm School Teacher First Woman to Summit Mount Rainier in 1890

The wind howled and clouds obscured the view on August 10, 1890 when a weary party of climbers reached the summit of Mount Rainier. Among them was schoolteacher and journalist Fay Fuller. She later wrote that it was: “a heavenly moment; nothing was said — words cannot describe scenery and beauty, how could they speak for the soul! Such sensations can be known to only those who reach the heights.” She had just become the first woman in recorded history to summit Mount Rainier.

Edwina Fay Fuller (who went by her middle name) was born October 10, 1869 in New Jersey, the youngest child of Edwin N. Fuller and Augusta Morrison Fuller. Her family included sisters Gracie and Florence and brother Robert. Fay’s family moved from Chicago to Tacoma when she was 12. Her father was a newspaper publisher, eventually starting his own papers, Every Sunday and The Commerce.

After two years of high school, Fay became a teacher. She taught at Longfellow Elementary School in Tacoma and at Rosedale on the Kitsap Peninsula. Her job was a typical one, but her other interests were not, including being part of the Women’s Guild in Tacoma. This group promoted “healthful exercise” through calisthenics and rifle drills.

Her other ambition was even more different, mountain climbing.

Posted by Steve on March 11, 2023 at 12:31 am | Permalink

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