The 40th highest peak, at 4,040 feet in elevation, is named in honor of one of the most important figures in Adirondack Mountain history. Professor Ebeneezer Emmons, the first scientific explorer of the Adirondack Mountains, graduated from Williams College in 1818 with a degree in botany. Over the coming years, he developed a deep passion for geology, and in 1836, the state selected him for a geological survey of New York. Emmons chose to focus his survey on the largely unmapped, unexplored wilderness of the Adirondacks. During this time, he ascended four High Peaks, named at least five, and made countless topographic measurements of the region.
The southernmost peak of the Seward Range, Mount Emmons was originally known by the name “South Seward.” It first appears with its current name on the United States Geological Survey map in 1924. Colvin and his guide likely became the first to summit Emmons en route to Mount Seward in October of 1870. Emmons was the last peak that Clark and the Marshall brothers summited during their quest to become the first 46ers. The trio realized in a later climb of Seward and Donaldson that they had not really climbed Emmons in their 1921 hike of the Seward Range, so they climbed the peak in 1925 to officially complete the forty-six.
Heaven up-H’isted-Ness!: The History of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers and the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Adirondack Forty-Sixers, 2011.