The 21st High Peak has been referred to by a number of names throughout its history. While early writers called it “Middle Dix” or “Little Dix,” Colvin often referred to it as “Cone Mountain.” In Carson’s Peaks and People of the Adirondacks, he determines the peak’s name to be “Mount Marshall,” even though this wasn’t an officially-recognized designation. In 1937, the 46ers of Troy petitioned to officially name the mountain “Mount Marshall,” but this name was then applied to a peak in the McIntyre range. Ultimately, the name of this 4,409-foot mountain went to Franklin Benjamin Hough, the so-called “father of American forestry.”
A New York native, Hough studied medicine in college and served as a regimental surgeon during the Civil War. He retired early from his medical career to focus on his forestry research, writings, and speeches. After serving as superintendent of the 1855 and 1865 New York censuses, he found himself alarmed at the rapidly disappearing timber reserves in the Adirondacks and began to campaign for the conservation of forests. His 1873 speech “On the Duty of Governments in the Preservations of Forests,” was instrumental in convincing the federal government to establish the Division of Forestry within the Department of Agriculture.
Hough’s career as a conservationist began with his designation as “special forestry agent” to the Division of Forestry in 1876. He was credited as a co-author of Colvin’s First Annual Report of the Commissioners of State Parks and drafted the federal government’s Forest Preserve Act. He also helped frame the New York Forest Commission Act, which created the Adirondack Forest Preserve in 1885, just a month before his death.
The Marshall brothers and Clark recorded the first known ascent of Hough Peak in 1921. While the wooded summit provides a great look at the Elk Lake Valley and the surrounding mountains, these views are typically overshadowed by its neighbor Dix Mountain, which boasts more impressive 360-degree views.
Heaven up-H’isted-Ness!: The History of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers and the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Adirondack Forty-Sixers, 2011.