Location: Kern County, California
Name given by the USFS. It is today believed that this was in recognition of local use, but there is no printed evidence of the name having been used before its first appearance in print. The peak name was first given to summit 3932' (Section 18/TM7S/ R36E) near Heald Peak, this location also appeared on the AMS Onyx quad (1943), AMS Bakersfield quad (1952), USGS Onyx quad (1963), and USFS Sequoia N.F. map (1966).
Despite its long use, the name recently was moved to its present location at UTM 973363 (Section 21/T27S/R36E) at the request of the USGS, which cited then USFS Ranger Bob Powers, and other long time residents, as supporting experts. When the name was first printed, no one sought to have it made official, so it remained open to change at any time. Since this name was in prior use, but only its placement was to be changed, and the USGS admitted that the original location had been "Misallocated". The usually stringent rules for researching a name before it is declared "official" were bypassed. As a result, there are no records on this summit anywhere.
However, Bob Powers, whose family has lived nearby since 1862, was glad to supply missing facts. It was named for William Skinner a gold miner who migrated here from Wisconsin by way of digs at Greenhorn Creek. He married a local Kawaiisu Indian woman, and settled near the mouth of Pinyon Creek in the Kelso Valley about 4.5 miles west of the present peak (1852). The peak name was moved because the USGS contended that the new and (then) unnamed location was preferable for unstated reasons that are now forgotten. The new site is closer to his home, although the original site may have been nearer to one of Skinner's mining claims. Parenthetically, most of the peaks in the area are named for other miners who were his contemporaries1. It will probably remain unknown why the original placement occurred, or why it took so long to rectify matters.
The new site first appears on USGS Skinner Peak advance sheet (1972).
Name first appears on USFS Sequoia National Forest map (1940).
Name officially accepted by USBGN (1975).
1 Wheelock notes that Bird Spring Pass (1.2 miles to the SW), was discovered and named by John Charles Frémont (1813-90), aided by Kit Carson (1809-68), when snow blocked the intended entry through Walker Pass during the "Fifth Expedition" (1854). A BSA commemorative monument is located by the West entry to the pass.
There is no known link between Skinner and Frémont.
Peak was added to the HPS Peak List in 1990.