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Summit Signatures

18B Modjeska Peak

Location: Orange County, California

Named by the USFS after Madame Helena Modjeska (1840-1909), a world famous Polish tragedienne. She was a founder of a utopian Polish colony near Anaheim (1876). When it began to fail (perhaps because utopians generally make poor farmers), she learned English and resumed her career (1877). For three more decades she was an enduringly popular star who was famous for her Shakespearean roles. She became a naturalized citizen and built a home in Santiago Canyon (1888). When she passed away her friends suggested renaming what is now called Santiago Peak in her honor. Nearly twin peaks form the summit of this mountain (which is why it has also been called "Old Saddleback"), the USFS chose to name the lower of the twins after her. A canyon and an island in Newport Harbor also bear her name.

Previously this summit had been known as North Peak.

Name first appeared on AMS Santiago Peak topo (1942).

Name officially accepted by USGNS (1961).

Peak was on the original 1946 HPS Peak List.

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