From the Archives: Mount St. Helens photos

From the Archives: Mount St. Helens photos

If you mention “May 18, 1980” to an older Washingtonian, you’ll likely get a knowing response: It’s the day Mount St. Helens erupted.

It was on a sunny morning 37 years ago today that the eruption blew off the top 1,300 feet from its once cone-like summit, killing 57 people and thousands of animals, and destroying or flattening thousands of acres of timber. The eruption occurred when the mountain’s north face collapsed due to an earthquake, resulting in the largest known debris avalanche in recorded history.

Above is the telex from the State Patrol announcing the eruption on May 18, 1980, .
(Image courtesy Washington State Archives)

The Washington State Digital Archives, which is part of the Secretary of State’s office, has several classic photos of the famous volcano before and during its eruption. A few of them are featured here.

Boaters on Spirit Lake, with Mount St. Helens in the background.
(Photo courtesy Washington State Digital Archives)

If you want to view a stunning close-up of St. Helens, drive up to the Johnston Ridge Observatory, which recently opened after being closed during the winter. Go here for more information about Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

Three women enjoy a campfire on the shore of Spirit Lake, with St. Helens looming behind them.
(Photo courtesy Washington State Digital Archives)  

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