Photo by L.G. Folsom, from the book “The Valley of 10,000 Smokes” by Robert Griggs

Robert Griggs, left, and Walter Metrokin of Kodiak rest during a 1916 expedition into the Valley of 10,000 Smokes on the Alaska Peninsula.

To put the largest eruption in Alaska’s written history in context, Robert Griggs pondered what might have happened if the volcano that erupted in summer of 1912 was located on Manhattan Island rather than the Alaska Peninsula.

“In such a catastrophe all of Greater New York would be buried under ten to fifteen feet of ash and subjected to unknown horrors from hot gases. The column of steam and ash would be plainly visible beyond Albany (150 miles away) . . . Explosions would be heard as far as Atlanta and St. Louis.

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