HomeTravelSwastika Mountain in Oregon may have a new name soon

Swastika Mountain in Oregon may have a new name soon

(CNN) — Swastika Mountain, situated inside Oregon’s Umpqua National Forest, may get a new name later this 12 months — partly thanks to 1 Eugene resident.

“I thought ‘this is crazy,'” Joy McClain, 81, mentioned when she noticed the mountain’s name in a native paper and felt referred to as to motion.

“I decided maybe I can’t do anything, but I’m going to look into what it takes to change the name of the mountain,” McClain mentioned.

Swastika Mountain obtained its name from the extinct city of Swastika — which reportedly took its name from the proprietor of a cattle ranch who would model his cattle with the image, Kerry Tymchuk, the Boyle Family Executive Director of the Oregon Historical Society informed CNN.

“This was in the early 1900’s, long before the symbol became associated with the Nazis and Hitler,” Tymchuk mentioned. The rancher used the image as a result of it was a Sanskrit image that means “good luck” or “well-being,” he added.

However, after WWII, the mountain name by no means modified.

“I suspect that if someone had proposed a new name, it would have been changed long ago,” Tymchuk mentioned. The mountain isn’t very well-known, he mentioned, and is in the center of a National Forest and pretty inaccessible.

McClain had submitted a proposal to the Oregon Geographic Names Board, wanting to alter the name to “Umpqua Mountain” as a technique to acknowledge the Umpqua River and the Umpqua National Forest.

At the identical time, one other proposal was forwarded to the OGNB to rename the mountain “Mount Halo,” in line with Tymchuk. This can be to honor Chief Halito, often known as Chief Halo, of the Yoncalla Kalapuya Tribe, who had lived in a village 20 miles west of the mountain.

McClain mentioned she then determined to relinquish her proposal in favor of naming the mountain after Chief Halo.

Chief Halito, usually shortened to Chief Halo, was a chief of the Yoncalla Kalapuya tribe

Courtesy Oregon Historical Society

David Lewis, assistant professor at Oregon State University, mentioned the chief died in 1892. He recognized for negotiating treaties and holding on to his “right to remain on his land.”

“For me it’s like returning some of the heritage back to the area,” Lewis mentioned.

And Tymchuk agrees.

“The names that we give geographic features reflect both our history and our values,” Tymchuk mentioned. And he feels eradicating the name ‘Swastika’ is lengthy overdue.

While everybody agrees on the name change, it may not occur till the tip of the 12 months attributable to guidelines governing name-changing proposals.

As for McClain, she mentioned she’s comfortable about the potential of the change. “One person can make a difference,” McClain mentioned.

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