This year Later, Swastika Mountain in Oregon’s Umpqua National Forest might receive a new name, due in part to a resident of Eugene. Joy McClain, 81, who felt compelled to take action after reading about the mountain in a local newspaper, said, “I thought, ‘This is ridiculous.'” McClain stated, “I thought maybe there’s nothing I can do, but I’m going to check into what it takes to change the name of the mountain.
According to Kerry Tymchuk, the Boyle Family Executive Director of the Oregon Historical Society, Swastika Mountain gained its name from the vanished town of Swastika, which purportedly took its name from the owner of a cattle ranch who would mark his calves with the sign. This occurred in the early 1900s, a long time before the Nazis and Hitler were identified with the sign, according to Tymchuk. According to him, the rancher employed the emblem because it was a Sanskrit sign for “good luck” or “well-being.”
After World War II, the mountain’s name remained unchanged. If a different name had been suggested, Tymchuk speculated, “I think it would have been changed long ago.” He claimed that the peak is not well-known, is located in the centre of a national forest, and is moderately difficult to reach. To honour the Umpqua River and the Umpqua National Forest, McClain had proposed changing the name of the mountain to “Umpqua Mountain” in a request to the Oregon Geographic Names Board.
According to Tymchuk, another suggestion to rename the mountain “Mount Halo” was sent to the OGNB at the same time. This would be done in memory of Yoncalla Kalapuya Tribe Chief Halito, also known as Chief Halo, who had formerly resided in a settlement 20 kilometres to the west of the mountain.McClain claimed that at that point she made the decision to drop her suggestion in favour of naming the mountain after Chief Halo.
The chief passed away in 1892, according to David Lewis, an assistant professor at Oregon State University. He was renowned for brokering agreements and defending his “right to remain on his farm.” Lewis remarked, “For me, it’s like giving some of the heritage back to the place.” Tymchuk concurs, too. According to Tymchuk, “the names we assign geographic features to reflect both our history and our ideals.
” And he believes that it is past time to get rid of the moniker “Swastika.” Although everyone is in favour of the name change, the regulations governing name-changing requests may prevent it from taking place until the end of the year. McClain expressed her happiness over the likelihood of the shift. McClain asserted that “one person can make a difference.”