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Kachess Lake ~ Kydaka Point Origin Washington Geographical Names

Kachess Lake, a body of water in the Cascade Range, Kittitas County. Captain (later General) George B. McClellan was at this lake in September, 1853, and refers to it as Kahchess. {Pacific Railroad Reports, Vol. I., pages 377-389.) The word is Indian and means many fish or more fish. (Mrs. Jennie Whittington McKinney, in Names Mss., Letter 379.)

Kah-chug, see Lake Union.
Kah-loo-chee River, see Kettle River.

Kahlotus, a town in the western part of Franklin County. It was first called Hardersburg, but the post office department objected to the length of that word and the Indian name was chosen. It means Hole-in-the-ground. The first settlers built there in 1901. (E. B. Poe, in Names MSS., Letter 410.) The Washtucna Enterprise is authority for the statement that when the Northern Pacific, Connell Branch, was built station sign boards were mixed, and the Kahlotus sign was left where the town of Washtucna was located. (Names MSS., Letter 386.)

Ka'bouk Lake, see Ozette Lake.
Kahtai, see Port Townsend.

Kala Point, on the western shore of Port Townsend Bay, Jefferson County. It was named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841. It is likely an Indian word.

Kalama, a river and a town in the southern part of Cowlitz County. The town was named by General J. W. Sprague of the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1871. To comply with the law twenty-five miles of road was built toward Puget Sound, and the place of beginning was then named Kalama. (Elwood Evans, in History of the Pacific Northwest, Vol. IL, page 47.) Rev. Myron Eells thought the word came from the Indian word Calamet, meaning stone. See Cathlamet. Mrs. E. R. Huntington, of Castle Rock, says the name was spelled Calama in early days. She obtained from Norman Burbee when eighty years of age information that his father took up a claim on that river in 1847, and that the Indians told him that Calama meant pretty maiden. (Names MSS., Letter 158.)

Kalamut Island, northeast of Penn Cove, Whidbey Island, Island County. It was named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841, and the name is evidently of Indian origin.

Kaleetan, a mountain in the Cascade Range near Snoqualmie Pass. The name, Indian word for arrow, was suggested by the Mountaineers in 1916 and has been approved by the United States Geographic Board. (Names MSS., Letter 580.)

Kamas Prairie Creek, see Latah Creek.

Kamilchie, a town in Mason County. The name as spoken by the Nisqually, Squaxin and Puyallup Indians would be Ka-bel-chi. (J. A. Costello, The Siwash.) It is the Indian word for valley. (Grant C, Angle, in Names MSS., Letter 83.)

Kam-kam-ho, see Point Wilson.

Kane, an obsolete town in the northwestern part of Skagit County, named in honor of D. J. Cain, who once operated a shingle mill there. (Noble G. Price, in Names MSS., Letter 48.)

Kanem Island, see Cottonwood Island.

Kansas Cove, a large cove inside of Turn Island, on the eastern shore of San Juan Island, San Juan County. It was named by Walter L. C. Muenscher in honor of the State of Kansas, which was represented for many summers in marine studies near there. (A Study of the Algal Associations of San Juan Island, in Puget Sound Marine Station Publications, Vol. I., No. 9, pages 59-84.)

Kapowsin, the name of a lake and a town in the central part of Pierce County. It has been spelled Kipowsin and Kapousen. It is evidently of Indian origin.

Kap-y-o Creek, see Coppie Creek.
Karanips, see Curlew.
Katalamet, see Cathlamet. The Wilkes Expedition, 1841, used the spelling Katalamet.

Katherine Creek, a tributary of Kettle River, in Ferry County. It was named for the wife of the Indian, Martin Alec. (Postmaster at Ferry, in Names MSS., Letter 202.)

Kathlamet, see Cathlamet.

Kautz River, flowing from a glacier of the same name on Mt. Rainier in the eastern part of Pierce County. The name is an honor for Lieutenant (later General) A. V. Kautz, who attempted to ascend the mountain in 1857. (Washington Historical Quarterly, for October, 1913, page 297.)

Keechelus, a lake in the Cascade Range, Kittitas County. The word has had various forms of spelling. It is said to be Indian for few fish or less fish, as Kachess, a neighboring lake, is said to have many fish or more fish. (Mrs. Jennie Whittington McKinney, in Names MSS., Letter 379.) In the History of Kittitas Valley, by the Seventh Grade of the Ellensburg Normal School, 1915-1916, on page 3, it is said that the word means bad lake, and an Indian legend tells about a man on a tall horse in the center of the lake. One of the horses of a band of passing Indians swam out to the tall horse and they both disappeared. From that time it was to the Indian "Bad Lake." Captain (later General) George B. McClellan was at the lake in September, 1853, and calls it Lake Kitchelus. (Pacific Railway Reports, Vol. I., pages 377-389.)

Keekwulee Falls, the lowest falls in Denny Creek, in the Snoqualmie Pass region of the Cascade Range. The word is Chinook Jargon for falling down. The name was suggested by The Mountaineers in 1916 and has been approved by the United States Geographic Board. (Names MSS., Letter 580.)

Keller, a town on the Sanpoil River, in the southern part of Ferry County. There was a miniature placer mining boom there, and J. C. Keller started a store in a tent in 1898. He also built one of the first stores in Republic. He packed his goods to both stores from Wilbur. While he was at Republic, J. K. Wood began calling the other place Keller, and the name has stuck. A mile up the river miners platted a townsite under the name of Keller. Then R. L. Boyle incorporated the older camp under the name of Harlinda. The postal authorities refused to move the post office to the new town or to authorize the change of the old town's name to Harlinda. (G. A. Samuels, newspaper clipping, in Names MSS., Letter 408.)

Kellett Bluff, the south cape of Henry Island, San Juan County. Named by Lieutenant Commander Wood, H. M. S. Pandora, in 1847, in honor of Captain Henry Kellett of H. M. surveying vessel Herald.

Kellett Ledge, off Cape St. Mary, on the southeast coast of Lopez Island. It was named by the United States Coast Survey, in 1854, in honor of Captain Henry Kellett, of the British Navy. {Pacific Coast Pilot, page 562, footnote.)

Kellim Lake, see Mason Lake.

Kellum's Lake Isthmus, low land where Hood Canal approaches nearest to Case Inlet in Mason County. It is probably the "Wilkes Portage" of Indian Treaty by Governor Stevens. J. G. Kohl says: "It (Indian or Great Peninsula) is everywhere surrounded by water with the exception of one point, namely, at that narrow little isthmus upon which Kellum's Lake is situated and which we might call Killum's Lake Isthmus." (Pacific Railroad Reports, Volume XII, Part I., Page 287.)

Keleyville, see Sedro-Woolley.

Kelso, a town in Cowlitz County. Peter W. Crawford, a surveyor, took up a donation land claim and on it platted a townsite which he named Kelso after his home town in Scotland. The original plat is dated October 1, 1884, and it was filed on the next day. (John L. Harris, in Names MSS., Letter 473.)

Kel-up-kwa, see Port Gamble.

Kenmore, a town at the north end of Lake Washington in King County. It was named by John McMaster, dean of the shingle industry, in January, 1901, in honor of his home town, Kenmore, Ontario, Canada. (Postmaster at Kenmore, in Names MSS., Letter 461.)

Kennebec River, see Nasel River.

Kennewick, a town in the southeastern part of Benton County, opposite Pasco, on the Columbia River. It was named in 1883 by H. S. Huson of the Northern Pacific Irrigation Company. The word is Indian and means "grassy place." (A. R. Gardner, editor of the Kennewick Courier-Reporter, in Names MSS., Letter 6.) Kenova, a town in the northern part of Whitman County. The choice of the name was "a chance selection." (H. R. Williams, Vice President of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company, in Names MSS., Letter 589.)

Kent, a town in King County, once known as Titusville because the donation land claim of James H. Titus was at that place. For a time the town was known as Yesler, an honor for Henry L. Yesler of Seattle. When hop culture was at its highest in that valley the name was changed to Kent in honor of England's hop center. (Names MSS., Letter 44.)

Kent Creek, a small tributary of the Pend Oreille River, near Dalkena, Pend Oreille County. It was named for Fred Kent who owned Kent Meadows where the creek rises. (Dalkena Lumber Company, in Names MSS., Letter 143.)

Kerriston, a town in the central part of King County. It is supposed to have been named for the Kerry Mill Company, A. S. Kerry, President, when that company established the town erecting a sawmill and operating logging camps. (Postmaster, Kerriston, in Names MSS., Letter 50.)

Ketron Island, in western Pierce County, near Steilacoom. It was named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841, as an honor for William Kittson of the Hudson's Bay Company service. Old charts gave "Kittson Island" or "Kitson Island," but the incorrect spelling by the Wilkes Expedition persists on the present charts. (David Douglas, Journal 1823-1827, pages 63 and 176; Pacific Railroad Reports, Volume XII., Part I., Chapter XV.; Pacific Coast Pilot, page 623.)

Kettle Falls, in the Columbia River two miles below the mouth of the Kettle River, in Ferry and Stevens Counties. They were named by David Thompson "Ilthkoyape Falls" in 1811. T. C Elliott says the word is Salish from Ilth-kape, meaning "kettle" (basket tightly woven), and Hoy-ape, meaning "net." With such kettle-nets the Salishan Indians caught fabulous quantities of fish at those falls. (David Thompson's Narrative, page 466, note.) Gabriel Franchere and other early travelers called the falls La Chaudiere because the water boiled up not unlike the water in a huge cauldron or kettle. (Franchere's Narrative in Early Western Travels, Volume VI., page 398.) Both names were early translated into Kettle Falls. John Work, of the Hudson's Bay Company service, used that name on August 31, 1825. (Washington Historical Quarterly, Volume V., page 113.) Another Indian name for the falls was reported in 1853 as Soinetkwu or Schwan-ate-koo (Pacific Railroad Reports, Volume I., pages 215 and 299.) A nearby town now bears the name of Kettle Falls.

Kettle River, rising in British Columbia, it flows through the northern part of Ferry County into the Columbia River at Marcus near Kettle Falls. David Thompson called it "Ilthkoyape Rivulet." An Indian name used by Tilton, Swan and others was Ne-hei-at-pitqua. (Pacific Railroad Reports, Volume I., pages 377-389.) The present name was taken from the name of Kettle Falls.

Key City, a pet name for Port Townsend.

Keyport, a town on Liberty (Formerly Dog Fish) Bay, Kitsap County. O. A. Kuppler, H. B. Kuppler and Pete Hagen planned the first wharf. Farmers helped to haul the piles. When completed in 1896, the three named took an atlas and sought a name. They chose that of Keyport on the coast of New Jersey. (H. B. Kuppler, Port Ludlow, in Names MSS., Letter 208.)

Keystone, a town in the northeastern part of Adams County. It was- named in 1900 or 1901 by the first postmaster, John W. Smith, in honor of his native state of Pennsylvania. (Postmaster, Keystone, Names MSS., Letter 351.) The New Standard Dictionary says Pennsylvania was called the Keystone "because it was the middle or seventh in geographical position of the original thirteen states."

Kiket Island, at the entrance to Similk Bay, on the southern shore of Fidalgo Island, Skagit County. The name was given by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841. On Kroll's map of Skagit County it is shown as Kicket Point.

Kierman, a town in Clarke County, named for Daniel Kierman, owner of rock quarries there. (L. C. Gilman, in Names MSS., Letter 590.)

Kilisut Harbor, opposite Port Townsend and connecting Port Townsend Bay with Oak Bay. Sandspits which impeded navigation have been removed. The name was given by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841.

King County was created by the Oregon Territorial Legislature by an act dated December 22, 1852, and named in honor of William R. King, of Alabama, who had been elected Vice President of the United States. He died before being inaugurated. Kiona, a town in the central part of Benton County. The original name was Horseshoe Bend from a fancied resemblance of the bend in the Yakima River to a huge horseshoe four miles across. W. M. Scott who has lived there twenty years says he does not know how the name was changed but he has been told that Kiona is an Indian word meaning "brown hills." (In Names MSS., Letter 586.)

Kirkland, a town on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, King County. It was named in honor of Peter Kirk, a millionaire iron maker of England, who founded the town in 1886 and hoped to establish there extensive steel works. Being disappointed he retired to a farm on San Juan Island and died on May 6, 1916.

Kitsap County was created by the Washington Territorial Legislature in an act approved January 16, 1857. It was then named Slaughter County in honor of Lieutenant W. A. Slaughter, United States Army, who had been killed on December 4, 1855. The people of the county were given the privilege of choosing another name, if they wished, at the next general election. They chose the name of one of the hostile chiefs, whose tribe occupied part of the land in the new county. Seattle was a greater chief of the same tribe. He and most of his tribe remained friendly during the war. Kitsap, a war chief and medicine man, went over to the hostiles. 'When the war on Puget Sound went against the Indians, Kitsap, with Chief Leschi and others, went across the Cascades. In communications dated June 18 and October 4, 1856, Governor Stevens asked Colonel George Wright, commanding the Columbia River district, to deliver Chiefs Leschi, Nelson, Kitsap, Quiemuth and Stehi for trial by civil authorities. They had been indicted for several murders. On October 16, 1856, Colonel Wright ordered Major Garnett at Fort Simcoe to deliver the chiefs as requested. Chief Leschi was convicted and executed. Chief Kitsap was eventually acquitted. While in the guardhouse at Fort Steilacoom he had been taken ill and was given some medicine in the form of a red liquid. He got well and at once added red liquid to his equipment as a medicine man. After he had returned to his people, three of his warriors became ill. He mixed some of the red paint used for war decorations in water and gave the red medicine. The three men died and their relations were furious. They waited. On April 18, 1860, Chief Kitsap, while drunk, was enticed to a vacant cabin and shot. His body was cut to pieces. (Elwood Evans, in History of the Pacific Northwest: Oregon and Washington, Volume I, pages 508-509.) Rev. Myron. Eells says the word means "brave" and is accented heavily on the last syllable as if the "i" were omitted from the first syllable. (American Anthropologist, January, 1892.)

Kittson Island, see Ketron Island.

Kittitas, the name of a county and town in the central part of the State. The county was established by the Legislature of Washington Territory on November 24, 1883. The name is an Indian word to which have been assigned various meanings. James Mooney is authority for the statement that a small tribe called themselves "K'tatas" and the Yakima name for them was "Pshwanapum." Lewis and Clark had alluded to them as "Shanwappoms."

The words meant "shoal" and "shoal people," referring to a shoal in the Yakima River at Ellensburg. (Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, Part II., page 736.) That origin and meaning are repeated in the Handbook of American Indians, (Volume II., page 527.) By another the meaning is said to be "white rock." (M. T. Simmons, Thrall, in Names MSS., Letter 468.) Students in the State Normal School at Ellensburg, in a brief history of the valley, say it was called Kittitas by the Indians because it was their "land of bread," being a favorite region for collecting camas. Wilbur Spencer, an educated son of Chief Spencer, in a letter dated April 28, 1904, says: "In the summer of 1856 my father was sent from the upper Cascades on the Columbia into the country where Owhi and Kamiken lived. He found several lodges on the south side of the river near where Ellensburg now is. The place was called in the Indian language 'Kittatas' meaning 'clay gravel valley.'

Kitzmiller, a town in the southeastern part of Whitman County, named for E. D. Kitzmiller, "a farmer across the road from the station." (Lou E. Wenham, in Names MSS., Letter 115.)

Klaholah Rock, a name given to a rock in the Strait of Juan de Fuca east of Neah Bay on the British Admiralty Chart 1911, Kellett, 1847. After the name on the chart is the word "seals" in parentheses. On present American charts the name is Seal Rock and nearby is Sail Rock.

Klahum, a former historic name in the Okanogan country. "During Captain McClellan's examination of the Methow River, six of the bands, belonging in part to each tribe, agreed upon Kekeh-tum-mouse, or Pierre, an Indian from Klahum, the site of Astor's old fort, at the mouth of the Okinakane, as their chief." (George Gibbs in the Pacific Railroad Reports, Volume I., page 413.)

Klannet Range, see Cascade Mountains.
Kla-pe-ad-am, see Tenino.

Klas Rock, off the shore of Mats Mats Bay, just north of Port Ludlow Jefferson County. It was named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841.

Klasset, see Cape Flattery.

Klatchopis Point, east of Neah Bay in the northwestern part of Clallam County. It was named "Scarborough Point" by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841, which name was repeated on the British Admiralty Chart 1911, Kellett, 1847, but Klatchopis, evidently of Indian origin, is the name on present American charts.

Kleallum Lake, see Cle Elum.

Klickitat, an Indian word used extensively, with various spellings, as geographic names in Washington. It is the name of a tribe. Lewis and Clark, 1803-1806, encountered them and on April 23, 1806, recorded the name as "Wahhowpun," which editor, Elliott Coues, identifies as the Klickitat tribe. (History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Volume III., page 964.) On June 20, 1825, the botanist-explorer, David Douglas, mentions the tribe as "Clikitats." (Journal 1823-1827, page 129.) The Wilkes Expedition, 1841, recorded the name as "Klackatack." (Narrative, Volume IV., page 316.) General Hazard Stevens, using the work of his father and the railroad surveyors of 1853, said that the word means "robber."' (Life of General Isaac I. Stevens, Volume II., page 22.) That definition was used by writers for many years. From 1902 to 1907, two United States Government publications were issued in which the meaning was given as "beyond." (The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States, page 177 in the second edition, and Handbook of American Indians, Volume I., page 713.) Another recent investigator confirms this definition by showing that it originated with Lower Chinooks who called the falls near the mouth of a river beyond the mountains and the Indians living at the falls "Hladachut." A corruption of that name, Klickitat, is now applied to the river and to a tribe of Indians. (E. S. Curtis, The North American, Volume VII., page 37.)

Klickitat, a town in the western part of Klickitat County. The place was settled in the fall of 1890 by L. C. Wright and was called for him, Wrights. The post office name was changed to Klickitat in 1910 and the railroad station's name was changed also to Klickitat in 1913. (N. J. Young, in Names MSS., Letter 8.) Klickitat County, established by the Legislature of Washington Territory on December 20, 1859. In the act the name was spelled "Clickitat." (Edmond S. Meany, History of the State of Washington, Appendix I.)

Klickitat Creek, three widely separated streams bear this name: a tributary of Klickitat River, in the central part of Klickitat County; a tributary of the Cowlitz River, in the central part of Lewis County, near Mayfield; a tributary of White River in the Central part of Pierce County. (Henry Landes, A Geographic Dictionary of Washington, page 175.) Graphic Dictionary of Washington, page 175.)

Klickitat Glacier, on Mount Adams, in Yakima County, one of the sources of the Klickitat River.

Klickitat Pass, south of Goat Rocks, in the Cascade Range. Shown on the Map by the Surveyor General of Washington Territory, 1857, and on James Tilton's Map of a Part of Washington Territory, 1859. (United States Public Documents, Serial Nos. 877 Klickitat Prairie, in Lewis County, see Mossy Rock, and 1026.)

Klickitat River, the first reference to this stream was by Lewis and Clark, 1803-1806, who referred to it as "Cataract River." (Elliot Coues, History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Volume II, page 676: "From the number of falls of which the Indians spoke;" and in Volume III, page 1255.) David Thompson, 1811-1812, called the river "Narmeneet." (David Thompson's Narrative, The Champlain Society edition, map.) The Wilkes Expedition, 1841, called it "Cathlatates," (United States Exploring Expedition, Hydrography, or volume XXIII, Atlas, Map 67.) The railroad surveyors, 1853, called the upper portion of the river "Wah-wuk-chic" and "Wa-wak-che." Captain (later General) George B. McClellan gave the last name to the Upper main branch, east of Mount Adams, on August 14, 1853. These surveyors charted the stream below the forks as "Klikatat River," though they make the error of joining to it the White Salmon River under the name of "Nik-e-pun." (Pacific Railroad Reports, Volume I., pages 208, 379, 380; Volume XL, Part II., Map No. 3.) The Surveyors General of Washington Territory extended the use of the present name in 1857 and 1859 though they spelled it "Klikatat River." {United States Public Documents, Serial Nos. 877 and 1026.)

Klipsan Beach, on the Pacific Ocean, in Pacific County. In 1912, the place was named by Captain Theodore Conick, of the Coast Guard Station there, and Captain A. T. Stream. The word is Indian and is said to mean "Sunset." (V. O. Stream, in Names MSS., Letter 424.)

K'l-loot, see Lake Kitsap.
Kluckullum, see Coquallum Creek.
Klut-use, see Mercer Island.

Knapp Coulee, an old valley between Lake Chelan and the Columbia River. The first settler there was Frank Knapp. He established the first ferry across the Columbia River there before the days of Wenatchee. Wagon traffic from the East went by way of Waterville and Knapp's Ferry. Knapp's name was also given to the coulee. (C. J. Dunhamel, Maple Creek, in Names MSS., Letter 318.)

Knappton, a town on the Columbia River, in Pacific County. It was named for J. B. Knapp, who built a sawmill there. (H. B. Settem, Knappton, in Names MSS., Letter 93.)

Knight's River, an old name for a river flowing into the Columbia River at Baker Bay, Pacific County. It was mentioned by the botanist Douglas in 1825. (David Douglas Journal 1823-1827, page 61.)

Koitlah Point, in the Strait of Juan de Fuca at the west entrance to Neah Bay, Clallam County. It was named "Point Hilcome" by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841. The British Admiralty Chart 1911, Kellett, 1847, changed the name to "Koikla Point" and Americans have changed the spelling of that name to Koitlah Point. (Pacific Coast Pilot, page 521.)

Kol-los-um, said to be an Indian name for Port Blakely. (J. A. Costello, The Siwash.)

Kosa Point, a name charted by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841, on the mainland slightly southwest of Fox Island and north of Steilacoom, Pierce County. American charts carry no name for a point there.

Kowlitch River, see Cowlitz River.
Kui-la-tsu-ko, see Port Discovery.
K'u K'lults, see Puget Sound.
Kullyspel Lake, see Calispell.

Kula Kala Point, between Dungeness and Port Williams, in the southwestern part of Clallam County. (Pacific Coast Pilot, p. 532.) Local tradition claims the spelling should be Kula Kula from the Chinook Jargon word meaning "travel." J. M. Ward, Port Williams, in Names MSS., Letter 206.)

Kulshan, see Mount Baker.

Kumtux, Whitman County, is a Chinook Jargon word, meaning to know or understand. The Nootka word is kommetak, the Clayoquot word kemitak, and the Tokwaht word numituks." (Myron Eells in the American Anthropologist, January 1892.)

Kutzule Bay, see Grays Bay.

Kwaatz Point, at the eastern entrance to the mouth of the Nisqually River. The name was charted by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841, but present charts show no name there.

Kway-kwilks, see Skyne Point.

Kydaka Point, on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, west of Clallam Bay, Clallam County. The name first appears on the British Admiralty Chart 1911, Kellett, 1847.


Washington AHGP | Geographic Names

Source: Washington Historical Quarterly, Volume 8 - 14

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