Part of the American History and Genealogy Project


Origin of Washington Geographical Names

In carrying on these researches, use has been made of all known journals of discoverers and explorers, all known maps and charts, the books of early travelers, all local histories available, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and many other sources. One of the most laborious portions of the task has been the seeking of information from individuals. Thousands of letters of inquiry have been sent out. The replies, many of which convey most valuable help, are filed in what is called Names Manuscripts, each such letter being given a separate number for purposes of reference. Effort is made to give each one credit for the information given.

Many of the authorities cited, like Vancouver, Wilkes, United States Coast Survey and representatives of the Hudson's Bay Company, will be found repeated in many of the entries. One reason for this is the desire to make each entry as nearly perfect as possible. Those making frequent and practical use of the list will avail themselves of the alphabetical arrangement and they are entitled to find under each heading all the accurate information that can there be given. A word of acknowledgment should here be made to the Lords of the British Admiralty, who have contributed a number of valuable charts. These have greatly aided the work and have helped to clear up several cases of names that were previously puzzling problems.

Aberdeen ~ Ayres Point Origin Washington Geographic Names
Baadam Point ~ Byron Origin Washington Geographic Names
Caamano Island ~ Cypress Island Origin Washington  Geographic Names
Dabop Bay ~ Dyke Point Origin of Washington Geographic Names
Eagle Cove ~ Eyakema River Origin of Washington Geographic Names
Factoria ~ Fucas Pillar Origin Washington Geographic Names
Gamble ~ Guye Mountain Origin Washington Geographical Names
Hyde Point ~ Hadlock Origin Washington Geographic Names
Iceberg Point ~ Isles de Pierres Origin Washington Geographical Names
Jack Island ~ Jupiter Hills Origin Washington Geographical Names
Kachess Lake ~ Kydaka Point Origin Washington Geographical Names
Laa Point ~ Lyre River Origin Washington Geographical Names
McAdams ~ McNeil Island Origin Washington Geographical Names
Mabana ~ Mutiny Bay Origin Washington Geographical Names
Naches ~ Nut Islet Origin Washington Geographical Names
O~ Origin of Washington Geographic Names
P ~ Origin of Washington Geographic Names
Quaht Point ~ Quo-doultz-spu-den Origin Washington Geographical Names
Raccoon Point ~ Rye Origin Washington Geographical Names
 Sachal ~ Sylvan Origin Washington Geographical Names
 Tabook Point ~ Tzee-Tzee-lal-itch Origin Washington Geographical Names
 Ucunas ~ Utsalady Origin Washington Geographical Names
 Vader ~ Vulcan Mountain Origin Washington Geographical Names
 Waaddah Island ~ Wynoochee River Origin Washington Geographical Names
 Y ~ Origin of Washington Geographic Names
 Zelached Point ~ Zindel Origin Washington Geographical Names

Notes from the Quarterly
As stated in the last issue of the Quarterly, it is proposed to continue this series of articles until all of the important geographic names in the State are published. Some readers have responded to the invitation to send in corrections and suggestions. That invitation is here repeated. Every scrap of additional information is welcomed. The completed work will be all the more serviceable if corrections and additions are sent in during this preliminary publication in the Washington Historical Quarterly.

The extensive series of charts of the United States Exploring Expedition, commanded by Captain Charles Wilkes, has been photostatted for this work. Here are found the origins of hundreds of the geographic names.

After several years of research as to the origin, history and meaning of the geographic names in the State of Washington, it is now determined to publish the results first in the Washington Historical Quarterly.

There have been many changes in the names during their development to present forms. Some changes have occurred while this research has been in progress. In the nature of the work there is danger of errors being made. Readers are therefore urged to make note of any changes or errors that may be observed and report them as soon as possible. All such corrections will be incorporated into the published entries so that the whole may be issued in book-form soon after the last installment has appeared in the Quarterly.

While this plan will surely help to make more perfect the information being collected, such preliminary publication should greatly widen the people's interest in the Washington Historical Quarterly. During the next few issues there will appear in this proposed series of articles something of historic value about every portion of territory and about every named community in the State of Washington.

Source: Washington Historical Quarterly, Volume 8,

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