OLYMPIA – The state Board of Natural Resources, meeting in its role as the Washington State Board on Geographic Names, met today and approved several names proposed by the public for natural features in five counties. One proposed name was sent back to a sub-committee for further study.
Mill Pond – New name (Township 1 North, Range 3 East, Section 47)
Mill Pond was flooded when a ditch connecting it to nearby Round Lake was built by a local paper mill around 1866. The name is already in use by Clark County for the pond, which is located in a county park. The proponent of the proposal asked that the name “Mill Pond” be made official so it would appear on published maps for use by public safety and emergency services.
Bryant Hill – Name change (Township 33 North, Range 5 East, Section 36)
Bryant Hill changes the name of Mount Washington in Skagit County. The original USGS topographic map of the area, published in 1911, labeled the summit Bald Mountain, but in 1956 the name was changed to Mount Washington to avoid confusion with another Bald Mountain located 5 miles away. But the confusion continued because there was already a well-known Mt. Washington in King County that pilots use for navigation.
Reflection Creek – New name (Township(s) 28, 29 North, Range 6 East)
The name Reflection Creek was chosen by the proponent (who lives along the previously unnamed geographic feature) because when she was a little girl, she and her sister would sit along the creek and reflect on their thoughts. The proponent believes that the name could mean many things to many people, be it personal, spiritual, or in reference to Mother Nature.
Wayback Brook – New name (Township 27 North, Range 6 East, Section 33)
The name Wayback Brook refers to the fact that it starts “way back” in the hills before flowing into Echo Lake.
Jordan Ridge – New name (Township 29 North, Range(s) 8, 9 East)
The name Jordan Ridge has been in use by pilots to refer to a previously unnamed geographic feature used for navigation. The name “Jordan” refers to the community of Jordan that is nearby.
Sultan Ridge – Name change (Township 29 North, Range 8 East)
Sultan Ridge replaces the name of Blue Mountain, one of two summits in Snohomish County with that name. Sultan Ridge is 5.5 miles long and lies within Snoqualmie National Forest just to the south of the Sultan River, and 5 miles north of the City of Sultan. The proponent suggests the duplicate names are causing confusion because the two summits named Blue Mountain are just 15 miles apart and have approximately the same elevation.
Griggs Creek – New name (Township 19 North, Range 3 West, Section 33)
The name Griggs Creek commemorates the Griggs family, settlers of the Kamilche area more than 100 years ago. The original Griggs family home stood by the creek and was a stagecoach stop in the 19th century.
Rufus Creek – New name (Township 37 North, Range(s) 3, 4 East)
Rufus Creek is a 1.2 mile long tributary of Beaver Creek in southwestern Whatcom County, a few miles southeast of Bellingham and just outside the community of Sudden Valley. The name Rufus Creek honors Rufus Green (d. 1962), a logger who lived along the stream for many years, and was known as the “grandfather of the area.” His old barn still stands along Lake Louise Road near the source of the stream.
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Squamish Harbor proposal remanded to committee
The Board remanded a proposal to change the spelling of Squamish Harbor to Suquamish Harbor back to the Committee on Geographic Names. The Board asked the Committee to find a solution to the question of renaming the feature that achieves consensus.
Washington State Board on Geographic Names
The State Board on Geographic Names is authorized by state law to establish the official names for lakes, mountains, streams, places, towns, and other geographic features of Washington State. Names approved by the Board are published in the Washington Administrative Code and forwarded to the United States Board on Geographic Names for federal consideration. Advising the Board is the State Committee on Geographic Names, an appointed volunteer panel representing the general public, tribes and government agencies.