President Obama announced Sunday that, by executive order, he will rename Alaska’s 20,237-foot Mt. McKinley. The new name is actually its old name, long used by Alaska natives: Denali.
In theory, that practice could extend all over the Northwest. There are plenty of candidates in our corner of the country – mountains renamed in recent centuries by white explorers and expansionists. In the Cascades alone:
Mt. Baker, named by Captain George Vancouver after a British lieutenant. Original Native American name: Kulshan.
Mt. Rainer, named by Vancouver after a British admiral. Original name: Tahoma.
Mt. Adams, named after President John Adams. Original name: Klickitat, or Pah Do.
Mount St. Helens, named by Vancouver after a British diplomat. Original name: Loowit, or Lou-wala-clough (“smoking mountain”).
Mt. Hood, named after a British admiral. Original name: Wy’east.
Mt. Jefferson, named by Lewis and Clark after President Jefferson. Original name: Seekseekqua.
Mt. Washington, named after the first U.S. president. Original name: Pat-to.
Three Sisters, individually Faith, Hope, and Charity. Original name: Multnomah, a legendary (and likely mythical) giant mountain.
Mt. McLoughlin, named after Dr. John McLoughlin of the Hudson’s Bay Co. Original name: Mt. Pit, from the river that got its name from the pits that Native Americans dug to trap game.
Read a related Spokesman-Review article.