County considers changing name of Dead Indian Memorial Road

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Commissioners in Jackson County, Oregon, are considering whether to change the name of Dead Indian Memorial Road.

John Vial, the county’s director of parks and roads, tells the Mail Tribune he fields emails and phone calls each month from people complaining about the name.

The newspaper reports that white settlers in the 1850s found two deceased Native Americans in the area where the road was later built. Historians believe they likely were killed by another tribe.

Locals began calling the road Dead Indian Road after it was constructed in 1870. County commissioners changed it to Dead Indian Memorial Road in 1993, but the name remains controversial.

In the past few months, the word “Dead” has been painted over on signs marking the road that stretches from Ashland to Highway 140 near Lake of the Woods.