Oregon Geographic Names Board to Consider Variety of Name-Change Proposals at Summer Meeting

Portland, OR — The Oregon Geographic Names Board (OGNB) will meet in Eugene this Saturday, August 20, to consider proposals to name or re-name geographic features in five Oregon counties. 

Included on the OGNB’s public agenda are four proposals to re-name geographic features that currently have the word “Negro” attached to them. These features include “Negro Knob” in Grant County, “Negro Ridge” in Douglas County, and two separate “Negro Creeks” in Douglas County. Also on the agenda are proposals to rename a Deschutes County summit currently known as “Chinaman Hat,” and a Lane County peak known as “Swastika Mountain.” These name change proposals and the complete meeting agenda can be found on the Oregon Geographic Names Board website.

Geographic names have been documented and standardized in the United States since 1890 when President Benjamin Harrison established the United States Board on Geographic Names (USBGN). Founded in 1908 by executive order of then Oregon Governor George Chamberlain, the OGNB supervises the naming or re-naming of geographic features within the state of Oregon, and makes recommendations to the USBGN, which has final approval authority. The OGNB is comprised of 25 volunteer members appointed by the executive director of the Oregon Historical Society, who serves as permanent secretary to the OGNB. 

OGNB meetings are open to the public. The August 20 meeting will begin at 1pm in the Maple Room of the Inn at the 5th, 205 E. 6th Avenue in Eugene. OGNB has also created a toponymic guide and historical tour to the McKenzie River in Lane County, as told through Oregon Geographic Names, 7th Edition, which is available online here.