Oregon panel approves renaming Swastika Mountain southeast of Eugene

By AP staff (AP)
PORTLAND, Ore. Aug. 25, 2022 2:58 p.m. Updated: Aug. 25, 2022 7:29 p.m.

The name of a mountain southeast of Eugene, Oregon, will soon be changed.

The Oregon Geographic Names Board confirmed Wednesday that Swastika Mountain, which refers to a symbol of the German Nazi Party, will be changed, KOIN-TV reported.

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The mountain earned its moniker before the rise of the Nazi Party from a nearby town that no longer exists, according to a Willamette Week report. The town reportedly took its name from a cattle rancher who back around 1909 branded his cattle with an image of a swastika.

A final decision on the new name for the mountain, which is more than 4,000 feet tall, in the Umpqua National Forest outside Cottage Grove will be made in December.

Two proposals for a new name — Umpqua Mountain and Mount Halo — have been submitted to the Oregon Geographic Names Board. The first name has the support of Jeremy Johnson, the cultural resources program manager for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians. But Willamette Week reports that Mount Halo is likely to be the mountain’s new name.

Mount Halo refers to Chief Halito, leader of the Yoncalla Kalapuya tribe, whose name was commonly shortened to Chief Halo.

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