Many of the Pacific Northwest’s most prominent features are known by the names of Europeans or their descendants, rather than their earlier Native designations. Since the tribes on one side of the Cascade mountains had a different language stock than those of the other side, the names could be quite different.
- Mount Washington: Tahoma or Tacoma
- Mount Adams: Patoh or Klickitat
- Mount Hood: Wy’east
- Mount St. Helens: Loowit or Louwala Clough
- Mount Baker: Kulshan
- Mount Jefferson: Seekseekqua or Kuassal Teminbi
- Mount Shasta: Ako-Yet or Yeh te che na or Et ti ja na
- The Cascade Range: Yamakiasham Yaina
- Columbia River: Wimhal or Wimal, Nch’I-Wana or Nichi-Wanna, Swah’netk’qhu
- Bridge of the Gods: Tanmanhawis
There’s some rich mythology involving these names and their personalized characteristics. For instance, the brothers Patoh/Klickitat and Wy’east, after traveling down the Columbia River from the far north to resettle, entered into some heated rivalry for the fair maiden Loowit/Louwala Clough. Their volcanic eruptions of jealousy and earth quaking even resulted in the collapse of the Bridge of the Gods across the river, producing a series of rapids.
There’s plenty more, if you chose to investigate. Any to share from where you live?