Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Anthropologist David Lewis on Local Indigenous History Worth a Read

There's not a lot of transportation news right now, so let's take a side trip into history.

You might remember some testimony about McLane Island to City Council with regard to the SRC a couple years ago. Anthropologist and Grande Ronde member David Lewis suggested it needed more archeological assessment. (So far as we know, only a cursory assessment did happen.)

Last month a reader sent in a link to a note on Lewis' blog, a "Journal of Critical & Indigenous Anthropology & History."

"Bits for Breakfast," Statesman, June 12th, 1934
In the piece, "Chemeketa Creek becomes Mill Creek," Lewis argued that an earlier name for what we know as Mill Creek was "Chemeketa Creek," drawing on native place names, and that the development of industry by settlers, and the concomitant displacement, in the 1850s resulted in the name change. He draws on mid-19th century sources mostly, and a different researcher turned up this clipping from 1934. USGS agreed with the argument, and the name has been added to the Geographic Names Information System.

(As we think about public art and a path along Mill Creek at the new Police Station site, this lost name is something to consider.)

The blog has got all kinds of interesting articles, most of them about native peoples, but many of them touching on Salem history also, and a few that touch on transportation history. The framework and project to decolonize our history and write a more inclusive one is important. We may come back to some of them in later posts, but here's a sampling of posts relevant to Salem history and transportation history. The whole blog, and all the shorter posts and reproductions of longer articles and talks, is worth browsing.

1 comment:

davidl said...

Thanks again there are quite a few more about the Salem area.