Honey's Treasures

Honey's Treasures

Monday, April 2, 2012

Willits and Squaw Rock

Sunday: On our way to Willits.
Tracks at Longvale.

One curious bunny at the Willits, KOA petting zoo.
Hurry!  Come visit me!!
Monday: On our way home southbound, Squaw Rock is in sight.
On the right: Getting handcuffed and arrested.
Darn, they're doing road work.  No parking at Squaw Rock.
Squaw Rock.
Russian River

Looking north.

See the profile?  Northbound view.
When I was a child, our family would travel north of Willits to State Route 162, Covelo Road, way out in the country, to visit my Uncle Alva and Aunt Verna.  Several years later, my father ended up moving there.  He lived in a trailer on a small portion of their property, up the road from the river, at which we would spend many lazy days swimming and quite a few nights sleeping under the stars.  I traveled to visit my father every chance I could and spent all my summer vacations in Willits.  As soon as school let out, my mom would drop me off at the Greyhound Station in Oakland and I would spend the next four hours riding the bus to Willits.  More about my summers spent there later.

Anyway, every time, we would drive by this gigantic rock named Squaw Rock and many, many years ago there was a very large plaque mounted on a huge rock, (in the parking area directly in front of the rock.)  On this rock plaque was a very detailed story about an Indian girl who jumped off the rock and onto the sleeping Chief and new wife.  Almost always, no matter the weather, we would stop the car, get out, read the plaque and look at the rushing river below.  One year as we were driving to Willits, we stopped as usual.  The plaque was gone.  How or why it was removed, we never found out.  At the time, we were told it was stolen but I honestly cannot fathom how in the world someone would be able to remove and steal this gigantic plaque which must have weighed a ton.

Here is how the basic story went:

This early landmark, also called Lover's Leap, is associated with the purported legend of a 19th-century Sanel Indian maiden, Sotuka.  Her faithless lover, Chief Cachow, married another, all three were killed when Sotuka, holding a great stone, jumped from the precipice upon the sleeping pair below.

Here are a few links about this story related to this rock:

Here is why they changed the name:
(at the very bottom of the link above, it tells of how there was a plaque at one time but is no longer) Curious - was the plaque stolen?  

Regarding the word squaw as being offensive, please read here by an American Indian Womanhttp://www.nativeweb.org/pages/legal/squaw.html
Here it is on Wikipedia and I discover they've changed the beautiful name of Squaw Rock to Frog Woman Rock.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frog_Woman_Rock

And, I find there is another legend associated with this beautiful and special rock.  What is very interesting is there is a similarity with the name of the Chief, Chief Cachow and the name of the Indian responsible for the death of a man in the other story: Concho.  You can read both legends in the Wikipedia link above.

Fable or not, we will never know.  It's very possible there might be some truth to both stories.  It's very possible that a young Indian maiden did jump or fall to her death.  I've always believed the first story, but then, until now, that's the only one I've ever known.  

They might have changed the name but to me personally it will always be known as Squaw Rock.  I love that name because it brings back fond memories for me and I'm not one for being 'politically correct' but to me the name is not and never was meant to be disrespectful.

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