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Eagle Cove ~ Eyakema River Origin of Washington Geographic Names

Eagle Cove, near Eagle Point on the southwest shore of San Juan Island, in San Juan County. The name first appears on the British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards, 1858-1859.

Eagle Gorge, a town in King County. It was named because it was in the gorge of Green River and two eagles have nested near there for more than fifteen years. (Page Lumber Company, in Names MSS., Letter 56.)

Eagle Harbor, west of the City of Seattle in the eastern portion of Kitsap County. It was named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841. It was the custom of Wilkes to give names in honor of members of his crews or in honor of men and ships in American naval history. Henry Eagle was a lieutenant in the navy at that time. The Eagle and the Growler were the only two American ships on Lake Champlain at the beginning of the War of 1812. Those are possible sources, but a more plausible solution may be arrived at by analogy. The explorers imagined a part of Dyes Inlet to resemble the shape of an ostrich and so they charted Ostrich Bay. In like manner they probably charted Eagle Harbor. This theory is strengthened by the fact that they called the North Cape Wing Point and the south one Bill Point. Eagle Island, a small island between Anderson and McNeil Islands, in Pierce County. The name first appears on the British Admiralty Chart 1947, Inskip, 1846.

Eagle Point, on the southwest shore of San Juan Island in San Juan County. The name first appears on the British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards, 1858-1859. It is probably the same as the Spanish explorer Eliza's "Punta de Herrera." (United States Public Documents, Serial Number 1557, Chart K.) There is another point by the same name near Clallam Bay in the northwestern part of Clallam County. There is an eagle's nest in a tree on the point. (Postmaster, Clallam Bay, in Names MSS., Letter 265.)

Earits, Preston's Map of Oregon and Washington West of the Cascade Mountains, 1856, shows a town of that name on the Chehalis River, three miles below the junction of the Skookum Chuck, near the boundary between Lewis and Thurston Counties.

East Bluff, see Cape George.

Easton, a town in the western portion of Kittitas County near the entrance to the Northern Pacific Railway tunnel. Near the other entrance to the same tunnel in King County there is a town named Weston.

East Point, on the eastern shore of Whidbey Island, near the entrance to Holmes Harbor, Island County. It was named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841. The British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards, 1858-1859, also shows an "East Cape" on the eastern extremity of Cypress Island, San Juan County. The recent United States Government charts do not show that name.

East Sound, a large indentation in Orcas Island, San Juan County. Another indentation is called West Sound, indicating the origin of the names. The Wilkes Expedition, 1841, called East Sound "Ironsides Inlet." The island they called "Hull Island" after an American naval hero. The mountain on the island was named Mount Constitution, after the famous ship commanded by Hull and "Old Ironsides" was the pet name of the ship. The name given to the mountain is the only one that has remained. At the head of East Sound there is a town of the same name.

Ebeys Landing, on the northwestern shore of Whidbey Island, near the present Fort Casey, in Island County. Recent developments of lines and means of transportation have made the "Landing" obsolete, but in pioneer days it was of great importance, lying just opposite Port Townsend, on the shore of Admiralty Inlet. Colonel Isaac N. Ebey was one of the most prominent and highly respected citizens of the early times. On the night of August 11, 1857, he was murdered and his head was carried away by a band of northern Indians. That mournful tragedy has always been associated with the historic name of Ebeys Landing. For a sketch of Colonel Ebey and his family, see the Washington Historical Quarterly, for July, 1916, beginning at page 239.

Ebokwol River, charted by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841, see Grays River.

Eden, a town on the Columbia River, in Wahkiakum County. The only explanation of the origin of this name is that the early settlers were so charmed with the beauties of the place that they likened it to the Garden of Eden. (Mrs. Nellie E. Megler, in Names MSS., Letter 585.)

Edgecomb, a town in the northwestern part of Snohomish County. Carl Ostrand filed a homestead there in 1888. The next year, the Northern Pacific Railroad was built and John Edgecomb opened up a logging camp in 1890. The spur was named for him and the name has continued. (R. S. Farrell, in Names MSS., Letter 425.)

Edgewater, a town on the Columbia River, in the southwestern part of Skamania County. The name is descriptive.

Edgewick, a town in the central part of King County. . The name is a compound from the names of two of the most prominent citizens, R. W. Vinnedge and W. C. Weeks (mispronounced "Wicks.") The new name Edgewick was first used in 1911. (Postmaster, Edgewick, in Names MSS., Letter 467.)

Edison, a town on Samish Bay, in Skagit County. The first settler was Ben Samson, who located there in 1869. The settlement grew and on March 26, 1876, forty-six settlers petitioned for a post office with Edward McTaggart as postmaster. The latter suggested the name of Edison to honor the great inventor, Thomas A. Edison. (History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, pages 233-236.)

Ediz Hook, a sand spit three miles long forming the bay of Port Angeles, in the north central part of Clallam County. The bay was discovered and named "Puerto de los Angelos" by the Spaniards Galiano and Valdez, in 1792. They notified Captain George Vancouver, who wrote the same name on his own chart. The name Ediz Hook appears first on the British Admiralty Chart 1911, Kellett, 1847, and has continued on all subsequent charts, especially since the powerful light was established at the eastern extremity of the Hook in 1865. The name is undoubtedly derived from Yennis, meaning "good place," the name of a Clallam Indian village at that place. (Handbook of American Indians, Volume II., pages 996-997.) "False Dungeness" was one of the names in use. Captain George Davidson says: "We first heard of the name False Dungeness in 1852, when at Cape Flattery, from traders who did not know the proper name of the harbor." (Pacific Coast Pilot, page 529.)

Edmonds, a town on the shore of Puget Sound, in the southwestern part of Snohomish County. The first settlement was made there on October 10, 1866, by Pleasant H. Ewell. George Brackett visited the place in 1870 and six years later purchased land there. He built a store, began logging operations and became postmaster for the settlement. Being a great admirer of Vermont's famous Senator George Franklin Edmunds, he proposed that name for the post office. It was the Garden of Eden. (Mrs. Nellie E. Megler, in Names MSS., Letter 585.)

Edgecomb, a town in the northwestern part of Snohomish County. Carl Ostrand filed a homestead there in 1888. The next year, the Northern Pacific Railroad was built and John Edgecomb opened up a logging camp in 1890. The spur was named for him and the name has continued. (R. S. Farrell, in Names MSS., Letter 425.) Edgewater, a town on the Columbia River, in the southwestern part of Skamania County. The name is descriptive.

Edgewick, a town in the central part of King County. The name is a compound from the names of two of the most prominent citizens, R. W. Vinnedge and W. C. Weeks (mispronounced "Wicks.") The new name Edgewick was first used in 1911. (Postmaster, Edgewick, in Names MSS., Letter 467.)

Edison, a town on Samish Bay, in Skagit County. The first settler was Ben Samson, who located there in 1869. The settlement grew and on March 26, 1876, forty-six settlers petitioned for a post office with Edward McTaggart as postmaster. The latter suggested the name of Edison to honor the great inventor, Thomas A. Edison. (History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, pages 233-236.)

Ediz Hook, a sand spit three miles long forming the bay of Port Angeles, in the north central part of Clallam County. The bay was discovered and named "Puerto de los Angelos" by the Spaniards Galiano and Valdez, in 1792. They notified Captain George Vancouver, who wrote the same name on his own chart. The name Ediz Hook appears first on the British Admiralty Chart 1911, Kellett, 1847, and has continued on all subsequent charts, especially since the powerful light was established at the eastern extremity of the Hook in 1865. The name is undoubtedly derived from Yennis, meaning "good place," the name of a Clallam Indian village at that place. (Handbook of American Indians, Volume II., pages 996-997.) "False Dungeness" was one of the names in use. Captain George Davidson says: "We first heard of the name False Dungeness in 1852, when at Cape Flattery, from traders who did not know the proper name of the harbor." (Pacific Coast Pilot, page 529.)

Edmonds, a town on the shore of Puget Sound, in the southwestern part of Snohomish County. The first settlement was made there on October 10, 1866, by Pleasant H. Ewell. George Brackett visited the place in 1870 and six years later purchased land there. He built a store, began logging operations and became postmaster for the settlement. Being a great admirer of Vermont's famous Senator George Franklin Edmunds, he proposed that name for the post office. It was accepted but during the negotiations the spelling was slightly changed to its present form. (History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, pages 354-358.)

Edmunds Glacier, see Mount Rainier.
Edmunds Group, see Matia Islands.

Edwards Creek; a tributary of Bonaparte Creek in the east central portion of Okanogan County. The name was derived from that of a settler. (Charles Clarke, Aeneas, in Names MSS., Letter 288.)

Eglon, a town in the northern part of Kitsap County on the shore of Admiralty Inlet. The post office was named on October 20, 1906. The name is supposed to be Biblical, taken from one of the kings in the Old Testament. (M. Halvorsen, in Names MSS., Letter 26.) Ehrlich, a town in the southwestern part of Skagit County. It was named in honor of F. O. Ehrlich, who had a mill there. (Postmaster, Ehrlich, in Names MSS., Letter 29.)

Ela-be-kail River, see Alamicut River.
E-lal-lar Island, see Deer Island.

Elbe, a town on the Nisqually River, in the south central part of Pierce County. The pioneer settler, Henry C. Lutkens, had come from the valley of the Elbe in Germany. When the Tacoma & Eastern Railway was built into that region the place became known as "Brown's Junction." When a post office was asked for a short name was demanded. A meeting of settlers and pioneers honored Mr. Lutkins by choosing the name of his old home. (Charles Lutkens, in Names MSS., Letter 382.)

Elberton, a town in the eastern part of Whitman County. Mr. Wait owned land there. His son Elbert died about the time the town was platted. The father's request that the town be called Elberton was granted. (W. B. Peoples, in Names MSS., Letter 214.)

Eld Inlet, one of the southern arms of Puget Sound, west of Olympia Harbor, in the northwestern part of Thurston County. It was named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841, in honor of Midshipman Henry Eld, one of the officers of the expedition. The name has remained on all subsequent charts, but locally the waterway is known as "Mud Bay."

Eld's Island, a small island midway between Point Brown and Point Chehalis, Grays Harbor. The Wilkes Expedition, 1841, gave this honor to Midshipman Henry Eld, but the name seems not to have continued on recent charts.

Electron, a town on the Puyallup River, in the central part of Pierce County. The name came from the location there of a large electric power plant.

Elgin, a post office on the west side of Carr Inlet, in the northwestern part of Pierce County. Mr. Minter located there in 1882 as one of the first settlers. He became the first postmaster and the place was given his name. The dock is still called "Minter." In January, 1893, Mr. Kernodle became postmaster and the office was moved nearly two miles away and the name changed to Elgin after the city in Illinois of that name. (Cora M. Smythe, in Names MSS., Letter 176.)

Eliza Island, in Bellingham Bay, near the southern end of Lummi Island, in Whatcom County. It was named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841, in honor of Lieutenant Francisco Eliza, of the Spanish navy, who explored the same region in 1791 and gave the name "Seno de Gaston" to what is now known as Bellingham Bay. The name is sometimes spelled "Elisa."

Ellensburg, a city in the geographic center of the State of Washington. It is the county seat of Kittitas County. John A. Shoudy platted the city and named it in honor of his wife, Mary Ellen (Stewart) Shoudy. (Hubert Howe Bancroft, Works, Volume XXXI., page 358.)

Elliott Bay, now known as Seattle Harbor, King County. It was first explored by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841, and named in honor of Rev. J. L, Elliott, chaplain of the expedition. The United States Government charts usually show it as Duwamish Bay. Captain George Davidson says the latter name was in general use about 1857 and was derived from the name of the tribe of Indians inhabiting the shores. (Pacific Coast Pilot, page 609.)

Ellice Point, see Point Ellice.

Ellisport, a post office on the eastern shore of Vashon Island in the western part of King County. It was named in April, 1912, in honor of Rev. Mr. Ellis, one of the first homesteaders in that locality. (Postmaster, in Names MSS., Letter 558.)

Elma, a town on the Chehalis River, in the southeastern part of Grays Harbor County. It was named by the patriotic citizens of the place in honor of Elmer Brown, the Union soldier who was killed in the streets of Baltimore and was thought to be the first man killed in the Civil War. The first idea was to call the town "Elmer," but the spelling was changed to its present form. (Paul W. Harvey, in Names MSS., Letter 122.)

Elochomon Slough, on the shore of the Columbia River, northwest of Puget Island. The name thus written on United States Government charts is apparently of Indian origin. The Wilkes Expedition, 1841, charted it as "Oluman Creek."

Elwha River, rising in the Olympic Mountains, it flows into the Strait of Juan de Fuca near Port Angeles, in the northern part of Clallam County. The name first appears on the British Admiralty Chart 191 1, Kellett, 1847, and on all subsequent maps, though the spelling has not always been the same. Rev. Myron Eells says the Indian word means "Elk." (American Anthropologist, January, 1892.) On the bank of the river, seven miles west of Port Angeles, there is a town formerly known as "McDonald," but now called Elwha. (H. B. Herrick, in Names MSS., Letter 267.)

Em-te-num River, see Umptanum Creek.
Emmons Glacier, see Mount Rainier.
Enriqueta Island, see Pitt Island.
Ensenada de Bertodano, see Washington Harbor.
Ensenada de Billaxva, see Crescent Bay.
Ensenada de Caamano, see Admiralty Inlet.
Ensenada de Davila, see Freshwater Bay.
Ensenada del Engano, see Boundary Bay.
Ensenada de Garson, see Birch Bay.
Ensenada de Heceta, see Columbia River.
Ensenada de Locra, see Lummi Bay.
Ensenada de los Martires, see Hoh River.
Ensenada de Roxas, see Clallam Bay.
Ensenada de Villalva, see Crescent Bay.
En-te-at-kwa River, see Entiat River.

Enterprise, a town in the western part of Whatcom County. In 1874 eight families settled close together and started a school. The next year they built a fine little schoolhouse, and a man passing by remarked that it was an enterprising place. From that remark arose the name. (Fred L. Whiting, Ferndale, in Names MSS., Letter 156.)

Entiat River, rising in the higher Cascade Mountains, it flows into the Columbia River nineteen miles above Wenatchee. At the junction of the two rivers there is a town by the name of Entiat, Chelan County. The name is an Indian word supposed to mean "rapid water." Silico Sasket, an Indian who has lived there all his life, says his forefathers as far back as tradition went always lived there. It was a favorite rendezvous for all the Indians for miles around. The Indian word has a difficult guttural ending partially represented by "Entiatqua." The name for the river appears on all the earliest maps of the region. It was applied to the town on February 1, 1896. (C. C. King, first postmaster, in Names MSS., Letter 310.)

Entrada de Juan de Fuca, see Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Entrance Mountain, a peak at the eastern entrance to East Sound, Orcas Island, San Juan County. The name is on all recent charts, but it first appears on the British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards, 1858-1859.

Entrance Rock, see Davidson Rock.

Enumclaw, a town in the south central portion of King County. In 1885 Frank Stevenson and wife, original settlers on the townsite, named the place after a mountain of that name about six miles to the northward. A party of Indians were encamped at the base of the mountain when a thunderstorm burst upon them with flashes of lightning playing around the summit of the mountain. The Indians then fled and still shun the mountain, saying it is Enumclaw, "home of evil spirits." (E. G. White, of Enumclaw, in Names MSS., Letters 380 and 554.)

Ephrata, a town in the central part of Grant County, of which it is the county seat. The name was given by the Great Northern Railway surveyors, as at that time the only fruit orchard in that vicinity was located there. It is supposed that the original meaning of the word is fruit region or fertile ground. The name is Biblical. Ephrata is the ancient name for Bethlehem, five miles south of Jerusalem. It is the birthplace of Jesus. The ancient city is mentioned by the .name of Ephrata three times in the Bible.

Equality, the name of a social colony which flourished for a short time near Bow in Skagit County. It was called the Freeland Colony. In 1904 the property was sold by the court to satisfy creditors.

Estrecho de Juan de Fuca, see Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Ethel, a town in the west central part of Lewis County. It was named on January 12, 1886, by Postmaster-General William F. Vilas. (Postmaster at Ethel, in Names MSS., Letter 211.) There is no record in the Post Office Department as to the origin of the name. (First Assistant Postmaster-General, in Names MSS., Letter 212.)

Etna, a town on the north fork of Lewis River, in the northwestern part of Clarke County. When the post office was established in 1882 it was named after Etna Green, Indiana, at the suggestion of two old settlers, A. C. Reid and Nathan Davis, who had come from Indiana. "I was present at the meeting when the name was selected." (A. P. Anrys, postmaster at Etna, in Names MSS., Letter 151.)

Euclid, a school and settlement of fruit growers in the southeastern part of Yakima County. There is no town as indicated on some maps. (Postmaster at Grandview, in Names MSS., Letter 498.)

Eureka, a town in the west central part of Walla Walla County. It was platted on June 6, 1904, by Mrs. A. B. Blanchard on what was known as Eureka Flat. {Illustrated History of Southeastern Washington, page 167.)

Eureka Creek, a tributary of the San Poil River in Ferry County. There was an attempt to give that name to the new county, but it was changed to Ferry while the bill was being considered by the Legislature, 1899. The word is often used in geography. It is the Greek exclamation meaning "I have found."

Evans, a town in the northwestern part of Stevens County. The name was given in 1901 in honor of J. H. Evans, president of the Idaho Lime Company, which had established lime works there. (W. O. Lee, Evans, in Names MSS., Letter 139.)

Evans Lake, a small body of water near Riverside, Okanogan County. It was named in honor of Berry Evans, the first settler near the lake. (H. T. Hones, Riverside, in Names MSS., Letter 319.) Eveline, a town in the west central portion of Lewis County. When the Northern Pacific Railroad Company put in a loading spur at that place it was named Evaline in honor of Evaline A. Porter, wife of Sedate W. Porter. When a post office was secured the same name was used but in a misspelled form. The railroad station still has it spelled correctly. (Sedate W. Porter, postmaster at Eveline, in Names MSS., Letter 32.)

Everett, the county seat of Snohomish County, is situated on Puget Sound, at the mouth of the Snohomish River. It was first platted on August 22, 1890, as "Port Gardner" by W. J. Rucker and B. J. Rucker. Soon afterward a group of capitalists headed by Charles Colby of New York and Henry Hewitt, Jr., of Tacoma, purchased land for the projection of a large commercial enterprise. The city was enlarged and named in honor of Everett Colby, son of one of the promoters. The pet-name of the place is "City of Smokestacks."

Evergreen State, official sobriquet of the State of Washington, first suggested by Charles T. Conover of Seattle soon after the State was admitted to the Union. (Julian Hawthorne, History of Washington, Volume I., page 532.)

Everson, a town in the northern part of Whatcom County. It was named in honor of Ever Everson, the first white settler north of the Nooksack River. (Lydia M. Rouls, in Names MSS., Letter 146.)

Ewing Island, at the eastern end of the group called Sucia Islands, in the northern part of San Juan County. The name first appears on the British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards, 1858-1859, and is probably in honor of the schooner Ewing. Lieutenant James Alden while commanding the work of the United States Coast Survey on this station, 1855, had with him the steamer Active and the above named schooner. The names "Alden" and "Active" are used in the same locality. The name of Ewing Island does not appear on United States Government charts.

Exa, a town in the northeastern part of Clallam County. It was named by E. Fred Morris in memory of his daughter of that name. (Postmaster at Dungeness, in Names MSS., Letter 161.)

Eyakema River, see Yakima River.

Washington AHGP | Geographic Names

Source: Washington Historical Quarterly, Volume 8 - 14


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