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Raccoon Point ~ Rye Origin Washington Geographical Names

Raccoon Point, on the northeast coast of Orcas Island, in the northeastern part of San Juan County. (United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, Chart 6380.) The name first appeared as Raccoon Bluff. (United States Coast Survey, Report of Superintendent, chart 44.)

Raeco, a village on Maury Island in the southwestern part of King County. The name was formed in 1908 by taking the initials of the men forming the company, Rhodes, Appel and Earnest and adding "co" for the company. (Mrs. A. Hunt, of Burton, in Names MSS. Letter 84.)

Rafferty's Ranch, see Mentor.

Raft Island, a small island at the head of Carr Inlet in the northwestern part of Pierce County, probably named from its appearance. The Wilkes Expedition, 1841, named it "Allshouse Island". (Hydrography, Volume XXIII., Atlas, chart 78.) The intended honor was probably for Joseph Allshouse a member of one of the crews.

Raft River, flowing into the Pacific Ocean in the northwestern part of Grays Harbor County. A rock off shore at the mouth of the river was long known as Raft Rock. (Captain George Davidson, Pacific Coast Pilot, page 495.) Raft River was charted by the Surveyor General of Washington Territory, Map for 1857.

Rail Creek, a tributary of Chamokane Creek in Stevens County. It got the name from the tall, slim timber fit for rail fences. (William J. McDonald, of Tumtum, in Names MSS. Letter 175.)

Railroad Creek, a small stream in the western part of Chelan County, so named because a railroad was projected along its banks. In 1910 piles of rails were seen for miles along the stream. The road was never built.

Rainier, see Mount Rainier.

Rainier, a town on Tenalquot Prairie, in the north central part of Thurston County. It was named for the mountain.

Ralston, a town in the central part of Adams County. It was named by H. R. Williams, Vice President of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company, for a health food. (H. R. Williams, in Names MSS. Letter 530.)

Ram's Head, see Isles des Pierres.

Rattlesnake Prairie, near Snoqualmie Pass, named by pioneer road surveyors. Arthur A. Denny says: "One of the party was startled by a rattling in the weeds. He reported that he heard a rattlesnake, which on investigation proved to be simply the dry seed pods of a weed; but it was sufficient to give a name to the place which it has ever after kept." (Pioneer Days on Paget Sound, Harriman edition, page 65.)

Rattlesnake Mountain, in Benton County, probably named because of snakes found there by early settlers.

Ravenna Park, in Seattle, named after Ravenna, Italy, famed for its trees. (W. W. Beck in Names MSS. Letter. 286.) After the death of former President Roosevelt, the name was changed to Roosevelt Park.

Raymond, a town in the north central part of Pacific County, named for L. V. Raymond, owner of the townsite. (Postmaster at Raymond, in Names MSS. Letter 455.)

Reardon, a town in the northwestern part of Lincoln County, named for a civil engineer with the Washington Central Railroad Company. (Postmaster at Reardon, in Names MSS. Letter 244.)

Red Bluff, see Admiralty Head. Red Harbor, see Reid Harbor.

Redmond, a town in the northwestern part of King County, named for Luke McRedmond, who arrived in Seattle in 1852 and settled at Redmond in April, 1869, later becoming the founder of the town and its first postmaster. (H. S. Reed, in Names MSS. Letter 222.)

Red Patch, see Scarborough Hill.

Redrock, a town in the south central part of Grant County, named in 1896 for the red rock abounding in that locality. (Robert N. Getty, of Smyrna, in Names MSS. Letter 63.)

Reef Island, one of the seven Wasp Islands, in the central part of San Juan County. Named for its formation. (British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards, 1858-1859.)

Rrrf Point, on Lummi Island, north of Lummi Rocks, Whatcom County, named by the United States Coast Survey in 1855. (United States Public Documents, Serial Number 845, chart 44.) Another use of the same name is found at the southwest cape of Cypress Island, San Juan County. (British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards, 1858-1859.)

Reform, see Central Ferry.

Reid Harbor, a bay on the southeastern shore of Stuart Island, San Juan County. On the British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards 1858-1859, it is shown as "Red Harbor" but Chart 2840 of the following year shows it Reid Harbor, a probable honor for Captain James Murray Reid, of the Hudson's Bay company service. See Captain John T. Walbran's British Columbia Coast Names, pages 419-420.

Reid Rock, in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, the name probably coming from the same source as that of Reid Harbor. (British Admiralty Chart 2840, Richards, 1858-1860.)

Reiter, a town in the south central part of Snohomish County, named by V. V. Clark in July, 1906, in honor of Charles G. Reiter of East Orange, New Jersey, who was president of the Bunker Hill Mining and Smelting Company. (Charles F. Hendricks, in Names MSS. Letter 546.)

Relief, a station in the northwestern part of Columbia County. "The first engines, Nos. 41 and 42, pulled two cars each up to the point where each dropped a car and went on. It was such a relief to the engine crews that the place has been known as Relief ever since. (William Goodyear, in Names MSS. Letter 43.)

Rena, a village south of Dungeness, Clallam County, named at the time of the first railroad boom by Major Hooker in honor of his daughter. (Postmaster at Dungeness, in Names MSS. Letter 161.)

Renslow, a town in the southeastern part of Kittitas County. The choice of name for the railway station was "a chance selection." (H. R. Williams, Vice President of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company, in Names MSS. Letter 589.)

Ronton, a city near Seattle, King County. It was first known as Black River Bridge. (Interview with Mr. Houser in History of Kittitas County, Ellensburg Normal School, page 1.) The present name is an honor for Captain William Renton of the Port Blakely Mill Company.

Republic, in the north central part of Ferry County, of which it is the county seat. It in the spring of 1896, Philip Creaser and Thomas Ryan located the Republic mine which was later sold for $3,000,000. The town was named for the mine. (John F. May, in Names MSS. Letter 431.)

Restoration Point, at the southeast end of Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County, named by Captain George Vancouver in honor of "Restoration Day", May 25, 1660, when the Stuart dynasty was restored to the crown of England. Englishmen celebrated the anniversary for more than a century. Vancouver first called it Village Point on account of a group of Indians being camped nearby. (Edmond S. Meany's Vancouver's Discovery of Puget Sound, page 156 and note.) The Wilkes Expedition, 1841, sought to change the name to "Point Gordon." (Hydrography, Volume XXIII, Atlas, chart 78.) This was intended as an honor for John Gordon, Quartermaster in one of the crews.

Retsil, post office at the Washington Veterans' Home, near Port Orchard, Kitsap County. Difficulty was encountered in selecting an acceptable name until W. H. Cochran of the State Board of Control suggested the use of Governor Ernest Lister's name spelled backwards. (W. H. Wiscombe, Superintendent of the Washington Veterans' Home in Names Mss. Letter 82.)

Revere, a town in the northwestern part of Whitman County, named by H. R. Williams, Vice President of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company, after Paul Revere of the famous ride. (H. R. Williams in Names MSS. Letter 530).

Rex, a post office in Douglas County, said to have been named by the Post office Department. The name has no local meaning. (C. A. Carson, Postmaster, in Names MSS. Letter 38.)

Richs Passage, entrance to Port Orchard, south of Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County, named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841, in honor of William Rich, botanist with the expedition. (Hydrography, Volume XXIII., Atlas, chart 78.)

Richard Point, see Point Treble.

Richland, a town in the east central part of Columbia County, named by Nelson Rich in 1904. Mr. Rich owned large tracts of land in that vicinity. Benton was proposed as a name but was rejected because of its frequent use elsewhere. (Advocate of Richland, in Names MSS. Letter 358.)

Richmond Beach, a town in the northwestern part of King County, named on October 4, 1889, by E. W. Mills and John Pappendick to please John Spencer a former resident of Richmond, England. The word "Beach" was added to advertise the fine bathing beach at that place. The Post office Department shortened the name by dropping the word "Beach" which resulted in so much confusion with other Richmonds that, in 1900, the word "Beach" was officially added to the name. (Miss Loville R. Hillman and Mrs. Sadie E. Holloway, in Names MSS. Letter 67.)

Richmond Highlands, in the northwestern part of King County, directly east of and overlooking Richmond Beach, whence the name. The post office by that name was established on June, 1912. (E. E. Rogers, in Names MSS. Letter 477.)

Richmond Lake, see American Lake.
Richmond Point, see Point Richmond.
Rickey Rapids, see Thompson Rapids.

Ridgefield, a town in the west central part of Clarke County. The former name Union Ridge was changed to Ridgefield about 1890 as the site of the town was one large field on a beautiful ridge. (J. W. Blackburn, in Names MSS. Letter 127.)

Ringgold Channel, see Rosario Strait.
Ringgold Point, see Marrowstone Point.
Rio Canel, see Fish River.
Rio de Cuesta, see Lyre River.
Rio de los Martires, see Hoh River.

Riparia, a town on Snake River in the southwestern part of Whitman County. The name is evidently derived from the Latin riparins, referring to a river bank, the same as the Anglicized "riparian."

Ripple Island, a small island between Spieden and John Islands, in the northern part of San Juan County. The name first appears on the British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards, 1858-1859. Ritz Creek, a tributary of the Walla Walla River, Walla Walla County, named in honor of Philip Ritz, a pioneer in the Northwest of 1863. (W. D. Lyman, in Names MSS. Letter 246.)

Ritzville, county seat of Adams County, named in honor of Philip Ritz who located in 1878 a homestead just south of the townsite. (N. W. Durham, Spokane and the Inland Empire, page 627.) River Bonaparte, see Bonaparte Creek.

River Homes, in the north central part of Lincoln County. In 1911, people living on orchard tracts on the Spokane River obtained a post office with this name. (Postmaster at River Homes, in Names MSS. Letter 516.)

River op the West, see Columbia River.
Riverside, a town on the Okanogan River in Okanogan County, named for its location.

Robe, a town in the central part of Snohomish County, named for a pioneer settler. (History of, Skagit and Snohomish Counties, page 375.)

Roberts Point, see Point Roberts.

Robinson, a village in the western part of Okanogan County, named for James Robinson, a trapper in 1890. (Mrs. M. Stewart, of Mazama, in Names MSS. Letter 314.) Robinson Creek, a branch of the upper Methow River, was probably named for the same man.

Robinson Point, the northeast cape of Maury Island, in the southwestern part of King County, named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841, in honor of John Robinson, Captain of the Forecastle in one of the crews. (Hydrography, Volume XXIII., Atlas, chart 78.) In a former writing it was conjectured that the one honored was R. P. Robinson, Purser's Steward in one of the crews. ("Origin of Point Defiance and Other names on Puget Sound," in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 23, 1915.) It seems, however, that John Robinson's rank harmonizes better with that of the other men honored in the naming of points in the same vicinity. See Point Pulley, Point Piner, Point Heyer, Point Beals, Point Southworth, Point Williams, Point Sandford, Point Richmond and Quartermaster Harbor. The lighthouse at Robinson Point has made that the best known of the group.

Roche Harbor, a town on the northern part of San Juan Island, in the northwestern part of San Juan County, named in 1858 in honor of Richard Roche. (British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards, 1858-1859.) Roche was on this Northwest station as a Midshipman under Captain Henry Kellett in H. M. S. Herald in 1846. He was under the same Captain in the Arctic Exploring Ship Resolute, 1852-1854, during which time he made 789 miles of sledge travel. He was on the Northwest station again in 1857-1860 as Third Lieutenant under Captain James C. Prevost of H. M. S. Statellite. It was during this time that the significant geographic honor was conferred upon him by Captain, afterwards Admiral Sir George Henry Richards, then in command of H. M. S. Plumper. (Captain John T. Walbran, British Columbia Coast Names, page 427.)

Rock Creek, at least eleven small streams in Washington bear this descriptive name. The most important historically is the stream flowing into the Columbia near the station Fountain in the south central part of Klickitat County. In 1811, David Thompson called it "Now-wow-ee." (Narrative, the Champlain Society edition, map.) This has been identified as Rock Creek by T. C. Elliott who edited the Journal of David Thompson, (Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, Volume XV., page 116, note 81.)

Rockdale, station at the western portal of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway in the western part of King County, named because of the preponderance of rock there. (A. H. Barkley, Chief Clerk to Vice-President Earling, of the Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company, Seattle, in Names MSS. Letter 500.)

Rockdale Creek and Lake, near Rockdale in the western part of King County. The names were suggested to the United States Geographic Board in 1916 by The Mountaineers, (In Names MSS. Letter 580.) The names are officially approved. (United States Geographic Board, Fifth Report 1890 to 1920, page 275.)

Rock Duncan, see Duncan Rock.

Rockford, a town in the southeastern part of Spokane County, named by D. C. Farnsworth, a pioneer in 1879, from the many fords used in crossings over Rock Creek running through the town. (Postmaster at Rockford, in Names MSS. Letter 543.)

Rock Island, half a mile north of Cypress Island, in the northwestern part of Skagit County. The descriptive name was given by the United States Coast Survey in 1854. (United States Public Documents, Serial Number 1005, page 433.

Rock Island Rapids, in the Columbia River below Wenatchee, in Chelan and Douglas Counties. The Indian name for the rapids is Squah-ah-she. (T. C. Elliott, "Journal of David Thompson," in Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, Volume XV., page 56, note 20.)

Rock Lake, in the north central part of Whitman County, named for the nature of its banks. The great Yakima Chief Kammaiakan found retirement near this lake after the Indian war of 1855-1857.

Rock Point, on the western shore of Lopez Island, San Juan County. The descriptive name first appears on the British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards, 1858-1859.

Rockwell, a town in the northeastern part of Adams County, named for the character of the county and on account of a well-drilled in the rock there. (L. C. Gilman, in Names MSS. Letter 590.)

Rocky Bay, on the northeast shore of San Juan Island, San Juan County. The descriptive name first appears on the British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards, 1858-1859.

Rocky Point, locally used for a number of places. The one best established is at the northeast entrance to Holmes Harbor, Whidbey Island, in Island County, named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841. (Hydrography, Volume XXIII, Atlas (chart 78.) Rodd Bay, see Oro Bay.

Rodgers Island, see San Juan Island.

Rodna, a station in the southwestern part of Spokane County, originally named "Ray" in honor of E. W. Ray, Assistant Engineer on Location and Construction for the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway Company. The name was changed to avoid confusion with Ray on the Northern Pacific Railway. (L. C. Gilman, in Names MSS. Letter 590.)

Rogersburg, a town at the junction of the Grande Ronde and Snake Rivers, in the southeastern part of Asotin County, named in 1904 for G. A. Rogers of Asotin who owned the townsite. (History of Southeastern Washington, pages 697-698.) The first store was started June 12, 1912, by C. B. Brown, who was also first postmaster. (C. B. Brown, in Names MSS. Letter 262.) Rogue; Harbor, see Baker Bay.

Rogue: Islet, off the east shore of Tenas Illahee, Columbia River, named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841. (Hydrography, Volume XXIII, Atlas, chart 70.)

Rolling Bay, on the east shore of Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County. It was first named Rowles Bay after an early settler. When a post office was secured the name was changed. (Lucas A. Rodal, Postmaster, in Names MSS. Letter 1.)

Ronald, a village on the Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway, King County, named in honor of Judge J. T. Ronald, Seattle, who owned land there.

Ronald, a town in the western part of Kittitas County, named in honor of Alexander Ronald, a native of Scotland, who was superintendent of the coal mines there. (T. F. Mulvaney, in Names MSS. Letter 353.)

Roosevelt, a town on the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway, on the Columbia River, in the southeastern part of Klickitat County. It was named T. B. Montgomery in honor of Theodore Roosevelt. (W. H. Reader, in Names MSS. Letter 64.)

Rosalia, a town in the northern part of Whitman County. It is the site of the Indian battle with Colonel Steptoe, for whom the nearby mountains was named.

Rosario, a well-known name in the vicinity of the San Juan Archipelago. It was first applied in 1791 by the Spanish Captain Eliza to what is now the Gulf of Georgia. The original Spanish name was "Gran Canal de Nuestra Senora del Rosario la Marimera." About the same time, the Spaniards named the present Rosario Strait "Boca de Fidalgo." (Chart reproduced in United States Public Documents, Serial Number 1557.) The Wilkes Expedition, 1841, named Rosario Strait "Ringgold's Channel," an honor intended for Lieutenant Cadwalader Ringgold of the expedition. In 1847, Captain Henry Kellett shifted part of the long Spanish name from the Gulf of Veorgia and chartered Rosario Strait. (British Admiralty Chart 1917.) That name has persisted. It is the boundary between San Juan and Skagit Counties. For a time a post office on Fidalgo Island, in the southwestern part of Skagit County bore the name "Rosario." In more recent years, Robert Moran has applied the name to his beautiful home on the eastern shore of East Sound, Orcas Island. There is now a post office at his place called Rosario.

Rosario Island, see Fox Island.

Rosburg, a town in the western part of Wahkiakum County, named for Christian Rosburg, first postmaster there. (Postmaster of Rosburg, in Names MSS. Letter 239.)

Rosedale, a town on Henderson Bay, Carr Inlet, in the northwestern part of Pierce County. It was named by W. E. White in 1883 on account of the wild roses bordering the bay. In 1884, Mrs. Henry Schmel started the subscription which brought their first flag and in May, 1886, David Petrey and W. E. White started the petition for their first post office. (Mrs. W. E. White, in Names MSS. Letter 506.)

Ross Point, see Point Eliott.

Roslyn, a town in the western part of Kittitas County. In August, 1886, Logan M. Bullock, general manager of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company's coal mine there, suggested the name as a compliment to his sweetheart who was living in Roslyn, New York. (W. M. Sample, Postmaster at Roslyn, in Names MSS. Letter 535.)

Ross Rapids, in the Columbia River, between the Entrait and Okonagon Rivers, named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841, probably in honor of Alexander Ross, of the Asotin party. (Hydrography, Volume XXIII, Atlas, Chart 67.) The name seems to have passed out of use.

Round Island, in Willapa Bay, Pacific County. In 1858, the United States Coast Survey reported: "One mile S. S. E. of Long Island is a very small islet called Round Island, of only a few acres in extent covered with wood and bushes." (United States Public Documents. Serial Number 404, page 404.)

Roxboro, a town in the western part of Adams County, named by the Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company after a town in Massachusetts. (H. R. Williams, in Names MSS. Letter 530.)

Roza, a town in the southern part of Kittitas County, named in 1883 or 1884 by the Superintendent of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company in honor of his daughter. (M. J. Roberts, in Names MSS. Letter 407.)

Ruby, a name much used for creeks and mining camps. In the central part of Okanogan County, Thomas Fuller in 1885, built the first cabin of a settlement. He was one of the owners of the Ruby Aline and so he called the settlement Ruby. (C. H. Lovejoy to Frank Putnam, on Tonasket, in Names MSS. Letter 3345.) In the central part of Pend Oreille County, some prospectors found rubies in a little creek, which was at once named Ruby Creek. In 1905, when a post office was established there, it received the name of Ruby. (T. D. Eastlick, in Names MSS. Letter 428.)

Rudd, see Machias.

Ruff, a town in the eastern part of Grant County, named for Gotfred Ruff, on whose property the town was to have been located. (W. H. Poggevall, in Names MSS. Letter 180)

Russells, a creek and a town in Walla Walla County. "The creek was named for Charles Russell who settled there in 1889, but Russells Station was named for Patrick Russell." (W. D. Lyman, of Walla Walla, in Academy MSS. Letter 246.)

Ruston, surrounded by Tacoma, Pierce County. In 1915, Doctor Pratt, Mayor of Ruston, and one of the incorporators, stated that the name was an honor for W. R. Rust, one of the founders of the smelter at that place, on account of his benefactions and his kindness to employees. Mr. Rust was President of the Tacoma Smelting Company. (E. L. Sweeney, of Tacoma, in Names MSS. Letter 114.)

Ruth's Prairie, in the southern part of Thurston County, named in 1850 for B. F. Ruth, a settler there. (F. D. Conklyn, of Rainier, in Names MSS. Letter 59.)

Ryan, a town in the northwestern part of Stevens County, named for Henry Ryan, who owned a farm there. (Joseph T. Reed, of Marble, in Names MSS. Letter 125.)

Ryder Channel, see Balch Passage.

Rye, a station in the central part of Whitman County and another with the same name in the southeastern part of Kittitas County. The latter was named by the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company after Rye, New York. (H. R. Williams, in Names MSS. Letter 589.)

Washington AHGP | Geographic Names

Source: Washington Historical Quarterly, Volume 8 - 14


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