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Ucunas ~ Utsalady Origin Washington Geographical Names

Ucunas, this name was given to the south shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in 1792 by the Spanish officers of the Lutil y Mexicana expedition. (J. G. Kohl, in Pacific Railroad Reports, Volume XII., page 278.)

Umatilla Rapids, in the Columbia River, off the south central portion of Benton County, were called "Muscleshell Rapid" by Lewis and Clark in 1805. (Journals, Elliott Coues edition, pages 646, 1247, and 1261.) Umatilla is much used in Oregon geography. It is the name of a tribe of Indians.

Umatilla Reef, about one mile northwest of the westernmost Flattery Rock, off the northwest coast of Clallam County, was named because the steamship Umatilla was driven onto the reef in a blinding snow storm on February 9, 1884, and given up for lost. The crew left, but First Officer John O'Brien and sailors Hanlin and Hardness returned to the steamer from their light raft, set the head sails and got her off shore. She was picked up by the steamship Wellington and towed to Esquimalt. (Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, page 324.) "In some respects this is the greatest danger on the northern coast, because in thick weather it is a very difficult object to make out." (George Davidson, Pacific Coast Pilot, page 509.)

Umtanum, a tributary of Yakima River, in the southeastern part of Kittitas County, and a railroad station twelve miles south of Ellensburg, were named from an Indian word. It was first mapped by the railroad surveyors in 1853 as "Em-te-num." (Pacific Railroad Reports, Volume XL, Part II., chart 3.)

Um-Yu-Lah, see Humptulips River.

Underwood, a town on the north bank of the Columbia River, in the southeastern part of Skamania County, was named for Amos Underwood, who crossed the plains in 1852 and spent the rest of his life along the Columbia. He settled at the place which bears his name in 1875. He was still living in 1915, at the age of 81 years. (H. S. Adams, in Names MSS. Letter 235.)

Unfried, a post office on Alpowa Creek in the east central part of Garfield County, was named for the first postmaster in January, 1911. A former post office at Alpowa had been discontinued six months before that. (Fred W. Unfried, in Names MSS. Letter 322.)

Union City, on the south shore at the elbow of Hood Canal, in the central part of Mason County, was named by Willson and Anderson, who began a store there in 1858. John McReavy bought the store and townsite from F. C. Purdy in 1868. About 1904, the Post Office Department dropped the word "City" and now the town has the old name and the post office is known as Union. (Postmaster at Union, in Names MSS. Letter 490.)

The Indian name for the place was Do-hlo-kewa-ted. (J. A. Costello. The Siwash, Seattle, 1895.)

Union Mills, a sawmill town north of Olympia, in the central part of Thurston County, was named by F. J. Shields and F. A. Leach in 1901. (Postmaster Greenman and J. W. Mayes, in Names MSS. Letter 133.)

Union Ridge, see Ridgefield.
Unity, see Ilwaco.

Unsal Point, the southern extremity of Squaxin Island, in the southeastern part of Mason County, was named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841. (Hydrography, Volume XXIII., Atlas, chart 79.)

Upright Channel, the passage between Shaw and Lopez Islands, in the central part of San Juan County, was named "Frolic Straits" by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841. (Hydrography, Volume XXIII., Atlas, chart 77.) This was an honor for one of the sloops in the War of 1812. The changed name. Upright Channel, first appears on the British Admiralty Chart 2689, Richards, 1858-1859.

Upright Head, at the north end of Lopez Island, in the central part of San Juan County, derives its name from the adjacent channel. The Wilkes Expedition, 1841, named it "Point Lloyd," an honor intended for William Lloyd, Captain of the Top, in one of the crews. (Hydrography, Volume XXIII., Atlas, chart 77.)

Upthascap, see Carbon River.

Urban, a post office on Sinclair Island, in the northwestern part of Skagit County, was named by L. U. Stenger in honor of his son Urban Stenger. (Elizabeth A. Schultz, in Names MSS. Letter 113.)

Useless Bay, on the southeastern shore of Whidbey Island, in the southwestern part of Island County, was named by the Wilkes Expedition, 1841. (Hydrography, Volume XXIII., page 312, and Atlas, chart 78.) The name refers to its exposure to storms. See Cultus Bay.

Usk, a town in the south central part of Pend Oreille County, was named about 1890 by George H. Jones in honor of the Usk River in Wales. (Postmaster of Usk, in Names MSS. Letter 78.)

Utah Rock, a large rock just outside of and along the southwest shore of False Bay, on the south shore of San Juan Island, in the southwestern part of San Juan County, was named in honor of the State of Utah. (Walter L. C. Muenscher, in Puget Sound Marine Station Publications, Volume I., Number 9, page 82.)

Utsalady, a village and former sawmill town on the north end of Camano Island, in the northeastern part of Island County, was named from the Indian word meaning "land of berries." (History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, page 105.)

Washington AHGP | Geographic Names

Source: Washington Historical Quarterly, Volume 8 - 14


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