Along the ‘upper’ part of Coos Bay, there once was a rock named by early white settler’s Dewey’s rock (after some white guy named Dewey. What are the odds?), and there was a nice little cove there. Sadly the rock was destroyed long ago, first by a sawmill demolishing part of it to but a boiler on top of it. Roughly, the site is on Highway 101 near Mack’s Saw Shop & the Pancake Mill.
Once there was a village there called Shuutlits, which the Indian people always translated as ‘burned place’. There are several different words in Hanis Coos for ‘fire’, ‘to burn’ etc. This village name was derived in particular for the verb shuutl– meaning ‘to burn, to set fire’; and generally implies a fire a lot bigger than a hearth fire. Another word derived from this verb, shu’wetl’, means ‘brush fire, conflagration’.
The usual Hanis word for fire (like a camp fire or fire in a hearth) is ch’wehl. Interestingly, St Clair once recorded another word for fire, ya’at, which he said meant ‘a fire to heat cooking rocks’. I suppose a fire for heating cooking rocks might be bigger than a typical camp fire – indeed I wonder if it expressly meant the fires built in large earth ovens to heat the rocks placed in the bottom of the oven.