Ch’iixuut’ – Threemile Creek

old indian dan

Old Indian Dan, aka Dan Gooksey, aka Dan Quixote.  He was a signer to the treaty for the Lower Umpqua people in 1855, and Marge Drew Severy’s grandfather.  

Driving north from Gardiner, going past the site of the mill (now gone) heading up the hill, at the top of the hill you will see Sparrow Park road at the left.  Sparrow Park road goes to the ocean, following Threemile Creek.  You can find a trailhead not far from the beach – a short one mile hike through a spruce second growth forest will take you to the south end of Threemile Lake.  (There is also a trail to the north end that starts at Tahkenitch Campground).

Clay Barrett recalled the Old Indian Dan said he was from ch’iixuut’ – Threemile creek.  At the time they were talking about this place in 1942, they said that the area had been all logged off.  The hills around the creek and lake had been forested, but then all that was left were bare hills.

That jogged my memory – I worked at the OR dunes 20 years ago doing lake surveys.  Just south of Threemile Lake (but north of the creek) is a tiny lake that had no formal name, tho’ informally it was called Fairchild after the family that once lived there.  From the arial photos, it looked like the Fairchild family had logged their land around 1939 – absolutely clear cut it.  The lake was bigger then; it has silted in a lot over the decades.  That must be what the Barrett family and Spencer Scott were talking about.

I surveyed little ‘Fairchild’ and my boss and I talked about finding a formal name for it.  I thought since it was Lower Umpqua territory I would find a name for it in that language.  Whenever I was there I always heard tree frogs talking so I decided to call it Hookats (Huukats) lake, which is Siuslaw/Umpqua for frog.  I guess the name is still in use at the dunes office, tho’ I don’t know for sure.  I had fun anyway thinking of names at the time.

Anyway, if you’re in the area Ch’iixuut’ is worth a visit – a nice hike to a quiet end of Threemile lake, or a way to get to the beach just north of the Umpqua. (The trail to the north end is well worth the hike too).



About shichils

Just sharing some fun on language
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One Response to Ch’iixuut’ – Threemile Creek

  1. Pingback: Do Grizzly Bears eat camas? | Shichils's Blog

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