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Newspaper Archive of
The Preston County Journal
Kingwood, West Virginia
September 14, 2011     The Preston County Journal
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September 14, 2011
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r -=- ..... INDIAN NAMES for Streams in Western Virginia Part 4 by Clyde Cale Jr. Potomac River When Captain John Smith ex- plored the Chesa- peake Bay area in 1608, he entered the mouth of this great river. Learning more about it from the Indians, Smith published a map in London in 1612 showing the north and south branches in a very rough and imperfect out- line. The part of the fiver east of the Blue Ridge was known to the Indians as the Qui-o-riough, meaning is unknown. The Potomac Tribe of the Eastern Sioux had settled here. Westward of these mountains, the area was given the name Po- to-mac, which means "Place of the burning pine". Forest "fires were very common and often swept the pine clad hills around the upper tributaries of this riv- er. Other meanings are "they are coming by water", or "some- thing brought". The location of the river made it a hub for trad- ing between neighboring tribes, hence, "A place where good are brought in". It is believed that the early settlers may have called it the Elizabeth River, Maryland River and Red River. Other spellings are Pataromer- kes, Pataromerke, Patawom- ecke, Pattawomeck, Potowo- meek, Patawomeke, Patomek, Patowmack, Patowmeck, and Potowmack. It is spelled on some early maps as Pe-tow- mack". Sandy Creek This stream begins in the east- ern part of Jackson County, en- tering the Ohio River at Raven- swood. The Indians knew it as mol-chu-con-ci-kon. Shawnee Run an-doah, which means "River of the stars", a name that truly describes the beautiful reflec- tion it receives from the stars of heaven. Other meanings are "River flowing alongside of hills", "Spruce Stream", "Great Plains", "River through the spruces" and "Beautiful Daugh- ter of the stars". Also on some.early maps it has been spelled, Shan-e-dore, Schinhandowi, Cinnandoa, Sherrendo, Shanandoa, Shanan- dore, Shannandoa, Shenan- doa, Shenandoe, Shenando and Shan-e-Dore. Shenango Creek A Small tributary of Fish- ing Creek in Green District of Wetzel County. The name is an importation from the Seneca In- dian dialect, in which ochenan- go or otsinango signifies "large bull thistles". Chenango is a well-known place-name in NY State. In the Ohio Valley three distinct villages once bore this name. Some old spellings of the name are Chenang, Cheningo, Ctieningue, Ochenang, Zeninge, etc". There is a Chenango Vally and a Shenang0 in PA. South Branch of Potomac River A beautiful river known by the Indians as wap-po-tom-i-ca or wap-po-co-mo, which means "River of Wild Geese". This river begins in Hightown, Highland County, Virginia, and flows northeastward across the eastern panhandle of WV where it joins with the North Branch near Green Spring, WV, to form the Potomac. One source says that "wap" is an Algon- quin word meaning "white" or "white ground", possibly refer- ring to the snow-covered slopes where the stream has its begin- nings. This small stream is a tribu-.;..Other, spellings are Wapotomi- tary of Mckim Creek in Pleas- ka, Wappocomma, Wapocomo, ants County. In the Algonquian language, the word "Shawano- gi" means "Southerners". The Shawnee had originally been a southern tribe but migrated north as the Indian tribes were pushed further west and north- west by the swarms of white immigrants taking over their lands. The whites spelled it as "Shawanoc's" or "Shawnees". Other spelling are Sawaro, Sha- wanD, south or southerner. Christopher Gist, in the fall of 1750, on an exploration trip named the chief village of the Shawnees "Shannoah Town". Shenandoah River This beautiful fiver drains the fertile Slenandoih Valley and unites with the Potomac at Harper's Ferry. Governor Spott- swood and a party of men de- scended the Potomac from the top of the Blue Ridge Moun- tains in 1716. He bestowed upon it the name of Euphrates, fortunately the name didn't stick. The Indian name was Shen- Wapwapacoma, Wappacoma and Wappacomo. It also had the nickname of "Buzzard River". Suiago Creek A tributary of the Greenbrier River in Pocahontas County. Swago is a word of Indian ori- gin coming from the Seneca In- dians name "oswego", os-swe- go and os-gh-waLjee which means to "flow out" or "small water flowing into that which is large". This stream is located along the Seneca trail and evidence proves that the area was fre- quented by the early Indians because of the large amounts of artifacts and mounds found there. Tuckahoe Run This is an Algonquin Indian word meaning "It is round", which is a corruption of the word Ptuckweoo. The word tuckahoe refers to bread, bread substitutes or plants from which bread could be made. These Indians used many aquatic and bog plants having tubers rich in starch for such purposes. These tubers were cooked in pits for 24 hours before be- ing eaten. This group of plants were called tuckahoe. Included in the diet were puff balls and other fungi. So tuckahoe basi- cally means "backwards" or "falksy people". Subsisting on underground roots, tubers and mushrooms. Another meaning in Algonquin means, "deer are shy". Tuscarora Creek A tributary of the Mononcacay River in Frederick County, MD, this stream flows through Mar- tinsburg, WV. The word Tuscarora comes from a branch of the Iroquois Tribe. The Tuscarora or "hemp gatherers", were originally from the Carolina's but were eventu- ally forced to move north by the encroachment of the white settlers. Once they arrived in the NY area, they asked and were eventually given permis- sion to join the "League of the Iroquois", becoming the sixth tribe. The Indian spelling is skur u re, which means "Indian Hemp". Another name given to these people was, "Shirt wear- ing people", because they ad- opted wearing the white man's shirts at, an early date. Also, the name has been spelled "Tusca- rorah". Tug River The Tug River is the North Fork or branch of the Big Sandy River and once bore the name of "to-te-ry" or "To-ter-as". This name and its Indian mean- ing were lost long ago. The Tug River serves for any miles as the boundary line between WV and KY. The Big Sandy Expedition of 1756 consisted of a body of troops sent to destroy the Shaw- nee villages along the Ohio Riv- er. During the "French and In- dian War", the Shawnees were in alliance with the French. 350 tops under the leadership of Major Andrew Lewis met at Fort Frederick on the New Riv- er, and in the middle of winter, marched westward and reached the Tug River at the mouth of Dry FOrk. Placing their sup- plies in canoes, the men pre- pared to descend the river. Soon they entered the rapids known as "Roughs of Tug", and the oarsmen battled the rushing icy waters for three days. It was tug; tug, tug all day long with the oars until some of the men, often called tuggers, nearly lost their lives and did lose the ca- noes and all the army supplies. IIAII Classified Advertisements II II cAsH WITH ORDER II II -LINE ADS- II |1 NO ads taken for Jess than II 1152 per insertion. Count phone II II number as one word. II II RATES- Each Insertion II II lo Per Word II II DISPLAY CLASSIFIED II II Per Column Inch II II 1 tO 5 inch ad- $5.00 II II Over 5 inch ad- $4.50 II II The Preston County Journal II II assumes no financial II II responsibility for typographical II II errors in advertisements, but will II Ieprint that part of the advertisementll , in which the error occurs. )1 _ Phone 329-0090 J Wednesday, September 14, 20"1 "1-Kingwood, WV-PRESTON COUNTY JOURNAL-5 They mad elite time on the trip and once all provisions and sup- plies were lost, they disbanded, marched off by companies and returned home. Captain Wil- liam Preston and Thomas Mor- ton, both on the expedition, kept journals of daily incidents. Records of the expedition have been preserved in Sparks "Writ- ings of Washington" and the "Dinwiddle Papers". The men engaged in the expedition nev- er forgot the river where they "tugged" at the oars so long, and so it became known as the Tug River. Another theory states that it was named by the soldiers of the Indian wars when their supplies of food became so scant they were forced to eat their buffalo thongs and tugs-or strappings. Known as the "East Fork" on some early maps. Wheeling Creek Wheeling Creek retains its Delaware Indian name in which we have the word "weel", which means human head and the word "ung", "a place", com- bined they mean "Place of the Head". This is where a white prisoner was killed, his head cut off, and placed on a pole to warn others not to trespass on this ground. It has been said that the word head in Indian has also been spelled "while", and on the head is spelled "wih-link". The Dela- ware used the word "while", while the Shawnee spelled it "weelekeh or weeseh". Anoth- er authority suggests the word "whiling", which means at the head of the river. Captain de Celoron, Com- mandant of a French expedition which burned the leaden plates along the Ohio in 1749, called this river the "Riviere Kanon- onara". It was also called Scalp Creek. Early map spellings, "Ran- on-ou-a-ra", "welling C", and "Wheeling Creek". Youghiogheny River A tiny branch of this river flows through Preston County then into Garrett County, MD. The most common definition is a "stream flowing in a contrary direction", "a circuitous course" or "flowing in opposite direc- tions". It is one of the few rivers in the U.S. that flows directly north. One write believes the name refers to three main prongs and the main river. Yiough meaning "four", and hanna 'river'. Oth- ers believe it meant 'fourlands (stream), or it flows with a mud- dy stream'. Another tradition is that the Youghiogheny is an Indian word signifying "Dare Devil Stream", and was given to the river on account of its rough- ness before it breaks through Laurel Hill. Two traditions that are hard to believe, are listed below. Two Indians were fighting on the banks of the river and fell in. One held the others head under water until he though his enemy was dead. Once he released his gripe, he yelled in a laughing manner "Yough! Yough!", and the believed to be dead Indian, renewed the fight. Later the tide of battle changed in the opposite direction and the once defeated Indian, ilea and scalped his enemy and dragged the body to shore where he ex- claimed, "You will Yough again will you?" The other tradition states that on the banks of the river a white man encountered an In- dian and each hid behind a tree. The white man placed his hat on his ramrod and stuck it out. The Indian fired at the hat and saw it fall, (an old Lewis Wetzel trick), thinking he had killed his enemy, he rushed from behind the tree to scalp the white mane. He let out a "Yough! Yough!" thinking he had won. Ashe ap- p.roached he was shot and killed by the white hunter, who re- plied "You will youth again, will you?" From thi it is said the white man gave the name Youghiogheny to the river. Early map spellings, "Yoc-hio- ge-ni-river," "yaw-yaw-ga-ney" and "yo-ho-ga-my". Russell Errett in his story on "Indian Geographical Names", magazine of Western History, Volume l l, No 2, July, 1885, States the following about the Youghiogheny River. The name of Youghiogheny seems rough and harsh, and its pronunciation is a stumbling block to all beginners. Heck- ewelder gives. Yoxio-gani as a variant reading and it certainly is easier mastered than the other form. He gives the Indian term as Juh-wiak-hanne, the hin, yup having the force of chin loch. Changing the j to y we get the Indian pronunciation as loch which is duplicated in yough, the ouin German being equal to our double o, or oo. This has been corrupted into laugh or each and fiver is now called the yough for short. The of having the sound of the same letters in "bought". The mean- ing given as a "stream running a contrary or crooked course", which from its extreme crook- edness, is characteristic of it. We Finance: Small & large tracts of land with no acreage limits Mortgage refinancing Recreation property Outbuildings and barns 00FARM CREDIT Country 000rtga0q 304-789-2481 It I Dancing pm -, Toss 2:00 pm 16 Contest 3:00 pm MIlD pill Smith wunv. alpinelake, com 800-752-7179