Professor seeks to rename Negro Creek for ex-slave - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Professor seeks to rename Negro Creek for ex-slave

Associated Press - November 23, 2008 5:55 PM ET

LIBERTY, Wash. (AP) - A professor who studied rocks around Negro Creek near Blewett Pass is trying to have the name of the stream changed.

James MacDonald Jr. of Fort Myers, Fla., applied to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names on May 23 to change the name to Etienne Creek. The request has been referred to the Washington State Board on Geographic Names.

The creek was renamed in 1968 after being known by a racial slur against African-Americans.

Antoine Etienne, a freed slave, was a Civil War Army interpreter who found gold in the creek in the 1870s. He later grew peaches, grapes and cherries.

MacDonald is an assistant professor of geology at Florida Gulf Coast University. He spent most of 4 summers from 2001-04 studying rocks from the Jurassic period in the drainage.

Information from: The Wenatchee World,

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