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Klamath Falls City Council renames Kit Carson Park after Native American village

Klamath Falls city council.jpg
City of Klamath Falls
The Klamath Falls city council voted unanimously to change the name of Kit Carson Park to Eulalona Park on Monday.

City councilors in Klamath Falls voted unanimously on Monday to rename Kit Carson Park as Eulalona Park.

Eulalona was the Native American village that sat near the park site before present-day Klamath Falls. A local trailhead shares the name.

“The village really sat at what is now Moore Park and Conger Heights in the Link River Canyon at the north end,” Parks Manager John Bellon said at the meeting. “It was a large trading village where tribes came from north and south and east and west to trade for various goods.”

The city began considering whether to rename the park after the now-defunct Klamath Falls equity task force recommended a name change last year. Kit Carson was a 19th-century frontiersman and was known for his involvement in massacres of local Native American tribes.

The council voted to rename the park in January. The Parks Advisory Board then solicited suggestions for new park names from the community using an online survey. Bellon said they received nearly 400 responses, which were then voted on by board members.

City council members had four choices for a new park name. In addition to Eulalona, they included Sunshine Park, Discovery Park, and Yadenite Park, named after a yellowish rock that is found in the area.

“I just think it’s appropriate to, in light of the history of Kit Carson, to honor our Native people and to honor them with a park,” said City Councilor Phil Studenberg. “And it’s a beautiful name.”

Although the park does not share the exact location of the former village, Bellon said “that doesn’t mean it’s not a great name and indicative of our history.”

In a recent community survey, almost 60% of respondents favored renaming the park, according to the city.

No one spoke during the public comment period.

Jane Vaughan began her journalism career as a reporter for a community newspaper in Portland, Maine. She's been a producer at New Hampshire Public Radio and worked on WNYC's On The Media. Jane recently earned her Master's in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.