Fun_People Archive
3 Jan
Battle Ground -- Local Town Makes Good!

Date: Wed, 3 Jan 96 00:45:47 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Battle Ground -- Local Town Makes Good!

Precedence: list
Forwarded-by: (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: gknauth@BBN.COM
From: Doug Aberle <>

... Last week I didn't get a chance to explain the origins of the name
"Battle Ground" [WA] and I will take this opportunity because, like a
lot of history, it is actually quite interesting ... here is the way it
was told to me.

Portland is located just to the south of the Columbia River, and on the
north side of the river is the city of Vancouver, Washington, not to be
confused with Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was here that the
Hudson's Bay Company established the first permanent trading post, which
was then called Fort Vancouver.

By the late 1880s, most of the Indians were forced onto reservations, one
of these being close to the fort. One day a group of males escaped and
headed north. A captain at the fort was sent to track them down and kill
them, with orders to make an example of them. When this captain finally
caught up to them, he didn't fight but instead asked them why they
escaped. They told him that their chief had died and they were taking his
body to their ancestral burial grounds, and then they would return. He
allowed them to proceed, and when they were done they all returned

The captain, however, was ridiculed by everyone at the fort for not killing
the Indians. They named the area where he stopped them "Battle Ground" as
an insult, for a battle that never really happened. I have always thought
it strange that what they thought was an insult over 100 years ago can now
be considered a point of pride. This guy did the right thing. I wonder if
he ever knew it.

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