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16-Jul-2020 10:22

He said: "You see, it hardly ever thunders here; but yonder in the mountains it quite often thunders. It is so large that it can carry a large whale in its talons from the ocean to its nest. Whenever this bird comes from its nest and flies about the mountain top it thunders and lightnings, and even when it is disturbed in its nest it makes the thunder noise by its moving about even there.

“Mount Baker,” “Squalicum Creek,” “Bellingham Bay”… names in both Indigenous and Colonial tongues stare up at me, beckoning me to explore their history.

Both of his parents died when he was young and he was raised by the Tulalip Missionary, Father Chirouse (1821-1892). Mc Cluskey said he had talked it over with many of the old men of the different tribes, and he found that they all agreed that the name had something to do with the fact or legend as it might be, that the extinct crater upon the side of the mountain was once a living mass of flame as though, in the symbolism of the Indian, it had been shot at from on high by the thunderbolts of heaven, and carried an open wound. Mc Cluskey explains the significance thus: The verb Kulshilla is to shoot; the spot where the arrow or weapon entered the flesh would be the Kulshan; the point where it came out would be another word entirely, if an Indian were asked where he had been struck he would say, “This is the Kulshan.” So in his opinion, agreed to by the old men of the people, the name Kulshan was given to the mountain in ancient days to indicate the bleeding wound upon its snow-covered sides. Out here, in the home of the Indian, we might at least pay him the compliment of retaining his names.

One day it thundered, the noise coming from a cumulus cloud southeast of us, toward the mountains from Lummi.

The early ethnographer Albert Reagan also consulted Mc Cluskey in a short article published in 1928 (Reagan 1928, pg 347).

Mc Cluskey's mother was Lummi and his father was an early pioneer in Bellingham. It is much to be regretted that the Indian names are not more often used instead of the ordinary ones given towns and boats and homes, which would be equally appropriate anywhere.

“Mount Baker,” “Squalicum Creek,” “Bellingham Bay”… names in both Indigenous and Colonial tongues stare up at me, beckoning me to explore their history.

Both of his parents died when he was young and he was raised by the Tulalip Missionary, Father Chirouse (1821-1892). Mc Cluskey said he had talked it over with many of the old men of the different tribes, and he found that they all agreed that the name had something to do with the fact or legend as it might be, that the extinct crater upon the side of the mountain was once a living mass of flame as though, in the symbolism of the Indian, it had been shot at from on high by the thunderbolts of heaven, and carried an open wound. Mc Cluskey explains the significance thus: The verb Kulshilla is to shoot; the spot where the arrow or weapon entered the flesh would be the Kulshan; the point where it came out would be another word entirely, if an Indian were asked where he had been struck he would say, “This is the Kulshan.” So in his opinion, agreed to by the old men of the people, the name Kulshan was given to the mountain in ancient days to indicate the bleeding wound upon its snow-covered sides. Out here, in the home of the Indian, we might at least pay him the compliment of retaining his names.

One day it thundered, the noise coming from a cumulus cloud southeast of us, toward the mountains from Lummi.

The early ethnographer Albert Reagan also consulted Mc Cluskey in a short article published in 1928 (Reagan 1928, pg 347).

Mc Cluskey's mother was Lummi and his father was an early pioneer in Bellingham. It is much to be regretted that the Indian names are not more often used instead of the ordinary ones given towns and boats and homes, which would be equally appropriate anywhere.

During the ensuing discussion, members wanted to know the terminological history of Mount Baker, and more appropriate names for our Chapter.