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Illilouette Gorge (4,000 ft.)
'This canyon is called by Professor J. D. Whitney the "Illilouette,' a supposed Indian name; but I have never questioned a single Indian that knew anything whatever of such a word; while every one, without exception, knows this canyon either by Too-lool-a-we-ack or Too-lool-we-ack; the meaning of which, as nearly as their ideas can be comprehended and interpreted, is the place beyond which was the great rendezvous of the Yo Semite Indians for hunting deer.' (Hutchings, In the Heart, 440.)
'I think it advisable to call this the Glacier Fall, and, therefore, give it that name. ... The name of "Illeuette" is not Indian, and is, therefore, meaningless and absurd.' (Bunnell, Discovery, 1880:203.)
Everyone tripped over the name. On the 1884 GLO plat it is spelled 'Illionette' and 'Illioneth.' The creek was still called 'Tu-lu-la-wi-ak or South Canyon' as late as the Wheeler Survey map of the valley, 1883. Lt. McClure had it as 'Illilouette River' on his 1896 map. The fall was called 'Sth Fork Fall' on a map in the Sacramento Daily Union, Sept. 30, 1865.
The name for Illilouette Ridge was recommended by E. M. Douglas, a
geographer with the USGS, on March 1, 1907. (BGN.) The gorge was first
named on the fourth edition of the USGS map of the valley, 1927.
- Peter Browning, Yosemite Place Names
This page last updated: Sat Apr 7 17:02:15 2007
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