NESKOWIN The state's Geographic Names Board decided to follow local custom and voted last month to officially change the name of Daley Lake to Winema Lake.
County Management Analyst Paul Lavesque, who is a member of the board, said the name change was sought by a petition from the Winema Christian Camp. Lavesque said the Daleys were pioneers who built a cabin on the south end of the lake. The lake also was known by some as Fletcher Lake after a family that owned land at its northern end.
Lavesque said the townsite of Winema was first platted on the shores of the lake in 1927.
Winema was a woman of the Modoc Indian tribe, which was forcibly removed from northern California after the gold rush and relocated onto reservation land in Southern Oregon. The Modocs resisted fiercely and a three-member peace commission was sent to the area in 1873 by officials in Washington, D.C.
Winema learned of a plot to kill the three commissioners. She was unable to convince two of them they were in danger and they both were killed in an attack on their camp. A third commissioner, Albert Meacham, was wounded, but Winema managed to get him to safety. What is known as the Modoc War ensued and lasted for many months.
Despite the attempt on his life, Meacham became a lifelong advocate for Native American rights. He was a superintendent of Indian Affairs in the area that is now southern Tillamook County and Lavesque theorized that he named the lake in honor of the woman who saved his life.