News / USA

California, Oregon Battle Over Landmark Status

US states argue over where first recorded contact between British and American Indians occurred

This engraving, published in 1590, depicts Sir Francis Drake’s interaction with American Indians on the U.S. West Coast 11 years earlier. (Library of Congress)
This engraving, published in 1590, depicts Sir Francis Drake’s interaction with American Indians on the U.S. West Coast 11 years earlier. (Library of Congress)
Ted Landphair
The U.S. National Park Service is about to convey landmark status upon a place on the California coast, not far from San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate Bridge.

That sounds kind of routine, but some people up the coast in Oregon are not at all happy about it. 
California, Oregon Battle Over Drake Landmark Status
California, Oregon Battle Over Drake Landmark Statusi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X


Sir Francis Drake, the daring British explorer, is said to have sailed to that little piece of California’s Pacific coastline 433 years ago, in 1579, in the middle of his epic three-year expedition around the world. 
This is a photo of Drake Bay. The terrain up in Oregon looks very similar and, of course, Sir Francis Drake didn’t know where he’d landed relative to future US state boundaries. (National Park Service)This is a photo of Drake Bay. The terrain up in Oregon looks very similar and, of course, Sir Francis Drake didn’t know where he’d landed relative to future US state boundaries. (National Park Service)
x
This is a photo of Drake Bay. The terrain up in Oregon looks very similar and, of course, Sir Francis Drake didn’t know where he’d landed relative to future US state boundaries. (National Park Service)
This is a photo of Drake Bay. The terrain up in Oregon looks very similar and, of course, Sir Francis Drake didn’t know where he’d landed relative to future US state boundaries. (National Park Service)

He mapped a cove where he landed - and named it and the surrounding cliffs “New Albion.”  Albion, which is Greek for “white,” was an early name for Britain, inspired by the famous white cliffs near Dover.​ 

Today, the California cove and bay are called “Drake’s Bay” in the explorer’s honor.

Drake is said to have hung around for five weeks, repairing his ships and interacting with Native American tribes. That’s the main reason the place is historic, for this was the first recorded contact between the British and American Indians.

So why should people up the coast in Oregon be upset?  

They say Drake’s “Albion” visit didn’t happen there at all, that he actually put ashore farther north on the rocky Pacific coast.

Amateur historian Gary Gitzen and other Oregonians say that first contact took place in and around Oregon’s Nehalem Bay.  

If you lay Drake’s own map of the cove he visited atop a map of Nehalem Bay, Gitzen says, “it’s the same outline.”  He’s writing a book, called "Oregon’s Stolen History," all about it.
This is Drake’s own map, with words in Latin, of the cove where he landed. He even named it “New Albion” in honor of his country, far away. (National Park Service)This is Drake’s own map, with words in Latin, of the cove where he landed. He even named it “New Albion” in honor of his country, far away. (National Park Service)
x
This is Drake’s own map, with words in Latin, of the cove where he landed. He even named it “New Albion” in honor of his country, far away. (National Park Service)
This is Drake’s own map, with words in Latin, of the cove where he landed. He even named it “New Albion” in honor of his country, far away. (National Park Service)

The National Park Service sent the conflicting claims to a couple of historic commissions, which ruled in California’s favor.

According to the Northwest News Network, the California location’s landmark designation will be a “done deal” as soon as U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signs the proclamation.

For now maybe, say the folks up north. They’re not about to give up their claim that the real Drake’s Bay should be in Oregon.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid