Medford, Oregon (July 17, 2023) — The U.S. Department of the Interior announced name changes last year for more than a dozen geographic features in Jackson and Josephine counties that used the word “squaw,” a derogatory slur applied to Native American women. Rogue Valley journalist Vickie Aldous will talk about new names for lakes, rivers, and mountains in her talk “Acorn Woman Mountain: New Names Honor Native American Culture” from 12 Noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, August 2, on Zoom and in-person at the Medford Library, 205 S. Central Avenue. The Windows in Time lecture will be repeated from 12 Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, August 9, at the Ashland Library, 410 Siskiyou Boulevard. 

Some of the new names reflect Native American legends, such as the tale of Acorn Woman, a powerful mythological figure for the Takelma people of the Rogue Valley. Two mountains in the Applegate Valley now bear the new names Acorn Woman Mountain and Acorn Woman Peak. According to legend, Acorn Woman lived on the mountain currently named Mount McLoughlin for most of the year, but would come down and tear off pieces of her own flesh, throwing them onto oak trees where they became acorns. Indigenous people gathered acorns and used painstaking techniques to turn them into an edible food source. Other new names refer to important animals, food sources, and geographic features for the people who lived in Southern Oregon for thousands of years before the arrival of white settlers. 

Aldous has lived in the Rogue Valley since 1999. She was a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings and Medford Mail Tribune, and currently works for the Grants Pass Daily Courier — a newspaper founded in 1885 that continues to publish today. Her interests include history, languages, nature, science, and world cultures. 

Pre-registration is needed to attend the online version of this program and can be found at A recording of the program will later be made available on the Jackson County Library Services YouTube channel; subscribe at

The monthly Windows in Time lunchtime lectures feature well-known writers and historians and bring alive the people, values, and events that shaped our Southern Oregon heritage. The lectures are jointly sponsored by the Southern Oregon Historical Society and Jackson County Library Services. For more information, please contact the Southern Oregon Historical Society at 541-622-2025 or or Jackson County Library Services at 541-774-8679 or 


PHOTO CAPTION: Two hills on the flanks of Mount McLoughlin have been renamed Wilamxa Tip and Maalsi Tip. Photo courtesy of United States Geological Survey