The State of California has renamed Patrick Point’s State Park in Northern California’s Humboldt County to Sue-meg State Park. This move comes amid increased pressure after Squaw Valley ski area renamed itself Palisades Tahoe due to the insensitivity of the term “Squaw” to indigenous peoples.
According to a report from the California Globe, Patrick’s Point State Park was named after an Irish immigrant, Patrick Beegan, who laid claim to the area in the mid-19th century. Beegan committed atrocities against the native population including murder. He reportedly killed natives without provocation and this included children. California took possession of the land in 1930 and Patrick’s Point State Park opened in 1963.
Patrick’s Point was clearly an insensitive name and native populations have worked to get this name changed for years. Last week, the California State Parks Commission voted unanimously to formally rename the park. This area was always referred to by the native Yurok tribe as Sue-meg. Before, during, and after Patrick Beegan’s reign of terror it was always known by the name Sue-meg.