I see Delaware North thinks it owns centuries-old names in Yosemite. Ahwahnee actually means “deep grassy meadow” and Wawona means “big trees” in the ancient Paiute Indian language.
In response, the National Park Service says it will change the name of the Ahwahnee Hotel to The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, which it truly is, and the Wawona to Big Trees Lodge, which is close to what Wawona really means, and Curry Village to Half Dome Village.
I understand the park does not want to end up spending millions by using the original names, but for the people using the park and admirers of this fabulous place what would happen if everyone kept using the original names? Will Delaware North sue to restrict free speech?
If anyone owns the naming rights in Yosemite, it is the American Indians, who first used these place names.
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Frank T. Ward, Fresno