Letter: Don’t rename the Gore Range
As a land surveyor and registered Potawatomi, I hope this helps regarding the name “Gore.”
The name “Gore Range,” or “Gore” added to subdivisions, streets, passes, ranches, churches and businesses indicate where a place is located. Any name of any feature on a map is an American endeavor, for an organized society.
Our country is built on professionally prepared maps, instigated by the Continental Congress to chart American expansion West as unsettled lands were legally purchased from Native Americans.
Surveyors were commissioned to chart the new ground of America, and the maps they prepared would not be useful to the public without common names placed on thousands of features. The surveyors became part of the Great Story of America and acted as the “naming committee” when preparing their beautiful, professional maps. Names placed on features by surveyors were unique, nonbiased, and recognizable, including many Indian names, so that Americans could understand where all the features of our new country were located by reading our indispensable maps.
The Indians had no political structure or scalable unit of measure, thus no need for maps. Ute/Arapaho/Cheyenne/Pawnee saw “The Shining Mountains” by what they looked like, not by where they were located.
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Every name on every map means, “place where Indians were driven out by Americans”.
Ireland’s Lord Gore is the one name on all maps of a person who was NOT intentionally driving the Indians out (but not by purchase), as were the Americans.
Renaming the geographic place “Gore Range” to “The Shining Mountains” would dilute the grandeur of “The Shining Mountains,” place it at but one area of only one state and turn that vast name into another infinite American map name — and no one actually living here would know where it was.