SILVIES – Who was Charlie Smith?

The Oregon Geographic Names Board will consider a proposal on June 25 to change the name of Charlie Smith Reservoir on the Silvies Valley Ranch in Grant County to Pronghorn Reservoir.

Ranch manager Kathleen Cantrell Price proposed the change to recognize the herds of antelope that gather at the reservoir east of Highway 395, noting that the significance of the old name has been lost to memory.

The Grant County Court recently voted to support the change.

Researchers from the state board have been unable to determine who Charlie Smith was and why his name was attached to the reservoir. While it is rare for the U.S. Board of Geographic Names to replace a commemorative name, the Oregon board will look at the proposal and make a recommendation at its meeting June 25 in Astoria.

Before acting, the board is making one more call for information about Charlie Smith.

Anyone who has such information should contact the Oregon Geographic Names Board, c/o Oregon Historical Society, 1200 S.W. Park Ave., Portland, OR 97205, or by e-mail to President Sharon Nesbit, snesbit@aol.com.

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