Man hopes to name Mount Diablo after Reagan

January 28, 2010 7:51:03 PM PST
On Monday, officials in Contra Costa County will consider a controversial proposal to change the name of Mt. Diablo to Mt. Reagan, in honor of former President Ronald Reagan.

"Take the profane name off our mountain," Oakley resident Art Mijares said. Mijares is the man behind the name change effort. "It is the icon of our area."

"Diablo" is Spanish for devil, a name given the 3,800 foot peak in 1805 by Spanish soldiers who lost track of the Native Americans they were pursuing near the base of the mountain.

This is the second time Mijares has made a formal appeal to the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. In 2005, his effort to change Mt. Diablo to a name that honored Native Americans was rejected.

This time, the legislative subcommittee of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will at least consider the name change and decide whether the county should offer the federal board a formal opinion on the matter.

"I certainly respect the disquiet that can be caused for some people with the name association," Board President Susan Bonilla said. "I do think however with the historic significance and use of the name in our community that it's very well-established."

At least some of those who live in the shadow of Mt. Diablo prefer things stay just the way they are.

"Nothing against Reagan," Walnut Creek resident Keith Bratton said. "It's just that Mt. Diablo has been Mt. Diablo ever since I can remember and it should stay that way."