California State Park and Recreation Commission takes first step to rename Negro Bar


The name change to Black Miners Bar is one of many issues State Parks is addressing as part of its Reexamining Our Past initiative.

June 18, 2022 – SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California State Park and Recreation Commission voted unanimously Friday on a one-day temporary name change-use area, identified as Negro Bar in Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, to Black Miners Bar. This name change is part of a multi-step recommendation. Next, California State Parks will continue to work closely with the California African American Museum, tribal governments and members, stakeholders and members of the public to ensure the new name is appropriate and reflects its historical significance as a site where black miners prospected during the gold rush era. ‘gold. Additional feedback will also assist in the drafting of interpretive signage for a completed day-use facility improvement project.

“The people of California have spoken and what they have told us loud and clear as a commission is that words matter, especially words that describe our state parks,” said Rue Mapp, chairwoman of the State Park and Recreation Commission. “And those words should be inclusive and welcoming to all Californians. That’s exactly what we’ve done today by temporarily renaming Negro Bar to Black Miners Bar. A permanent name change will be informed by more listening, more research, and engagement with the community for a permanent name place. There is no going back, only forward from here.

Since 2018, California State Parks has been working to respond to requests from park visitors and the interested public and stakeholders to consider a name change in response to their understanding that the location’s name is derogatory and has made the area less accessible to the community whose history it reflects.

Historical use of the name for this site, located in Sacramento County, appears in reference to black miners during the Gold Rush, most notably from an 1850 newspaper article noting that black miners found gold at this location in 1848. A few years before the Rush Gold Rush in 1844, the area was part of a Mexican government land grant named Rancho Rio de los Americanos received by the West Indian immigrant and entrepreneur multiracial William Alexander Leidesdorff. The Negro Bar Historic Urban Site was south of the historic town of Folsom, across the American River from what are now day-use facilities. The 1850 U.S. Census, as well as election results from the 1850s, refer to Negro Bar as having 500–600 residents. In the early 20th century, the townsite was covered in soil and debris handled by various dredging companies that would later merge with Natomas Consolidated of California in 1908.

State Parks has held numerous meetings with various stakeholders and formal consultations with California Native American tribal governments and tribal community members and is now working with the California African American Museum.

“Thank you to the public, stakeholders and partners for their feedback today and during the public consultation process to update the name of this historic site,” said California State Parks Superintendent Armando Quintero. “State Parks looks forward to the continued partnership so that all visitors to this site not only feel welcome, but also learn about the contributions of black miners during the Gold Rush and the residents who called this area home. .”

“CAAM is honored to collaborate with California State Parks on long overdue solutions to underrepresentation and misinformation, including inappropriate place names, regarding African Americans in state parks,” says CAAM History Curator Susan D. Anderson. “I look forward to helping transform our parks into places that celebrate the long, vital and historic presence of African Americans in California.”

The name change to Black Miners Bar is just one of many issues State Parks is tackling as part of its Reexamining Our Past initiative to identify and correct place names, landmarks, and landmarks. Discriminatory or Contested Interpretation in the California State Park System. On September 25, 2020, the California Agency of Natural Resources, State Parks, and Department of Transportation announced a series of actions to identify and correct discriminatory names of features attached to State Park and systems. transport. The most recent renaming of a state park occurred last fall with the renaming of Patrick’s Point State Park to Sue-meg State Park to honor the place name used by the Yurok people. To learn more, visit
Source: CA. State Parks


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