Rockaway Headlands renamed

The soon to be renamed Rockaway Headlands and Rockaway Beach. Adam Pardee / Tribune

Local nonprofit Pacifica’s Environmental Family announced last Friday that the Rockaway Headlands area will be named Aramai Point to honor stewardship of the first people on this land.

The U.S. Geological Survey accepted the group’s application to name the highland between Rockaway and Linda Mar after the Native American tribe that lived alongside what is now known as Calera Creek, within the Rockaway Quarry. The Aramai people lived for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans in 1769. The USGS accepted the naming application at its Sept. 9 meeting.

A Sept. 17 statement from USGS reads, “The name will be entered into the Geographical Names Information System, the nation’s oldest geographical names repository.”

Mark Hubbell is a PEF member who played a key role in seeking the renaming. He said the process started in June 2020. “I’m ecstatic,” he said. “It was a community effort.”

Pacifica Historical Society members Jim and Pat Kremer helped move the idea along, Hubbell said. The Pacifica Historical Society provided the name of the Native American tribe, Aramai, and the name of the village, Timigtac, at Calera Creek where they lived for 5,000 years.

“They were fantastic stewards of the environment. That’s what this is all about. Then it only took us about 100 years to screw it up,” said Hubbell. “They left us a little blessing.”

PEF, a local environmental and history education nonprofit, filled out an application from USGS with the coordinates and the name wanted for the area commonly known as Rockaway Headlands. Officially, the area had no USGS name. PEF solicited letters of support from local politicians and others in the community and received letters from San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley, former Mayor Deirdre Martin and former Pacifica City Councilmember John Keener. PHS found a descendant of the Aramai tribe who wrote a letter of support.

“Because the USGS is one of the oldest government agencies, their bylaws require them to meet in person for them to approve it,” Hubbell said. “With COVID-19 going on, that set it back about a year; all the Confederate monuments had been renamed. That kept the USGS really busy. It was a joy to work with the USGS.”

Jane Northrop has covered Pacifica for the Pacifica Tribune since 1996. She has won first place John Swett Awards from the California Teachers Association for her coverage of education.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

More Stories

featured
  • 0

The California Gubernatorial Recall Election comes to a conclusion on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Ballots were mailed to all voters in California last month, and can be dropped off at drop boxes across the county, including at Half Moon Bay Library and the Pacifica Community Center.

featured
  • 0

Beachgoers saw an unusual sight in Linda Mar on Friday morning: A sailboat washed up on the sand.

  • 0

Though it is early in plans to build a pair of housing projects in and around Pacifica, a new nonprofit has formed to challenge the development and protect the southern hillsides of the valley along San Pedro Mountain.

  • 0

The vast majority of land set aside for residential use on the San Mateo County coast is constrained by single-family zoning, attracting wealthy homeowners looking for large properties and small-town charm.

featured
  • 0

Pacific Coast Television honors outstanding members of the community in an annual broadcast known as PCT Honors. This year, the program is virtual at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 and can be seen by tuning into PCT on Channel 26 in Pacifica or Channel 27 in Half Moon Bay.

  • 0

When it comes to preventative medicine for our canine companions, vaccinations are at the top of the list. You should have a conversation with your veterinarian regarding which vaccines your pet needs. A lot of this depends on your dog’s lifestyle and possible exposure risks.

Recommended for you