Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Long Reach Of Sauquoit Creek

Here in central New York, Sauquoit Creek's most recent claim to fame is as the site of the leaky pumping station that dumps millions of gallons of Oneida County's raw sewage into the Mohawk River. Which makes me a little sad for the students of Antioch High School in Illinois.

In our neighborhood, one high-school nickname that definitely is a one-of-a-kinder is Antioch High's "Sequoits."

In his book, "Why Mascots Have Tales," author Fred Willman tried to explain the Sequoit nickname.

He wrote the following: "The word Sequoit is a form of spelling of the Iroquois Indian word Sa-da-quoit, which was the name the Iroquois Indians gave to a stream that flows through Oneida County in New York state. In the Iroquois language, Sa-da-quoit literally means 'smooth pebbles in the bed of a stream.' When settlers moved into Oneida County, they modified the spelling and pronunciation of the stream to Sauquoit Creek."

Apparently, Antioch's first settlers, Darius and Thomas Gage, traveled west from Oneida County, and named the stream that ran past their land "Sequoit Creek" because it reminded them of Sauquoit Creek back home."

And that's how we got to "Sequoits."

Hopefully their Sequoit Creek isn't filled with as much feces as the one here in New York.