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Sierra County to change 'Jim Crow Road' to 'Crow City Road'

After a public hearing, the Sierra County Board of Supervisors voted four to one in favor of changing the road's name.

SIERRA COUNTY, Calif. — June 1 update:

After a public hearing, the Sierra County Board of Supervisors voted four to one in favor of changing Jim Crow Road to Crow City Road.

Original Story:

A one-mile stretch of road in Sierra County is stirring some debate among people in the area due to a potential name change in its future.

The debate stems from a request by property owners along "Jim Crow Road" to change the road's name.

The road's name refers to a Native Hawaiian man during the Gold Rush, whose namesake can be found on a ravine, stream and the aforementioned "Jim Crow Road," according to the LA Times.

However, there’s dismay with the name among the people who live on the street and among the people who visit the Sierra Shangri-la (SSL)  resort due to the phrase “Jim Crow” being tied to racist laws that segregated Black people.

Thomas DeJonghe, the owner of Sierra Shangri-la, sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors in May favoring a name change and noting that his guests find the name "dismaying."

"Guests have not found the Jim Crow name acceptable based on the little known history of a nickname for a South Pacific miner that worked in the area many years ago," he wrote in a letter to the board.

However, the call for a name change isn't unanimous. Nora Prince sent a letter to the board objecting to the name change in late May, adding that the push to rename the road "seems to coincide with the nationwide cancel culture movement" and that renaming the road would be disrespectful to the memory of the man it was named after. She suggested building a monument with a plaque along the road that would share the history of the name.

The issue comes to the Sierra County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. The current recommendation from the Sierra County Historical Society is to change the name to “Crow City Road.” 

At the end of the hearing, they’ll have the option to continue the issue to another meeting, adopt a name change, or end consideration for the issue.

The full staff report from the county along with letters and/or emails of support or opposition is available HERE. For the county board meeting agenda, click HERE


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