During the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to find out where the name “Waldo” comes from. “Who”, “What”, or “Where” did the District get it’s name. My first “break” came while doing some research in the Medford (OR.) Library… I found a book on U.S. Mining Districts. The book mentioned that the early miners in this area (SW Oregon) thought they were still in California, and that they named the “Waldo Mining District” after a “William Waldo”, someone the miners respected.
I was unable to uncover any more on William Waldo for quite some time, when, just a couple of months ago, a WMD member found the following information on the Internet:
“The Cabbage Patch/Waldo Cemetery is in the Spenceville Wildlife and Recreation Area (Yuba County) managed by the California Dept. of Fish and Game. Stage passengers named the town after the cabbage patch two settlers planted in 1852. In 1898, when applying for a post office the town’s people felt a more dignified name was needed. “Waldo” was chosen to honor CAPTAIN WILLIAM WALDO, an early explorer of the area who once raised a relief party to travel over the mountains to the Humboldt Sink to rescue sick and stranded miners. Later he would make an unsuccessful bid for governor.”
In Sausalito, the “Waldo Grade” is named for William Waldo, who owned large amounts of land in Southern Marin in the 1850’s. He ran for governor in 1853, lost the election, and moved to Oregon.
It also appears that in 1872, William Waldo planted a giant sequoia tree at Summer and Union Streets in Salem, OR.. In 1936, the tree became the focal point of a city park. The Waldo family was busy in Oregon as early as 1844, when a David Waldo was a member of the Legislative Committee. The “Waldo Hills” outside of Salem are named for the Waldo family.
Sounds like William Waldo was quite the pioneer. Keep your ears open for any other news or tidbits on William Waldo. If you find anything, please let us know.
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