Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Casino Name Change


The Sherwood Valley Pomo Rancheria has the small Black Bart Casino on its land, which is now undergoing a name change to, simply, Sherwood Valley Casino. As with all American Indian gaming businesses, it provides important income for the local band or tribe, and can employ Pomos and non-Pomos alike.

For those unfamiliar with the name Black Bart, he was a legendary stagecoach robber in the late 1800s in northern California, accomplishing one such hold-up just on the other side of Ridgewood Summit, to the south of Little Lake Valley. That Wells Fargo stage happened to have Hiram Willits as a passenger that day. Charles Bolles, aka Black Bart, was a white man, so "black" didn't have racial significance, rather he adopted the name from a popular fictional character of the time. He eventually served time in San Quentin. I'm not really one for romanticizing criminals of any era, so I personally welcome this casino name change.

6 comments:

Halcyon said...

It's just too bad that casinos have become the main source of income for the Reservations. I wish there was a more positive way for them to earn money. I don't like the way gambling has spread into communities via these types of casinos.

Amy at Woza Books said...

I'm with you. Name change is a good idea.

Jackie said...

That's an interesting history. It sounds like the kind of character you'd see in a Western, though I'm not sure who'd best play the part of Black Bart :)

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Down here I'm used to these gambling sites as being big affairs. I don't know what it is, do they all hire the same architect? They always seem to be some variation of southwest cheesy.

Petrea said...

What an interesting tidbit! Mr. Willits himself robbed by Black Bart! I'm fascinated by the history.

What PA says is funny. Also sadly true.

Hilda said...

Aww, I like the idea of a casino named after a robber. That's telling it like it is!