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.