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Summit Signatures

30C Martinez Mountain

Location: Riverside County, California

Name is borrowed from a village of Mountain Cauhilla Indians that existed here up to the Californio era. The village was called "Martinez", but the Bureau of Indian Affairs has no record of why. We can only conjecture that the name may have been derived from a village headman who somehow was given this surname. Californio ranching did not extend this far inland, but Martinez was a common name among Sonoran Mexicans. There was an influx of them into this area, just before the American era. The descriptive term "village of Martinez" would likely have been used in preference to the (difficult to pronounce) native name for this rancheria. It was "Puichekiva" meaning "road runner's house". The Indians who lived here were predominantly of the moiety known as "Wanteauem" which means "touched by the river". This may appear curious in such a dry environment but the canyon site where their village once stood is still subject to wash-outs during flash floods. This village was eventually abandoned-not because of too much water, but too little. Anglo farming increased water use which greatly lowered the water table in the Coachella Valley. The name was later extended to the canyon where the village stood, now called Martinez Canyon. The Torres Martinez Indian Reservation is eight miles to the East.

This peak is also on the DPS List.

Namr first appears on USGS Indio special map (1904).

Peak was on the original 1946 HPS Peak List.

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