The List: Nine names given to the Russian River
With an annual average discharge of approximately 1,600,000 acre feet (2.0 km3), it is the second largest river (after the Sacramento River) flowing through the nine county Greater San Francisco Bay Area with a mainstem 110 miles (177 km.) long.
1. Ashokawna (ʼaš:oʼkʰawna), is a name attributed to the Southern Pomo and means “east water place” or “water to the east”.
2. Bidapte, another Southern Pomo name for the River means “big river”
3. Slavyanka, the earliest European name for the River appears on a Russian-American Company chart dated 1817. It has been said that to the Russians, this name meant (among other variations) “Little Russian Girl” Among the three ranches established by the Russians, the Kostromitinov ranch was along the river near the mouth of Willow Creek.
4. In 1827 the Spanish gave their own name to the river, calling it San Ygnacio.
5. A Spanish land grant dated 1843 referred to the river as the Rio Grande.
According to the United States Geological Survey, variant names included:
7. Rio Ruso
and now, it’s commonly known as:
9. The Russian River