KINGMAN - It's official, Slaughterhouse Canyon Road will henceforth be known as, well, Slaughterhouse Canyon Road.
The City Council voted 4-2 Monday evening to officially change the name of the roadway running from Mission Boulevard to Wallapai Lane from the official but little-used "Canyon Road" to the colloquial designation it has borne proudly for decades.
The vote came after the developers of the nearby Canyon Bluffs Estates had requested replacement of some the road's street signs to reflect its "actual" name as reflected on the county plat map, a move which displeased more than a few Kingman lifers.
At the July 7 Council meeting, local developers had argued the official Canyon name was more palatable to future residential and commercial growth in the area.
Councilwoman Robin Gordon spoke for many in the audience Monday when she advocated for the name change, citing a number of newspaper articles and photos from the early 20th century that refer to the area as "Slaughterhouse Canyon." A 1952 householder map she found in the museum's archives also designated the road "Slaughterhouse Road," omitting the canyon part altogether.
"I think Kingman's history is one of our most valuable assets, and I think it's really important that we not change the name of this road just because somebody, some developer thinks it's not a pretty or a marketable name," Gordon said to applause. "Our history is way too important, and I just think it's really important that we leave it Slaughterhouse Canyon."
Councilman Keith Walker spoke in defense of Canyon Bluffs, noting that some maps had shown the Canyon Road name as far back as 1987.
"These new developers aren't just trying to come in and change this," Walker said. "They just took what was on the plat, so I don't think developers need a bad rap here."
Walker was quick to point out, however, that he believed the name of the canyon itself was Slaughterhouse Canyon, "No matter what road goes through."
John Dilatush, a member of the local Historical Preservation Society, argued for the name change, noting the "Slaughterhouse" is present both on Google Maps and in the phonebook.
"It is Slaughterhouse Canyon Road," Dilatush said.
"The road said 'Slaughterhouse Canyon Road' until Canyon Bluffs went in, and all of a sudden it went away."
Dilatush said he suspected Canyon Bluffs of some skullduggery regarding the omission of 'Slaughterhouse' on the Mohave County plat map.
"The developers changed it one way or another," he said.
"They'll deny it.
"I will probably be a target. That's okay."
Local contractor Gary Lawson, however, contended that while he'd never known Slaughterhouse Canyon as anything but in his 44 years in town, the property he had purchased there had listed the road as otherwise.
"I'm in business, and I don't know if 'Slaughterhouse' would deflect from me building and selling houses there, but when I did purchase that property, that road was Canyon Road," he said.
Gordon's motion for approval passed, with Walker and Mayor John Salem opposed.