Agnes V. Waite

Biography | Historical and Cultural Context | Critical Commentary | Further Readings

The Legend of the Tacquish

Arrowhead Springs is the name given to a resort in the mountains just north of San Bernardino, in Southern California. It is named “Arrowhead” because of a peculiar rock formation on the mountain-side which when seen at a distance has the appearance of an arrowhead, the point of the arrow being downward and in the direction of these springs. The springs contain sulfur water, and many people visit the resort for the purpose of taking rheumatic and other cures.

 A legend among the Indians of that vicinity connects these springs with the legends of the “Tacquish”, an evil spirit, which flies from this point to the San Jacinto mountain on the opposite side of the pass.

Its time of flight is determined according to the behavior of the people living in the vicinity of these springs. The Tacquish is said to assume the form of a large ball of fire, and when it passes must shriek or holler in order that they may retain their hears, which the Tacquish is seeking to destroy.

When the children are naughty and disobedient, they are brought under subjugation by threats of the Tacquish, whom they learn to dread, just as the little white children do the bogies.

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