We constantly rewrite our history. The events can’t change, but the emphasis and the facts that are taught or not taught can be changed.
It is hardest to do this with names. Place names often out last the culture or country that created them. Perhaps with the rise of Google, sweeping changes will begin to occur; but for the most part names take generations to shift. Nonetheless they do shift. The fastest to shift are roads. The slowest are hills. Which perhaps says something!
In New Hartford….Shepard’s Pond becomes Lake Wonsunkamunk becomes West Hill Pond becomes West Hill Lake
Mast Swamp becomes Greenwoods Pond becomes (once more) Farmington River
Skunk Hollow turns into Maple Hollow
Puddletown into River Run
N—-town into Farmington Turnpike
Nepash into Nepaug
East Mountain become Jones Mountain
Greenwoods Turnpike is Route 44
Tunxis River becomes the Farmington River
Albany Turnpike turns into Johnny Cake Lane
And so forth
The changes reflect the sensibilities of the times during which they change, what offends, concerns, or should be memorialized. Equally important are those that don’t change. Town Hill, Pine Meadow, Pussy Lane, Steele Road, Baker(s)ville, North End, Cedar Swamp, Litchfield Turnpike, Cotton Hill.
4 responses to “Revisionist History”
What about Bee Mountain where I live?
Paul Griffin 860-489-6444
Bee Mountain appears to be a fairly modern name, it begins to appear on the maps in the mid twentieth century. Prior to this it was known as the Henderson District.
The road is very modern.
I shall try to look into it some more.
Is there a story to Steele Rd and its naming?
The road is named after the Steele family, Isaac Steele was one of the early settlers in New Hartford and the family remained prominent well into the 1800’s.