How Did These 5 Towns in Maine Get Their Names?
It's not something that people often brag about, or should for that matter, but we have some awesome town names here in Maine. For example, I always thought Skowhegan sounded like a bad ass Viking warrior, and loved how Maine had the stones to straight up steal town names from famous cities and countries all over the world. For all the cool names, though, we seldom ask how they started. Well that's all about to change! Thanks to a post by onlyinyourstate.com, we can finally dive into the origins of these five Maine Towns:
Brunswick actually gets its name from the family of King George I. Back in 1714, a consortium from Portsmith and Boston purchased the land, and named it in honor of the king. Doubt they saw what was coming.
How Freeport got its name was unclear, but what we do know is that it was part of North Yarmouth at one point, and was referred to as Harraseeket. However Freeport got its name, though, The town still has very little to do with "free."
Given my earlier comment, I just had to look into this one. As it turns out, Skowhegan is an old Abenaki word meaning "watching place," which in a way is actually cooler than what I thought before. Believe it or not, when Europeans started settling there in 1771, they actually tried to change the name to Milburn, but clearly everyone was hip to the awesomeness of the previous name, so it stuck.
Old Orchard Beach
As if this is going to surprise anyone. Old Orchard Beach used to be called "the garden by the sea" by Thomas Rogers, who settled the area back in 1636. It's most notable characteristic? An abandoned apple orchard that sat there for 150 years, that proved to be a good landmark for sailors. I will say, though, that "the garden by the sea" is an awful lot more complementary then how I hear it referred to by some Mainers.
Now this one I was curious about. Why steal the name of one of the most famous cities in the world for a small town in Maine? Apparently, that dates back to the French and Indian war. The land was given to a man named Joshua for for his service in the war, but was apparently owned by someone else! Talk about a blunder.
So there is our investigation into how many towns got their names! Do you have any towns you're curious about now? Let us know in the comments!