What’s in a name? Squirreltown and other curious places

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.  Does that include place names?  I’m willing to bet real estate values would be higher in a subdivision named Bliss Meadows than Stink Creek (even if same stench you get from Stink Creek permeates the air in Bliss Meadows.)

The Maritimes have a lot of nifty place names, and because I love to read maps, I enjoy scoping out cartographic curiosities.

Have you ever noticed how many names are associated with the British Monarchy?  Here’s a select list of places named after royalty.  I can’t list them all because this blog can only hold 1 GB:

Residents of Squirreltown may not be pictured accurately.
  • Fort Anne
  • Annapolis Royal
  • Kingsburg
  • Queensland
  • Prince’s Lodge
  • Victoria (a couple of those)
  • Victoria Harbour
  • Kingston
  • Kingsport
  • Kentville
  • Princeport
  • Kings County
  • Queens County
  • Annapolis County
  • Albert Bridge
  • Prince Albert Road
  • Queen Street
  • Prince Street
  • George Street
  • Prince William Street
  • Charlottetown
  • West Royalty
  • Prince of Wales
  • Princess Margaret Bridge

Not only do the royals get all those crown jewels, they get to have places named after them.  Hardly fair.

From the category of They Should’ve Tried Harder:

  • Upper Northfield
  • Lower Northfield
  • West Northfield (yet no East Northfield)
  • New Ross
  • New Germany
  • New Canada
  • Newburne
  • Newcomville
  • Middle New Cornwall (you get my point: anything with a “new” stuck in front of it falls into the category of not trying)
  • anything with field in it (Springfield, Greenfield, Buckfield, Northfield, Brookfield, Bloomsfield, Hainsfield, etc.)
  • anything with water in it (Coldbrook, Bridgewater, Upper Branch, East River, North River)

Now onto my favourite names.

  • Buckfield (just like saying it)
  • Lapland (I keep thinking I’ll see reindeer)
  • Kejimkujik (it sounds awesome though it’s hard to spell)
  • Hectanooga
  • East/West Chezzetcook
  • Porcupine Hill
  • Aldershot (ow, sounds painful!)
  • Belcher Street
  • Stink Corner (actually, this is just colloquial)
  • Sweetland (I’ll bet there’s s’mores there)
  • Nevertell Meadows (oooh, a secret!)
  • Crapaud (looks like crap-odd but it gets a French pronunciation that sounds like craw-po)
  • Pugwash
  • Atholville (that’s where all the athols live)
  • Cuckold Island (disgruntled husbands’ suburb?)
  • Purlbrook (knit one, purl two)
  • Donkin (donuts?)
  • Woodstock (darn hippies)
  • Roachville (cockroaches or weed, take your pick)
  • Middlesex
  • Crockets Corner (wild bears there, I’ll bet)
  • Mount Tryon (I climb this one every time I’m in a dressing room and get stuck in something too small)
  • Wedgeport
  • Yankeetown
  • Garden of Eden
  • Paradise
  • The Forties (pronounced “Farties”)
  • Washabuck Centre (Rinseadoe too)
  • and, my all time favourite, Squirreltown (Annapolis County)

There you have it.  My foray into place names of the Maritimes, specifically southwestern Nova Scotia.  It is a diverse area and the names are as random as its people and this blog.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Miss Julie says:

    Drove past a new one today: Spital Road. Okay, it’s spelled wrong, but it still looks like spit!

  2. John says:

    I happened on this site by typing Squirreltown in the search engine. I have always been intrigued by the Squirreltown Rd. sign along the route from the Middleton area to the South Shore — assuming there was liitle or nothing of Squirreltown remaining but wondering what the place was like when it was enough of a community to at least warrant the odd name.

    Coincedentally my father, who was in the army, was posted to Aldershot more than once. At those times we lived in Kentville on Crescent Avenue which was not an avenue but a crescent shaped street — and I have a Belcher St. story from those days.

    Across the street from us on Crescent Ave. lived an elderly widow named Gertie who was a non-stop talker and gossip. Occasionally my parents would take her for a Sunday drive. On one of those outings we were driving out of Kentville on Belcher St. and Gertie was rambling on about the various mambers of the Belcher family after whom the street was named when my father ventured to ask, “Whatever happened to Burpee Belcher?” Gertie didn’t miss a beat. “I believe” she said, “he married and moved to the Boston States.”

    It became a family joke for years: Was there ever really a Burpee Belcher?

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