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Ryan JS. Some Place Names in New England. Part II: The European Element. 1963.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/11268
Some Place Names in New England. Part II: The European Element
Place names of European origin are as varied as the indigenous ones and record a great variety of incidents and topics once of interest and significance to a greater or lesser number of residents. In the case of this area we can do no better than trace through chronologically the toponymic evidence of the various influences which have left traces of their passage on the countryside. Although those matters may lie in the past, once the place names are analysed and ordered they can be shown to register vividly turning points, slight or important, in local history or in the 'climate of thought' of the settlers. Place names have been likened to the ghosts of the country, since no shrines commemorate them at the crossroads. Yet historical investigation does serve to help us to embody these former presences and to see these names not as mere words performing a function of identification, but as evidence of settlement and of spontaneous bestowal for specific reasons. On the whole, they commemorate the history of 'little men', than whose work there is none of more importance in the development of the area. The great names occur at the beginning and they are soon followed by those of the men who actually settled the country.