Tuesday , July 16 2019
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A Look Back: How to Name a Road

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Looking back and seeing all the names that are on the maps for the roads and little hamlets and crossroads, I began to wonder how did they get named?
So I began to research to see what I could find out. From the book, “History of the Town of Concord” by Erasmus Briggs, printed in 1883, I found some great information.
Townsend Hill was named for Jonathan Townsend and family who settled there in the early days. He was born in 1765 in Massachusetts and came to this area with his family in 1811.
He had a grist mill, a hotel located on Townsend Road and in 1822 built the first brick house in town. It connected with the framed house that was there, this house was used for town meetings for several years.
Morton’s Corners was so-called as Wendell Morton and his sons bought a farm and built a hotel there. Sadly there is not a lot left of Morton’s Corner, but now you know why it is so called that. Nichols Corners was named after Lewis Nichols who settled there. Lewis was born in 1773 and moved to this area in 1818.
How about the area called “The Branch”? Who knows where that is? Well, along the creek from Woodward’s Hollow to the town of North Collins was called “The Branch” for the fact that the west branch of the Eighteen-mile Creek flowed through it. I learn something new with this one.
This one is an easy one. East Concord was named because it was situated in the eastern part of the town. Waterville was named because two branches of the Buffalo creek meet there and at one time there were several mills all within a mile of the place.
Colden Hill was the southern part of what is called the Colden Hill, in the town of Concord, and it is named from the town of Colden, into which it extends. Vaughan Street was named as several families of Vaughans were settled on the streets there
Liberty Pole Corner at Main and Vaughan street got its name for the fact that the first Liberty-pole was raised at that location on, July 4, 1819. The pioneers got together on the corners to celebrate the day. Guns were fired, the fife and drum played and a good time was had by all that attended.
How about Sharp Street? Tradition says that Sharp Street was so called from a house built by John Gould, which had a very sharp or steep roof and at the time stood at the end of the street.
Now as I was researching for this article, I came across this. As we seem to be seeing bears lately, it seems to be a good time to share it.
It takes place around the 1820s. David Oyer went to the town of Ashford and there were only a few settlers there and a few cows that they processed. The cows were allowed to roam the woods, and come milking time, the settlers would take turns to round them all up and bring them back.
When it was David Oyer’s turn, he went out to look for them, not taking his gun along, which he usually did, but he did bring his dogs with him. After walking in the woods for a short distance, he could hear the tinkling of the bells on the cows at the same time the dogs went to barking and making all sorts of noise.
David quickened his steps and soon he saw that the dogs had cornered a bear! The bear sat upright on his haunches with his back to a tree, whenever a dog got within reach the bear would strike out and hit them sending them back-peddling, and when the bear would turn to climb the tree, the dogs would seize him and haul him back.
What could he do?  He only had his pocketknife with him.  He grabbed a branch and cut a cudgel (a short stick), keeping a tree between himself and the bear.  He then got close enough to the bear and struck him across the nose and a few more over the head and killed the bear.  The bear was dressed and divided up among the settlers who all enjoyed the fest. It does not say if the cows gave milk that day!
We have all kind of stories like this within our shelves here at the Lucy Bensley Center, and you are welcome to come and read them on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or on the second and fourth Sunday of the month from 2 to 4 p.m.
Have a story to share with us? Stop by 23 North Buffalo St., send us an email at lucybensleycenter@gmail.com or call us at 592-0094.
Don’t forget that you can hear some great music at the Concord Mercantile/Heritage building located at 17 Franklin St. from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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