Friday, May 09, 2008

Geographical nomenclature oddities

North Bend, Oregon is actually more southern than Bend, Oregon.

Eastland, Texas is in the center of the state, not the east.

Grand Island, Nebraska is not really near any islands. The explanation for this is that in 1857, the original German settlement of La Grande Isle was further south, on the Platte River. But an anti-German prospector burned the town to the ground in 1859, and they moved away from the grand island, yet kept the name.

Washington Court House, Ohio was originally named the City of Washington, but since there was another town in Ohio with that name (now Old Washington, Ohio), in 2002 they officially changed to their current name. Interestingly, the entire downtown street grid was aligned NE-SW and NW-SE (rather than N-S and E-W) so as to allow all four sides of the court house to receive sunlight. Now that’s an important building.

Waterproof, Louisiana, despite its name, has had to relocate several times due to flooding on the Mississippi River.

The entire state of West Virginia is actually north of Virginia. In fact, there are portions, such as McDowell County, which are east of it.

Any others?

2 Talked Back:

At May 12, 2008 at 11:13:00 PM CDT, Blogger Andrew Weaver said...

At the moment I have no others to add. I was just impressed with the obscure reference to TWO Coen Brothers movies in the title.

Color me impressed.


At May 13, 2008 at 12:14:00 AM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Well, there's another point about Bend; it started out as "Farewell Bend", but people started staying there.

There's South Bend, Indiana, which is east of both our Bends. There is a North Bend in Washington however.

Newport is new even though it's been around more than a century. When does it just start being Port? And What about New York? We can't have New Improved York until the New falls off there.

There's New England here in the USA, even though they aren't English, and as far as I can tell, Mainers (Maineans?) don't even speak English.

And North USA is called Canada for some reason.

That's all I can come up with for now.


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