Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Meaning of Sunsquam

I believe I have found out the meaning of the name Sunsquam, as I wondered in my previous post. Note the following translations of Algonquin words:

Squam: Pleasant Water Place

Sunapee: Rocky Pond

Suncook: Rocky Point

So from there is it not a far reach to say Sunsquam means something like "Rocky Pleasant Water Place" in Algonquin.

Source:
Wilbur, C. Keith. The New England Indians. 1978, The Globe Pequot Press: Connecticut

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Monday, December 15, 2008

The Many Names of Melville

Melville, pictured in the map in the previous post, has had a number of names in the past:

The native Americans called the area Sunsquams (if you know what that name means, please leave a comment).

It was then after known as Samuel Ketcham's Valley, named after an early resident. Melville is a valley (though not in the most dramatic sense) between West Hills and Dix Hills/Half Hollow Hills.

After that it became know as Sweet Hollow, supposedly for the honey found in its trees.

Which also leads us to Melville which became its name in the 1850s. It was not named for Herman Melville as some think, but for the Latin word for honey. Thus Melville means Honey Town.

Sources:
Newsday: Melville
N.Y. Times: Melville, Along the Lanes, and Behind the Gates

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