Think You Know What These Maine Places Are Named After? You’re Probably Wrong
There are a ton of towns in Maine named for famous people, and most of them are obvious. Washington, Maine is named after George, the president. Jefferson is named after the third president. But then there are places that can trip you up. Places like the towns of China and Lincoln. The first isn't named for the country, and the second isn't named for the man.
Really? Yup... there's a lot more in a name than you might think.
According to DeLorme's Book of Lists and Interesting and Unusual Facts about Maine, here's the scoop on Maine town and place names.
Here's a list of places that are named after who you think they're named after:
Blaine - Named after James G. Blaine, the famous Maine congressman, senator, speaker of the US House of Representatives, and US secretary of state. (The same guy who the governor's mansion is named after.)
Franklin - Named after Benjamin.
Hancock - Named after the dude with the biggest signature on a wicked important document somewhere.
Madison - Named after the president.
Monroe - Named after the president.
Washington - Named after the president.
Webster - Named after Daniel Webster.
Now... here's a list of places that AREN'T named after what you think they're named after:
Lincoln - Not named after president Abraham Lincoln. The town of Lincoln, Maine is actually named after Enoch Lincoln, the sixth Governor of Maine.
Lincolnville - Not named after president Abraham Lincoln. The town of Lincolnville is actually named after general Benjamin Lincoln, a famous general during the American Revolution. Many towns and places named "Lincoln" throughout the American south are also named after the general, and not the president.
Lincoln County - Not named after president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln County is named in honor of Thomas Powell, the colonial governor of Massachusetts (remember... Maine used to be Massachusetts before 1820!) whose family home was Lincoln, England.
China - Not named for the country. China, Maine was named after the title of a popular hymnal that the town settlers sang at town meetings and gatherings.
Norway - Not named for the country. Norway, Maine was named by accident. The Settlers of what is now the town of Norway petitioned the General Court of Massachusetts (the colonial legislature) to name their town "Norage," a native word meaning "falls." A court clerk accidentally misspelled the town grant as "Norway," and nobody ever fixed it.
Poland - Not named for the country. Poland is thought to be named after the chief of a local band of native Americans, Chief Polan. The actual historical figure is disputed, but the town is definitely not named after the country.