What’s in a name? Network of municipal stations

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Test your name knowledge of the origins of Lake District place names

Screenwriter / Jeff Kenney
Photograph provided

Readers of the Lake District, like people everywhere, pass by familiar towns, cities, and county demarcations with probably little regard for the origin of their names. See how many of these questions related to historical names you can answer without looking at the explanations that follow.

  1. Many towns, bodies of water, and places in the region are named after Native American words, but this county seat takes its name from one of several Potawatomi leaders who all shared the same name, including one who helped negotiate the end of Fox’s war. in the 1730s.

Answer: The name Winamac, seat of Pulaski County, belonged to several warriors and rulers of centuries past. Winamac is a Potawatomi version of the name Wilamet (the Eastern Algonquian version of the name). At least one man with this name was an ally of New France in the early 1700s, although others named Winamac were prominent during the War of 1812, an ally and one who fought the United States in that conflict.

  1. Which town in the region is aptly named after the president of a major railroad company?

Answer: North Judson in Starke County was originally plated in 1859 as Brantwood, but its post office a year later was named North Judson for William D. Judson, President of Cincinnati & Chicago Railroad, one of many rail lines laid across the city. Since Judson, Indiana already existed, the “North” part of its name was probably added to avoid confusion.

  1. Which town in the region takes its name from the French language for “the door?”

Answer: LaPorte, both the name of the county and the town, means “the door” in French, named after French explorers and fur traders (from the 1670s) who used a wide Native American trail through the forest to ‘to the meadow, which served as a kind of gate.

LaPorte, the city, was settled in 1832. Ten years later, the first medical school in the Midwest, La Porte Medical School, was founded, with one of its graduates, William Worrall Mayo, who later established this which would become the famous Mayo. Clinic in 1889 in Minnesota.

  1. Which county seat is named after the settlers from New England who helped found it?

Answer: The first settlers of what is now Marshall County in the 1830s included descendants of the English “Yankee” Puritans from New England on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The county seat of Plymouth, unsurprisingly, was named after Plymouth, Massachusetts, legendary as the landing site of the ship Mayflower in 1620. Plymouth, Indiana was incorporated as a city in 1851.

  1. Which county was named after a famous inventor?

Answer: Fulton County, which dates from 1836, was named after Robert Fulton, well known as the inventor of the steamboat. The region has several interesting name origins. The county seat of Rochester, established in 1835, is named for Rochester, New York, the birthplace of Alexander Chamberlain. Adjacent Lake Manitou, actually the result of damming two smaller local lakes, is a Potawatomi name meaning “Devil’s Lake”, due to persistent Native American legends that a monster lived there.

  1. This county seat was named for a Revolutionary War general.

Answer: The fact that the post office in Knox, Starke County dates back to 1820 may help explain why the town was named after American Revolutionary War general Henry Knox, who died in 1806 shortly years before the post office was established. The present town of Knox was founded in 1851. Henry Knox had played an important role in the Continental Army and later the United States Army, working closely with George Washington. He was also the first United States Secretary of War.

  1. This small but remarkable town in the region takes its name from a stove manufacturer in Saint-Louis.

Answer: Henry Harrison Culver started the Culver Brothers company, later the Wrought Iron Range Company, in 1864. After his retirement, Culver eventually started the military academy bearing his name (today, with the addition of Culver Girls Academy, its official name is Culver Academies), in 1894. The adjacent town of Marmont voted to change its name to Culver in honor of the man and the school, shortly thereafter.

  1. This important city in the wider Lake District was named for a geographical feature of a body of water.

Answer: The name South Bend comes from the fact that it is literally at the south bend of the St. Joseph River, originally used by fur traders who established trading posts in the area. In 1829, the growing town’s post office was named Southold, Allen County, Indiana, although the proliferation of other communities named Southold at the time likely led to its name being changed to the current one. In 1831, the city was set up as the county seat of St. Joseph County.

  1. Which local town owes its name to the influence of its heavily German population?

Answer: The city of Bremen, incorporated in 1871, was first named New Bremen by the mostly German settlers who inhabited it in its early years. Eventually, the “New” part of the name was dropped.

  1. Which community in the Greater Lakes Region is named after a Shawnee scout from the War of 1812?

Answer: Logansport, settled around 1826, honors the Shawnee warrior James Logan, scout for the American forces in the region during the War of 1812. Located at the confluence of the Wabash and Eel rivers, the “port” part of its name corresponds to the town as well. .

  1. Which local county was nominated for a Supreme Court justice?

Answer: Marshall County was formed one year after the death in 1835 of John Marshall, fourth Chief Justice of the United States from 1801 until his death and former Secretary of State. Speaking of court things, the first county courthouse was built in Plymouth in 1840 and the current courthouse, currently being restored and renovated, opened in 1872.

  1. A strong Polish influence is visible in the names of which county of the region and the city serving as the capital?

Answer: Kosciusko County was named after American Revolutionary War General Tadeusz Kościuszko, a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth military leader with an impressive record in his homeland and in the United States. He died in 1817, just 19 years before the Indiana County that bears his name was organized. Its capital bears the name of Warsaw, the capital of Poland, where Kościuszko graduated from the Cadet Corps.

If you had been tempted to answer this question with Pulaski County, you would have been partly right. Pulaski County, dating from 1818, is named after Count Casimir Pulaski, a Polish soldier known for saving the life of George Washington during the Revolutionary War. The county seat of Pulaski, of course, is Winamac, whose name is not of Polish origin and is referenced in another question in this quiz.

  1. Which city in the region takes its name from a region of Kentucky?

Answer: The town of Bourbon, Marshall County was founded in 1853, and many of its first settlers came from Bourbon Township, Kentucky.

  1. What small town would have inspired the name of a famous fictional character?

Answer: Although previously known as the City of Rye, Toto is best known for being the area’s bargain capital for decades in the 20th century, even attracting bargain hunters from as far away as Chicago in its unusual conglomeration of discount stores. While that aspect of the town has changed, rumor persists that “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” author L. Frank Baum was inspired to name his character Dorothy’s dog after seeing the name of the town on a calendar or some other item (Baum’s family once had a residence on nearby Bass Lake). The claim has been debated over the years and remains officially unproven.

  1. This port town in the region takes its name from a body of water and a causeway.

Answer: Michigan City was founded after Major Isaac C. Elston of Crawfordsville purchased the land in 1830 and mapped the city without even visiting the site yet. He named it for being the terminus of the Michigan Road, the Old Indian Trail and the first route north into Indiana from Indianapolis (and, indeed, from the Ohio River). Of course, the city sits on the shores of Lake Michigan and was a bustling post town in the mid-19th century.

  1. This town in the region, once called “the city of churches”, takes its name from a South American city.

Answer: Founded in 1836, Valparaiso (meaning “Paradise Valley” in ancient Spanish) takes its name from a city in Chile. Originally named Portersville, Valparaiso, Indiana was the seat of Porter County, which takes its name from United States Navy Commander David Porter. Porter served in several wars, fighting near this Chilean city in the Battle of Valparaiso in the War of 1812. Porter County, Indiana was organized in the 1830s.

  1. This area county takes its name, like so many others, from a military hero, although the two names are actually spelled differently.

Answer: A number of counties and towns in the region bear the names of military or political figures who died a few years before the founding of the entity so named. Starke County is no different, except its spelling differs from that of its namesake: General John Stark, who commanded New Hampshire troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 during the Revolutionary War and defeated the British at the Battle of Bennington in 1777. Stark died in 1822, just 13 years before Starke County was founded in 1835 (it was organized in 1850). Early maps of the county indeed demonstrate that his name was spelled “Stark”, and while no solid evidence clarifies why the “e” was added to the name suffix, the most plausible source is a clerical error. of the Indianapolis state government.