Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Town Monday: Name Game

Livingston County, Michigan is what is knows as a cabinet county. It is one of 10 counties in Michigan named for then- President Andrew Jackson and members of his cabinet. There is a Jackson county.

Livingston County includes a town named Brighton. Many settlers to Michigan in the early 1830s were from New York, searching for new farm land. There is a Brighton, New York. Most likely Brighton, Michigan was named after Brighton, New York, as settlers often named their new towns after some aspect of their former residence. When I google anything for Brighton, I type Brighton mi to ensure I'm reading about the right town.

To the east of Livingston County, there is a city named Novi. There's a cute story behind this name. Apparently, on the Grand River Trail between Detroit and Lansing, Novi was Stagecoach Stop Number 6. That was the only name this place had. It would get written using the shorthand for Number, which is No. and the Roman numerals VI. Get some one with sloppy handwritting, leave out a period and No.VI becomes... Novi.

In the southern part of Livingston County is a little hamlet named Hell. Yep. I live just north of Hell, Michigan. There's several stories about how this town got it's name, but the most common is that the guy who first settled there was approached by state officials asking what the name of the town was. Allegedly, the curmudgeonly old feller replied, "You can call it hell for all I care."

Michigan also boasts such fun town names as Climax, Christmas, Paradise, Parshalville.

What fun town names do you have?

Visit the My Town Monday Blog for more links and to share your own town!


Barrie said...

Pocheo which is in Riverside County and means "where the rabbit when in"! Fun post. And aren't we amazing because we have our posts up already!!?

Clare2e said...

Cool stories. I'm going to send to my friend to see if she knew that about Novi!

sayssara said...

Presumably Brighton in New York was named after Brighton, England, by British settlers moving to America.

We have lots of peculiar place names here in England. There is a place not too far from here called Pratt's Bottom, to name just one.