The fine folks who settled Maine had a penchant for attaching interesting names to their new homes, and that’s especially true for Androscoggin County.

It’s just not the case for Christian Hill, apparently.

The Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport plans to take over Christian Hill and shave off several dozen feet to make landings safer at the airport. That got Sun Journal editors wondering: Why was it named Christian Hill?

A visit to the Androscoggin County Historical Society turned up some interesting facts. While Auburn is named either for a poem or for a village in England, Lewiston is allegedly named for Lewis, an early Native American who imbibed too many hard spirits and drowned in the falls.

Poland is named for a Native American chief, Polan, not for the Eastern European Country. And Sabattus is allegedly a mispronunciation of the French name for Saint John the Baptist – San Baptiste.

But details around Christian Hill are few. Some guess that there must have been a church in the area. A 1970s-era book on Maine place names said it is named for the “the pious people living there.” And that’s it.

The search for details will continue, so stay tuned.

– Scott Taylor
Kingdom’ come again

Fabulous news for those who never caught the mini-series sprung from Stephen King’s brain and set in a haunted Lewiston infirmary: “Kingdom Hospital” is back.

It’s making its cable debut on the Sci-Fi Channel this Tuesday, April 11. It will run for several hours each Tuesday night through May 2. Then, on Memorial Day, it’s “Kingdom” – palooza, with a series marathon that starts at 10 a.m. The last episode airs at midnight, as good a witching hour as any.

The series, filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, and sprinkled with local references, aired in spring 2004 on ABC.

Yes, the very first episode featured a talking anteater with too many razor-sharp teeth. And yes, the series only got weirder from there, but it’s got dreamy Andrew McCarthy playing a doctor in faux-Lewiston, Maine. That’s got to be worth something.

– Kathryn Skelton

The New School’

Auburn’s new elementary school is 82 percent complete, and it’s beginning to look like a school inside and out.

But it still has no name.

School Committee member Ted Belitsos asked at a recent meeting what the new school, which will replace Lake Street School, would be called. It can’t be called Lake Street since it’s on Park Avenue. Students are scheduled to attend the new school this fall. Belitsos asked: Shouldn’t it get a name soon?

Actually, the Auburn tradition is not to name it right away, to let the faculty and students come up with names once they’re in there, said Superintendent Barbara Eretzian.

When students first attend the new school this fall it will be unofficially called “The New School.” There shouldn’t be confusion about which new school it is, Eretzian said.

“It’s the only one.”

– Bonnie Washuk

Sold out

Classical music fans need to start planning ahead.

About 40 people were turned away at the door of the Franco-American Heritage Center March 31 when they tried to buy tickets for that evening’s sold-out performance of the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra. Another 200 people, callers to the center’s box office, were shooed away in the previous two days.

“This was the biggest turnout ever,” said Rita Dube, executive director of the Little Canada arts hub. “I’m sorry we had to turn people away, but it’s a good problem to have.”

The performance, which included concertos by Mozart and Beethoven, received a lot of advance attention for soloist Frank Glazer and the center’s new piano, a $100,000 Steinway donated in February.

Dube hopes the success will rub off on the symphony’s next performance, scheduled for May 19.

The program will include works by George Gershwin, Aaron Copland and the premiere of Joan Tower’s “Made in America.”

– Daniel Hartill