DEAR SUN SPOTS: Riverview Dental will hold a Dental Have a Heart Day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, May 22, and provide free dental care to low-income, young families and individuals experiencing financial hardship, homelessness, sheltered abused women, as well as military service veterans. Several dentists, hygienists and dental professionals will donate their services on this day.

These appointments are intended for patients who are financially unable to pay for dental treatment, have no dental insurance, have not seen a dentist in over two years, and are in urgent need of treatment. Appointments will fill quickly, so please call as soon as possible to schedule.

To schedule for a dental cleaning, filling or simple extraction appointment, please call and leave a message with your contact information at 207-200-4081.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: This is to continue the discussion begun in your column concerning Maine place names and their meanings. My two sources of information are: “Maine Place Names and the Peopling of its Towns,” by Ava Harriet Chadbourne (1957), and “The Names of Maine: How Maine Places Got Their Names and What They Mean,” by Brian McCauley (2004).

Did you know that the name Androscoggin is from two Abenaki words: “ahmayo” meaning “fish” and “cogin” meaning “to cure”? In other words, Androscoggin means “the place where fish are cured.”

Many of the towns in Androscoggin County were either named for an important person or a special place at the time they were incorporated. For example, Turner, Greene, Livermore, Minot, Wales, and Webster were all named for powerful or much-admired men.

Turner was named in honor of Rev. Charles Turner who was born in Scituate, Mass. in 1732. He worked in several positions for the proprietors of Turner. Minot was named for Judge Minot, a member of the Massachusetts General Court, who helped pass the Act of Incorporation for the town. Wales, although named for a place, was named to honor John Welch, a local pioneer whose ancestors came from Wales.

Towns named for places include Durham, Lisbon, and Leeds. Durham was named for a cathedral town in the north of England where Colonel Isaac Royal of Medford, Mass., a major proprietor of the town, was originally from. Leeds was named after another English town in honor of John Stinchfield, father of Thomas and Roger Stinchfield who hunted in the area. Lisbon was named for the Portuguese capital.

Finally, two Androscoggin place names were had for a song! Poland was named for an old psalm, “Poland.” It was chosen by Moses Emery, the representative to the Massachusetts General Court. He secured the incorporation of the town and, at his own request, was allowed to choose the name of the town.

Question: What Androscoggin town once went by the name Groggy Harbor due to the amount of grog sold there? — Yours truly, Sheila Giffin in Wilton.

RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing this historical information. It is sure to generate some conversations among historians. You noted that two Androscoggin place names were named after songs, but you only told us one of them. What is the other?

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: