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The Boston Globe


It’s all in the names

A look at some of the colorful old tags for local sites, neighborhoods

Not many people know that Rockport and Gloucester were once called Tragabigzanda. Or that Salem was Sholom Naumkeag, Winchester was Black Horse Village, and part of Wilmington was dubbed Land of Nod.

No one uses those terms anymore, of course. But a closer look at Massachusetts maps reveals plenty of places with unusual names from the past that have survived. In the suburbs north of Boston you’ll find Blubber Hollow in Salem, Bearskin Neck in Rockport, Dragon Corner in Reading, and Happy Valley in Lynn. There are intriguing brooks, streams, and watering holes, such as Labor in Vain Creek in Ipswich and Long Sought For Pond in Westford, both of which just beg for an explanation.

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