Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What's In a Name?

From time to time I use names of places that I realized are not universally recognized by my readers. Here is a short list of common places near here.

This is the name given to the house we live in. Apparently, the first person to live here was Dr. Petherbridge with his family. The house was built in approximately 1880 to accommodate Dr. Petherbridge’s family and his medical practice as well as serve as a dormitory for the nearby Charlotte Hall School.

Long Lived For Come at Last
This is the property that the family refers to as “the farm.” Family legend has it that this was the name of a large tobacco plantation along the Patuxent River. Our property, purchased in the 1940s, is only about 240 acres but was part of the larger plantation. The river is three miles east of our land, so the plantation must have been very large, indeed. One building on our land is said to have been the foreman’s home to oversee the slaves who worked the plantation. We also appear to have an old slave cemetery up on a hill. The only markers are large rocks.

Though many people hear us refer to the vineyard and think that’s all we have, that’s not quite true. Only about nine acres are under vine on the property. We also have limited logging, a Christmas tree farm, and lots of woods. The farm has a rental house on it and has previously leased out fields for corn, tobacco, and grain crops.

Charlotte Hall
This is the name of the unincorporated village in which we live. It spans northwestern St. Mary’s County and eastern Charles County about an hour due south of Washington, DC. It only includes about 5.1 square miles; much of that is agricultural. It also includes two grocery stores, a hardware store, and numerous fast food stops. We are fortunate to have a post office that's not closing. The farm’s mailing address is PO Box 1, Charlotte Hall. We would be sad to have to change that address. We own a book that probably describes exactly where the Charlotte Hall name came from, but we can’t find the book.

This the name of the unincorporated area in which the farm is located. It is the region east and south of Charlotte Hall.

St. Mary’s County
This is the name of our county. It is the southern-most county on the Southern Maryland peninsula. It is surrounded by the Potomac River to the west and the Patuxent River to the east. The southern tip juts into the Chesapeake Bay. I am unsure which St. Mary the name refers to.

Named for Queen Henrietta Maria (1609-1669), the wife of King Charles I.
Though Maryland is considered a northern state, it housed many southern sympathizers in this region during the Civil War. Due west of us (about an hour's drive) is Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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