Monday, May 14, 2007

I Feel Like An Idiot

I mean, more than usual. How is it that you can grow up in a place and not know things about it? Or maybe you did know but you suppressed it all, but I don't think that's the case.

Still, the ongoing process of discovery is something I find fascinating. I thought of this when I read that a certain author had gone to a place not so far away from their home on holidays, and discovered this site they refer to in the back of their latest book as 'skin-crawling'.

What is it that's making me feel especially dumb? I didn't know that the town of Bracebridge, Ontario was named for Bracebridge Hall, a work by Washington Irving, who also penned The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

What started me on this path to enlightenment, you ask? Well, the discovery that the neighbouring town of Gravenhurst, Ontario was originally named McCabes Bay. A perfectly good name discarded in favour of a literary reference that we don't even talk up. And thus the rumour it was named after two items used by the biggest local business (grave & hearse) is disproven.

You know, I was always told Bracebridge got it's name from the bridges. And I always thought the name Gravenhurst was depressing. Scroll through these and you'll see why it strikes me as an underwhelming name that doesn't fit the landscape.

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