Wednesday, December 5, 2012


The Nutmeg State, huh?  I associate Connecticut with money, WASPs, Martha Stewart, Yankee fans, and good pizza places.  I associate nutmeg with eggnog.  What the &*%@ does nutmeg have to do with Connecticut?

10. Uncasville

Would you believe Uncas is a guy?  Yup, some Indian dude. 

Excuse me...  Wikipedia says he was a “sachem of the Mohegan.”  He actually merits about 1000 words there.  Seems he was the victor in the Pequot War, and also shook things up with the Narrangansett and Wampanoag, generally siding with the British on pretty much all occasions (good way to get a town named after you).

His real name was “Wonkus” (which means “fox).  I don’t know about you, but I definitely prefer Wonkusville.

What a hunkus!

(This is actually Eric Schweig, the actor who played Uncas in The Last of the Mohicans.  It’s actually not even the same Uncas.  This particular Uncas was just a creation of James Fennimore Cooper.  No relation!)

9. Moosup

Holy crap!  Another Indian dude.  This one was named Mausup.  I have no idea what Mausup means or what he was famous for.

I do know that Moosup is the hometown of Walt Dropo.  And I know lots and lots about Mr. Dropo.  Walt’s a baseball player (my other obsession).  He was in the majors for 13 years, was Rookie of the Year in 1950, and was also a two-time All Star.  His nickname was the very appropriate “Moose.”

Walt “Moose” Droppings ... er, Dropo

BTW, there is a Moodus CT as well.

8. Honeypot Glen

Haven’t a clue.  In fact, I couldn’t find a darn thing about this place.  According to the US Geological Survey, though, it is for real:

7. Wequetequock

Ditto.  Maybe it means “honeypot glen” in Wampanoag.  I just can't say.

It is famous for its cemetery, and was also the girlhood home of Ruth Buzzi.  Her family owned Buzzi Memorials, which sold stones to … you guessed it … the Wequestequok cemetery.

Ruth and friend
(Honestly, I haven’t a clue)

6. Old Mystic *

Okay, here’s one I can find something on.  Mystic actually means “big river.”  What makes it so fun is that it’s also a word in English (“of or relating to religious mysteries or occult rites and practices,” according to, a word that typically doesn’t appear in place names. 

And that gives us such beauties as:

  • Mystic Travel
  • Mystic Indoor Tennis
  • Mystic Restoration
  • Mystic Woman’s Club
  • Mystic Therapy
  • Mystic Cycle Center
  • Mystic Pizza (yup, it’s a real place)

5. Happyland

It was originally a colony of cottages on the river, so I guess that’s maybe, possibly, enough to make it … HAPPYLAND!!!  Maybe not.

Once again, unfortunately, I can find NEXT TO NOTHING on this place.  Ah well, it too does actually exist:

4. Naugatuck, Saugatuck, Pawcatuk

Naugatuck, Saugatuck, Pawcatuk, Fawgatuck … Schmaugatuck!  I do know the “tuck” part means “river.”  And, considering Connecticut has a shoreline of over 600 miles, I guess it makes sense that there would be a couple of these.  But still …

Okay, there’s practically nothing on Pawcatuk and Saugatuck.  Naugatuck, however, is super big time.  It’s known for rubber, and was where the Uniroyal company was founded.  It also gave its name to the imitation leather product Naugahyde, and was once home to Charles Goodyear.  Rubber, rubber, and more rubber!  It’s now a bedroom community for New York City.  Population: over 30,000.

Yours for only $3.5M
(Google search = “saugatuck ct real estate”)

3. Woodtick

I’m guessing this is an Indian name, but I can’t prove it.  If it’s not, I have no idea why anyone would want to name a town after a vector for Lyme Disease, especially in Connecticut.  Couldn’t find much more on this place.  Surprise, surprise!


2. Cos Cob *

Another Indian name.  Go figure.  It means “high rocks” in Cassacubque.  And if you can pronounce that last bit, you may be a Cassacubque Indian yourself.

Cos Cob’s another big-time player.  It’s got only about 7000 residents, but is a major stop on the commuter rail into NYC, is the hometown of minor celebrities Barbara Tuchman and Ernest Thompson Seton, and was home to a school of Impressionist painters.  It’s officially a part of Greenwich.

The Smelt Fishers, Cos Cob
Frederick Childe Hassam

(Smelt fishers?)

1. Titicus

Indian for “place without trees.”  My Wapanoag and Cassacubque aren’t that great, but I would have thought this would have been something else entirely.  Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, know what I mean, know what I mean?

Once again, not a whole lot to Titicus.  One thing I can tell you though …  “Titicus” sure beats some of the things this place used to go by: “Mutighticus,” “Mughtiticoos,” “Mutighticoos,” and “Mutighticoss.”


* - author has visited

Honorable Mention:

  • B-o-r-i-n-g – Middletown, Central Village, Centerville
  • A little out of place – Bunker Hill, Brooklyn, Washington, Oxford, New London, New Britain, Scotland, Glasgo [sic], Flanders, Versailles, Hanover, Hamburg, Baltic, Lisbon, Macedonia, Lebanon, Bethlehem
  • Numerically oriented – Twin Lakes, Double Beach, Mansfield Four Corners
  • Atypical adjectives – Orange (headquarters of PEZ)
  • Abnormal nouns – Cobalt, Lordship
  • Fun to say – Dodgingtown, Higganum, Ballouville, Bozrah, Botsford, Ekonk, Noank, Niantic, Scantic, Attawaugan, Oswegatchie, Pachaug, Pequabuck, Poquetanuck, Quaddick, Quinebaug, Quinnipiac
  • Just plain weird – Upper Merryall, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Hadlyme, Point 'o Woods, Black Hall, Black Point, Blue Hills, Beach Club, Good Hill, South Norfolk (no, there is not a North Suffolk), Amenia Union, Hattertown, Minortown, Mechanicsville, Tariffville, Gaylordsville, Hazardville, Whigville, Mixville, Golden Spur (this place belongs in Wyoming), Pomfret Center, Indian Neck, Giants Neck, Long Society
  • I'd like to introduce you to – Sharon, Seymour, Warren, Milton, Morris, Kent Furnace, Rocky Hill, Avery Hill
  • A couple of ghost towns (yup, they have ghost towns in Connecticut) – Gay City, Bara-Hack, Cuties Island

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