Stories That Streets Tell
How do streets get their names? Are street names chosen randomly or for a reason? Why is your street called what it is?
Street names often have meaning. Sometimes the meaning may be clear, such as River Street, but other times, the meaning has been lost over time. River Street, for example, may be no longer near any water. How did that happen?
A street’s name can suggest a story.
There could be an interesting history hidden in the name of the street you live on. If you dig deeper, street name can reveal you secrets about the people who once lived there, objects that were there, or events that occurred there. In this project, you can find out and join real scientists that study the names of places. This field of science is called toponymy and this is your chance to become a toponymic detective.
With persistence, you will accomplish your street-name mission.
To start, go to local libraries and historical societies where there may be records in old newspapers or books about your town or city. A good librarian can guide you. Go to your town or city hall and ask for old documents that might shed light on your street’s name.
Look for online resources and do Google searches. You might find local histories on the web. There might be information on your town or city’s website.
Ask elderly relatives, friends, and neighbors. They may have useful memories and interesting stories.