Anyone who’s taken a road trip through Maine knows that there are quite a few towns with hilarious names. Whether they’re unpronounceable or simply sound like they don’t belong in Maine, these are some of the most interesting town names in Maine. You might be surprised to know the real history!
1. Paris, Oxford County
Before it was Paris, it came with the melodic name of "Township Number 4." In 1793 France provided support to colonists during the Revolutionary War and the name was changed. An extra fun fact? Today, the American Flyer sleds that aren't made in China (the country, not the OTHER Maine city) are made here in Paris!
2. Mexico, Oxford County
Mexico came into being as a result of war. At the time that the small settlement was preparing to become an actual town, the Mexicans were fighting Spain for independence. The good people Holmanstown (the original name of the settlement) appreciated that the Mexican battle was won and honored the cause by adopting the same name.
3. Poland, Androscoggin County
You won't necessarily find pierogi here, but it's still pretty great! The history of Poland's name is a wonderful love story involving music. Moses Emery, who had a major role in the incorporation of the town, reportedly to have loved the hymn, "Poland."
4. Limerick, York County
This might be a convoluted story, but stay with us! A large piece of what is now Limerick was acquired from the Newichewannock Abenaki Indians by Francis Small in 1668 who was awarded the tract through the exchange of two blankets, two gallons of rum, two pounds of gunpowder, four pounds of musket balls and twenty strings of beads. The settlement was delayed by the French/Indian war and didn't happen until 1775 when his heirs promised the area to a local lawyer if he helped them protect their larger land claims. And that's how we get to our name!
The new owner, James Sullivan, named the town Limerick after the birthplace of his father!
5. Friendship, Knox County
Oh, Friendship. What a lovely name. Unfortunately, we can't ACTUALLY tell you how it got it's name because we just don't know. But we do have a nice story about it! Friendship, Maine was originally called Meduncook, which means "bay at the end of the sandbar." It suffered two significant raids - one by Native Americans and one led by a French officer. Ultimately, in 1807, the town was incorporated as "Friendship" and became a major hub for boatbuilding. Head there every summer for the annual Friendship Sloop Races, an homage to the creation of the first Friendship Sloop.
6. Belfast, Waldo County
Belfast might sound like a funny name for a Maine town, but not quite so strange when you consider that it was originally called "Passagassawakeag." The name is that of the river nearby. After the original landowner passed away in 1759, his heirs sold the land to cots-Irish proprietors who named the town after their beloved Northern Ireland city.
7. Stockholm, Aroostook County
Maine established this small town in The County back in 1870. It was a Swedish-immigrant colony, with William W. Thomas, Jr as s state Immigration Commissioner. He earned the position after serving as American Consul in SWEDEN during the administration of President Abraham Lincoln.
8. Mooselookmeguntic Lake, Franklin County
Okay, so this one is a lake but we couldn't leave it off the list! The name "Mooselookmeguntic" is an Abnaki word that means "moose feeding place." Fun fact? Mooselookmeguntic Lake, with its 17 letters, is the third longest place name in the United States. It's tied with with Kleinfeltersville, Pennsylvania!
9. Lisbon, Androscoggin County
While it DOES share its name with the capital city of Portugal, Maine's Lisbon was probably not named directly after the actual Portugal town. It's unclear in records, but the name may have come as a result of the Lisbon in New Hampshire, New York or some other state with a town of the same name. It's possible that THEY got it from the REAL Lisbon.
10. China, Kennebec County
China's name come is actually related to some musical inspiration. in 1818, China was known as "Bloomville." When it was found that ANOTHER state already used the name, Maine was forced to change it. At the time, the leadership of Boston and their strict rules was a long way away and so the representative went with the name of his favorite hymn, "China."
11. Kokadjo, Piscataquis County
While we don't have a fun story for this one, we do have some background for what we think is one of the best Maine names out there. The longest Wabenaki name you'll hear in Maine is a is 20-letter whopper! Yes, "Kokadjoweemgwasebemsis" is a real word. And the suffix "adjo" in "Kokadjo" comes from that.