What's In A Name?

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 Old Town, Sound Beach, Old Greenwich


Eliz Neck.jpg

If you look at some of the older historical maps of Greenwich, you'll notice the name "Sound Beach" where Old Greenwich is located.  You might also notice the term "Horseneck" in the area bounded by the Boston Post Road to the north, Indian Harbor to the east, Chickahominy to the west and Long Island Sound to the south.  Today this is central Greenwich.

OG.jpgMost people know that Greenwich was established in 1640 when Elizabeth Feaks, Robert Feaks and Captain Daniell Patrick bought Monakewego from the local Native-Americans.  The deed included all the land between the Asamuck and Patomuck rivers, which included a large part of Old Greenwich.  As time went along, the term Monkakewego was used to describe what is now exclusively Greenwich Point. Eventually, it became known as Elizabeth's Neck,  Old Greenwich Point and finally Innes Arden after J. Kennedy Tod bought 5 acres for $1500 in 1884.  Today, it's called Tod's Point or Greenwich Point. The rest of the area was named " Greenwich Old Society" and then "Old Town".  Then in 1870, Amasa A. Marks came up with the name Sound Beach.  Many of the residents headed down to the beach to enjoy the water, so Sound Beach was a natural choice.  In 1872, Marks was unhappy with the financial leadership in central Greenwich, and proposed that Sound Beach and Riverside secede from Greenwich.  This never materialized.



Horseneck, Burrough of Greenwich

Field Point.jpg

In 1686, several residents around Field Point in central Greenwich started using the peninsula for common land to pasture horses.  It was named Field Point Horseneck Plantation by the 27 propreitors (original tract settlers in Greenwich)  and the adjacent area became known as Horseneck.  It was not considered valuable land at that time like it is today.  At this time, Greenwich was considered a "suburb" of the more prominent Sound Beach.  Yet, this area turned out to be very valuable since it provided coastline vistas and spread north to a point 1,000 ft above sea level.


In the 18th century, the Town was divided into two ecclisiastical (church) districts.  Congregational churches were very influential in town, becoming the center of the community, providing schooling, social activities, etc. East of the Mianus was considered the East Society and it was called "Old Town".  It was considered the center of Greenwich due to it's strong commerce.  Up to 1703, Town Meetings were held in Old Town.  Then members of the West Society wanted half of the meetings held in their part of town.  Eventually, this led to an emigration of people to Horseneck and a shift of commerce as it surpassed Old Town.  In 1854, the General Assembly granted a charter to make Horseneck the Burrough of Greenwich.  It's believed the name Greenwich was given to the town by Captain Patrick, who came from the namesake in England.


Cassacubque, Kosca Koba, Cos Cob, Bayport

There are many theories where the name Cos Cob came from.  Some believe it was named after a local Native-American - Chief Kosca Koba of the Petuquapaen tribe.  Others say it was named after Coe's Cob.  A Captain John Coe had a dock for his boat on the rocky bay or inlet of water known as a "cob".  Strickland Brook is thought to be that   It was believed it morphed into Cos Cob.  The Post Office and railroad tried to change the name to Bayport.  However, the residents objected and the Post Office renamed their office Cos Cob


The Villages of Greenwich

 It should be remembered that all the sections of Greenwich were small population centers (villages) at one time, and grew independent of each other.  This would include Byram, Pemberwick, Glenville, Round Hill, Stanwich, Chicahominy, Horseneck, Cos Cob, Riverside and Old Greenwich.  They joined each other to share public works.  These areas have managed to retain some of their character, and make Greenwich the interesting community it is today.


SOURCES:   Greenwich Time (Hearst newspapers)

Mead, S; Ye Historie of Ye Towne of Greenwich; 1913

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Carl White published on May 23, 2012 4:58 PM.

Historical Happenings was the previous entry in this blog.

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