Monday, February 21, 2011

Maryland Bill Would Rename Mountain

Controversy over 'Negro Mountain' reveals urban-rural divide
...Maxine Broadwater, born and raised on a farm outside Grantsville, and the town's librarian for three decades, recalls the first time she ever gave the name a second thought. It was the early 1990s, and people passing through had stopped at her library to ask about it.

Her thought: Why would that bother anybody?

Those disparate reactions to "Negro Mountain," the name that 18th-century settlers gave to the Garrett County landmark, have found their echo in Annapolis, where a Senate panel will begin debate this week on whether it should be changed...
This is one of those things; I don't really have a dog in this fight (though I do drive over the mountain once in a while), but I find this in an example of PC run amok.  I don't think we need to casually discard the past to make it more pleasant for the present.  We have always been at war with Eastasia....
"How about they take care of Baltimore's crime and drugs, and leave the mountains to us," said Del. Kevin Kelly, an Allegany County Democrat. He says to rename the mountain would be to rewrite history.

Historians believe Negro Mountain, which crosses the border into Pennsylvania, was named in the 1750s in honor of a black frontiersman who died in the French and Indian War while defending white settlers in a fight with Native Americans.

In most accounts, the man's name was "Nemesis," and he was a volunteer soldier fighting with Col. Thomas Cresap.
On the of the other hand, I could certainly see it being called "Nemesis" Mountain as a more direct tribute to the man, assuming that really was his moniker.
About five years ago, state historical officials installed a plaque along the eastbound lane of U.S. Alternate 40 to provide more details about the man for whom the mountain was named. The marker is difficult to reach this time of year, with snow and mud covering a small pull-off area.

It reads: "Nemesis, a black frontiersman was killed here while fighting Indians with Maryland frontiersman Thomas Cresap in the 1750s. Legend tells us that he had a premonition of his death. In his honor, they named this mountain after him."
Oh, so we'll piss off the Indians  Native Americans by honoring him?  We just can't win.
Sen. George Edwards, a Western Maryland Republican, offers the tongue-in-cheek suggestion to rename Sugarloaf Mountain near Frederick to "Healthy Mountain" — "since we now know that sugar is bad for us and don't want to be promoting it."

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