Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Fall Festival in a Small Town

Trappe, Maryland.
In days of old, people derived their surnames from a chosen profession. Many affluent and influential people were honored by having towns, counties, and states named after them. Tilghman was named after a powerful family whose members held pivotal roles in the Revolutionary War. Talbot County is named for Lord Baltimore’s sister, Lady Grace Talbot; and Maryland was named to honor Queen Henrietta Maria, Charles I’s wife.

Of course, there are town names whose origins have been lost to history. One such town is Trappe. It sits small and unassuming, nestled between fields of corn and soybeans. Most likely founded in the late 1770s, the town’s naming is an enduring mystery.

One of the more alluring tales of how it acquired its name concerns a French widow who is said to have a somewhat notorious past.  She owned a tavern where men would congregate to drink and play cards. Wives anxiously seeking their spouses were often informed that they could be found at “The Trap.”

Others theories include the possibility that the town moniker was derived from a local monastery of Trappist monks from France, or that it was a good location for trapping. Whatever the origins of the name, the town, and its surrounding areas, has sat steadfastly by, never growing to inhabit more than 1,500 people. (Read entire article.)

1 comment:

julygirl said...

It must be lovely living in a State like Maryland with so much Colonial American history.