The Fairmount Web Spot

The Naming of A Town

Original Plat.

This is an 1877 map of the original plat. The lot marked "1" on the extreme upper right corner is where the Museum stands today.

"Main Cross (Street)" was renamed Washington Street, and Cherry Street renamed Adams, during the Gas Boom period.

The Grist Mill on the left side is where Mill Street got its name. The mill's site is now a tree-shaded parking lot.

In 1850 there were enough people in the young hamlet that a formal town could be laid out.

Laying out a town involves a farmer setting aside a part of his land as a plat. He then summons a surveyor, who measures out the plat and divides it into lots. The farmer then sells those lots to citizens and businesses. Neighboring farmers can add their own plats to the town.

The original plat for the new town was laid out by farmer/pastor David Stanfield in two blocks along present-day Washington Street. His son-in-law, Joseph Baldwin, farmed north of the plat and had a general store where the Dollar General now stands. As he planned to add to his father-in-law's plat, he also had a stake in the naming of the town.

The hamlet was originally called Pucker. See the need for a new name? Stanfield wanted to call the new town Kingston. Not very original, is it? Baldwin wanted the name to be Fairmount, after a park in Philadelphia which he read good things about.

Unable to agree, the two men decided to let the surveyor, William Neal, choose a name. Neal had actually visited Fairmount Park, so it was the name Fairmount that was chosen. Stanfield accepted the name without complaint, which says something about the man.

Copyright © 2013 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 11 August 2013.