Category Archives: Uncategorized

Medicare $ to MD’s now on-line

The New York Times site provides access to the database on Medicare and Medicaid payments to physicians -

How Much Your Doctor Received From Medicare


Westwood wanted to be Nahatan

This was in the e-newsletter from the Division of Local Services of the DOR -

What’s in a Name?
Tony Rassias – Deputy Director, Bureau of Accounts

Massachusetts has 351 cities and towns and each one required a name at the time of its incorporation. But where did those names come from?

Historians often agree on the origin of a name, but sometimes no one, even those in the city or town, are really sure. The following is a brief compendium of those names, compiled through a number of sources, including those who have written about the history of their community.

I’ve divided the names into five categories based on their presumed origins. Here they are along with some examples of each:

Names and places from jolly old England or elsewhere in Europe:
Prior to the American Revolution, it was fashionable to name new settlements after places in England or after English royalty. Amesbury, Boston, Falmouth and Tolland likely honor the settlers’ towns of origin. Granville, Holland, Methuen and Orange were the names of English royalty, potential benefactors or simply someone for whom the settlers wished to honor. Avon was named after the English river and Cambridge after the University. As for other names, Berlin is German, Colrain and Charlemont are Irish, Leyden is Dutch, Melrose is Scottish, Orleans and Savoy are French and Pembroke is Welsh.

Names, places and events from the New World:
Adams and North Adams were named after Samuel Adams and Monroe after James Monroe. Both Washington and Mount Washington were named after George Washington. Franklin, Hamilton, Hancock and Revere were American Patriots during the Revolution while Webster honored Daniel Webster who rose to prominence during the Civil War. Carver, Everett, Gill and Winthrop were Massachusetts Governors and Phillips (Phillipston) was a Lieutenant Governor. Warren, Lee and Montgomery were Generals. Norwell and Huntington were benefactors, Palmer and Stoughton were Chief Justices and Alford, Brewster, Dennis and Princeton were preachers.

As for places and events, Belmont was the estate of the town’s largest donor and Ashland was Henry Clay’s Kentucky estate. Monterey was named after the Mexican War Battle of Monterrey that helped propel General Zachary Taylor to the Presidency, Greenfield after the Green River, and Arlington changed its name from West Cambridge to honor the heroes buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Names that are in some way descriptive:
If the land separated from the north, south, east or west, that direction many times became part of the incorporated name. Northampton could have dual origins, either from its geography or as the namesake of Northampton, England. Middlefield was incorporated from surrounding lands. If the community’s name begins with “new,” it is probably because a community of that same name was already given within the Commonwealth such as New Marlborough (Marlborough) and New Braintree (Braintree). Newton was the “new town” at the time of its incorporation, Rehoboth and Salem were scriptural from the Hebrew and Sharon was named for Israel’s Sharon plain. Oak Bluffs was named for the oak groves along the bluffs and Marblehead because the first settlers mistook its granite ledge for marble. Concord was named for its “peaceful acquisition” and Somerville was just a “fanciful” name.

If the community’s name begins with “rock” or “stone” that was probably a prominent feature such as in Rockland or Stoneham. Rockport was named for the nautical shipping of high quality granite from its port, Buckland was said to have ample good hunting, Marshfield had its salt marshes and the amenable natural properties of Fairhaven brought about its name. When Goshen separated from Chesterfield, it took its name from the Land of Goshen, considered the best land in Egypt, because it was thought by some to be the best land in Chesterfield.

Names of Native American Tribes or descriptive names from the indigenous Tribal language:
In Wampanoag, Aquinnah means “land under the hill,” Mattapoisett means “a place of resting,” Seekonk means “black goose,” Scituate means “cold brook,” and Mashpee means “great pond” or “land near great cove.” In Algonquin, Nantucket means “faraway land or island” and Cohasset means “long rocky place.” In Nipmuc, Chicopee means “violent waters.” Swampscott means “land of the red rock” and Merrimac was the Tribal name and in their language meant “swift water place.”

Names with unknown or obscure origin:
For these, a call to the municipality’s historical society was necessary in order to find out what’s been embraced locally. Deerfield was named for all the deer sightings, Boxborough was cut out like a box, Spanish Florida was the topic of conversation in 1805 when the town of Florida was named and Plainfield was named for the plain fields in the center of town.

Here are a few more names of particular interest.

The last town to be separated from the west side of Dedham was to be incorporated as Nahatan. When the elected representative from Nahant objected to the name due to its similarity, it name was changed and in 1897 the town was subsequently incorporated as Westwood.

In 1778, the Town of Ward was incorporated honoring American Revolution General Artemis Ward.  After the United States Post Office objected because it was too difficult to distinguish Ward from nearby Ware, Ward changed its name to Auburn in 1837 after an area along the Charles River that Harvard College students referred to as “sweet auburn.”

Erastus Bigelow and his brother Horatio reportedly loved to visit the DeWitt Clinton Hotel in Albany, New York. The hotel was named after a former New York Governor who was instrumental in the building of the Erie Canal and whose uncle George Clinton was Vice President under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The Bigelow brothers founded a town in 1850 which they named Clinton. Wikipedia notes that many places around the country have been named after the Clintons.

Whether it was because Oliver Partridge was a suspected tory and an absentee proprietor as some said or that the name was just too long, in 1805 there was a petition to change the name of what was once known as Partridgefield to Troy. Instead, Reverend John Leland, an outspoken Baptist minister who in 1802 delivered by sleigh a 1,234 pound block of cheese as a gift to President Jefferson from the people of nearby Cheshire, suggested an alternative. A high mountain deserved a name mirrored its lofty status not just locally, but internationally. As a result, in 1806, Partridgefield was re-named Peru.

Similar Revolutionary War political embers were stoked when the people of Murrayfield discovered that one of their founders and the town’s namesake was actually a tory. Angered by the news, they petitioned the Legislature to change the name on the basis of the similarity of the name Murrayfield to that of Myrifield (now known as Rowe). The names of Mountfair and Fairfield were presented, but in 1783 the Legislature chose the name Chester.

Canton’s influential citizen, Elijah Dunbar, believed that the geographic opposite to the town on the other side of the world must be China.  This rationale may be that China trade was becoming important or simply that no one else had any better suggestions, but in 1797 the people eagerly voted the name of Canton for incorporation. Had anyone in the parish at the time had access to Google Maps, it can be theorized that Dunbar’s “antipodal” belief may have suffered in the final vote!

The author would also like to thank Bob Bliss, Regional Offices Manager, Division of Local Services, for his assistance.

My selectman office hours tomorrow 9-10

I have my first Friday of the month selectman drop in office hours tomorrow morning from 9 – 10 AM at The Center.

Wellfield/Water Tower Legislation Has Gone to Governor !

From Bill Massaro -

Hospital Question Passed

Email from our man at the polls,Bill Massaro, with the results of the MSH vote today.

Vote to Buy MSH unanimous

Blue bird at MSH this AM

Pair the blue birds flushed from bare ground next to water tower at MSH on ski this AM. Lots of robins too.

Maple sugar buckets at MSH

Skiing excellent this morning at the Medfield State Hospital.  Saw five deer literally dance across the field behind the R Building and into the woods behind the Massaro’s house. Did one face plant when the grape vine along the Algonquin Gas Pipeline did not just break away as I expected.  No one on the sledding hill. Several dog walkers and snow shoers, but no other skiers.

SHAC votes 10-3 to recommend MSH purchase

The State Hospital Advisory Committee (SHAC) last night voted 10 to 3 to recommend to the Board of Selectmen that the Town of Medfield purchase of the Medfield State Hospital site from the state.  Warrant Committee chair, Gus Murby, was unable to attend, but sent word that he supported the purchase, which means that of the fourteen committee members, eleven members ultimately favored the purchase.

These were a number of the comments made:

  • Several members indicated that it was essential for the Town of Medfield to control the ultimate development of the site, rather than let the state arrange for the development without town input as would happen if the town does not buy it.  They was the town’s purchase as the best way to assure town control.
  • Several members indicated that they would not support the purchase without redevelopment of the site, so the committee general sense was that yes the town should purchase and also quickly arrange for the redevelopment of the site.
  • Several members expressed that the pirce was high, especially when compared to the $2m. that Westboro is paying for the 90 acre Westboro State Hospital site, which by comparison is prime commercial land.
  • Members wanted development of the site that preserves economic diversity and creates a greater housing options than exists in town today (there is not much housing available in town for seniors and empty nesters).
  • There was great concern expressed over what large costs the town might incur in the future on an ongoing basis if the state controlled the redevelopment of the site instead of the town.
  • The purchase fulfills the town’s moral responsibility to its future.
  • There should be reuses that benefit the entire town.
  • There were fears expressed that the land might not be redeveloped, because residents might rather keep it as open space.
  • There were fears that the taxes might go up.

Next steps include -

  • A SHAC information night at 7:30 PM in the Blake Middle School auditorium on Monday, March 3.
  • Discussion and vote by both the Warrant Committee and the Board of Selectmen at their separate meetings on March 4 of whether the town should purchase the site.
  • The special town meeting (STM) at 7:30 PM at the Medfield High School gym on Monday March 10 for the town to make the purchase decision (2/3 vote required)
  • Paper ballot question at the annual town election on Monday, March 31 on whether to buy the Medfield State Hospital site (50% required).

Medfield – tree city

Email from Kristine Trierweiller this morning sharing that the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) approved the town’s application to become a tree city -

February 13, 2014
Dear Tree City USA Applicant:
Thank you for submitting an application for Tree City USA
Tree City USA Growth Award
We have received your application for the community of Medfield.
The application appears to be complete and we anticipate recommending your application to the National Arbor Day Foundation. Thank you!

Mollie Freilicher
Community Action Forester

Department of Conservation and Recreation
40 Cold Storage Drive, PO Box 484
Amherst, MA 01004
413-545-5993 413-545-5995 Fax