Friday, July 24, 2015

Island Ferry

What we see pictured here is the wheelhouse of the Machigonne II, the car ferry of the Casco Bay Line's fleet. It can carry 399 passengers and 12 vehicles. It is 122 feet long and has a top cruising speed of 10.5 knots. Now, just a wee bit of history of the name. The city of Portland was originally named Machigonne by the Abenaki Native Americans, who settled on the peninsula at the time. Later the name was changed to Casco (1633), then Falmouth (1658) and then finally settling on Portland. The name Machigonne means 'great neck' in Abenaki, and it fits, because if you've ever seen a map of the city, it resembles a closed fist and forearm sticking out into Casco Bay. There, history and geography lesson over for today! Oh, one more piece of Birdman trivia: when I attended Lincoln Junior two of my best buddies, you guessed it, lived on Machigonne Street in the Rosemont area of the city.
Portland certainly is a port-land.
Aptly named.
But Machigonne would have been real unique.
Do you know of another city called Machigonne?
*pronunciation guide: (mash-a-gone)
A while back, the city was searching for a new slogan.
Machigonne Wild! would have worked!

16 comments:

  1. Interesting to read that. Greetings.

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  2. Some good points there, Birdman. And, actually, it would help avoid confusion, as I've often heard people refer to Portland when they were really talking about Portland, Oregon, not Portland, Maine. :-)

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    1. ... and just to set the record straight Portland OR was named after Portland ME. Yes, it's true.

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  3. Well okay then, thanks for the lesson.

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  4. I enjoyed that little history lesson. I learned a new word.

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  5. We are quite used at strange names, but this one and its history are quite unusual...

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  6. The name actually reminds me of a variation on the spelling of Michigan, though I imagine the meaning of that is entirely different.

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  7. It's rather strange how cities change their names!

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  8. I can't pronounce the original name but if you had kept it no one would confuse you with Oregon.

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  9. Any descendants of those natives around?

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  10. Good example of "what's in a name."

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  11. I love a boat ride! Interesting history about the Portland name. I think people sometimes forget there are (at least) two Portlands in the US. If the one in Maine had kept the original name, there would have been less confusion. Like a friend of mine not understanding why you would go to Oregon to eat lobster!

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  12. Thanks for the pronunciation. It's about as easy a name as Sequim (pronounced "skwim").

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  13. A nice history lesson, Birdman. I didn't know of the original name.

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