Hallowell Place Names


An article from the series celebrating Hallowell’s 250th Anniversary, as published in the Capital Weekly on February 17, 2012

by Sam Webber

Sections of cities and towns from time to time are identified by local place names and Hallowell is no exception.

In the 1880’s the northwest side of Water Street at the Augusta line was the home to the Bradley and Walker soap factories and that area was known as Soapville. Across the street from the Augusta line south to Wilder Street was Hinckley Plain. Later the northern part became the Muster Field and the southern part grew from a small Burial Ground into the Hallowell Cemetery.

Two street corners in the business section were referred to as Tucks Corner and Beeman’s Corner. The northwest corner of Water and Winthrop Streets got its name from Tuck’s smokehouse that occupied the land where City Hall is today. The northwest corner of Water and Central Streets got its name because it was the location of Beeman’s store. Old John Beeman had travelled through Hallowell while a soldier in the Arnold Expedition in 1775 and returned to live in Hallowell in 1781. His son John ran the store and was one of the citizens who purchased and brought the Thunder Jug cannon to Hallowell in the early 1840’s The recently restored cannon resides off High Street beside the Power House atop The Ledges.

Joppa or Joppy, as many locals still call it, is located between Temple Street and Vaughan Stream to the south. No one is quite sure how it got its name. Bangor also has a Joppa by the Penobscot River. Speculation is that Joppa stands for a not-so-prosperous commercial port area. Hallowell’s Joppa was also referred to as The Lower End.

Vaughan Stream was originally called Bombahook before the Vaughans gained ownership of Great Lot #22 that includes much of the stream. Bombahook sounds like an Indian name, but this has never been documented . The Hook is the original place name of what is now Hallowell and got its name from the hook in the river just south of Vaughan Stream.

A small area on Water Street just south of Vaughan Stream was once called Milliken’s Crossing. The Milliken part came from the C & E Milliken sawmill on the left and the crossing part came from where the August-Hallowell-Gardiner trolley track crossed of the Central Maine Railroad tracks. Just beyond the crossing is the beginning of Loudon Hill that borders Vaughan Woods and ends at the Farmingdale line. Loudon Hill got its name because the first people to settle there came from Loudon, New Hampshire. They were tanners and shipbuilders.

Another section of Hallowell with a local place name is known today as Granite Hill and contains a small settlement near the Manchester line on Outer Winthrop Street. It started officially as Lithgow Hill and then became known as Bodwell when Joseph Bodwell’s Hallowell Granite Works occupied the area. Bodwell even had its own post office in 1901.

Jamies Pond or Jimmies Pond as many locals call it is located south of Granite Hill with part of it extending into Farmingdale. The most controversial thing about it is whether it should be called Jamies or Jimmies. The 1879 Kennebec County map labels it Jamies, but a recent U.S. Government map labels it Jimmies. James Pitts owned nearly half of it in the late 1700’s and no one knows what it was called then.

The Res (reservoir), located west of the Town Farm Road, has become one of Hallowell’s most popular recreation areas.

Place names come and go, but once forgotten Vaughan Field will officially return at its rededication in June.