Thursday, January 5, 2012

Along the Branch

Panther Branch, Anderson Branch, Doe Branch, Long Branch, Dry Branch, Laurel Branch, Back Branch -- in my neck of the woods, lots of the roads are named for the branches ( or creeks) they  follow.
 

For years and years, all of us who lived along a particular branch -- even if it was miles long -- used that branch as our address. We were one of a number of families with the Anderson Branch address. But when 911 came to our county, there was a need for a bit more precision and all our various private roads and long driveways needed to be given names.

We chose Wool Branch, as that was what we had been told was the name of the little branch that flows down our mountain into Anderson Branch.  Lots of folks used their family names; some were, more creative. And very often, the choice of the name is a clue as to whether the family living on that private road is local or a transplant.

I wonder who lives on Lothlorien Lane (which I just discovered on Google is about seven miles away) native or 'new' person?
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22 comments:

Ms. A said...

How interesting! So, after 911 you had a whole new address? Did everyone get together and decide, or is your property the only one on the road? Wonder if that was confusing to the post office?

Reader Wil said...

That's interesting, Vicki ! It' s a bit like Australia's outback. My daughter has no real address either. She can tell the road where her property is situated. She has a number indicating the distance from a wellknown spot in Cooktown.
She has a postbox number and collects her mail once or twice a week, that depends on the weather.

Reader Wil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan Burnett said...

I do like the idea of being able to choose the name for your own road : one couldn't do worse than the dreadful monstrosities that developers seem to favour today such as "Peace" and "Velvet"!
Happy and peaceful 2012 to you and yours Vicki.

Friko said...

Not local, I should think. Somebody who watches a lot of English TV?

We have a house name for our address but also a postcode number. Anyway, everybody in the village knows everybody else and where they live. No problem.

Pat in east TN said...

I always enjoy seeing the names of roads in our shared area, but that last one is truly unique. A person does have to wonder where it came from.

Brian Miller said...

i remember growing up when they gave wtreet names and we got to decide the one for the home i grew up in...was pretty cool...def interesting....

Jean Baardsen said...

We were on Nantucket Island one winter and needed to find a place to live. We ended up in a studio apartment on Easy Street. Think that's been my favorite address ever!

Ruby Blue said...

I live on 'Needy Creek,' but that's not my mailing address. The term 'branch' seems to be mostly out of use these days around here. I think 'Needy' came from the name of a family that years ago lived at the head of the creek. Not sure. If the name were up to me, I'd call it "Little Branch" after a family name. I know lots of folks who named their own roads in response to 911 codes--not really much different from the old ways of naming the road by the families who lived there are the branches that ran there.

Kath said...

fascinating! And I can practically hear the branches in the photos burbling.

Barbara Rogers, Potter said...

Well Vicki, I'm sure this will all appear in your next tale somehow. Lotharians away!

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hello Vicki

Who would have thought!?

One day I am going to go some research on your part of North Carolina and pay my self a visit(my husband would love it)!

I love Hendersonville, Flat Rock and Tuxedo.

Best
Tracy :)

Deanna said...

Wool road... you need sheep! At any rate, I like the name.

We had the same issues when 911 came. The county chose to assign numbers to all of the roads, rather than names. We now have a confusing maze of numbers followed by numbers. Yuck.

My son lives on Cave Creek Rd. and daughter lives on Factory Creek Rd., so the tradition must be sosmewhat universal.

NCmountainwoman said...

I'm not sure why, but hardly anyone around here uses the term "branch." All the smaller streams are called "creeks" and the larger ones are "forks" of the rivers into which they feed. When I grew up in Watauga County they were also called branches. One of these days I will do a search to find out the difference.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Vicki -- Fascinating how one finds these roads in your area with the name of branch attached. I think nature seem to dictate names of roads many times. When I lived in New Mexico I lived on Raven. Many of the road names had some connection to the local wild population or natural land features.Thanks for the good post -- barbara

Inger said...

How interesting. I wonder how your local post office coped with the changes. and I never heard the term branch before.

Beth said...

I'd venture a guess that "Lothlorien" is a transplant, but who knows? When we're traveling, I always enjoy reading the names of those little private roads and long driveways and even used to take pictures of the more interesting ones. I recently saw one called "No-Trespassing Lane." I'd bet they don't get many unannounced visitors! :-)

Vicki Lane said...

Ms. A -- we're the only ones on our road. And our mailmen are amazing -- they dealt with the switch with no problems.

Alan-- my husband voted for "Positively 4th Street" - the title of a Bob Dylan song. But I held out for traditional.

I'm thinking Lothlorien refers to the place in Tolkien's books.

Re branch -- I'd never known the meaning either till we moved here. I'd heard of bourbon and branch water as a drink and always pictured water dripping off a leafless branch into a glass of bourbon.

Darla said...

What fun to participate in naming your own road; I'm afraid that I might have gotten wildly carried away with something completely inappropriate... ;-)

Susan M. Bell said...

I loved when the 911 stuff hit here and some people got to choose names for their road. One road not to far from here is Earl's Repair Shop Road. Nice bit of advertising with every piece of mail. Although, if he ever goes out of business...

Vagabonde said...

I am slowly getting caught up – I copied your cheese biscuits recipe as their pictures are mouth watering. When I saw the picture of the old school bus I thought you had visited my hippie friends at The Farm in Tennessee!

So you read Ecology of a Cracker Childhood – my husband knows Janisse from way back – they did some environmental study together.
I enjoyed looking at your Christmas tree and decorations – they were very pretty. With me in bed our only decoration were the 5 Christmas cards we received and placed on the counter. I did not even bake cookies or made Bourbon balls this year.
When I saw the line your wrote under that red book(The Almost Moon) I thought it was about the writer Anne Perry – you know that she was convicted of murdering her friend’s mother before she became a writer? I also enjoyed looking at your snow – no snow here yet. Your dogs are so sweet – they are also very photogenic.
It is interesting about the “branch” street name. We have a road name but we are also on “rural route no. 4” on top of that we have a Marietta address and a Kennesaw one – weird (am not sure where we live…) Have a great 2012 and hopefully get rid of the cold soon.

Star said...

I suppose 'branch' means a creek that branches into a larger creek? So pretty they are...