What's in a (Street) Name at The Pinehills?

Our surprisingly wacky and wonderful world of street naming

April 29, 2022     Homes & Builders

Street names can tell you a lot about a place. That’s especially true in America’s Hometown of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Street names come from Wampanoag history, pilgrim families, founding fathers and mothers, the natural history, our existence as a fishing and harbor town, plus significant events that have shaped this place. Street names are a little slice of history. For example, Old Sandwich Road was the original connector road between Plymouth and the town of Sandwich on Cape Cod. (It's also heralded as the oldest unpaved road in continuous use in the United States.)

But, what about naming NEW streets? As the newest Village Center in Plymouth, this has been a 20+ year challenge! Besides being unique in The Pinehills, street names must be unique in Plymouth – the largest and oldest town in the entire state. And what does “unique” even mean? For public safety purposes it must be approved by the fire department, which won’t approve a name that is close to one that already exists. Even when you think you’re submitting a winning list of non-duplicate names, they still might be rejected if they are deemed to sound close enough to an existing street name to possibly confuse an emergency dispatcher...Phew!

So, let’s just say we’ve gotten pretty creative with our street naming process over the years, and it has resulted in some interesting names. (Woody Nook? Tinker's Bluff? Mint Sprig? Clam Pudding?) In fact, there’s a history of the youngest members of The Pinehills family having a real knack for coming up with names that stick. Street naming lore will always be part of The Pinehills story. (Tony’s Wheel-of-Names!?) Read on for a few of our favorites.

Caroline and Tony - Then and Now

Mother & Daughter Road Naming Team

Caroline Stone has grown up at The Pinehills Summerhouse. (Which means lots of ice cream in the conference room with Tony Green over the years.🍦) Her mom, Suzanne Stone, our Paralegal, has been a part of the Pinehills LLC team since before Caroline was born. During one car ride, Suzanne mentioned The Pinehills needed road names for Whitman Homes’ new Symington Woods neighborhood. The road names were to be associated with nature and wetlands plants.

Caroline quickly Googled and found a list of over 400 names of native Plant Species that Occur in Wetlands. The two pared the list down to about 30 names which they presented to The Pinehills team. That list of 30 resulted in 6 names being submitted to the Town of Plymouth planning board and from that list – drum roll please – Sage Brush and Mulberry are now proudly part of Symington Woods.

What about the names that didn’t make the cut? Caroline and Suzanne had a good laugh imagining these streets in Symington Woods: Goat's Beard, Sensitive Partridge, Chokeberry, Timothy, Hairy Crabgrass, and everyone’s favorite, Stink Grass. (How did that not make the cut?)

So, wondering how some of the other streets were named?

Clam Pudding Pond

“I Live on Clam Pudding”

Well, Clam Pudding, that's an easy one. It's near (but not on) Clam Pudding Pond – one of Plymouth’s hundreds of kettle ponds. (As the saying goes, one for every day of the year!) Does that not answer the deeper question? We can thank Plymouth’s early settlers for that delicious sounding name. We found a recipe if you want to try it yourself! No?

street names wheel

Tony’s Wheel-of-Names

This is a real thing, though it wasn't Tony's original idea. It‘s a pretty sweet marketing piece called “Dial-a-Name” created by one Jesse James Drummond, (who was apparently an “Ad Man”.) It’s old enough that it doesn't have a web address for the company that provided it. The wheel has 3 layers which you can spin to create - as it claims on the piece itself – “A Million Combinations for Your New Community.” There is some question among the team whether or not Tony actually used any of the street names from this tool here at The Pinehills. However, we think the evidence is clear... (Looking at you Hickorywood, Green Gate, Bridge Gate and Autumn Glen!)

**UPDATE! (Just file it under "It's a Small World") 🤯 **

An email from our neighbor Jeannette at Hatherly Rise:

"Last Friday night I opened my email...and was curious about the naming of the streets... As I proceeded to read the article and see the Wheel-of-Names, I was surprised to see a familiar name of Jesse James Drummond. This man is my uncle from California who had his own ad agency from 1961.

I doubled checked with his adult children, (my cousins,) and they indeed remembered his creation. They were amazed at the coincidence that a development in Massachusetts that I live at...have street names used from his wheel.

Below is a picture of Jesse, who sadly passed away in 2015. One of his daughters summed it up by stating, “This is totally amazing, and yes, it is indeed our Dad’s creation. We all remember it very well. 😊 I’m sure he is smiling about it now. “

Just thought I would connect the dots to an interesting story.

Jesse James Drummond, Ad Man & Creator of the "Dial-a-Name"

Lightning Does Strike Twice

It might seem like we're picking on Tony Green. We are and he doesn't mind. (In fact, he seems to enjoy it. 🤔) Among The Pinehills street names with a little extra… “character” is Mint Sprig. Tony says it's the last street name he came up with that made the cut for The Pinehills. He also claims it's the only street that's been struck by lightning in The Pinehills - and that it has happened twice. (Don't worry Mint Spriggers, the odds are definitely in your favor now!🤞) Why did that happen? As Tony likes to tell it, when God was going down the list of places she was supposed to strike with lightning, they got to Mint Sprig and she said, “What was that? Mint Spring? No? Mint Sprig? You’re kidding. That one needs two.” ⚡

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