Talk:Brunswick, Maine

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Map location[edit]

where in maine is it? (red dot on map like other maine cities?) Does any one have any images more recent than 1915? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.173.172.98 (talk) 22:17, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Proposed move to Brunswick, Maine[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move JPG-GR (talk) 05:51, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Rationale - "Brunswick, Maine", is a simpler format for referring to the town and is the standard format for United States place name articles. "Brunswick (town)" is used to distinguish this article from the article Brunswick (CDP), Maine, for the census-designated place within the larger town, but the CDP article is merely a data dump of population info from the U.S. Census. All other information about the town as a whole and the compact center of town can be found at the "Brunswick (town)" article (this article). Many other articles about Maine towns that also have CDPs already use the simpler "Town, State" format.--Ken Gallager (talk) 19:50, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Support and merge the CDP into this article. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:56, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. -- Rai-me 20:50, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Scituate?[edit]

The lead sentence prominently states that Brunswick was formerly named Scituate, but no further mention is made of that name in the article. The other previous name given in the lead sentence, Pejepscot, is well attested in the History section of the article. The reference given for the name Scituate is only the title of a map attributed to the Maine Historical Society, but the MHS's own website when searched for the name Scituate only turns up Scituate, Massachusetts, not Scituate, Maine.

I am trying to get additional information from the MHS on the name Scituate. If it is not forthcoming, I propose removing the claim until further and more reliable evidence can be found.--Jim10701 (talk) 18:02, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

I received the following response by e-mail from the Maine Historical Society (I have removed personal information identifying the sender):
Good afternoon,
Indeed this map indicates that Brunswick was called Scituate as the reverse of the map reads “Scituate afterwards Brunswick 1738” Brunswick was incorporated in 1737 as the 11th town in Maine, but one can assume the cartographer is referring to the name prior to the date of the map in 1738. Wheeler’s History of Brunswick, Harpswell and Topsham does not mention the fact that Brunswick was called Scituate at one point, but maybe the town was not called such for long. The name of the region prior to incorporation was known as Pejebscot, as I can tell this map is the only reference to Scituate, Maine in our collections…however, it is a 1738 map indicating such. I do not think it is incorrect to say that Brunswick was once called Scituate, but it is not called such commonly enough to warrant its mention in the Wikipedia page, without the explanation that it “may have been called Scituate” but more commonly known as Pejebscot. Such specifics may be a good question for the Pejebscot Historical Society as well. Hope this answered your question.
Public Services Librarian
Maine Historical Society
489 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101-3498
207-774-1822
Since even the MHS has no evidence that Brunswick ever was named Scituate except for one note written on the back of one map, and since they cite Wheeler's exhaustive (959 pages in the first edition) widely-respected 1877 history of the town (there are online copies of the book from both the Harvard and Cornell libraries), which includes incredibly detailed and well-documented accounts of practically everything that happened in the area and nearly everyone who lived there during its first couple of centuries - yet never even mentions the name Scituate - it seems almost certain that the note on the map is misinformation or is being misinterpreted.
What exactly "Scituate afterwards Brunswick 1738" even means is far from clear anyway. It may just have been a note the cartographer made to himself that he had mapped Scituate (Massachusetts) and then afterwards Brunswick (also Massachusetts at the time), both in the year 1738, or even that he only visited both towns. Who knows what he meant? We can only guess. If he had meant that Scituate was the former name of Brunswick, he could have written that instead, and he could have written it on the front of the map instead of on the back. A cryptic note written on the back of a map is hardly incontrovertible evidence of anything.
And simply the fact that the note - whatever it means - may have been written in 1738 does not make it true. People made mistakes then too, and history is full of misinterpretations of isolated inscriptions. I could write on the back of a map of New York City, "Dallas afterwards New York City 2011," meaning that I visited both cities in that order during my travels this year, and really mislead a post-apocalyptic 25th-century archeologist who found it in the rubble and took it to mean that sometime before the year 2011 New York was called Dallas.
Wheeler's history of the area is so exhaustive and so thoroughly researched that he almost certainly had access to that same map and would have included the information scribbled on the back of it if he had had any reason to believe it meant that Brunswick used to be called Scituate and that it was true.
I believe the message from the MHS librarian contains a typo, by the way. According to the act of the Massachusetts court that established Brunswick - which Wheeler cited - it was constituted under that name in 1717, not 1737, and it was to be laid out in an area that was not then settled. A settlement there named Pejebscot had been burned down earlier during wars with the Indians.
I am becoming convinced that whoever wrote that note on the back of that map was somehow thinking of Scituate, Massachusetts, which had been incorporated in 1636; the fact that what is now Maine was part of Massachusetts until 1820 makes it even less likely that the same very unusual name would have been used at the same time for two different towns in the same colony. It is true that settlers from Scituate, Massachusetts, founded a town by the same name in Rhode Island in 1710, but that was in a separate colony; that someone would have named another settlement in the same colony by the same odd name seems highly unlikely.
Since there really is no credible evidence that Brunswick ever was named Scituate, I am going to remove all mention of it from the article and give the well-attested name Pejebscot more prominence in the introduction. I thought at first that I would relegate Scituate to a footnote, but I do not believe there is even sufficient reason to do that. I will link to this explanation when I make that edit, so that if Brunswick's having been known formerly as Scituate is of great personal importance to another editor he or she can at least see why I did what I am about to do.--Jim10701 (talk) 00:24, 23 April 2011 (UTC)