Friday, April 24, 2009

Who is the Original 'Tom' anyway?

I have a once a year customer who drops in every time he's home to visit family. While he's ordering up his favorite flavor, he always asks me, 'So who did they name Mt. Tom after anyway?' I've tried to get that answer for him a couple of times, but inevitably always got distracted and never quite got it done.

Well, along comes a link to a cool youtube documentary about all things Mt. Tom (the mountain not the ice cream). It's by Robert Schwobe, and it's really good. Lots of great pictures, history, stories, and useful local trivia. (Hat Tip: Western Mass Nostalgia Forum via MassLive Easthampton Forum)

As I suspected, sure enough, it includes the answer to my yearly question, who was Tom?

According to Robert, Tom was Captain Roland Thomas, commissioned by the township of Springfield back in 1653, along with Captain Eliza Holyoke (you can guess which direction he went), to form new plantations west and north of Springfield. They traveled along the Connecticut River to also 'discover' Nanotuck, which we now know as Northampton. You can hear and watch the whole story here... I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but I'll be sure to pass along more interesting trivia as I get further into it...

In the meantime, it looks like summer is here, so must go make ice cream. Hope to see you this weekend.

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