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  #1  
Old 11 June 2009, 08:18 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
 
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Read This! Nome

Comment: I have not found this legend on your site, but I can assure you
that it comes from a reliable source. This legend concerns the city of
Nome, Alaska, and how it got its name. The legend goes that when the first
explorers were trekking across the wilderness, a cartographer was with
them, and was mapping the area. He was unsure of the name of a cape, so he
wrote ?Name. However, due to his sloppy handwriting, it was percieved as
C. Nome, as in Cape Nome. Therefore, when the city was built, it was named
Nome.
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  #2  
Old 11 June 2009, 11:00 PM
Seaboe Muffinchucker's Avatar
Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: I have not found this legend on your site, but I can assure you that it comes from a reliable source.
Which I won't give you, of course.

I will admit that's the story I've seen most often.

Seaboe
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  #3  
Old 11 June 2009, 11:06 PM
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Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
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The City of Nome's official website asserts this explanation.

http://www.nomealaska.org/vc/information.htm

(Scroll to the bottom.)

Of course this doesn't mean they are right either. But the local government website would I assume be as well researched as can be.
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  #4  
Old 11 June 2009, 11:24 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
The City of Nome's official website asserts this explanation.

http://www.nomealaska.org/vc/information.htm

(Scroll to the bottom.)

Of course this doesn't mean they are right either. But the local government website would I assume be as well researched as can be.
I don't know if it was meant as dry wit, but I liked this bit of understatement:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nome website
Approximately 20-23,000 visitors come to Nome each year, the majority during the summer season.
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  #5  
Old 11 June 2009, 11:30 PM
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Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I don't know if it was meant as dry wit, but I liked this bit of understatement:
You figure?

Also (yes I know they mean 20,000 but let me have the wind in my nostrils), between 20 and 23,000 visitors pa, is quite a wildly varying estimate
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  #6  
Old 11 June 2009, 11:32 PM
Ellestar Ellestar is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
The City of Nome's official website asserts this explanation.

http://www.nomealaska.org/vc/information.htm

(Scroll to the bottom.)

Of course this doesn't mean they are right either. But the local government website would I assume be as well researched as can be.


I scrolled to the bottom and didn't see anything. I even did a search for terms.

ETA: Found it. It was under "History of Nome."

Last edited by Ellestar; 11 June 2009 at 11:34 PM. Reason: ETA
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  #7  
Old 11 June 2009, 11:35 PM
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lord_feldon lord_feldon is offline
 
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Try this page. (It uses frames, so the URL in the address bar doesn't change if you click on a link to it.)

Quote:
Against it's wishes the city was stuck with the unusual name of Nome. Unlike other towns which are named for explorers, heros or politicians, Nome was named as a result of a 50 year-old spelling error. In the 1850's an officer on a British ship off the coast of Alaska noted on a manuscript map that a nearby prominent point was not identified. He wrote "? Name" next to the point. When the map was recopied, another draftsman thought that the ? was a C and that the a in "Name" was an o, and thus a map-maker in the British Admiralty christened "Cape Nome."
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  #8  
Old 12 June 2009, 12:16 AM
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Sorry that my URL was defective, and thanks lord_feldon for correcting it.
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  #9  
Old 12 June 2009, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Of course this doesn't mean they are right either. But the local government website would I assume be as well researched as can be.
The "? Name" story does seem to be the earliest explanation appearing in print for the naming of Nome. I think it makes more sense than the other popularly offered explanation of how Nome acquired its name, but I've never completely trusted the "? Name" version, not only because it surfaced 50 years after the error seems to have been made, but also because it relies on an account, offered secondhand, of an unnamed officer said to have been present at the time of the (mis)naming.

Quote:
[From The National Geographic Magazine 12(11): 398 (November, 1901).]

Origin of the Name "Cape Nome"

During the last four years I have had numerous inquiries concerning the origin of the name Cape Nome, on the northwest coast of Norton Sound, Alaska. I searched every available chart and narrative of that region to trace it home.

I traced it back to Admiralty Chart No. 2172, of 1853, as being the earliest to use the name. It is not in the Great Atlas of Tebénkof of 1848-'52, devoted to the North Pacific.

I looked up the tracks of the Sir John Franklin rescue ships, H.M. frigate Herald and brig Plover (1845-'51), and became satisfied the name was given in the cruises of one or other of those vessels.

A short time since I wrote to the chief hydrographer of the Admiralty and asked if the name Nome appeared among the lists of officers of the Herald and Plover.

Today I have a letter from the hydrographer of the Admiralty, dated London, August 9 [1901], which contains this statement:

Quote:
When the MS. chart of this region was being constructed on board H.M.S. Herald, attention was drawn to the fact that this point had no name, and a mark (? Name) was placed against it.

In the hurry of dispatching this chart from the ship this ? appears to have been inked in by a rough draughtsman and appeared as Cape Name, but the stroke of the "a" being very indistinct, it was interpreted by our draughtsman here as C. Nome, and has appeared with this name ever since.

This information is from an officer who was on board the Herald when the chart was being constructed.
So the mystery of the name has been satisfactorily solved.

GEORGE DAVIDSON
Department of Geography,
University of California
Bonnie "Inuit all the time" Taylor
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  #10  
Old 12 June 2009, 01:01 AM
Elizabeth
 
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I actually moved down to Juneau from Nome a few years ago. And what it says on the website seems to be the story most people believe.
I'm surprised they said most people come in summer, it seemed like most people came in spring for the end of the Iditarod. There is also a huge basketball tournament bringing a lot of people from the surrounding villages too. But anytime is a great time to go.
I miss Nome.
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