Utah Place Names

A Geopgraphic Guide to the Origins of Geographic Names, a Compilation

John Van Cott

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Subjects: Utah

9780874803457 (paperback)
9781607812968 (ebook)

Poverty Flat. Bearskin Gulch. Drunken Hollow. Soberville. Hogup Mountain. Lousy Jim Creek. Hey Hoe Canyon. Snake John Reef. Sob Rapids. Nipple Butte. Tooele. Laverskin. Skutumpah. All Utah toponyms, or place names. Where are they? What is their history? Their importance? Are they, or where they populated? Do they exist today? And always, The name. how did they get it? Who provided it? When? What does it mean? Is Centerville in the center, and of what? Was Notom named for a rejected suitor?

John W. Van Cott has spend the better part of a lifetime searching out the answers to these questions. Now the fruits of his labor are recorded in this, the most extensive compilation of Utah place names ever published. Almost five thousand toponyms are listed alphabetically, marking the passage of peoples and cultures from earliest times. Specialists will appreciate the geographical precision of Section, Township, Range, and altitude. Generalists will recognize counties and relationships to know features. All will delight in the rich lore, often a mixture of myth and history, of the place and its name. Scholars will find useful the inclusion of synonyms, nicknames, previous names, all cross-referenced, and all tied to a bibliography of over five hundred entries.

The author concluded his work of over forty years with the observation that he hardly touched the surface of Utah’s place names, numbered at over twenty-two thousand by the U.S. Geological Survey.