Home and Its Name

Proposals to change the names of towns stir arresting thought on home and its name.

There undoubtedly have been cases where there have been valid reasons for change and as a result of the causes of practicality and conveniences have been served. Some communities have been awakened to the fact that they have been shouldered with an unfavorable or misleading name. In other cases, changes have been made on whim, or out of pride.

Since the town of Blaney, which the Capital City prizes as a neighbor, has been laboring with the proposition that its name be changed to that of a large industry which is moving there, the subject has been in the air.

For the time being, Blaney will not change its name. The mayor and Town Council have so decided. The door is left open, however, for change later to “Elgin,” the name of the watch manufacturing enterprise which will establish a large plant there.

When the proposal for change was made, the Elgin Community in Lancaster County protested. That created another problem for those in Blaney favoring, or being willing, to adopt the proposed new name for the town.

The movement to change represented good and appreciative intentions. It as to honor the coming of an industry which will mean much to the community in jobs and capital investment. It showed the spirit of welcome.

One imagines that the decision against change, or to delay, was, deep down, as much out of sentiment as anything else. This demonstrates a love of home, and its name. It also is the exercise of a community’s own freedom to retain the name of its choice, or to change it if that be its will.

The movement to re-name Blaney was not one initiated by the Elgin company, but by citizens themselves – a further exercise of freedom and, to us, the outstanding result of this interesting episode. If the change is ever made it would not be the first time that a community has adopted the name of its chief economic enterprise.

September 19, 1962  State (published as The State)  
Columbia, South Carolina
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