Monday, August 18, 2008

Take Your Licks

We often find funny names of towns with the word “lick” in them. It was often common to name a new town with the natural resources that were found in the area. Rich deposits of minerals like gold, silver, and iron were common sources used for choosing the name of a new town. In the case, of Licking, Missouri, rich deposits of salt were found in this area. These larges deposits of salt were known as “licks”. Salt was a valuable resource for the early settlers. Salt was highly valued as a supplementary part of human and also for the diets of wildlife. Salt was a luxury to our ancestors. Before the 1900’s, many economies and wars were predicated on this natural resource. For the early pioneers in America they didn’t hesitate to add “lick” as part of their new towns name. Towns like Licking, Missouri and French Lick, Indiana are prime examples. Today, we often chuckle over these types of names. Our perceptions of these place names are misconstrued because of our lack of knowledge of the history behind the name. The value of salt was highly sought after by our ancestors and they did not hesitate to boast the resources their town possessed and the economic growth that would make them flourish.


fiddlinshim said...

There's a Licking River in Kentucky.

-Mewd said...

There is also a Big Bone Lick in Kentucky.