Names and Meanings

“The original colonial hamlet of Mamacoke is only a memory and a postal address. Left behind from its disappearance are a handful of weathered homes, hard bit fishermen, and a silted-in salt marsh that arcs around a small cove to the high wooded dome of Mamacoke Island rising out of the Thames. The first settlement took its name from the forty-acre island, but it’s been more than two hundred years since Mamacoke Island was surrounded by water. While the meaning of its Indian name was slowly eroding from memory, the soils from distant watersheds were building up the salt-marsh isthmus that would bind the island back to the mainland. ‘Mamacoke…Island’ – neither word makes much sense any longer, but everyone seems to know what they’re referring to.”

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