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Trinity Drive. Peggy Sue Bridge. Bathtub Row. The history of Los Alamos is written it the names given to locations around town.
The origins of those names and many more are discussed in the second edition of “Place Names of Los Alamos” by local author Craig Martin.
“The first edition has been out of print since 2002 and I’ve been promising the Los Alamos Historical Society an update since 2005, so it’s about time,” Martin said.
The book chronicles the stories behind about 500 names and the second edition includes two-dozen new places that have acquired names in the 15 years since the book was first published. And the names of a few places have taken on greater meaning over the years.
“Cerro Grande was just ‘big hill’ in 1998, but of course now the name is strongly associated with the fire of 2000,” Martin said.
“Las Conchas, the mountain to the west, wasn’t mentioned before because it is in Sandoval County, but now the name is deeply associated with Los Alamos.”
Basic names are descriptive, but in New Mexico, they can come in English, Spanish or Native American tongues.
Other names come from a variety of sources ranging from governmental decree to naming contests to personal memorials.
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