What's in a name?



No doubt you’ve driven by it countless times and perhaps wondered, “How did Bath Tub Row get its name?” Or maybe you’ve wondered how places like Fairway or North Mesa got named. How did Camino Cereza get its name? Was there some sort of method for naming White Rock subdivisions?

Longtime Los Alamos residents may know the answers to these questions, but others probably do not, unless they’ve brushed up on their Los Alamos history. Thanks to Los Alamos County Open Space Specialist and freelance writer Craig Martin, everyone can learn about these names by reading, “Los Alamos Place Names.”

Martin, who has penned numerous books on hiking, fishing and other outdoor activities around Los Alamos is probably best known for books like, “100 Hikes in New Mexico,” “Enchanted Waters: A Guide to New Mexico’s Hot Springs,” and “Fly Fishing in Northern New Mexico,” to name a few.

He first published “Los Alamos Place Names” in 1998, however, he has recently updated it and has since re-released the book. The original book contained more than 400 entries, featuring descriptions of the names of Los Alamos schools, canyons, streets, buildings, etc.

The entries are not long, so the book is a fast read. Anyone interested in learning why certain places in Los Alamos are named the way they are, will find the book entertaining and a good source of information. 

Otowi Book Station used to carry just about all of Martin’s books, but since it closed last year, readers must resort to the Internet. His books can be found on Amazon.com. However, if you’d rather just check out the book without buying it, Mesa Public Library is a good resource for Martin’s books. They have several titles on hand.