In 1893, only two years after incorporation, the town name was officially changed to Auburn. Supposedly an influx of settlers from Auburn, New York triggered this change. Some traditions hold that the new name came from “The Deserted Village,” a poem penned by Irish poet, Oliver Goldsmith. The first line of that poem is, “Sweet Auburn! Loveliest village of the plain.”
Several years ago the history of Auburn was the theme at a meeting of a local Toastmasters group. One member was inspired by the question, “What if our town was still called Slaughter?” and produced a poem on the subject. I don’t think that it will be nominated to be the official poem of our city, but his humorous look at the topic is worth sharing:
There once was a town named Slaughter
Where people said change our name we oughter
They looked not to the west to find a name that was best
But turned to New York and found a name to exhort
Slaughter they said sounds frightening and full of dread
But Auburn, now that’s an inviting place to lay your head
To them it seemed to make good sense
But thought they not of the consequence
They built a high school Auburn by name their athletic prowess they do proclaim
But can you imagine the fear and distain if the Slaughter High Butchers were your next game
Surely Green River College is a place of higher knowledge
But oh the career you could pursue if you graduated from Slaughter U
I don’t mean to whine, I guess Auburn is fine
We’re an upstanding community with hope and opportunity
But as a recovering plotter, and occasional squatter who loves to sit in warm bathwater
A man who courted my wife until I caught ‘er and father of a son and daughter I kinda like the name of Slaughter.
And you gotta admit it’s better than massacre.
by Tony Garcia, 2007
Tony’s look at what might have been if our town had not been renamed to Auburn is interesting. But there are towns with the name of Slaughter or some variation of the word. But that’s a story for another day.
Tony Garcia lives a happy and full life with family and friends in and around the Auburn area. He enjoys connecting with people through work, fellowship, laughter and mutual respect.
The Auburn Morning Toastmasters (where Tony got his poetic inspiration) meets every Thursday at 6:35 AM at the Rainbow Café, 112 East Main Street in Auburn. http://auburnmorning.freetoasthost.cc