Meet Me at the Corner of David and Goliath

On September 2, 2012 · 1 Comments

I’ve had the unusual experience of starting an article in one direction and watching it detour along a different path as I typed. That has happened a handful of times before on 12MC although it’s rather infrequent. Here is the map that started my journey.

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Goliath Road in North Massapequa, New York stretches a brief block only to connect larger roads and provide an exit to four homes. It struck me as odd because the name simply doesn’t fit. It’s an oxymoron — the classic jumbo shrimp phenomenon — a puny road called Goliath. The Hebrew Bible account of Goliath describes an intimidating, gigantic, larger-than-life warrior. Why tag that name and all it conveys to a road so diminutive? Maybe it’s named for the vanquished Goliath, the one that David bonked in the forehead with a rock before cutting off his head? That also seemed odd. I can’t imagine it would contribute positively to local real estate values. Who would want to move to Decapitation Street?

I found an inordinate number of Goliath roads, streets and avenues throughout the English-speaking world. Some of the instances found in the United States included Goliath Road in Coldwater, MS (map), Milton, FL (map) and Tomah, WI (map); Goliath Lane in Mount Airy, NC (map); and Goliath Dr. in Chugiak, AK (map). The one in Alaska also intersected with Sampson Drive (yes, with a "p") and Delilah Circle to keep an Old Testaments subtext rolling. This would become a recurring theme.

Indeed, so many tiny residential roads named Goliath proved to me that the naming convention was a lot more common that I anticipated. That didn’t leave much room for an article.

However, I discovered that Goliath was paired with David on very rare occasions. That pushed the article away from the oxymoron theme towards a combo theme. I found the ability to stand at the intersection of David and Goliath strangely amusing. I hope I’m able to to that in person someday.

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Sebastian, Florida provided the first instance I discovered: David Lane and Goliath Road in the Shady Rest Mobile Home Park. It also proved to me that everything, truly everything has its own website.

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Next I discovered an instance in Queensland, Australia. This one was located southwest of Cairns on the eastern edge of Hasties Swamp National Park. Drill down and notice that a street grid and labels have been affixed to the map although most of the streets themselves do not seem to exist. Perhaps this represents a small housing development planned for the future and not yet built. It’s quite strange. I don’t have a suitable explanation.

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My favorite example occurred in Poole, England. An automobile barrier separates David Way from Goliath Road. That’s probably so the two can’t fight. This same community includes an intersection of Samson and Delilah Roads as well as a Solomon Way thrown in for good measure. Then, Hercules Road? I’m not sure why the developers suddenly shifted towards Roman mythology. Then again, little seems to make sense when it comes to naming roads. They probably ran out of ideas.

Another Goliath Road can be observed in Coalville, Leicestershire (map) alas without David, although Samson made another appearance. Greek and Roman themes emerged as well with Atlas, Hector and Vulcan.

South Africa seemed to be the king of the Goliath theme. I found probably close to ten Goliath roads or variations. None of them appeared to have been paired with David. Nonetheless I was amused by the one with the Pentecostal Church (map), thinking they could have located themselves on a street with a better Biblical association. It didn’t quite rise to the level of irony — they’d have to be found on Satan Way or something like that — so I’d categorize it more more as "huh" or "how ’bout that."

See you at David and Goliath?

On September 2, 2012 · 1 Comments

One Response to “Meet Me at the Corner of David and Goliath”

  1. John of Sydney says:

    I can’t claim to have a close knowledge of town planning in Carrington Queensland but the seemingly planned Goliath Street was most probably created when the township of Carrington was created out of earlier land grants or public land some time ago – mid to late 19th century possibly. These sort of “theoretical” streets seem to be quite common especially in the bush but even in cities.

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