I stumbled across a geo-oddity as I worked on one of my other hobbies (genealogy): one family line had a connection with Watertown, in Jefferson County, Wisconsin; and a member of that same family had a connection to Watertown, in Jefferson County, New York. I’d never come across a situation where two states had towns with the same name in counties with the same name.
Watertown, Jefferson County, New York
Watertown, Jefferson County, Wisconsin
My apologies for embedding Mapquest maps because they don’t show up in several common news readers but those of you coming directly to the website will see the images above. Mapquest works best for these examples.
Jefferson County is a common name. Thomas Jefferson was a particularly iconic figure during the period when many counties formed and 27 states chose to honor him in that manner. Likewise, there are a number of places called Watertown. I wondered if there were other Watertowns in other Jefferson Counties in other states. I searched for awhile but I couldn’t find any.
This didn’t prevent me from looking for similar instances using different names. I figured that even if it’s a rather unusual phenomenon it could hardly be unique. There are plenty of other county names repeated amongst the states. There had to be other matching towns hidden within them and I found several without too much difficulty.
There is a town called Franklin in Franklin County, New York and another town called Franklin in Franklin County, Vermont. Both Franklins have about 1,200 inhabitants. The town of Franklin in New York also has a community called Franklin Falls.
Therefore it’s possible to live in Franklin Falls in the town of Franklin in the County of Franklin, in New York, then drive across the border to the town of Franklin in the County of Franklin in Vermont. Got all that?
View Larger Map
It shouldn’t take more than about two and a half hours.
I chose another common county name and gave it a quick examination. This one gets even better. There are Jackson Counties in many places, but the ones that caught my attention were located in Ohio and Indiana. Both of these Jackson Counties have townships named Jackson, Hamilton and Washington. I’m not too surprised by matching Jackson Townships, but what are the odds of having three township matches?
There is a bonus oddity here. Jackson County, Ohio’s county seat is the city of Jackson. However the city of Jackson is located in a different part of Jackson County than Jackson Township and they do not share a border. It gets confusing.
- Jackson Township, Jackson County, Indiana (map)
- Jackson Township, Jackson County, Ohio (map)
- City of Jackson, Jackson County, Ohio (map)
There must be other instances. I’d be interested if anyone can find more, especially examples outside of the United States. Canada seems to be a likely candidate.
I have to pat myself on the back a little today because this is post number 500 on the Twelve Mile Circle. That’s about 490 more than I expected I’d ever accomplish when I first started in November 2007, and I feel like I still have a lot more in me. Thanks for all the encouragement, ideas and support!