August 2016

Like a “Boy Named Sue,” there is a New York State town named Alabama, which just happens to be this month’s Profile.

At first, I thought I should write my column about how Alabama owes New York a favor by reciprocating — naming a town after the Empire State. But I figured that I should check first to be certain, and sure enough, there is an unincorporated town in northeastern Alabama called Little New York. Not having been there, I’ve had a hard time trying to find out more about this place, what it’s like there, when it was founded, and most important, whether it was intentionally named after New York because our state has an Alabama.

Regardless, I started thinking about whether or not the United States still has new towns sprouting up. It seems like it doesn’t, that most of the settling already has taken place. Now, there are those developer “towns” with condos and shops that are combined into one location, but I was thinking more in terms of a new garden-variety town or village. After just a little research, it appears the answer is “yes,” kind of.

Just recently in 2010 in Wisconsin, the secretary of state there certified that the town of Summit be incorporated as the village of Summit. And this is the primary cause these days of a “new” town or village coming into existence — incorporation. And in 2010 alone, nine new cities, towns or villages were founded but all by virtue of incorporation. It seems we’re done settling, so to speak, where someone shows up on a vacant tract of land in the middle of nowhere and thinks, “let’s make a town and name it after me.” If anyone knows of a new town they’ve heard of recently forming, drop me line and let me know.

Anyway, enjoy this month’s Profile and also note that we’re a little more than two months away from the New York State Highway & Public Works Expo in Syracuse (not Alabama) on October 19. In next month’s issue, look for some detail regarding the show.

You can also view previous issues of Superintendent's Profile.