Should Name of New Hampshire's "Jew Pond" be Changed?

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A meeting will be held in a town in New Hampshire Tuesday night to decide if the name of a local pond called "Jew Pond" should be changed.

The Daily Mail reports it used to be called Spring Pond when it first appeared on a map of Mount Vernon in the 1920s. The man-made body of water served as an irrigation source for The Grand Hotel, which proudly wrote in its brochures "Applications from Hebrews not desired."

That practice changed when two Jewish businessmen from Boston later bought the hotel. They intended to expand the pond and rename it "Lake Serene." It never happened, and locals started referring to the pond as the one that belonged to Jews, so Jew Pond stuck.

There are no signs that say Jew Pond, and it only appeared on a map once, in 1968. But a recent newspaper article referred to the name, prompting town health officer Rich Masters to ask that the name be changed.

"I, frankly, find it to be inappropriate, disrespectful to some people,' he told The Associated Press. "And I feel it needs to be changed."

However others in town think it should remain, saying it is part of its history and it is not offensive.

"It's too bad it's gotten to be such an issue when it's never even referred to or portrayed in a negative way," said Zoe Fimbel, a member of the local Historical Society. "It's more like, "It's the Jew's Pond. The new man in town.'"

Town residents will vote on whether the name should be changed.