2:23 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

MLK Street-Rename Opponents (And A Typo?)

Harrisonburg city officials have decided to rename Cantrell Avenue in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., but the decision was not without controversy.

A faction of Harrisonburg residents opposed renaming such a prominent street because of possible business expenses (printing new letterhead addresses, etc), potential street-navigation problems, and also because of lost "heritage", believing that the street name is a part of local history and possibly related to a Civil War fighter.

WMRA's Virginia Insight hosted a discussion and on-air call-in about the issue, and a caller late in the show said that he had studied historical documents and determined that Cantrell was not a historical person, but a city deed-clerk's typo. Central became Cantrel, and later became Cantrell with two Ls, and the name stuck. 

A detailed study explaining what the caller meant is on the  Old South High blog post titled "Cantrell Avenue: The Confused & Confusing History of a Street of Many Names."

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