What’s in a name? South Dundas supporting ‘Nash Creek’ application

Paralegal Gregg Foss, left, makes a presentation to South Dundas council on Jan. 20, 2015 on behalf of his client Ralph Merkley. Merkley received council's support for his application to rename a creek, which goes by Nash Creek and Hoasic Creek, to Nash Creek in its entirety in recognition of his distant relatives. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

MORRISBURG – It’s a watercourse with two names – Nash Creek if you’re on County Road 2 and Hoasic Creek if you travel over the watercourse while on Highway 401.

South Dundas is getting behind an application by a Nash relative to have the entire tributary named Nash Creek.

Paralegal Gregg Foss spoke on behalf of Ralph Merkley, who originally had the surname of Nash before his father died and his mother remarried in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Merkley’s forefathers were the original settlers and operated a grist mill and saw mill at the mouth of the creek in Morrisburg, Foss told council.

“The reason we are here tonight (Tuesday) is to enlighten some people on the rich history of the Nash family and the importance they gave to this community and the importance of the naming of the Nash Creek,” Foss told council.

“The Merkley and the Nash family are not trying to take away from the historical significance of the name of Hoasic…just that the creek reverts back to its original name of the Nash Creek and the wetlands, that they remain the Hoasic wetlands,” Foss said.

Merkley plans to bring an application to the Ontario Geographic Names Board Secretariat to name the entire watercourse Nash Creek.

Council agreed to support Merkley’s application.

The Ministry of Natural Resources had been seeking comment on a proposed name change with a deadline of Jan. 15, 2015.

It’s not known when the MNR will make a decision.

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