(Host) Residents of the Grand Isle town of Alburgh finally have their h back.
They voted this week to spell the town’s name with an h at the end – the way it originally appeared when Alburgh was chartered in 1781.
Alburgh selectman Paul Hansen says the h’ was dropped in the late 1800s as part of an effort by the federal government to standardize the spelling of towns throughout the U.S.. He says it was also done as a cost saving measure.
(Hansen) “Back then probably only pennies, but it was a very small federal budget, but each one of those pennies nationwide, in dropping the ugh’ from the boroughs and the h’ from the bergs. It goes back to actually grabbing the little letters out of the box in typesetting and hand carving the hand stamps for all of the post offices.”
(Zind) Hansen says while many people in town were neutral about the name change, there were others who were more passionate about restoring the original spelling in order to correct a long-standing wrong.
(Hansen) “There are some of us that felt that we were a little slighted by the government stepping in and changing our name, no different than if the government changed the spelling of your personal name. Why not have the name of our town as originally chartered?”
(Host) Hansen says there’s some paperwork necessary to make the change official, but even before the vote, signs went up at the municipal offices declaring that Alburgh ends with an “h”.