Artois (W3)Ausschlaggebend für die Umbenennung des Ortes "Germantown" in "Artois" waren wohl der 1. Weltkrieg, in dem amerikanische Truppen auch in der nordfranzösischen Region "Artois" kämpften. Zusätzlich spielte wohl das Bohren von Brunnen in diesem trockenen amerikanischen Gebiet eine Rolle und dass von frz. "Artois" die Bezeichnung "Artesischer Brunnen", engl. "artesian well" abgeleitet wurde.
The name stems from the ancient province in France where the method of boring "artesian wells" was first adopted. "Artois" was formerly named "Germantown", and petitions to change the Germantown post office name were successful with Artois adopted on May 21, 1918. Local belief is that a World War I troop train stopped to water at Gemantown and a riot ensued when the troops took offense at the name. The town was then renamed after the battles of Artois.
The Germantown post office opened in 1877, and changed its name to Artois in 1918.
Christian Todenhagen, Chico, CA / USA
Names as a Potential Source for Conflict
A Case in Point from the USA:
How "Germantown", Glenn County, California, became "Artois"
Toward the end of World War I the name of the post office station "Germantown" at "Germantown", Glenn County, California, was changed to "Artois" which eventually resulted in the name change of the village itself to "Artois". This paper compares current present-day accounts of the incidents leading to the post office name change with the actual course of events as they could be reconstructed from contemporary 1918 newspaper reports. It continues to trace the change as it shifted to the name of the township itself and concludes with a second look at the present-day accounts of the past historical events.
Gegen Ende des Ersten Weltkrieges wurde in "Germantown", Glenn County, Kalifornien, die Poststation "Germantown" in "Artois" umbenannt, welches dann zu der Namensänderung des Dorfes selbst führte. Die folgende Untersuchung vergleicht Berichte über die Umbenennung des Postamtes, wie sie heute in Glenn County gängig sind, mit Berichterstattungen damaliger Regionalzeitungen. Die Erörterungen verfolgen weiter, wie der Namenswechsel auf die Gemeinde "Germantown" übergriff, und kehren abschließend zu den gegenwärtigen historischen Berichten zurück.
Germantown, now called Artois, pronounced ARtois, was a small, unincorporated farming community in very rural Glenn County, Northern California, about 100 miles from Sacramento. It had its own post office and railroad station, but was too small to support its own newspaper. Instead it depended on surrounding localities like Orland, Willows, Colusa and Chico for its news. Today, when one walks along Main Street with its beautifully cared for front yards and admires the small Lutheran church with its stained glassed windows, one is reminded of the small villages of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. But this must be a trick of the imagination played on some one who knows that the first inhabitants arrived here after quite an arduous voy age directly from this northern German province. The citizens of Germantown did not come exclusively, though, from the Old Country.
Names as a Potential Source for Conflict
"Artois" is the name receiving the most generous support, and it is an appropriate one, in consideration of the "artesian wells" in the neighborhood of the place, "artesian wells" having derived their name from "Artois", the district in which flowing wells first were discovered.
The name "Artois" was chosen mainly because Mr. William Shaw, the rancher who circulated the petition and whose name was mentioned by the “Colusi County Historical Society?”, owned an "artesian well" which in turn suggested the French province to him.
The station changed its name to "Artois" on November 24, 1918, effective December 10, 1918.
There has never been a definite date at which "Germantown", the village, changed into "Artois" like a calendar date at which the U.S. Board on Geographic Names in an open meeting approved of an application to do so. Rather with the action of the U.S. Geological Survey "Artois", the name of the post office, eventually replaced "Germantown", the name of the village, on a national scale as map companies began to use the corrected name and old maps were replaced by new ones.
The influence of federal agencies did not extend into the realm of religion and worship. To this very day, when one stops in front of the little church on Main Street in Artois, one can read on its plaque: “St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Germantown”. And outside of town there is still the well-tended “Germantown Cemetery”.
"Artois", formerly known as "Germantown"
Abfrage im Google-Corpus mit 15Mio. eingescannter Bücher von 1500 bis heute.
Engl. "Artois" taucht in der Literatur um das Jahr 1640 auf.