Wait a minute....Mahomet. Isn't that a variant of the name of the Prophet Mohammed? Well, yes. And in times when we seem hypersensitive to political correctness it struck me as a bit unusual. I mean, heck, we have mostly expunged all references to Native Americans from our sports teams, and the dust up over Danish newspaper cartoons would seem to make the name Mahomet entirely off limits.
Of course there is a story behind it.
The town was originally called, unimaginatively, Middleton Illinois. But in 1871 it was noted that there was another community in the state with the same name. Somehow it was determined-was there a drawing of straws or was it by seniority?-that a new name was called for.
The local Masonic lodge was called Mahomet, in keeping with their sort of mystical theme. They were really big on middle eastern names, I actually have a vintage fez with the name Mecca on it in rhinestones.
So the town acquires the name of the local lodge.
This makes for a few intitially jarring juxtapositions:
Or how about this?
I would hate to be the cause of any difficulty for anyone, so I should mention that I saw no use of the Mahomet name that should be cause for any distress. There is for instance no Mahomet Bar and Grill.
My gracious, it was a dry town until 2007.
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