Identity Crisis? Vt. Community Mulls Name Change

On Town Meeting Day, voters will be asked if the town of Morristown should change its name to the town of Morrisville

Tuesday is Town Meeting Day in Vermont — when cities and towns decide on issues such as electing their local select board members or whether their community should purchase a new snow plow.

In one Lamoille County community, the town's name is on the ballot — after some say it has something of an identity crisis.

Voters will be asked if the town of Morristown should change its name to the town of Morrisville.

"A lot of people get asked where they're from, and they have to think for a minute," joked Richard Lowe of Morrisville.

Morrisville is a village that sits within Morristown.

However, many locals told necn Monday that a lot of people have just taken to calling both places Morrisville.

"Most people don't know the difference," said Todd Thomas, Morristown's zoning administrator.

Thomas said he sees a benefit to officially switching to Morrisville.

"I also do economic development," Thomas noted. "I try to market the town. Having one name for something is way easier to market than two."

Name discrepancies are easy to spot in the community.

In Morristown, there's a shopping area called the Morrisville Plaza.

A banner saying Morristown is posted in front of the Morrisville Co-op.

A decorative post reading Morrisville sits just inches away from a clock in the park labeled Morristown.

And the Morrisville Fire Department sits across the street from the Morristown Community Playground.

At a gathering of the Morrisville Duplicate Bridge Club Monday, which took place in a space attached to the Morristown Centennial Library, voters had a range of opinions.

"This gives us something fun to fuss about," said Katherine Bovey of Morristown, who'd like to keep the name Morristown. "I like 'Morristown' — the name. Because 'Morrisville' is more citified; more urban to me. And Vermont's not all that urban a place. 'Morristown' doesn't seem as urban."

Bridge player Sara Waskuch lives in Morristown, but said she usually tells folks she's from Morrisville.

"If you go online and order anything, it always changes it to 'Morrisville' because that's the zip code," Waskuch said. "Plus, it sounds cuter."

Tuesday's vote is non-binding — and is primarily designed to take the community's pulse. It may help inform select board members how folks in Morristown and Morrisville feel about a possible formal name change down the road.

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