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What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?  

Casco Bay has had many names.

Where did the name Casco come from?

The Abenakis called this place Aucocisco [ah-coh-sis-ko]. While some have translated Aucocisco as “Place of the Herons,” it more likely meant “marshy place” or “place of the slimy mud.”

European explorers may have shortened Aucocisco to Casco.

Others say that when Portuguese explorer Estêvão Gomes sailed into the Bay in 1525, he thought the Bay was shaped like a helmet, or casco in Spanish, and christened it Bahia de Casco, Bay of Helmet.

Colonel W. Romer made an inspection of Casco Bay for the British in 1700. He reported back to London, “Casco Bay had a multitude of islands, these being reported as many islands as there are days in the year.” Today, despite the fact that 785 islands and exposed ledges have been counted here in Casco Bay, the region is quaintly known as the Calendar Islands.