Jeff Green | Apr 02, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - April Fools, 2009 Plevna Loses Rights to Village NameNorth Frontenac Council Scrambles to Find New OneBy Katie Ohlke
Plevna will not be named as such for much longer. Representatives from the first established Plevna, in Bulgaria want exclusive rights to the hard-won name. North Frontenac councilor, Lonnie Watkins received the bad news on April 1 in an emergency council meeting. “The Bulgarian Consulate sent us a letter, very upset that we were using the name without permission. It was a group of Bulgarian high school students doing a town project who discovered our Plevna on Google,” said Watkins, “And their mayor [Mr. Nayden Zelangorsky] is none too pleased.”
Historically the town of Plevna, Bulgaria, was key in the 1877 Russio-Turkish war. After five bloody months of fighting, the taking of this city ended the skirmish on December 10, 1877.
It is a locally known fact that Plevna Ontario was named after a verbal fight of sorts in regards to naming the village. One faction wanted to name the village “Buckshot” and another group did not. A man stood up in the middle of the argument and in frustration relayed the tale of the fighting in his birth village of Plevna that was essentially created out of war. The name seemed appropriate and the post office soon changed its name. At the time no one thought to ask permission. No one has thought to since. Other “Plevnas” in Indiana, Kansas and Montana all requested and were granted permission before 1920.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Lawrence Cannon was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.
Council has considered suggesting a compromise, by renaming the local Plevna, “West Plevna.” They are also considering a village renaming contest. Regardless, the decision needs to be made quickly. “Without a village name, there will be local chaos,” said Councilor Watkins, “The post office will have no name and it could really affect people receiving mail. Also, local businesses would have nothing to put on their advertisements for location; it would be like we were living in a black hole.”
Councilors hoped to have a decision by Thursday (which will be reported in next week’s Frontenac News).