Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Flow Gently

Word has it, among those who know a little bit about Afton history, that the town was named for Afton Ayres, the daughter of a railroad surveyor, in 1886. Afton was a big railroad town back in the day, and many people employed by the railroad lived there. They further say that Afton Ayres herself was named after the River Afton in Scotland, which happens to be in the county of Ayrshire [Ayres=Ayrshire. Get it?]. The River Afton is famous for being the subject of Robert Burns' poem, Flow Gently Sweet Afton. Not long ago, I was contacted by a Scottish gentleman who has been doing research to find all the towns and other geographic entities in the world that carry the name of Afton. I helped him out a bit by telling him of the Aftons I know exist in the U.S.

Yesterday he sent me a link to a website on which are several photos of the River Afton in Scotland. It bears absolutely NO resemblance to Afton, Oklahoma, and yet I feel connected to it somehow. It's beautiful country!
This monument to Robert Burns is erected close to the River Afton.

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

5 comments:

Trevor Hilton said...

That's very interesting.

I think history is facinating. It's the story of US.

redforkhippie said...

Is your Scottish friend aware of Affton, Mo.? It's a suburb of St. Louis that is more or less indistinguishable from the city proper at this point.

Beth said...

What gorgeous country! A beautiful location to be named after!

~Kathryn~ said...

a bit of trivia for you - i am a descendant of Robert Burns - on my fathers maternal side .... so now I have a link to Afton too ;-)

Andrew said...

My son is named after the river Afton in Scotland. Because it always felt like more of a boys name to me. Someday I hope to take him to go see the river in person, it is such a beautiful place.