Winner of essay contest announced to change name of local landmark off Branford’s coast

BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Three finalists have been announced in an essay contest at Branford High School to change the name of a landmark right off the coast, that many people call offensive.

Kelly Tiernan was named the winner of that essay contest, which was looking to rename “Negro Heads” buoy and rocks to something else.

Related Content: Offensive landmark in Branford closer to name change

Tiernan’s name is “Sowheag Rocks” — named after the chief of a Native American tribe who sold land to Dutch sailors that would eventually become Branford.

“I thought, we want to write about that and have that be known that, you know, remember where we came from. But also where we’re going,” said Tiernan.

Samantha Esposito and Viktoria Sinani were named the two runners up and were also recognized for their essays as well.

The name change was spearheaded by Senator Ted Kennedy Junior.

“After President Obama renamed Mount McKinley to Denali it occurred to me, wow there is a process for citizens to suggest changes to names of different landmarks,” said Sen. Kennedy.

The new name will now be submitted to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, which is the organization with the power to change the offensive buoy name on all government maps.


WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s