Timmy DiMartino gets published in the taunton gazette

Letter to the Editor: Time for a new nickname here in the ‘Silver City’

The City of Taunton needs a new nickname.

Beginning in the 1800s, Taunton became known as a powerhouse of the silver manufacturing industry, earning the moniker “The Silver City.” With successful silversmithing operations like Reed and Barton, F.B. Rogers and Poole Silver, Taunton became a nationwide leader in quality silver production. These successful businesses employed our citizenry, contributed financially to the city, and most importantly, served as proud symbols of our hard work and ingenuity. Silversmithing was an inseparable part of our civic culture, but unlike the Olympic medals and ashtrays they crafted, the silver manufacturers were not able to stand the test of time.

When Reed & Barton filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2015, it marked the end of an era in Taunton. This day was a tragic finale to nearly two centuries worth of proud silversmithing in our city. This bankruptcy was tantamount to other great Taunton tragedies, like the demolition of F.B. Rogers in 2009, the Sheridan Silver fire of 1992, or even the closing of the Henry’s Root Beer Stand in 2008.

If Taunton is no longer a great producer of silver, branding our community “The Silver City” should be considered false advertising. How do we expect to attract new and exciting businesses to the city, when we’re still bragging about an industry that no longer exists? Sure, Drew Bledsoe was good for a time, but the Patriots don’t call themselves “The Bledsoe Brigade.”

So how will we re-brand ourselves moving forward? To many folks, Taunton is known as “The Christmas City,” thanks to our festive yuletide display on the Taunton Green each December. But this is just one display, for one holiday. Is this really something to hang our proverbial Santa hats on? How relevant of a name is “The Christmas City” to the varied voices of our diverse, hardworking, and creative community? If you’re snacking on a lobster roll at Frate’s in mid- July, what on Earth does a wooden cut-out of Frosty got to do with it?

I’d like to use this platform to make a few suggestions for a new nickname for Taunton. I believe our nickname should be a phrase that represents our city now, not a name that hides in the former glory of our crumbling industrial past. Here are a few ideas:

“The Gateway to the Cape.” Whether you’re heading to Cape Cod for a swim or some fried littlenecks, there’s a good chance you’ll have to pass through Taunton on the way. Huge billboards on I-495 and Route 24 would be sure to attract visitors to stop in “The Gateway to the Cape” to check out our local attractions and fare. Heck, we might even be able to confuse a few vacationers and convince them to stay here, rather than in a fancy Hotel in Falmouth. With the initial plans for the Cape Cod Canal cutting through Taunton, this nickname would be more than just a bold claim.

“The Wicked Big City.” At 50 square miles, Taunton is the largest city by land-area in the Commonwealth. By emphasizing our un ique language, we’re not only saying we’ve got lots of space for the construction of your new business, but we’ve also got local panache that you can usually only see on Wahlburgers or Good Will Hunting. Who wouldn’t want to open a new tech company in a place that is wicked awesome?

“Chow Mein Sandwich City.” While Taunton is not the only city in Massachusetts that offers up scrumptious chow mein sandwiches, we did it first, and we still do it best. East meets west when juicy, dripping chow mein noodles are served over a delicious locally-baked dinner roll. Chow mein sandwiches serve as an edible symbol for the Great Melting Pot that America strives to be. It’s as American as the bald eagles that live in the landfill and a delicious treat we can all be proud of.

“The Softball City.” It’s a well-known fact that Taunton is a veritable factory of softball champions. Throughout the years, the Taunton High School and Coyle and Cassidy High School girls softball teams have won league titles, state championships, and sent prolific student-athletes off to play Division 1 college ball. And not to mention, we’ve got some of the best beer leagues for unsuccessful former baseball players in the county.

“The Silver City” reminds me of that uncle who’s always talking about how great he was at football in 1985, especially when you later find out he played for Bristol-Plymouth. As our nation continues to face new challenges in the 21st century, it will require creative solutions on the local level to build a healthy, strong future for the nation and the world. If Tauntonians strive to make a difference in the future of America, they should know that change starts at home. With the right moniker will come the right attitude, and we’ll forge our futures together. If you believe Taunton is in desperate need for a new nickname, please make your voice heard.

Timmy DiMartino