Right Up There With Al, Leslie and Tex

John Clark on an unusual geographic phenomenon, one found only in Maine and Vermont. I’m talking gores which are described thusly. “A gore is an irregular parcel of land, as small as a triangle of median in a street intersection or as large as an unincorporated area the size of a township.”

Wikipedia has this to say about them: “In old English law, a gore was a small, narrow strip of land. In modern land law and surveying a gore is a strip of land, usually triangular in shape, as might be left between surveys that do not close. In some northeastern U.S. states (mainly northern New England), a gore (sometimes a land grant or purchase) remains as an unincorporated area of a county that is not part of any town, has limited self-government, and may or may not even be populated.”

pond in Hibberts Gore

I’m not sure what other states might have come up with for these surveying errors, but the possibilities I imagine are fun. New Hampshire might call them ‘Not taken for granite’, California calls them ‘Whoopsies’, New Jersey refers to them as ‘Who cares, the mob buried so many bodies, nobody wants to own it’, North Carolina refers to them as ‘If it don’t grow tobacco, who gives a damn, and Florida refers to them as ‘Build a trailer park and the snowbirds will flock to it.’ Texas has the following in place of gores ‘We’re so damn big, who cares.’

Vermont has four while Maine has a bunch and one sits not far from where I grew up in Union. Here’s the list with suggested mystery novels written about them.

Hibberts Gore, Lincoln County pop. 1 Area 2.0 Mi. Haunted by the Hibberts

Blake Gore Somerset County Pop 0 Area <n/a> The Vanishing Portrait of William Blake

Coburn Gore Franklin County Pop 0 Area <n/a> Looking for Abner’s Ghost

Gorham Gore Franklin County Pop 0 area <n/a> If You Can’t Stab ‘Em Gorham

Massachusetts Gore Franklin County Pop 0 area 37.3 The Place Where Flatlanders Come to Die

Misery Gore Somerset County Pop 0 area <n/a> Misery Loves Company

Moxie Gore Somerset County Pop. 0 area <n/a> Just Plain Flat in Moxie

Veazie Gore Penobscot County Pop. 0 area <n/a> Easy-Peasy Murder in Veazie

As you can see, most are near the Canadian border and unpopulated, so they’re great places to hide bodies, or run smuggling operations. I can attest to great scenery and decent fishing in them as well.

Here’s a link to an article about them from the Bangor Daily News:


This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Right Up There With Al, Leslie and Tex

  1. maggierobinsonwriter says:

    And here I thought gore meant a place like a mini-Grand Canyon every time I drove by one of those signs. Education for Monday is complete.

  2. Monica says:

    I also thought a gore was a small canyon with a river. Mostly because of Huntington Gore in Vermont.

Leave a Reply