West Palm Beach is larger than its namesake – Palm Beach Source: wpb.org
The following list identifies those cities and towns in the United States and Canada that have at least two (2) suburbs that use the namesake city’s title along with a compass point direction. Not included are communities in New England where there are sub-area names under the overarching town name. They must be fully independent jurisdictions and/or census designated places that are not within the core city/town boundaries. Also not included are suburbs that include their own satellite communities with compass point names. An example is South Chicago Heights, which is a satellite of Chicago Heights.
There are two (2) interesting oddities from the list. First is Palm Beach, Florida, where both nearby compass point cities are actually larger than the namesake, meaning the namesake city is actually the suburb of the larger, West Palm Beach. Second, both of Sioux City’s compass point suburbs are not only located in different states from each other, but also from Iowa where Sioux City is located. In this case they are in Nebraska and South Dakota.
Lastly, there are likely fewer such examples in Canada as many urban areas have been consolidated under one or fewer city/town names in the past few decades.
One has to wonder why many, if not most of these communities were not given their own unique names. I have several hypotheses on this issue:
- Pride in the namesake city
- Trying to benefit off the geographic and economic relationship to the namesake city – this is particularly likely with a wealthy community such as Palm Beach or Barrington.
- Assigned their name by the Post Office or a railroad
- To help provide directions – may have been necessary in pre-Industrial age
- Easiest thing to do
- Laziness or lack of imagination
If you know of examples that I missed, please forward them on and if they meet the criteria, they will be included on the list. Thanks!
- Chicago, IL (3) – North Chicago, East Chicago (IN), and West Chicago
- Miami, FL (3) – North Miami, South Miami, and West Miami
- Montreal, QC (3) – Montreal Nord, Montreal Est, and Montreal Oeste
- New Haven, CT (3) – North Haven, East Haven, and West Haven
- Orange, NJ (3) – South Orange, East Orange, and West Orange
- St. Paul, MN (3) – North St. Paul, South St. Paul, and West St. Paul
- York, PA (3) – North York, East York, and West York
- Barrington, IL (2) – North Barrington and South Barrington
- Berwick, ME (2) – North Berwick and South Berwick
- Canton, OH (2) – North Canton and East Canton
- Cape May, NJ (2) – North Cape May and West Cape May
- Glens Falls, NY (2) – South Glens Falls and West Glens Falls
- Hartford, CT (2) – East Hartford and West Hartford
- Houston, TX (2) North Houston and South Houston
- Milwaukee, WI (2) – South Milwaukee and West Milwaukee
- Ogden, UT (2) – North Ogden and South Ogden
- Palm Beach, FL (2) – North Palm Beach and West Palm Beach – both are larger than their namesake
- Peoria, IL (2) – East Peoria and West Peoria
- Providence, RI (2) – North Providence and East Providence
- Salt Lake City, UT (2) – North Salt Lake and South Salt Lake
- Sioux City, IA (2) – North Sioux City (SD) and South Sioux City (NE) – neither is in the same state as the namesake
- Syracuse, NY (2) – North Syracuse and East Syracuse
- Terre Haute, IN (2) – North Terre Haute and West Terre Haute
- Vancouver, BC (2) – North Vancouver and West Vancouver
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Rand McNally Road Atlas, MapQuest, Google Maps, and en.wikipedia.org