One hopes it has to do with a poker game between governors...
January 28, 2011 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Why is there a small piece of Connecticut in Massachusetts?

For reasons involving a friend's Facebook photo album and an unrelated episode of Family Guy, I found myself looking at a map of Connecticut, when I realized that there's a small bit of land that looks geographically like it should belong in Connecticut but is currently a part of Massachusetts. It's about three miles by two miles in size, roughly rectangular in shape. US 202/206 runs through it. The Google Maps view is here. Other than the western border, which seems to follow the outline of the Congamond Lakes, there is nothing geographically to suggest why the border is shaped this way.

So what happened? Why is this bit o' land part of Massachusetts?
posted by Golfhaus to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
posted by theredpen at 4:13 PM on January 28, 2011

Sadly, no poker.
posted by Judith Butlerian Jihad at 4:16 PM on January 28, 2011

Best answer: Connecticut State Library has your answer: It's called The Southwick Jog.
posted by jessamyn at 4:16 PM on January 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: if you care enough to read 13 pages on the subject: link
posted by Bunge at 4:20 PM on January 28, 2011

Response by poster: So apparently I was Googling the wrong stuff. "The Southwick Jog" would make an excellent name for a band. Thanks, everyone!
posted by Golfhaus at 4:41 PM on January 28, 2011

Don't worry about old CT, they make up for it by jutting into New York.
posted by amethysts at 4:45 PM on January 28, 2011

For all your State-shape questions, I highly recommend this book. It's a great bathroom reader.

You can search around in it on Google Books too.
posted by bondcliff at 5:02 PM on January 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Similar to the oddity in Minnesota that is the Northwest Angle.
posted by fso at 6:09 PM on January 28, 2011

Twelve Mile Circle is a blog that covers lots of oddities like this-here's his entry on the Southwick Jog.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:40 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'll second bondcliff's recommendation of How the States Got Their Shapes. Fascinating book.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:21 PM on January 28, 2011

Of course, there's always this piece of Canada that juts into U.S. waters...
posted by lhauser at 8:57 PM on January 28, 2011

Since this is answered, and on the off-chance you have an interest in odd borders- my wife and I live in The Wedge, which we find a bit interesting....
posted by JMOZ at 5:13 AM on January 29, 2011

Response by poster: JMOZ, I have an interest in all sorts of unique geographical anomalies... the various links above have provided me with hours of interesting reading this morning.

I, myself, live in one such anomaly... this little bit of land that looks like it should be in South Carolina, but is in North Carolina instead.
posted by Golfhaus at 5:44 AM on January 29, 2011

For lots of those "jogs" trace along the lower Mississippi -- that river's rerouting itself all the time, but its bordering states insist on retaining their old boundaries.
posted by Rash at 2:18 PM on January 29, 2011

Having read the whole document, I've got to say, Massachusetts seems to have had a bad case of "my mind's made up, don't bother me with facts".

CT: The line's too far south!
MA: No it's not. Our surveyors said it wasn't. So it's not.
CT: But . . . it's too far south.
MA: Didn't you hear us? We said it isn't! Our surveyors took a couple of measurements and everything. Or maybe they just got drunk. But we totally said so, and that makes it true!
CT: Our surveyors did the job properly, and it's too far south.
CT: YEAH! Let's tell the King! We'd like that!
MA: The new survey says the line is too far south, and we had a guy on the new survey. . . but wait! Our shoelaces were crossed! And oh, look over there, a revolution!
CT: Christ, Massachusetts. You stink.
posted by endless_forms at 9:37 AM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]

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