By MARINA WATERS
It takes 19 minutes to get from Brethern Church Road to Brethren Church Drive in Washington County but it only takes the difference of one word to spark confusion between the two—which might soon lead to a name change for one of these roads.
Though the topic was just in the preliminary stages when discussed at the Washington County Commission’s Public Works meeting at the Highway Department in Jonesborough on Aug. 3, Washington County 911 Department’s Lesley Music said a change could be coming — and will probably include more than just a simple, one-word switch.
“It keeps coming back to us,” Music said. “We need to change one or the other, totally.”
Brethern Church Road is located between Shadden Road and Pleasant Valley Road in Gray. Meanwhile, Brethren Church Drive is located between Old Embreeville Road and Greenwood Drive in Jonesborough.
When it comes to a possible change for the roads, it’s not just white letters on a green metal road sign that will be affected. At the meeting, Commissioner Bryan Davenport considered the residents on both of those roads and what it would mean for them.
“If you’re changing the name, it doesn’t matter how small the change is,” Davenport said. “You have to notify everyone that sends you a bill or anything.”
If changed, 58 addresses would be effected on Brethern Church Road in Gray while 43 would be effected on Brethren Church Drive in Jonesborough. Both roads are also home to similarly named churches; Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren was built around 1898 in Gray while Pleasant View Church of the Brethren was built in 1878 in Jonesborough.
Numerous roads throughout the county are named after people, but in this case, Music suggested that might not be the best route for the sake of those who might not be fond of the individual so honored.
It was also suggested that the name of one of the churches’ founders be used for one of the road names. A process to rename either of the roads has not been started, but it was also mentioned that a community meeting like what was conducted with the naming of Austin Springs could take place.