The name comes from a nearby rock outcropping. "From here," the DEEP says, "tradition has it, that the Pootatuck Indian Chief Waramaug's daughter, Princess Lillinonah, and her lover plunged to their deaths."
The teenage princess was beautiful and sweet and all the eligible men from every surrounding tribe came to vie for her hand. (Yeah, we hate her.) But then one day while walking through the woods she came across a sickly, pathetic white boy. (And we've all been there, right?) She helped him to her father's palace and, against Waramaug's wishes, nursed him back to health. When he had recovered they decided they were completely in love and must be married. But Waramaug said, essentially, Hell, no. So Lillinonah stopped eating and grew closer to death, and finally her father gave in. White Boy decided he would return to his colony for the Winter and return and marry her in the Spring. Unsurprisingly, to those of us who have been there, he never showed. Lillinonah became despondent. Waramaug thought he might cheer her up by arranging for her to marry a Pootatuck brave named Eagle Feather, but that didn't exactly work. Instead, his daughter cast herself and her canoe into the river without a paddle. And as she drifted perilously along towards a cataract, she saw him - White Boy - standing on the bluff above. She capsized just as he dove to save her. After their bodies were found together at the bottom of the rapids, Waramaug had them buried side by side on a hill overlooking the river.
So yes, alright, that is actually very sad. And I don't know about the missing apostrophe.
In other news. Wednesday morning I was a guest on NPR's Where We Live (along with Stephen Wood of the excellent Connecticut Museum Quest and historian Bill Faude) talking about various and sundry Connecticut things. You can listen here.