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Vignette > La Verne

La Verne Ave. is the name of a street on the 1902 subdivision map #6 of the Tamalpais Land & Water Co. The name Laverne was later used for a post office, a school, a baseball team, a subdivision, a proposed railroad and a public lighting district. In modern French, le verne (masculine) means alder tree.  For many centuries in the south of France, la verne (feminine)meant alder tree or a grove of trees. When the French language was unified by integrating the French of the south, Langue d’oc, into the French of the north, Langue d’oil, all names of trees were mandated to be masculine. Thus La Verne became Le Verne.  In southern California, La Verne is a city of 32,000 near Claremont. Mrs. L.H. Bixby and her sister, Mrs. Lyman Allen, chose the name.  Their family had camped in the area frequently since 1883. They explained that it meant “growing green” or “spring-like” from the Latin word ”verne”. French etymological research into the origin of the word la verne refers to a goddess of Greek origin named “Laverna” which people worshipped in a grove of trees. The French now use the word “l’aulne” for the alder tree.

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