CASTINE — Upper and Lower Negro Islands will be no more. Eventually.
Voters at Castine’s annual Town Meeting Saturday approved initiating the process of changing the names in a split vote.
Town Manager Shawn Blodgett said “the result was 44-33 in favor of changing the names of the two islands.”
Upper Negro Island is privately owned while Lower Negro Island is owned by Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Now the Board of Selectmen will form a committee to get ideas for potential names for the islands. Those options would go on the ballot in November.
Then the proposed names would need to go to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names for final approval, according to Blodgett.
No one knows how the island got its name, but the local lore that it was part of the Underground Railroad is a myth, according to Lisa Simpson Lutts, the executive director of the Castine Historical Society.
Ethan Genter contributed to this report.