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Jew Pond: Jeanne Shaheen, Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire Senators, Back Changing Fishing Spot's Name

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Ice partially covers the surface of Jew Pond in Mont Vernon, N.H., Monday, March 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Garrett Brnger) | AP

MONT VERNON, N.H. -- Two New Hampshire senators are backing a rural town's request to change the name of a fishing spot that's been called Jew Pond since the 1920s.

Democrat Jeanne Shaheen (jeen shuh-HEEN') and Republican Kelly Ayotte (AY'-aht) wrote to the chairman of the U.S. Board of Geographic Names on Tuesday urging board members to approve the request.

Mont Vernon residents and the board of selectmen decided this year to rename the pond Carleton Pond, after one of the town's founding families.

Town officials say the pond originally was named Spring Pond because the owners of a hotel there created it by digging up a spring to irrigate their golf course. It's believed the spot became Jew Pond when Jewish businessmen bought the hotel.

The senators say "pejorative place names" reflecting religious "prejudice" aren't consistent with New Hampshire values of "community and mutual respect."

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