California SLO O NO214100 1
West Wynd 1832 Miller/map
Nether Loan 1832 Miller/map [lands beside West Wynd]
California Well 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn
California 1990s Fife Street Atlas, 87
The name applies to a street at the west end of Strathmiglo, and was originally part of the common loan or broad track allowing the inhabitants of Strathmiglo and their animals access to the common grazing on the Lomonds (see SLO Intro., Minor Names, above). The name ‘California’ first appears in connection with the stone-lined well on the west side of California, to the south of West Bridge: on OS 6 inch 1st edn this well is called California Well. OS Name Book (27, 38) describes it as follows: ‘A Well of very excellent water, at West Bridge discovered at the period when gold was found in California, on that account it has been since popularly called by this name’. This is highly unlikely, as the well is clearly depicted on Miller/map in 1832, with the name Cottown Well, while the Californian gold rush did not get underway until 1848. It is more likely that the name ‘California’ became applied humorously to both the well and the road at the time when California became a household term, and synonymous with the far west, alluding to their position at the furthest west side of the village.
The name of the well has been reduced locally to the Cali Well (as in the first two syllables of California, /ˈkalɪ/). It is said to have the coldest water in the area and was excellent for washing the buttermilk out of butter.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 4