Baldwins, Assemble!

Baldwin County’s namesake, Abraham Baldwin (1785 – 1801), was a longtime legislator from Georgia who never even visited the state of Alabama. He did, however, sign the U.S. Constitution, and according to his obituary, he originated the plan for the University of Georgia, where he served as the school’s first president. The Baldwin name has lent itself to notable people and places throughout the world. Here are a few other Baldwins you could encounter on your travels.

Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand, is considered to be the world’s steepest residential street with a gradient of 35 percent. I’d imagine the sled ride down is phenomenal, but probably not worth the 380-yard hike back to the top.

“Bobby’s Room, ” the exclusive high-stakes poker room at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, was named after the 1978 World Series of Poker Champion,
Bobby Baldwin. I’ll bet they let you walk right in if you tell them you’re a resident of Alabama’s Baldwin County. (Related note: I am a terrible bettor.)

Baldwin the Eagle is the bald eagle-costumed mascot of Boston College. The school chose the name by combining ‘bald’ (as in, a bald eagle) and ‘win’ (as in, something they used to do in the ’20s).

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The Baldwin Brothers are one of Hollywood’s leading families. In a friendly game of “Rank the Baldwins, ” I’ll take:
1. Alec (for “30 Rock”)
2. Daniel (for “I’m a Celebrity … Get me Out of Here!”)
3. Billy (for occasional airtime on his wife’s reality show)
4. Stephen (for breaking his rib in “Ty Murray’s Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge”)

Danica Patrick competes as part of the Tommy Baldwin Racing NASCAR team. She may not win for Mr. Baldwin, ever, but that doesn’t stop companies from signing her to be in their tacky commercials.

The Baldwin Township in Barnes County, N.D., has a population of 34 people, according to the 2000 U. S. Census. Sounds like a short Mardi Gras parade.

California’s first drive-thru restaurant was the original In-N-Out Burger, opened in Baldwin Park in 1948. Interestingly enough, Baldwin Park has a law prohibiting the use of bicycles in swimming pools. Sorry, Aquaman.

Jerry Baldwin is one of the three original founders of Starbucks coffee. The folks in Fairhope, local business bastion that it is, are unimpressed.

Ellis Metz

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