It is crooked does not refer to some nefarious scheme to relieve people of their hard-earned money.
It refers to the Wampanoag word "Wankinquoah" which translates to a crooked place in a river, a bend, a crook, a turn.
There are many different spellings for this word as we moved from colonial times and the Pilgrims up to the present day. In a deed dated 1699 and recorded in Plymouth town records (Plymouth Town Records, Dee.11, 1699) the word is Wonquonquauy.
Later this word became Wankinco, Wonkinco, Wankinquoak, and Wankinquoah.
It is crooked has no relation to Wankinkoah Avenue, the street. It is straight as an arrow.
It used to be the name of the street which runs parallel to the ocean at Swifts Beach - Wankinkoah Avenue. It had that name for over 100 years.
The town fathers of Wareham, in their infinite wisdom, decided that Ocean Drive would be a better word for the street. It is a drive along the ocean, yes, but Wankinko, Wonkinco, Wankinquoak, and Wankinquoah all are better names.
There might have been another street in Wareham with the same name. We have several choices here. Why not pick one of them?
Below is an early postcard of the street before it was paved ...
This card is postmarked 1910. A. B. Cleveland was the man who ran the first store on Swifts Beach. It was on Wankinkoah Aveenue and that may be his horse and buggy on its way to the railroad station to pick up some vacationers.
You don't see any telephone poles, do you?
Nope. When you came to the beach in those days, you came by train usually. That meant you had no car. There weren't that many cars anyway around 1910.
On October 1, 1908, the first production Ford Model T was slapped together in Detroit at the Piquette Avenue plant. It was Henry Ford's goal to build a car for the masses and over 15,000,000 Model Ts would be built utilizing the Model T engine. There were many different body styles from 1908 until 1927 when production of the Model T came to a halt. Only the Volkswagen Beetle would have a longer run of a single automobile model.
And no telephone. You were completely cut off from the outside world except for the U.S. Mail service. Mail might have been delivered to the "ABC" store run by A.B.Cleveland and his store sold postcards so many were mailed from his store.
It is crooked referred to the Wankinqoah River that flowed into Wareham. The Agawam River flowed into the Wankinqoah and once combined become the Wareham River which flows into Buzzards Bay.
This card says Beach Front. There doesn't appear to be a road so perhaps it is the beach front. There is no postmark or writing on the back, but it appears to be around 1910.
This is Wankinkoah Avenue looking east. The road are not paved yet. Circa 1910.
This is the back of the above postcard. It is postmarked 1915. It gives instructions on what train to take to get to Wareham. It says that there is no "Jitney" to get from the station to the beach, but that "Cleveland" will pick them up. That is probably A.B. Cleveland who ran the first store on the beach. People called it the "ABC" store after Cleveland's initials.
The picture on this postcard was taken by pointing the camera north on Bay View Street. Wankinqoah Avenue crosses Bay View in front of the cottages facing the beach and the camera. The cottages on the postcard are no longer there, of course; swept away by the 1938 hurricane.
I see some poles, but no wires.
The phone company is now wiring the beach with Fiber-Optic cable.
It is crooked along Wankinqoah Avenue.
The handwriting is almost impossible to read. The postcard's post mark is 1915.