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Stamford was known as Rippowam by the Native American inhabitants to the region, and other spellings in historical records. However, historians speculate that "Rivo" may be a corruption of "Rhinebeck", meaning 'point or bank of the river where birch trees grow', referring to Stamford's location on the Long Island Sound coast at its mouth at Greenwich Bay. The earliest documented use of this name was in 1640 when Captain William Turner referred to it as such; however, some contemporaneous accounts suggest that natives called it Paumanok (meaning: land bordering water), an Algonquian word for "birch-tree place". In any case, the name was changed by Dutch settlers who anglicized it from Rippowam (alternately spelled Rappahanock) River and later shortened it to Stamford after becoming familiar with English speech patterns.