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A historical aerial photo of Afton looks north and was taken in the late 1930s. The road running down the center of the photo is Afton Road/Jefferson Street. The short street running to the left of Afton Road is West Third Street.
In the upper left corner is the Afton Quarry, which was in use until at least 1970.
Afton was previously called Middleton, according to a Chicago & Northwestern Railway history. In 1857 or 1858, Beloit-Madison Railroad Superintendent Robert Harris asked that the town’s name be changed to avoid confusion with other villages of the same name. Afton was named after the Robert Burns’ song “Flow Gently, Sweet Afton.”
“Flow gently, sweet Afton! amang thy green braes/Flow gently, I’ll sing thee a song in thy praise/
My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream/ Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.”
Different versions of the song can be found on YouTube. The song also can be sung to the tune of “Away in the Manger.”