You just may have one in your state – a weird or silly named town – like Hell, Michigan, for example. There really is a Hell on Earth. (See what I mean by weird or funny?) Many of the strangely named towns and villages got their names because a founding father or company left their mark in the area. Other places were named after the topography of the region or because a significant historical event happened nearby.
Still other places received their monikers for a more practical reason: The U.S. Postal Service insisted a name be approved by the time the post office building was erected. Townspeople, in a rush to decide, chose a name that still endures and makes us smile today. Whatever the reason, I love the weird town names. Here are a few of my favorites:
George Reeves settled the area in the 1830s. He traded his home-brewed whiskey for the area farmers’ grain. Farm wives didn’t approve of their husbands’ drinking and would complain, “They’re going to hell again.” Today the town has embraced their name. You can eat at the Hell Hole Diner or get married in Hell’s Chapel of Love. There’s even a Hell Saloon featuring sinfully awesome drinks!
This small village was first named Fairview. Why change the name? There were other towns named Fairview on the railroad route and to avoid confusion, Fairview was renamed Boring to honor its first postmaster, David J. Boring. Hmmm. Maybe they should’ve taken a bit more time to choose a name.
This little hamlet was named because the postmaster was cheated out of 50 cents when he purchased a watermelon. Today the Tightwad Bank boasts customers from around the globe. Who wouldn’t like to have checks or a bank card that features Tightwad Bank?
Why Not, North Carolina
When townspeople gathered to decide on this town’s name, some said, “Why not call it this?” “Why not name it that?” The discussion got heated and dragged on until a frustrated local exclaimed, “Let’s just call it Why Not so we can all go home!” They did.
The U.S. Postal Service rejected the locals’ first attempt to name their village. “Your name is difficult,” said the letter. Residents mistook the letter as an official directive and accepted the name Difficult.
Ding Dong, Texas
The Bell family settled this area and the town decided to honor them by naming the town Ding Dong. Quite an honor, huh?
Here’s a town that lives up to its name! Besides a deserted gas station and weather-worn sign, there is truly nothing left in Nothing.
Traversing the river that runs through the area toppled many explorers’ canoes. Fur traders also soon became frustrated and, well, embarrassed. The name stuck, unfortunately.
I’m sure there are many, many more strangely named towns that I’ve missed. Have you visited any that we should know about? If so, leave a comment below!