Monday, May 7, 2012

Iconic U.S. Town Names Fade


A front page story from USA today on the demise of a small piece of Americana:

Unusual local place names, often chosen by pioneer settlers to make a joke, mark an occasion or grind an axe, are slowly being squeezed out by ones fabricated by developers to market real estate, according to Mike Hill of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History.

[. . .] Over time fewer settlements will be called things such as Zap, N.D., Jay Em, Wyo., and Fisty, Ky. — all post offices slated for closing. And more will have synthetic names that spell harbor with a "u" and town with an "e."  Hill calls this process "suburban swallow up;" colorfully named places are slowly eased out by subdivisions, some named after the natural features (Bretton Woods) or creatures (Grouse Run) they obliterate or displace.

Steve Clowney

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A personal favorite: River Styx, Ohio, the birthplace of the progressive Wisconsin Supreme Court justice Marvin B. Rosenberry

Posted by: Daniel Ernst | May 7, 2012 6:49:23 AM

I used to live next to Athol, MA, which usually gets chuckles. It is also part of the answer to this question: Which three towns in Massachusetts are named after Governor Peabody? Answer: Peabody, Marblehead, and Athol.

Posted by: Ben Barros | May 8, 2012 7:17:42 AM

What will happen to American media("Eerie, Indiana"; "Paris, Texas"; etc)?

Posted by: Thomas Gibbons NZ | May 15, 2012 8:08:49 PM

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