Five more odd American town names. There is a town in Arizona called Picture Rocks. This is totally understandable because picture rocks really exist in areas with big Native American populations because of petroglyphs. Tribal groups communicated with each other by posting pictures reflecting their world view on rocks in their area. This happened in Australia too. The picture rocks near Tucson are of animals like bighorn sheep and deer or of dancing human figures. Seeing these picture rocks is usually a prelude to a visit to the west section of Saguaro National Park. More than 8,000 people live in this town that is adjacent to Tucson.
Pewee Valley is a town in Kentucky. Originally called Smith’s Station, its name was changed as the town grew and a post office was about to happen. Someone who lived there decided to honor a local bird, the eastern wood pewee, by naming the town after it. John Audubon would be proud. This town has grown to be about 1,500 people in the Louisville area.
I love the name of a town in Georgia called Thunderbolt. It’s 5 miles from Savannah and has a population of about 3,000. Its name resulted from a lightning strike that created a spring. Because of its river location, Thunderbolt became a plantation shipping port. Its name was changed to Warsaw, but then it went back to Thunderbolt and it’s location became a prosperous yacht basin.
There is a hamlet in the Texas Hill Country called Ding Dong. It reportedly is home to 15 to 20 Texans so remains unincorporated. The nearest town to it is KiIleen. The story of Ding Dong involves 2 men who decided to open a store and came up with this unusual name. My favorite Hill Country town is Bandera, Texas, which is pretty far away from Ding Dong. Another Texas hamlet that size became famous and had a song written about it. It’s called Luckenbach. Bandera and Luckenbach are places to visit for sure!
My favorite town with an odd name is just north of Casper, Wyoming, where my cousin Jeff and his wife live. It’s called Bar Nunn and resulted from an aviation circumstance. A town of close to 3,000 people, Bar Nunn was originally the site of Casper’s airport, Wardwell Field. A man named Romie Nunn owned part of the Wardwell property and the story got complicated, but former runways now function as town streets. Early in this century Bar Nunn was the fastest growing town in Wyoming.