I was going to write towns named Birmingham today but could not find enough of them to write about. There are 14 of them in the United States, one in England that is the largest Birmingham of all with more than 2 and a half million people, and one in Saskatchewan, Canada. The Birmingham in Alabama has 212,000 citizens living in it, but is unfortunately the only real Birmingham around. The Birminghams in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Iowa are too small for consideration. The Birmingham in Kentucky was destroyed by the filling of Kentucky Lake. This name is Gaelic and derives from the Old English word for a tribe of people called the Beormingas They settled in England where Birmingham is today. Birmingham grew from a medieval market town into an industrial powerhouse in the 20th century. But then I began thinking about Limas.
There are some fairly large Limas in the United States. The ones in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and especially Ohio are fairly large now. There are 60 Limas in the world with the largest one becoming the capital of the South American country of Peru. The Lima in Pennsylvania is pronounced Lye-ma. The Lima in Ohio is now a city of about 36,000 people and full of surprises as it turns out. The Lima in Montana is named after the Lima in Ohio and was originally the town of Allerdice, but the Lima in Ohio was named for the city in Peru.
Of interest to me. There was an outbreak of cholera in Ohio in the 19th century. The dirty water that caused the problem was not discovered until 1886. The citizens of Lima, Ohio, built an opera house in 1882 that was so revolutionary and renowned that many New York theaters were modeled on it.
Many famous people were from Lima, Ohio. They include early TV host Hugh Downs, the football star Ben Roethlisberger, Al Jardine, one of the founders of the Beach Boys, and the comedienne Phyllis Diller, who became a friend of my mother when they both lived in St. Louis and had large families. Over time Phyllis Diller wrote several books. My favorite title was her 2001 tome named “Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse”.