Monthly Archives: December 2022

Small Towns Live

Ruth got fascinated by small towns. By the time she researched those who reported a population of one, all but one had increased its population. The number of towns with only one resident had increased to 7 but only one remained with a single resident, Warm River, ID. The town that reported only one resident, Elsie Eiler, that began Ruth’s interest is a town in Nebraska called Monowi that is still on most maps but turned out to be a bit of a cheat. The single woman resident of Monowi who ran a tavern and talked about walking the streets of Monowi alone had died before the article was published. My intent to write about the 6 towns of very small population that remained including Hobart Bay, AL and Bonanza, CO, but they have all increased their populations. The population of Bonanza, for example, has increased to 15.

People are moving to small towns from cities for many reasons. Census figures show an exodus of people from big cities to be closer to nature, get away from crime, and achieve a slower pace. People are beginning to realize that there is more community spirit in smaller towns. Since the year 2014, an average of 30,000 residents between the ages of 25 and 39 have left big cities each year. In the age. of COVID, small towns are perceived as more affordable and places like Dixville Notch, NH benefit.

So I am left with 7 towns to report on. The town of Gross, NE increased its population to 3 in 2021. It’s an incorporated town near Monowi and not too far from the Missouri River in an area of Nebraska that seems to be unattractive to settlers. Warm River also reports a population of 3 as of 2021 making it the least populous town in Idaho. However, in the same year it claims to have a population of 1 It’s in the northeastern part of Idaho near Rexburg and is on maps. Tavistock, NJ in the same year is reporting a population of 7. It has a long profile on Wikipedia and lists 2 notable people, a businessman and a businesswoman, as being Tavistockians. Ruso, ND reports a population of 3 in 2021. Founded in 1906, its name means’ ‘south of us’ in Russian, but it lost its last business in 1956. Ruso is on my map south of Minot. Lotsee, OK has a population of 6. It is in the Tulsa area and consists entirely of a 2,000 acre cattle and pecan ranch. Centralia, PA, population 4, is described as a near ghost town in Columbia County. It’s population has declined from 1,000 in 1980 as the result of a coal fire under the town that has been burning since 1962. Thurmond, WV has a population of 3 and is described as a ghost town known for a record setting poker game. It’s not on my map of West Virginia probably because it’s a ghost town, and it’s near the town of Beckley.

To my knowledge, these are the smallest towns that exist in America at this time.

The Appaloosa Horse – Part II

Horses are the most common mammal drawn in cave art. Long after the horse began appearing in caves the Spanish introduced this mammal to North America. It was, by then, the 16th century. The Nez Perce tribe began breeding the Appaloosa within a hundred years. They were the only North American tribe to breed horses, and they found the Appaloosa especially suited to their area known as The Palouse. The name Nez Perce was invented by French-speaking explorers and trappers in the 1700s, and used for both them and the neighboring Chinook people. Nez Perce means “pierced nose” in French. Some members would pierce their noses to be able to wear nasal ornaments.

Some Appaloosas are spotted all over but most of them are only spotted in one area of their bodies. There may be spots, for example, only on their hips. Mottled skin is a sure sign of the Appaloosa breed. The Nez Perce loved this breed. This horse liked to snack on the yarrow and sedge that grew in this area and. they were fast and agile.

The other sure sign of this breed is in the sclera, the area that surrounds the iris in the eye. This is the only horse with a white sclera, so large eyes are characteristic of this breed. They also have compact, striped hooves. They tend to be gentle and friendly animals and are especially recommended for beginners.

Moscow, Idaho, lies on a scenic section of US 95, which heads north toward Coeur d’Alene and south to Banks. To the west is fertile Palouse country where black volcanic ash soil, ample rainfall with warm autumn temperatures produce bountiful crops like lentils, dry peas, canola, wheat and barley. Moscow is the largest town with this name outside of Russia.


Past Writing

I realize that not all of my more than 2,000 blogs have been read for various reasons. Most of them are still available but may not be easy to access. For that reason I have gone into the archives and selected 20 of my favorites from early on. Simply put the exact title from below into the search window to see the writing from the past. Many now have only one photo from the trip taken for many reasons. I’m sorry about that but can do nothing about it now. Let me know if you want to see more from the past. I can do this again quite easily.


Clueless in Stockholm

Qingdao, China

Natchez Trace Parkway

Lost in Poland



Malta, Little But Mighty

Irish Christmas (My very first blog)

Calgary Bobsleigh (oddly enough, you can still do this)

London Pub

George Brown in Darwin

Barcelona’s Genius

Ah, Aachen

The Gargano Peninsula

A Budapest Curiosity

Christmas in Patagonia

Australia, Part 19 (popular over time)

Hamilton Ontario Waterfalls

Australian Outback

Camping in Colorado

These have all been tested for availability but you may need to scroll down to older blogs to access them

Shoofly Pie

Today I’m thinking of old holiday recipes after making sugared almonds instead of pecans. Tomorrow Ruth & I will tackle pecans and almonds mixed together for the holidays in a new-old recipe. Apple Pan Dowdy is out too. Both recipes are long ago favorites, not today’s treats for several reasons. Both had their time.

Shoofly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy are both Pennsylvania Dutch recipes that now use dated ingredients. Together they created a major hit record. Pennsylvania Dutch cooking used to be popular fare. I remember eating scrapple many years ago in Pennsylvania and not being impressed with it. Since then I have been looking for recipes to try for Christmas eating, and I thought that the combo of pie and cake might do it. Well, its back to the traditional fare for this year’s celebration.

Shoo-fly is basically a molasses pie that was once common as was what we now call Southern cooking that has caused Southern weight problems. Apple pandowdy is a baked apple pastry and a recipe from colonial times that is no longer favored by holiday eaters who prefer other treats. Today we use sugar. Back then molasses did the sweetening. Way back when apple pie was first introduced, desserts were created with either molasses or maple syrup. Both were popular sweeteners. Dowdying is now an old fashioned word. It involved the crust, breaking it up with a knife and pressing it into the pie’s bubbling juices during baking.

Apple pie originated in England centuries before Plymouth Rock was visited by Pilgrims. It started in France and the Netherlands and was brought to the colonies by settlers where it caught on as the American dessert of choice. If you like pecan pie, then check out shoofly, but you have to like molasses to understand why. In the early 1880s it migrated to a pie shell and stayed. Washington apples were seldom used as they are today.

The song repeats this refrain:

Shoofly pie and apple pandowdy

Makes your eyes light up

Your tummy says, “Howdy”

Shoo-fly pie and apple pan dowdy

I never get enough of that wonderful stuff.

Enjoy the holidays.


Towns Named Geneva – Part II

I’ve already done Towns Named Geneva. so I’ll just add a few details today. There are only six Genevas in Alabama. Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, New York, and Ohio that report any population figures to Rand McNally though there are still 23 Genevas in the United States. Most of them report being named after the city in Switzerland, a few of them have become ghost towns, and many of them are not on maps, so it’s hard to identify exactly where they are.

The Geneva in Utah is near a place I have been on a few occasions called Bear Lake. It’s in the southeastern part of the state and is not on any map I possess even though Bear Lake is prominently featured. The Geneva in Texas is in Sabine County and is said to be a historic town in East Texas. The Geneva in Rhode Island has become part of the large city of Providence. It is, in fact, the largest Geneva around except for the city in Switzerland. Known for it’s fountain in the lake and for the presence of WHO, the World Health Organization among other international bodies, the city of Geneva in Switzerland has a population in excess of 200,000 people. The Rhode Island Geneva is part of North Providence now with a population of 34,000. The Geneva in Oregon is now listed as a ghost town, and it was named, not for the Swiss city, but for the founder of this town in Oregon’s wife. The Geneva in Georgia is down to 75 or so people and might disappear entirely. This happens to a lot of small towns today.

There appear to be 2 towns in Michigan with this name. One of them is near Lake Michigan and Kalamazoo and the other is near the center of this state that seems to have trouble reporting on its towns. If I am right about these towns, they have a combined population of about 4,500 people. Some Genevas are still fairly large towns, larger than the towns listed in the first paragraph above. The Geneva in Washington State, for example, is said to be home to 2,395 people in the Bellingham area.

The international towns with the name Geneva bring the total to 28 towns with this name. If the experts are correct, there are Genevas in South Africa and on the Caribbean island of Dominica.