There are said to be 25 towns named Arcadia in the United States and 43 places in the world with this name. Like Utopia and Zion, many of the towns named Arcadia are now very small. There are fewer than a dozen that really still qualify as towns, and many have been absorbed into larger communities like the Arcadia in Maryland that is now part of Baltimore and the Texas Arcadia that is now a neighborhood in Galveston.
I can see why Arcadia was once considered an attractive name for a town because it brings to mind a community of harmony with nature. This name calls forth a scene of simple pleasures and genuine quiet. This name harks back to Greece where Arcadia is an ancient mountain and a fixture in Greek Mythology. I can also see why it is no longer a desirable name for a new town.
There are many Arcadias scattered throughout the world. I have found at least two in Australia and a tiny Arcadia in Canada’s Nova Scotia. The largest Arcadia is a community in Southern Californian where almost 60,000 people live. There are also fairly large towns named Arcadia in South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Louisiana.
The Arcadia in Iowa is now a town of fewer than 1,000 people west of much larger but still unimpressive Carroll, which has 10,000 citizens and is at least the name of an Iowa county. “Arcadia, IA is not too far from Denison that is trying to survive with a heritage museum devoted to a local actress who went to Hollywood and later had a career in TV named Donna Reed. I wonder how Winterset, IA is doing with its museum devoted to once western star John Wayne. I used to be friends with a man from Iowa who was related to D. W. Griffith , who had a major career in films after directing Birth of a Nation and became the very first Hollywood director. He used to spend a lot of time around Spirit Lake, Iowa’s only large natural lake. Other folks came from Iowa and went on to fame and fortune in Hollywood. The Field of Dreams is in Iowa.
Some of the more interesting Arcadias include the tiny town in tiny Rhode Island that still exists. The tiny town of Arcadia, OK is 15 miles north of Oklahoma City. The town of Arcadia, WI near La Crosse is a majority-Hispanic community and the largest town in its county with about 4,000 people.