There’s no shortage of landmarks and famous places to visit in the United States and then there’s these, the towns you’ve probably never heard of for good reason.
We’ve uncovered the top 10 most oddly named places in the land of the stars and stripes.
10. Hell, Michigan
Settler George Reeves opened a store and gristmill in the 1830s on the banks of a river and pretty soon, his main currency was paying local farmers with distilled whiskey. During grain harvests, locals were said to have ‘gone to hell’ when they visited George’s store come tavern such was the potency of the brew. The name stuck.
9. Belchertown, Massachusetts
It was once known as Cold Springs but when future Governor Jonathan Belcher was granted land in 1716, his unfortunate surname would forever brand this area of Springfield, Massachusetts, that is now home to 15,000 people.
8. Nothing, Arizona
Well, what can one say about Nothing? Founded by a self-proclaimed ‘bunch of drunks’ who opened a gas station, the total population of four has since become zero after their business in the middle of nowhere predictably went broke. Situated 160 kilometres northwest of Phoenix, this popular photo spot now consists of an abandoned fuel stop and scrap metal yard.
7. Accident, Maryland
Located in Garrett County, Maryland, it’s unknown how this town’s rather uninspiring name came to be. To make matters worse, the 400 residents of Accident are referred to as being ‘Accidental’. The best guess about how the name came about is that two pioneering surveyors looking to establish new land tracts in the area both ‘accidentally’ landed on the same conclusion about where the settlement should be created.
6. Nameless, Tennessee
When town officials requested a post office permit, the space on the application form for the town name was left blank. Receipt of the application was returned with ‘Nameless’, written in the box. Now immortalised, Nameless remained … nameless. Elvis Costello mentioned the quirky town name in the lyrics of My Dark Life.
5. Boring, Maryland
Yup, that’s it, Boring. The 40 houses that make up this community also have a Boring Post Office, Boring Methodist Church and a Boring Volunteer Fire Brigade. Like Belchertown, Boring has an individual to blame and in this case, it was the late 19th-century original postmaster David Boring whose name was attached to the settlement.
4. Hellhole Palms, California
Located in sunny California, Hellhole Palms grows, well, palm trees. That’s it. No one lives in Hellhole Palms but it is well known to avid hikers who pass through en-route to the popular Maidenhair Falls.
3. Peculiar, Missouri
After several meetings in the town general store to come up with a name for the hamlet, residents of this small hamlet wrote to the postmaster General saying ‘We don’t care what name you give us as long as it is sort of peculiar.’ And in 1868 their wish was granted with the opening of the peculiar post office. Delightfully, the town’s current tagline is "Where the 'odds' are with you."
2. Pee Pee, Ohio
Its name comes from the creek of the same name which is rumoured to come from the initials of an Irish settler who carved P.P. in a tree on the banks. Founded in 1798, there are now around 10,000 people who call Pee Pee home.
1. Unalaska, Alaska
The top spot for unusual names goes to Unalaska particularly given it’s located in Alaska. The largest city of the Aleutian Islands, it’s also one of the biggest fishing ports in the US and home to the popular international television series Deadliest Catch. The region’s first inhabitants called it Ounalashka which translates to "Near the Peninsula".
Published under license from Well Travelled.