For the last few weeks, we’ve been running a “unusual town name” series on the facebook page, and I’ve had several requests for reprints.
So …thought we’d recap what we’ve done so far, just to keep everyone up to date. First though, we had many good laughs out of this YouTube clip, as to how to pronounce some of our more odd names, such as Pfafftown, Coolemee, and more!
Just a little tidbit..a woman on our facebook page mentioned that Pfafftown, where she once lived, is pronounced “paff town”. Wikipedia, however, has it pronounced as “poff town”
This was such an intriquing name that this area of Buncombe County was one of our first to research. Sandy Mush actually gets its’ name from Sandy Mush Creek. The story is that a hunting party, while fixing dinner, accidently got sand from the creek into their “mush”, hence “Sandy Mush”.
“Rumbling Bald Resort takes its name from the beautiful ridges and cliffs of Rumbling Bald Mountain that surround the resort and provide some of the most dramatic scenery in Western North Carolina. Yet the mountain was not always known by its current name. On the evening of February 9, 1874, a local preacher prayed at one such revival for God to move the hearts of sinners by “making the mountain to shake and tremble beneath their feet.” The next day, Old Bald began to rumble. For the local people the earthquake-like sounds and trembling created a time of terror. Many sincerely believed that the world was about to end, and local farmers turned out their livestock into the woods, convinced that they would not be around to care for them anymore. Scientists later theorized that the tremors and sounds were caused by rocks falling into the extensive cave system that underlies the mountain. The rumbling continued intermittently for six months, and then the mountain became silent again, and except for very occasional rumbles, has remained so ever since. Folks rounded up their animals again and life went on as before, but the mountain has been known as Shaking Bald, Quaking Bald, and finally Rumbling Bald ever since. For those with a historical bent, the USGS has collected some newspaper clippings about the 1874 rumblings that are worth a read.” For more information, please see the highlighted name above.
Barbecue, NC..it seems only fitting, with all the upcoming bbq events coming up, that we also include a town that actually is named Barbecue!
Ever heard of it? Neither had I. This is in Harnett County, and according to Wikipedia, the name is believed to have come about from steam rising from a nearby creek, reminding a man by the name of Red McNeil of pits for cooking in the Caribbean.
Up near Boone, there is an area named “Meat Camp”. This odd name is in reference to an old packing house, where folks used to store their dressed out meat until they finished hunting. Oddly enough, it is located on Meat Camp Road!
Have you ever heard of Boger City? This one was new to me: It is located in Lincoln County, near “Polkadot”!
Boger City, as odd as it sounds, actually is named for a mill owner in the area: Robert Boger.
Hmm…For our Sunday odd name post, we were checking out Bandana, NC, to see how in the world that name cropped up!
Bandana, located in Mitchell County, actually has two possible explanatons: The first is that a railway man marked the spot for the new depot with his bandana, hence the name. The other? A politician on the campaign trail, Thomas Johnston, always wore a red bandana!
Loafer’s Glory, NC
Not surprisingly, Loafer’s Glory is named for the “loafers” who hung out at the general store. This info was gleamed from the Appalachian Project page on Facebook
The following names we’d love to learn more about, as we could not find any information on them. If you are aware of any history surrounding these names, please message us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our facebook page, NC Culture
Ruth, NC in Rutherford County
Polkadot, NC in Lincoln County
We will be following this series up with more unusual names soon!