I’ve had the opportunity to travel cross-country from coast to coast and back again a few times and throughout my travels I’ve seen a lot of weird city names and roadside attractions.
Here are 8 of the weirdest towns that will make you scratch your head and say huh?
Burnt Corn, AL
My first thought was “Who in the world would name their town Burnt Corn?” I mean, is that the best you could come up with? Some people believe the name came from the smell of burnt corn given off when people would pass through town but the name actually came from the burning of corn fields during the Creek War of 1813. Their appears to be no population of the town and the only census ever taken was in 1880, nothing since.
I’m sure there is a sign somewhere that reads “Welcome to Hell! Now leave!” Although I can’t prove that it just seems fitting in a town called Hell. “Where are you from?” “I’m from Hell” Imagine the looks after this conversation goes down. If you happen to make a stop and need to satisfy your hunger cravings you can stop by the Hell Hole Diner which serves your typical American Diner fare including hamburgers, pizza, wraps, salads and more. You can also become an honorary mayor of Hell for a day by reserving your spot here. So don’t wait, go to Hell now!
What makes this town unique is not what is happening in it but what is happening beneath it. A former coal mining town, it has a little problem without a solution. The former coal mine under the city has been burning steady since 1962 Yes, that’s 56 years of steady burning. Apparently the mine fire started by someone igniting trash inside the mine which spread to a coal seam and the rest is history. The fire is some 300 feet under ground and the seam runs for about 8 miles so at it’s current rate it could burn for the next 250 years!
With a total population of just one resident this is the only incorporated town in America with a population of just one person. Her name is Elsie Eiler who used to live in the town with her husband who died in 2004 so now she is the lone resident. She is the mayor, the librarian and the bartender for the entire town. When does she sleep with all those responsibilities? Busy woman for someone in there 80’s. Hopefully it doesn’t not become a town of zero any time soon.
The residents of Tangier speak an unique dialect that is different than anything else around them. The town is located on a small island in the center of Chesapeake Bay isolated from everyone else. The accent is not quite English and not quite American but kind of a combination of both….but not really. Just watch the video to hear it for yourself.
I ran across this town by accident while taking a detour on our way to Apollo Beach. We were driving down one of the main streets there and everywhere we looked were old carnival rides, carnival food stands and other various circus and carnival related equipment. Once we arrived at our friends house we asked them about the sightings and they told us the history of this carni-town. It was a place where the weird and unusual could go and feel welcome. Carni-freaks welcomed with open arms. Most of the carni’s are now gone but their legend lives on.
Nicknamed the “City of Souls”, it is a city of about 100 residents and about 2 million dead ones. It is a town roughly two square miles and has 17 cemeteries within it’s city limits. Neighboring San Francisco banned burials within the city in 1900 because they ran out of room so they started moving the bodies to Colma. In the end 150,000 were moved to their new resting place in Colma. Some of their famous corpses include Wyatt Earp, Civil War Generals, Levi Strauss, Joe DeMaggio, William Randolph Hearst among others.
The town called the Gateway to Prince William Sound, Whittier is a small town about 60 miles from Anchorage where everyone lives together in the same building. There are no other residents living anywhere else in the town. The 14 story building called Begich Tower is home to 214 residents, a post office, a church, the police station, a convenience store, video rental shop, (yes they still exist apparently) a playground, a bed and breakfast and a health center. Winters are severe so they have everything they need under one roof.