Special Report

50 Strangest Town Names in America (and Where They Came From)

Source: kenlund / Flickr

11. Cal-Nev-Ari, Nevada
> Municipal status: Census designated place
> Population: 128

This site was originally known as Stage Field and was an airfield for World War II army training center Camp Ibis. After the camp was closed, an airport operator, Slim Kidwell, flew over the area and thought it had development possibilities. He and his wife, Nancy, took possession of the property in 1965, naming it in recognition of its home state and its proximity to the California and Arizona borders. They built an airstrip, casino, motel, restaurant, and bar, among other features.

Source: capcase / Flickr

12. Chunky, Mississippi
> Municipal status:
> Population: 440

Chunkyville was village established before 1848 on the site of a former Choctaw settlement called Chanki Chitto. In 1861, after it was announced that planned railroad tracks would pass several miles north of the village, most of its citizens moved close to where it would pass and called their new town simply Chunky.

Source: Valis55 / Wikimedia Commons

13. Coy, Arkansas
> Municipal status: Town
> Population: 105

The founder of this town wasn’t trying to be cute. His name was Lucien W. Coy. A Civil War veteran (on the Union side), he became a money lender and land speculator after the conflict ended. His wife, Abby, purchased the land on which Coy stands in 1896, later selling it to one Andrew Jackson Walls. Walls and his partner, W. E. Coleman, built a cotton gin and a store on the property in 1903, and this became the nucleus of the town.

Source: Coal town guy / Wikimedia Commons

14. Cucumber, West Virginia
> Municipal status: Census designated place
> Population: 70

This community takes its name not from the familiar vegetable, but either from the so-called cucumber tree (sometimes written cucumbertree), Magnolia acuminata, which grows in the region, or from Cucumber Creek — itself likely named for the tree.

Source: HIM Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

15. Cut and Shoot, Texas
> Municipal status: City
> Population: 1,543

Local legend has it that the name of this city derives from a disagreement in 1912 at the local church, with churchgoers arguing over land claims, or steeple design, or who the preacher should be. Whatever the source of the dispute, a small boy at the scene is said to have announced his annoyance with the goings-on by saying “I’m going to cut around the corner and shoot through the bushes in a minute.” Exactly when locals decided to name their settlement after the statement is not recorded.