Alabama March 13, 2017
The Story Behind This Small Town In Alabama Is Bizarre But True
All throughout Alabama you can find small towns that are overflowing with charm. It may be hard to try and pick a favorite, but there’s one tucked away town that has a unique history that will completely fascinate you. A story you’ll be surprised to hear is true, the history behind the town of Phil Campbell is one that’s full of quirks and will have you hooked.
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Nestled away within the northwest corner of Alabama is the tiny town of Phil Campbell.
Back in the 1800s, there was a man by the name of Phil Campbell who was building rail lines throughout Alabama. One day, a local businessman told Phil Campbell that if he built a depot that he would name the town after him. And while this original Phil Campbell never actually came to live in the town, the area did end up going by Phil Campbell and is one of the only towns in the country to have a person's full name.
Now here is where things get interesting! The small town with a population of roughly 1,000 residents was discovered by a New York man named Phil Campbell back in 1993.
Now known to many as Brooklyn Phil, Phil Campbell found out about the town during his college years back in 1993. He took a trip to Alabama the following summer in 1994 and did everything you would expect someone in his position to do! Phil went on to explore the town and take tourist-like pictures next to things that he found his name all over and mingled with town residents.
But one of the most important parts about this trip? When Phil came across a file that the County Clerk had kept, featuring business cards and newspaper clippings of all of the other Phil Campbells that had previously come and visited the town, he realized he need to get as many Phil Campbell's together in town as he possibly could.
Brooklyn Phil went on to find out about over 300 other Phil Campbells that lived all over the country, sending out messages via snail mail to each and every one of them that he was able to find to tell them about the small town.
After responses began to quickly pour in, Brooklyn Phil realized he had to make a meeting of all of the Phils happen in Alabama. Thanks to the hard work and effort of Brooklyn Phil, the first convention came together back in the summer of 1995. A total of 23 Phils arrived in Alabama and even a Phyllis managed to show up as well! With Phils coming from all over the country, the unique convention turned out to be quite a success and even earned Brooklyn Phil an honorary citizen certificate from the Mayor!
After taking the hunch that the residents of the town weren't entirely over the moon about the focused celebration of people named Phil Campbell, the town would go on to instead have an annual Hoedown.
Instead of celebrating all of the Phil Campbells that had come together in the town that they shared their name with, the convention turned into a Hoedown that focused on celebrating the entire town and people that called it home.
As years went by and the town and Brooklyn Phil went on to do their own things, life would bring everything back together when Brooklyn Phil saw the town's Wikipedia page in 2010. After being reminded of the power of social media, Brooklyn Phil decided to once again put together another convention. This time though, he would go on to track down and invite Phils from all over the globe. Reconnecting with the town, Brooklyn Phil and everyone planned to celebrate in Alabama once again in June of 2011.
Sadly, just before the 2011 Hoedown was due to take place, a horrendous tornado tore through the small town, causing mass destruction.
In 2011, the annual Hoedown was expected to be extra special because they would be celebrating the town's 100th anniversary. Unfortunately, at the end of April a destructive tornado would destroy the town, causing 27 deaths and nearly put an end to the upcoming celebration.
Did you know about this history behind the town of Phil Campbell? For more quirky things that you’ll only find here in the Yellowhammer State, check out these
10 things Alabamians Do That Seem Insane To Everyone Else!