Kentucky May 13, 2015
19 Kentucky Towns with Incredibly Strange Names
Every state has its share of strangely named towns, and Kentucky is no different. We have some uniquely named places scattered from border to border. The Appalachians are home to some of the strangest titles, but the rest of the Bluegrass has quite a few as well.
Here are 19 images of Kentucky’s strangest named towns, with a few extra oddly named communities thrown in:
19. California Kentucky in Campbell County was so named because part of it lies near a river that runs through California. We also have Paris and London Kentucky.
18. Hippo is in Floyd County and was named after Bee Madison “Hippo” Craft, a local resident. Hippo stood for hypochondriac, and Bee was reported to be a most annoying one.
17. Oddville is near Cynthiana and despite its name, is a relaxed, country community. Kentucky is also home to Blandville, Shopville and Fearsville.
16. Many of us jokingly say Kentucky has a vortex that pulls us back. Perhaps it is in the town of Vortex near Paducah. The image is moisture freezing on top of a sewer grate, which looks a lot prettier then it sounds.
15. Pig is a small town in south Edmondson County. The town folk couldn’t decide on a name. The tale goes a resident saw what he thought to be a pig in the road, and they decided to call the town Pig. The people in Pig are pretty private, as photos were elusive. Thus I used a photo honoring how the town was named.
14. Viper, in the Appalachians, is home to the historic trail known as War Trace, which was used by the Cherokee and other Native Americans during travels. The renowned folk singer and dulcimer player, Jeanie Richie was also born in Viper. There are also towns named Turkey, Parrot, Spider, Beaver, Terrapin, Raccoon, and… Princess.
13. Dwarf is near Perry County and was named after a man named Jeremiah Combs and his “notably short stature”.
12. A lick is a salt block given to animals, and a word added to a lot of Kentucky towns. We have Mud Lick, Deer Lick, Paint Lick, Sulpher Lick, Bee Lick,Wolf Lick, and a few others.
11. Black Gnat borders Green County and is lush rolling hills of green. This area is a beautiful county community with plenty of farms. No record of why the town was named, but could be due to the gnats that tends to frequent farming communities.
10A. Thousandsticks is a quiet community in Leslie County that does a lot of activities via the Thousandsticks Methodist Church. Other number oriented town names include, Number One, Three Springs, Seventy Six, and Million.
10. The welcome sign.
9. Cutshin is a quiet town in the Appalachians. For excitement they tend to doing things like Needlepoint, Elk watching and local church music shows.
8. Possum Trot is a quiet, very rural community located in Marshall County. The residents here have a special kind of serenity not tainted by the factories and pollution of the big cities. The only thing I could find on how Possum Trot got its name… was how they voted down changing it.
7. Tyewhoppety is thought to be named for the slang term meaning an “un-kept looking person”, or the Shawnee word for “place of no return”.
6. How did Monkey’s Eyebrow get its name? Legend has it that if you stand on the hill, looking down on the town, it looks just like a monkey’s eyebrow. The lore is very non specific on the type of monkey. There were initially two parts to the town referred to as, “Old Monkey”, and “New Monkey”.
5. Black Bottom Kentucky is in the hills of Harlan County. The residents are pretty quiet about how the name came about. Some say it’s the ample supply of Black Bass.
4. Big Beaver Lick was a fur trading post from 1780 to 1820. It was initially known as “Beaverlick”, all one word, but is located along Big Bone Creek. Thus, residents changed the name to Big Beaver Lick and separated it into 3 words.
3. Marrowbone is one of Kentucky’s Appalachian communities that is enduring mountain top removal, as seen in the image.
2. Rabbit Hash is a small country town where the General Store still gathers a crowd. It is rumored the name came from a dish that saved the citizens from starvation during a flood.
1. Booger Branch is home to some amazing forestry and rolling hills of green. We also have towns named Strunk, Slippa, Paw Paw, Whoopie Hill… and Ruin.
Though there are only 20 images, but over 40 unusual town names are listed. It would have been easy to keep going. Kentucky people have bestowed some very “colorful” titles to their communities over the years. Chatting with local Elders can provide a wealth of information. Some are quite open about the town name origins. If you live in or know of a unique name I missed, please feel free to list it. The Bluegrass State is a virtual treasure trove of oddly named places.