Cleveland June 15, 2017
10 Towns Near Cleveland With The Strangest Names You’ll Ever See
Ohio seems to have rather normal town names, except, of course, for those named after indigenous words, which admittedly have a very different pronunciation than traditional English. It’s especially easy to label our state as “normal” when other regions flaunt cities with names like Chicken (looking at you, Alaska), Bald Head (is there a back story, Maine?), and, of course, Booger Hole (always a charmer, West Virginia), but it seems that we do indeed have some unusual towns with even weirder names. Want to hear the craziest part? These towns are all within a few hours of Cleveland, and they’re definitely worth checking out.
1. Celeryville, Huron County
Yes, if you're wondering, this town
was named for celery. A group of Hollanders migrated to the area in 1904 with the intention of raising onions and celery, and they grew these crops in former swampland. The peat soil was so rich that it has caught fire on a few different occasions.
2. Funk, Wayne County
This odd unincorporated village is near the Southwestern corner of Plain Township. One of its cool features is the
Funk Bottoms (*insert immature giggling here*) Wildlife Area, which is a collection of natural meadows in the glaciated central hills region of our state.
3. Jelloway, Knox County
About halfway between Cleveland and Columbus is an odd little community located in Jefferson Township. This sleepy unincorporated area is named for the creek that cuts through it, and the creek is named for a Native American Chief. This quaint destination is actually fairly close to Mohican-Memorial State Forest.
4. Phalanx, Trumbull County
This funny-sounding settlement was actually named for the Trumbull Phalanx Company, a utopian mini-city of just a few hundred acres that was active for about four years following 1846. When it disbanded, the area around the Trumbull Phalanx Company adopted its name.
5. Gnadenhutten, Tuscarawas County
Try saying that five times fast! Heck, I don't even think I could say Gnadenhutten or Tuscarawas five times slow without messing up. In case you were wondering, "gnadenhütten" is a German word meaning "huts of grace." Though the town name feels even weirder when you know what it translates as, it is actually an important historical site. In Gnadenhutten in 1792, the Pensylvania militia fostered growing settler-Native American tensions when they slaughtered over 90 pacifist Native Americans, and the very next year the land, which was supposedly reserved for indigenous peoples as an "act of indemnity," was opened to European settlers.
6. Uhrichsville, Tuscarawas County
No, the name does not translate to "a rich village," even though its pronunciation may fool you. It is actually named for a man named Michael Uhrich who operated the local mill. When it was founded as Waterford, it was nicknamed "Uhrich's Mill," and that reputation noticeably influenced its modern name.
7. Mantua, Portage County
Ever heard of a place that sounds like man-uh-way? That's this village. Despite its strange pronunciation, this town grew in the 1840s thanks to the Cleveland and Mahoning Valley Railroad.
8. Charm, Holmes County
What's so charming about Charm? Is it lucky? Well, maybe. Charm is actually world-famous for the development of Baby Swiss Cheese by the Guggisberg Cheese Company. If you haven't sampled cheese at Guggisberg, plan a trip to Charm ASAP.
9. River Styx, Medina County
Ever heard of the mythological river of the same name? If so, then you can imagine why early settlers referred to this swampy Medina-area land as such a dreadful place. The sticky, swampy soil often broke wagon wheels, making treks through this stretch nearly impossible.
10. Diamond, Portage County
If you assumed this Akron-area village was founded on the mining business, you're right! But it was not quite diamonds that its early residents were after. Diamond was, interestingly, once a coal mining community. Once upon a time, it was a stop on the New York Central Railroad, too, but that closed during the 1970s.
As you can see, Ohioans are not immune to the American curse of weird town names. Have you ever visited a town with a bizarre name? Tell us about it in the comments, and share some pictures!