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America's Quirkiest Towns

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americas-quirkiest-towns


America's diversity is a known fact. Some may say it is eccentric. From the California coast to the Maine seashore lies a cornucopia of regional idiosyncrasies and custom that can only be called unique. There are towns that stand out. We could say they have character. They are peculiar, they are different and they are down right quirky. Here are a few.

americas-quirkiest-towns


Randsley, Arkansas -

You know those uncomfortable moments when you're talking to someone and you just can't remember their name? Not a problem in the little Arkansas town of Randsley where everyone's name is either Billy Bob or Billie Bob. It all started when folks began to name their children after the admired founder of the town, you guessed it, Billy Bob Randsley. It caught on. Randsley's entire population of 2307 souls is a Billy or Billie Bob. The story goes that there was once a holdout named Tommy who refused to change his name. He was "persuaded" by the townsfolk that he would be happier living somewhere else. So if you're in Randsley go to a busy area and shout "Hi, Billy Bob" and watch all eyes turn toward you. Creepy.


Cassadaga, Florida -

If you can't seem to spit out exactly what's on your mind and if you're in Cassadaga, Florida you don't have to. Everyone who lives in this small central Florida town is a psychic or medium. Cassadaga was estabished in 1894 by George Colby, a 27 year old medium who had received a message from his Indian spirit guide to go there. He set up camp and in no time at all Cassadaga became the center and winter getaway for spiritualists. It has become known as the "Psychic Capital of the World" and remains much like it did in the 1920s. The residents possess a variety of supernatural abilities including clairvoyance and communicating with the dearly departed. Spooky.


Pearsonville, California -

If you need a part for your car or just shopping around for some new hubcaps for it, Pearsonville, California is the place for you. Known as the "Hubcap Capital of the World", Pearsonville still seems like a throwback from a 1960s road trip. The town was founded by Andy and Lucy Pearson in 1959 when they bought land to open a wrecking yard and raise their family. Lucy began collecting hubcaps and it is said she has over 80,000 on hand. Pearsonville may seem like just a wide spot in the desert but Hubcap Lucy gives it character. Visitors there have included Whoopi Goldberg and Jim Belushi among others. Lucy maintains her own website and caters to vehicles from 50's, 60's and 70's. Cool.


Kennesaw, Georgia -

At first glance, Kennesaw seems like an ordinary American town. It was voted one of the nation's "10 best towns for families" by Family Circle magazine. So what makes it unique? In 1982, the city passed an ordinance requiring every head of household within city limits to maintain a firearm along with ammunition. Those who had religious or philosophical objections were exempt. Since the ordinance went into effect, Kennesaw's population has soared from around 5000 to over 31,000. Crime in Kennesaw is now 45% lower than the national average.( data). Depending where you stand on gun ownership, Kennesaw is either a scary or safe place. Controversial.


Gold Hill, Oregon -

Gold Hill is an old gold mining town in southern Oregon. It is the home of the Oregon Vortex where strange things occur. The area was used for tool storage by a mining company in the early 1900s. But its history goes back to the time of the Native Americans whose horses refused to enter the area. They dubbed it the "Forbidden Ground" and stayed away. No wonder. The laws of physics don't seem to apply here. Balls roll uphill and brooms stand on end. People appear to be dramatically shorter or taller when they switch positions. No one knows what causes this phenomena. Theories include paranormal or magnetic fields as the cause. Some think it is nothing but an optical illusion. The population of Gold Hill see it as a tourist trap. Scary.


Mount Airy, North Carolina -

Andy Griffith's hometown is Mount Airy and when you're there you'll feel like you're in Mayberry. The historic town is vintage 1960s television with a tongue in cheek tribute to its most famous son. You can tour the town in a 1962 squad car or visit the Old City Jail. There's even an Aunt Bea's Restaurant and a very good replica of Wally's Service Station. Or you can get your hair cut at Floyd's Barber Shop. Mount Airy is truly a TV town full of nostalgia and memories of the popular television series. The townsfolk's quirky obsession is contagious and the Barney Fife look-a-like handing out brochures helps it along. Funny.


Whittier, Alaska -

Whittier is a tiny city of just under two hundred souls. It sits at the mouth of the wildlife and glacier filled Prince William Sound. It is an alternative port for cruise ships when the port of Seward is full. The weather in Whittier is often quite nasty. Between December and April the average amount of snow on the ground on any given day is 33.8". Almost all residents live in a 14 story apartment building. The kids don't have to go outside to go to school. They travel through a tunnel which they share with rail and vehicle traffic. The trains and vehicles take turns every half an hour. Whittier was established by the U.S. Army during World War II but was abandoned by the army in 1960. Cold.


Kingsville, Texas -

Kingsville is a friendly and dusty town not far from Corpus Christi, Texas. This Rio Grande Valley town of 25,000 people is trying to set a precedent. The word "hello" is no longer welcome because it contains the word "hell" which is bad. They have replaced it with the word "heaven-o" because it contains the word "heaven" which is good. Call the courthouse or city hall and employees will answer the telephone with "heaven-o". The brainchild of Kingsville citizen Leonso Canales, the habit caught on quickly. The Chamber of Commerce hopes to promote Kingsville as a heavenly place to visit. Linguists agree that the word "hello" has no roots in the underworld but if it makes them happy..... Weird.


Beallsville, Pennsylvania -

Some people just love Halloween. In the little town of Beallsville, Pennsylvania they are dead serious about it. This is the home of Castle Blood, a ghoulishly decorated building that is maintained all year. Actors are hired to play the parts of vampires and ghouls. Visitors are attracted to the props and gore to the delight of its keepers, Chris and Ricky. They are quick to point out that the dead in Beallsville outnumber the living with a population of 500 and 5000 in the cemetery. U.S. Hwy 40 passes through town and right by Castle Blood's door. The people in town don't really want to frighten folks but they are hauntingly satisfied with the attention they get. Fun.


Marfa, Texas -

Marfa is a very odd town. It ls situated 200 miles from anywhere in the Chihuahua desert. Marfa is best known for the mysterious light show in the night sky. For years visitors have reported seeing small random gyrating orbs which remain unexplained. Some believe it is something as simple as headlights from a distant highway. Others suspect ghosts or other out of this world things. But the lights are not enough to define Marfa as a quirky town. It is home and haven to minimalist and modern artists. Unusual sculptures stand among the tumbleweeds. Accidentally running into Marfa would be like entering a contrasting world where nothing fits neatly. Awesome.




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Comments

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on August 09, 2013:

Hi - Son - You must visit Mount Airy - like stepping back in time. Thanks for stopping by.

SonQuioey10 on August 09, 2013:

Great Hub.

I'd like to visit Gold Hill, Oregon. I'm always drawn to something scary or spooky. Living in North Carolina, I don't think I've been to Mount Airy. I think I'll add it to my, to-visit, list.

Michelle Booth from UK on January 07, 2013:

Wonderful. I want to visit Mount Airy!

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on December 14, 2012:

Well, dang, FactsAndStuff. I'll have to investigate further or edit the article. Thanks - I'll check it out.

FactsAndStuff on December 14, 2012:

Hi SuzieCat,

I just wanted to let you know that Randsley, AK is not a real town. I think it was just a joke article that Mark C. Miller wrote for Huffington Post in 2010. And it looks like Mark C. Miller plagiarized most of that article from a Weekly World News article by Angus Fenwick in 2003. But there is no incorporated municipality in the State of Arkansas named Randsley. You won't find it on a map. Unfortunately, there is no town where everyone is named Billy-Bob.

It would have been cool, though.

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on November 11, 2012:

Thanks Suhail and dog.

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on November 11, 2012:

I had heard about Billie Bobs of Randsley, but this is the first time I have read about other weird towns. This is very interesting hub.

bohemiotx on October 31, 2011:

Enjoyed re-reading this blog. There are some odd places out there. I started doing an oral history project with my favorite 80-som'n year old neighbor--lots of forgotten history that maybe only he knows. Plenty wouldn't want to admit that rural Black kids didn't start school until the cotton was picked and they had to move if they wanted to go to school after 8th grade!!

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on October 29, 2011:

Thank you all for reading and taking the time to comment.

Attikos from East Cackalacky on September 22, 2011:

I'd have to consider Murphy, North Carolina, for that list. It's filled with eccentric refugees from the sixties who've found their haven in the hills. I can hardly wait to get back to the Daily Grind coffee and wine shop downtown on an evening when the Nowbillies are playing.

The RV Guy from Somewhere In America on September 16, 2011:

During the summer I made the trek to Marfa to see the mysterous lights. More amazingly it was the people who waited in the dark to see the lights...which I'm not really sure if I saw or not. I think it was a state of mind sort of thing. On the way you pass through the great little town of Fort Davis...worth going back for a second and longer visit... nice hub...voted up and interesting.

Paul Cronin from Winnipeg on September 10, 2011:

I must take in Mount Airy, I love nostalgic things, that was one fine show. Really great review of a lot of fine places to visit in the good old USA! Thanks for sharing...Voted Up and Interesting.

Noemi Beres from Cyprus on September 09, 2011:

Wow, these are truly quirky places. I've never been to the US but I'd love to visit these places, very unique indeed :)

Thanks for this great hub!

AllSuretyBonds on August 10, 2011:

This hub was so fun to read. I loved all the little details and stories of each town. It made me want to take a road trip all around America. I love America and all of the different places and people in it.

Gregory Hasman from Denton TX on August 01, 2011:

Do not worry about it. Your welcome

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on July 31, 2011:

Gregory - I don't know where I got that. Fixed. Thanks for the heads up and for stopping by.

kerlynb from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on July 31, 2011:

"If you can't seem to spit out exactly what's on your mind and if you're in Cassadaga, Florida you don't have to. Everyone who lives in this small central Florida town is a psychic or medium." - Spooky indeed, but for me, it's interesting. Thanks for this well put-together hub.

Gregory Hasman from Denton TX on July 31, 2011:

I enjoyed the tidbits. Greenville is off US 67 northeast of Dallas. It is quite a drive from Kingsville. Other than that I liked it.

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on July 24, 2011:

Hi Bohemiotx - Glad you liked - I would like to visit them all. Thanks for the comment.

Joffre Meyer from Tyler, TX on July 11, 2011:

Another cool hub. I'm Texan and have known about the Marfa lights but not the Kingsville heaven-o. I just know that the gargantuan King Ranch and Texas A&M Kingsville are there.

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on June 22, 2011:

Thank you all for stopping by. Let me know if you ever do visit any of these places. I would love to know.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on June 22, 2011:

I can think of a few tiny towns I thought were weird when I stopped for gas on the way to somewhere else, but they were **nothing** like the ones you feature here! Thanks! I'll have to fit them into the itinerary on future road trips!

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on June 22, 2011:

Heaven-o Suzie - I think you saved the best for last. Marfa sounds so cool between the art and the weird lights, although Gold Hill is interesting too. Wouldn't it be fun to visit some of these cool places.

femanalyst on June 15, 2011:

Thanks for such a great and original article! :) So interesting...!

Tammy on June 10, 2011:

Great hub! I was having flashbacks of some of the small towns my family use to visit while traveling. I will have to check out Gold Hill. It sounds like an interesting place to visit. Thanks!!

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 25, 2011:

Caroline - Glad you liked it!

Gloria Siess from Wrightwood, California on May 25, 2011:

What a unique Hub-I remember hearing about Gold Hill.

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 20, 2011:

Kephrira - Yes, Randsley made me laugh too. Thanks for the comment.

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 19, 2011:

JMaw - Thank you for stopping by.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on May 19, 2011:

A superb hub! Although I have never been to these places, there are others like them. America's diversity is so rich and rewarding, and should be cherished by us all. Up and awesome. :-)

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 19, 2011:

VietnamVet - I think the one I would most want to visit is Marfa. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 19, 2011:

Akirchner - You're too funny.

Fluffy77 from Enterprise, OR on May 18, 2011:

I knew of Gold Hill here, the rest were very interesting to learn about though too. Take a look at my traveling in U.S.A. article for our low economy a few different Oregon quirky things in there too. Thanks again for sharing, I really enjoyed this.

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 17, 2011:

Atom - I'd like to do that too.

Caroline Paulison Andrew from Chicago, IL on May 17, 2011:

Love it! Great descriptions. Thanks for posting.

kephrira from Birmingham on May 17, 2011:

Fascinating hub, thanks. I'd love to visit some of those places. The one where everyone has the same name made me laugh.

JMAW from Hawaii on May 16, 2011:

Loved this. Voted up. I traveled across the country to big cities twice but I'm going to have take a clue and check out the tiny places my next go. Thx for writing!

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 16, 2011:

Tammy L - Nice to see you here. Yes, I found plenty of towns in Texas that were unusual. Thanks for stopping by.

vietnamvet68 from New York State on May 16, 2011:

Very interesting hub, some places I might like to visit.

God Bless

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 16, 2011:

Bobri - Yup, Kingsville is pretty unique. Thanks for reading.

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 16, 2011:

Mico - you're welcome!

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 15, 2011:

Hi Pras - Nice to see you as usual. Thanks for reading my Hub.

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on May 15, 2011:

Great idea, Suziecat7 - how did you ever get my picture with the hubcap though?

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 15, 2011:

C-Bless - Thanks for stopping by - glad you enjoyed.

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 15, 2011:

Nova - yes, it's all true.

atomflame from South Africa on May 14, 2011:

Weird places. Must definitely go to Randsley and shout "HI BILLY" next time I go to the US.

Tammy L from Jacksonville, Texas on May 12, 2011:

Suzie:

Awesome hub. I, personally, would like to visit Mt. Airy if for no other reason than the Mayberry nostalgia. Texas is eat up with weird little towns worse than those you mentioned.

Tammy

Bobri Dobri from Oklahoma on May 12, 2011:

haha, amazing hub! Kingsville, Texas is the best!

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 11, 2011:

James - Cassadaga does seem like a spooky place. Uncanny that you and your friends had the same impression of it. Thanks so much for your comment.

mico on May 11, 2011:

Very nice reading and good info as well, thanks!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on May 10, 2011:

Hi, Suzanne. I had never heard about these towns before. Thanks for writing and share this with us. Well done and I really enjoy reading this hub. Rated up as always. Cheers...

Prasetio

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 10, 2011:

Alastar - I have also been to Mount Airy. It's pretty neat.

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 10, 2011:

Dahoglund - Me too.

C-Bless from Canada on May 09, 2011:

For real?? I chuckled out loud at Randsley same-name quaintness. I read with great joy. Thank you for sharing.

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 09, 2011:

Diogenes - Nice to see you. That's quite the story - wonder if he ever did find his daughter. Thanks for stopping by.

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 09, 2011:

Willstarr - I thought you might like Kennesaw. Thanks for reading.

Novascotiamiss from Nova Scotia, Canada on May 09, 2011:

By the way, you should check out my hub

https://hubpages.com/travel/The-funny-side-of-Alas

it shows some pretty unusual pictures about Alaska.

Novascotiamiss from Nova Scotia, Canada on May 09, 2011:

Very interesting. Is all of this really true?

James A Watkins from Chicago on May 09, 2011:

This is great! I had never heard of most of these towns. I surely enjoyed your fabulous reportage. I have been to Cassadaga and it is spooky. Upon leaving the town with a few friends, the moment we left the city limits the sky brightened up shockingly. I said, "Did anybody else see that?" And they all had the same experience.

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on May 09, 2011:

This was a very interesting hub on all the towns. Used to live in "Mayberry' and Andy Griffith's home were he grew up is under the town's old water-tower and is a little mill-house.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on May 09, 2011:

I love the differences in towns like this. I hope some places manage to retain their personalities.

diogenese on May 09, 2011:

Hi Suzie: Great article, had me panting for more. I lived in the States for some years and ran into a few places that were memorable. I was in one West Texas town when a drinking mate of the night) found his daughter had left with a Mexican! He had me drive while he stood in the truck bed with a shotgun while we looked all over the town for them! I sobered up after a while and pulled over, making some excuse. He looked exactly like Richard Boone (Remember "Have Gun...?") Terrifying...Bob

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 08, 2011:

Samsons1 - That we are. Thaks for reading.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on May 08, 2011:

There are at least three places there I'd like to visit!

Great Hub!

Sam from Tennessee on May 08, 2011:

voted up and beautiful! Well written and educational read. We are an extraordinary nation for sure...

suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on May 08, 2011:

Thanks for being the first to comment, RTalloni. Glad you liked.

RTalloni on May 08, 2011:

What a neat hub. Your one word takes are stupendous. :)

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