Paris, Tightwad, Peculiar, Neosho, Gasconade, Hannibal, Diamond, Quarantine, Zif, and Zig. These are just a few of the names Margot Ford McMillen covers in her lively book on the history of place names in Missouri. The origins behind the names range from humorous to descriptive:
•Tightwad, Missouri, is said to have been named after a store owner who cheated a mailman out of his rightful watermelon to make an extra fifty cents. •Plad, Missouri, was supposed to be named "Glad," but the post office printed the name wrong, and it was too much trouble to get it changed. •Some place names describe a location, such as Big Spring or Flat River. •Other names show the influence of immigrants to the state, like Hermann, which is a German name, or the Maries River, which was derived from the French. •Many places are named for people or wildlife found nearby, while others are backed up by legend or simply picked out of thin air.
In 1903 the Cody Road opened, leading travelers from Cody, Wyoming, to Yellowstone National Park. Cheyenne photographer J. E. Stimson traveled the route during its first week in existence, documenting the road for the state of Wyoming's contribution to the 1904 World's Fair. His images of now-famous landmarks like Cedar Mountain, the Shoshone River, the Holy City, Chimney Rock, Sylvan Pass, and Sylvan Lake are some of the earliest existing photographs of the route. In 2008, 105 years later, Michael Amundson traveled the same road, carefully duplicating Stimson's iconic original photographs. In Passage to Wonderland, these images are paired side by side and accompanied by a detailed explanation of the land and history depicted.
Amundson examines the physical changes along "the most scenic fifty miles in America" and explores the cultural and natural history behind them. This careful analysis of the paired images make Passage to Wonderland more than a "then and now" photography book--it is a unique exploration of the interconnectedness between the Old West and the New West. It will be a wonderful companion for those touring the Cody Road as well as those armchair tourists who can follow the road on Google Earth using the provided GPS coordinates.
The University Press of Colorado gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University toward the publication of this book.
Winner, ISHS Annual Award for a Scholarly Publication, 2017
With a population of about two thousand, Pembroke Township, one of the largest rural, black communities north of the Mason-Dixon Line, sits in an isolated corner of Kankakee County, Illinois, sixty-five miles south of Chicago. It is also one of the poorest places in the nation. Many black farmers from the South came to this area during the Great Migration; finding Chicago to be overcrowded and inhospitable, they were able to buy land in the township at low prices. The poor soil made it nearly impossible to establish profitable farms, however, and economic prosperity has eluded the region ever since. Pembroke: A Rural, Black Community on the Illinois Dunes chronicles the history of this inimitable township and shows the author’s personal transformation through his experiences with Pembroke and its people. A native of nearby Kankakee, author Dave Baron first traveled to Pembroke on a church service trip at age fifteen and saw real poverty firsthand, but he also discovered a community possessing grace and purpose.
Baron begins each chapter with a personal narrative from his initial trip to Pembroke. He covers the early history of the area, explaining how the unique black oak savanna ecosystem was created and describing early residents, including Potawatomi tribes and white fur traders. He introduces readers to Pap and Mary Tetter, Pembroke’s first black residents, who—according to local lore—assisted fugitives on the Underground Railroad; details the town’s wild years, when taverns offered liquor, drugs, and prostitution; discusses the many churches of Pembroke and the nearby high school where, in spite of sometimes strained relations, Pembroke’s black students have learned alongside white students of a neighboring community since well before Brown v. Board of Education; outlines efforts by conservation groups to preserve Pembroke’s rare black oak savannas; and analyzes obstacles to and failed attempts at economic development in Pembroke, as well as recent efforts, including organic farms and a sustainable living movement, which may yet bring some prosperity.
Based on research, interviews with residents, and the author’s own experiences during many return trips to Pembroke, this book—part social, cultural, legal, environmental, and political history and part memoir—profiles a number of the colorful, longtime residents and considers what has enabled Pembroke to survive despite a lack of economic opportunities. Although Pembroke has a reputation for violence and vice, Baron reveals a township with a rich and varied history and a vibrant culture.
Place Names in Alabama
Virginia O. Foscue University of Alabama Press, 1988 Library of Congress F324.F67 1989 | Dewey Decimal 917.6100321
Place Names in Alabama is the first systematic attempt to account for all the names of the counties, cities, town, water courses, bodies of water, and mountains that appear on readily available maps of Alabama.
In dictionary format, this volume contains some 2,610 place names, selected according to strict criteria as outlined in the introductions, from more than 52,000 available for the state of Alabama. Included in each entry is a description of the geographical feature, its exact location, the etymology of each name the feature has carried through the years, the historical circumstances and dates of each naming, and the sources for these facts, which include both written documents and interviews with local informants.
“…provides fascinating insights, into not only the origin of the name but also many of the people who settled the state.” —Joab L. Thomas, President of The University of Alabama
“An invaluable resource for television news and talk shows…not to mention a treasure for trivia buffs!” —Tom York, WBRC-6
Spring-fed creeks. Old stone houses. Cedar brakes and bleached limestone. The Hill Country holds powerful sway over the imagination of Texans. So many of us dream of having our own little place in the limestone hills. The Hill Country feels just like home, even if you've never lived there.This beautifully written book explores what the Hill Country has meant as a homeplace to the author, his family, and longtime residents of the area, as well as to newcomers. David Syring listens to the stories that his aunts, uncles, and cousins tell about life in the Hill Country and grapples with their meaning for his own search for a place to belong. He also collects short stories focused around Honey Creek Church to consider how places become containers for memory. And he draws upon several years of living in Fredericksburg to talk about the problems and opportunities created by heritage tourism and the development of the town as a "home" for German Americans. These interconnected stories illuminate what it means to belong to a place and why the Texas Hill Country has become the spiritual, if not actual, home of many people.
In eight brilliant essays, Fox explores many of the major playas of the American West , examining locations as diverse as Nellis Air Force Base and Frenchman Flat, where the federal government has tested experimental aircraft and atomic weaponry; the Great Salt Lake Desert, where land-speed records have been broken; and the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada, site of the colorful Burning Man arts festival. He analyzes the geological and climatological conditions that created the playas and the historical role that playas played in the exploration and settlement of the West. And he offers lucid and keenly perceptive discussions of the ways that artists have responded to the playas, from the ancient makers of geoglyphs to the work of contemporary artists who have found inspiration in these enigmatic spaces, including earthworks builder Michael Heizer, photographer Richard Misrach, and painter Michael Moore. The ensemble is a compelling combination of natural history, philosophy, and art criticism, a thoughtful meditation on humankind's aversion to and fascination with the void.
Nye County is Nevada’s largest and least populated county, but it is also the site of many of the state’s most colorful ghost towns and mining camps. The county’s economy throughout its history has been largely based on its mines--first, exploiting veins of gold and silver, and more recently deposits of raw materials for modern industry, such as molybdenum and barite. It was here that famous boomtowns like Tonopah and Rhyolite sprang up after the discovery of nearby lodes brought in rushes of prospectors and the merchants who supported them. But the county includes many smaller, shorter-lived camps and numerous abandoned stagecoach and railroad stops associated with defunct mining operations.This book offers a lively, informative record of Nevada’s isolated interior. Hall first published a guide to Nye County’s ghost towns in 1981. Since then, he has continued his research into the county’s past and has uncovered much new information and corrected some errors. To prepare this revised and greatly expanded edition, he revisited all 175 sites recorded earlier and has added more than 20 previously unlisted sites.
Edward Geary’s collection of writings on the High Plateau country of central and southern Utah, a combination guidebook, travel narrative, personal essays, and natural, social, and literary history, encompasses each of those forms with a sweep as broad as the landscape it describes.
It traces the progress of travelers to the region, including the historic Dominguez-Escalante party in 1776, and trappers and explorers such as Jedediah Smith, John C. Freemont, and Kit Carson. Scandinavian and English descendants of the early Mormon pioneers, sent to settle Manti and surrounding areas by Brigham Young in 1849, populate many of the pages and dominate the agrarian villages described by the author. The book also describes the multiethnic society of French Basque, Greeks, Slavs, Italians, Chinese, Welsh, and Finnish laborers and coal miners that developed in the region.
Geary writes of all these people with affection and a deep sense of place, of belonging to a distinctive landscape and its history. It is a book that will bring a rush of understanding to those who have lived in the High Plateaus and greater depth of appreciation to visitors.
The closed nature of the Soviet Union, combined with the West’s intellectual paradigm of Communist totalitarianism prior to the 1970s, have led to a one-dimensional view of Soviet history, both in Russia and the West. The opening of former Soviet archives allows historians to explore a broad array of critical issues at the local level. Provincial Landscapes is the first publication to begin filling this enormous gap in scholarship on the Soviet Union, pointing the way to additional work that will certainly force major reevaluations of the nation’s history.
Focusing on the years between the Revolution and Stalin’s death, the contributors to this volume address a variety of topics, including how political events and social engineering played themselves out at the local level; the construction of Bolshevik identities, including class, gender, ethnicity, and place; the Soviet cultural project; and the hybridization of Soviet cultural forms. In showing how the local is related to the larger society, the essays decenter standard narratives of Soviet history, enrich the understanding of major events and turning points in that history, and provide a context for the highly visible socio-political and cultural role individual Russian provinces began to play after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Puerto Ricans have a long history of migrating to and building communities in various parts of the United States in search of a better life. From their arrival in Hawai'i in 1900 to the post-World War II era—during which communities flourished throughout the Midwest and New England—the Puerto Rican diaspora has been growing steadily. In fact, the 2000 census shows that almost as many Puerto Ricans live in the United States as in Puerto Rico itself.The contributors to this volume provide an overview of the Puerto Rican experience in America, delving into particular aspects of colonization and citizenship, migration and community building. Each chapter bridges the historical past with contemporary issues. Throughout the text, personal narratives and photographs bring these histories to life, while grappling with underlying causes and critical issues such as racism and employment that shape Puerto Rican life in America.