67 Small Towns That Make You Wonder Where They Got Their Names
These spots will spark your curiosity.
Drive through any corner of the South, and you’ll be surprised by what you see on our signs. Drive through Virginia, and you may pass through Dragonville. Take a trip to Texas, and you may find yourself in Oatmeal. There are countless small towns here that will make you scratch your head and wonder where their unexpected names came from. From Possum Grape, Arkansas (a possum grape is a fruit vine native to North America), to Frankenstein, Missouri (named for the Franken family, allegedly, not the Mary Shelley book), there are plenty of towns south of the Mason-Dixon that will spark your curiosity in an instant. We know some of the origin stories of our place names, and some speak for themselves—Corn, Oklahoma, for example. Lots of place names come from agriculture, the landscape, historical markers, and natural features like springs, waterfalls, and rivers. Still more are named for families in the community or values the community shares. A few still leave visitors scratching their heads, and those are the ones with origin stories that even locals can’t agree on. We’ve collected some of our favorite surprising Southern small town names here, but we certainly haven’t included them all. It’s a big region, and there are countless small town place names that you’ll only find down here. So tell us your favorites, and celebrate the uniqueness of Southern nomenclature with us.