Have you ever wondered what lies in a town’s name? Then check out these town names and see what they stand for.
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Back in the 1950s, the ever-popular quiz show called Truth or Consequences made a promise to telecast from the first town that would rename itself after the show. That city was Hot Springs, New Mexico. For the next 50 years, Ralph Edwards the show’s host would visit the town on the first weekend of May for a celebration that included a beauty contest followed by a parade. The show began its debut on NBC radio and later became a popular television show. The annual event is still celebrated today.
Cut and Shoot, Texas
According to legend, it all began in 1912 with a town confrontation on the issue of who should be allowed to preach at the church. It is said that a little boy shouted: “I’m going to cut around the corner and shoot through the bushes in a minute!” While no actual cutting or shooting took place on that day, the statement evidently remained in the town’s thoughts. Eventually, the residents decided to choose Cut and Shoot as the official town’s name. A local boxer by the name of Roy Harris put the town on the map when he fought Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight title in 1958.
Hot Coffee, Mississippi
This small town is situated halfway between Natchez, Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama. Many of you might be thinking who in the world came up with naming a town Hot Coffee? Well, there is a story behind all this. It began in 1870 when Levi Davis started an inn with his wife.
Many travelers would stop at the inn for the night and Levi Davis would have a hot pot of coffee on the stove while his wife served ginger cakes that she had baked. This led to Levi Davis hanging a sign outside the inn that read “the best hot coffee around.”
Over time word began to spread and road-weary travelers would always ask for directions to Hot Coffee. The name stuck with the people that the inn was named Hot Coffee. Afterwards, the town decided to take on the name as well.
While the inn is long gone, travelers passing through town can still get a hot cup of coffee and a slice of pie.
Established in 1883 on the shore of the Colorado River, Needles got its name from a group of pointed stones found on the Arizona side. Although the name implies a place that is desolate, filled with a barren landscape, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
As a matter of fact, the city is rich in history and culture. Its history goes back as much as 8,000 years linking the area to the Mohave people, followed by the Old West. The town of Needles is known as the gateway to California, cutting a path through the breathtaking Mohave Desert to the Mojave National Preserve. One of the most legendary routes; Route 66 runs through the downtown section of the city.
In the summer of 2012, Needles broke the all-time record for hot rain when the town was bombarded with scorching 115-degree rain. A lightning storm followed setting crops on fire. People thought that Hell had struck their town.
Even though oil is the main driving force behind Smackover’s economy, the residents of this town of less than 2,000 owe its name to the timber industry. Back in the 1800s, French settlers migrated to the area. Making their living by being trappers, they eventually switched to logging and farming.
The name Smackover originates from an anglicization of the French sumac couvert, meaning “covered in sumac,” or Chemin Couvert, which means “covered way.” There are, however, several other stories indicating how the town got its unusual name.
According to legend, back in the days a form of oil blowing “smack over the derrick,” was popular. Another account tells of a settler jumping “smack over” the creek.
The town got an economic boost when oil was discovered in 1922. Today, half of the town’s population is still employed by the oil industry. Each year in June, Smackover holds its annual four-day Oil Town Festival.