Monday, June 23, 2008

Nothing "Ordinary" about Virginia!

Ordinary, Virginia

By 1668, ordinaries were so common in Virginia that laws were being established to limit how many could operate in a town or village. Although an ordinary was defined as a combination of a general store and an inn, they were really popular places for patrons to drink beer and ale. By the early 1700’s, the word “ordinary” was rarely used. These places were now known as taverns. Ordinary, was chosen as the name for this Virginia community because of its tradition of having so many ordinaries or taverns located in the area. Again, an ordinary name has changed in meaning to us after many years of transition.
Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

Monday, June 16, 2008

Richard (Silver Dick) Bland

Bland, Missouri

In 1872, Richard Bland was elected to the U.S. Congress. He was elected a total of 11 times and was a major force for the silver mining industry. In 1873, the Fourth Coinage Act was passed. This made gold the only metal that backed the currency of the United States. This devastated the miners in the silver industry and the country sank into a depression. Bland fought vigorously for the silver industry. In 1878, he sponsored the Bland-Allison Act. This law required the U.S. Government to purchase silver for coinage and this greatly helped the mining industry. He was given the nickname “Silver Dick” for this achievement. He continued throughout his Missouri political career to fight for the success of the silver industry and the rights of the common man.

The people of this community were so proud of his accomplishments that they named their new town in his honor. As you enter the town today, a billboard welcomes you to the home of "Silver Dick" Bland. Pretty spicey stuff if you ask me!
Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Rabbit Hash, Kentucky

Rabbit Hash, KY - The town acquired its name from the events of a major flood that happened in the area. The name came into existence in 1847. A huge flood ravished the settlement during this time. A large rabbit population retreated into this area from the rising waters and became the main food source for the citizens. There were so many rabbits that the local people created a special stew called “hash”. The dish became so popular that the community adopted the name of “Rabbit Hash”. The town was completely submerged in 1937 by another flood. Today, only the Rabbit Hash General Store stands in this community. I’m not sure about the rabbit population!
Rabbit Hash Recipe - FYI!

1 1/2 to 2 cups of cooked rabbit
1/3 cup of shortening
3 potatoes
3 onions
½ teaspoon of celery salt
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of pepper

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chief Seathl or Did You Say – Seattle?

Seattle, Washington

Seathl was a mighty warrior of the Duwamish Indian Tribe which was located in the area which is now Seattle. He became a chief in the tribe and remained peaceful throughout his life. In 1852, Doc Maynard purchased land in the area and established a general store. Since his store was the only one, Maynard’s business flourished. As the community grew, fear of local Indian attacks grew. To stave off appending attack, Maynard made a deal with Chief Seattle. He would name his town “Seattle” in honor of the chief. At the time, the community was known as “DuWamps”. Chief Seattle agreed and local Indian attacks began to be less of a threat. However, Chief Seattle demanded monthly payments from the town for compensation. The local Duwamish Indians believed that the soul of the chief after his death would be disturbed in the after life whenever the name “Seattle” was spoken.
Photo courtesy of Library of Congress