Sunday, June 21, 2009

Intercourse is just not the same today!

Intercourse, PA - The town was originally founded in 1754. It was known as Cross Keys after a tavern in the area. There are several unsubstantiated versions of the origin of the name “Intercourse”. Some say the name described the long entrance to an old race track east of town. This stretch of road was first known as the “Entercourse”. By 1814, the name evolved into Intercourse. Another explanation suggests that the name comes from two well known traveled roads that crossed in the middle of the town. Today, the town is a well-known Amish settlement. Again, it is amazing how meanings of some names have changed and how we view them today.
Photo - Courtesy of Library of Congress

Thursday, June 18, 2009

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

There are a lot of legends surrounding this name. The town was originally known as Reeseville. Some say the town was named for King Frederick of Prussia who was a supporter for the American Colonies during the Revolutionary War. Another legend says a local tavern and inn owner from Reeseville by the name of Jimmy Berry named the town. During the Revolutionary War, Berry was a British sympathizer but a shrewd businessman. When Berry heard there were wealthy Prussian troops with George Washington at Valley Forge, he hung a “King of Prussia” sign out on his establishment welcoming the Prussians to come and spend their money with him. The innn became known as the King of Prussia Inn located in Reeseville. Later, early surveyors mistakenly looked at the large sign on the inn and recorded “King of Prussia” as the name of the town instead of Reeseville.
Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Angels Camp, California

Angels Camp, CA - In 1848, Henry Angel was looking for gold in this area. Henry was from Rhode Island and not having much luck with his venture. He decided to open up a trading post. Gold was finally discovered nearby from other fortune seekers and his town began to flourish. At one time, there were over 4,000 miners searching for gold around Henry’s new town. The town became known as Angels Camp and Henry began to rake in the profits. Later, the town became famous for frog jumping contests.
According to legend, Mark Twain spent a few days here around 1865. During a drinking session, Ben Coon, the bartender, told Twain of a story about a jumping frog here in Calaveras County. Mark Twain elaborated on the information and published another one of his famous books “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”. The town became famous from this Mark Twain story. Twain tells of a gold rush town named Angels Camp with a frog jumping contest. Today, the community lives up to its name. Since 1928, the community hosts the Annual Frog Jumping Contest.