Back in May 2008, on a return trip to Canada for work at the Toyota Plant in Woodstock, Ontario, I took a trip up along the Ohio River, basically on the Ohio/WV border. (see my entire trip report for some unusual other places here). Along the way I came into the town of Coolville. Pretty cool name!!
You Scooby Doo fans out there may remember the fictional place called Coolsville, OH in the cartoon series. This is NOT that place. Rather, Coolville is a small town of about 530 people clear in the southeastern part of the state. It was named after Ashel Cooley, who was apparently a great grandson of Benjamin Cooley of Springfield, MA (see genealogy). Ironically, this same Benjamin Cooley is an ancestor of my wife. Her grandmother was Genevieve Cooley. These Cooleys would have been long lost cousins as they all descended from the Benjamin Cooley that migrated from Herefordshire, England to Springfield. Eventually, some of them made their way west. Asahel made his way to Ohio and settled Cooleyville, which later was changed to Coolville.
There is really not much more info on Coolville, but here is the map.
Welcome to Uncertain, TX, a small village on the side of Caddo Lake in eastern Texas bordering Louisiana. This is the home of the largest natural fresh water lake in Texas and is also home to a huge swamp…yes, gators and pelicans and swamp things, oh my…
Uncertain derives its name from surveyors who were attempting to delineate the border between Texas and Louisiana and discovered that they were “uncertain” as to which side of the line they were on as they began surveying that particular part of Caddo Lake. I can imagine why this is. The swamp always changes.
I got to Uncertain on a cool February morning in 2010. Fisherman were readying their boats to head to the swamp…all bundled in warm clothes. The village was quiet, only the sound of birds in the air. So, I drove around, got a few photos and enjoyed the beauty of the swamp on a brisk, early morning…
After seeing the unlikely name of a church….A Church of Uncertain…I was hooked into this place.
The swamp is quite serene and beautiful. Here are three photos I took of the swamp.
Just as there is a Normal in Illinois, there is a Peculiar in Missouri. Yes, this is more than a strange name for a town, it is a Peculiar name. On a trip to Kansas City in January 2011, I made my way to Peculiar.
I love hitting places like this. According to legend, Peculiar received its name when the first postmaster, Edgar Thomson, had his first choice, Excelsior, rejected because it already existed in Atchison County, MO. Apparently, a number of other choices were also rejected. So, the annoyed Thomson wrote to the Postmaster General to complain saying, among other things, “We don’t care what name you give us so long as it is sort of ‘peculiar’.” Thomson submitted the name “Peculiar” and the name was approved. The post officewas established on June 22, 1868. Peculiar was later incorporated in 1953.
It is fun to drive around a town like Peculiar and notice all of the peculiar things. Here are a few.
Getting to Peculiar is actually quite easy if you are on the freeway heading to Kansas City from St. Louis. Here is a map: