On a trip to Kansas City back in November 2011, I returned via some back roads in south central Missouri. My main destination of choice was Tightwad, Missouri. This is an unincorporated town of about 65 or 70 people.
The village’s unusual name is said to stem from an episode in which a store owner cheated a customer, who was a postman, by charging him an extra fifty cents for a better watermelon. Some sources claim the transaction involved a rooster rather than a watermelon. However, there is really nothing definitive. Nonetheless, the town is fun.
Perhaps the biggest point of excitement is the Tightwad Bank, a real bank. According to its website, The bank was founded on September 5, 1900 as Reading State Bank, a Kansas chartered commercial bank. On March 27, 2008 the bank opened a full service branch in Tightwad, MO and changed its name to Tightwad Bank. Tightwad Bank is FDIC insured and is currently classified as “well capitalized” by the FDIC. They even sell Tightwad Bank shirts and hats!! YOU, yes YOU…can even open an account and get checks that say Tightwad Bank.
The other place of interest in Tightwad is the Tightwad Cafe. I actually stopped there for breakfast…couldn’t resist!!
The food was awesome and they do NOT skimp on the servings as all….see what I had below:
Though the price is right and the food is great, I was told by the owner Carrie (see below) that they “do not take credit cards.” When I asked her why, she said she “didn’t want to pay the fees.”
Of course, there is a Tightwad Volunteer Fire Department. I wonder if they are “volunteer” because the town is too tight to pay them??
On a trip between Canada and Lexington in April 2008 I took a trip to West Virginia and Pennsylvania and made my way to Mars (see full report).
Mars is a small town in western Pennsylvania. From what I could locate there is not really any history as to how the town got its name. The town was founded in 1873 by a Samuel Parks, where he eventually had a Post Office added to his home and had assistance from a certain Samuel Marshall. The original name was Overbrook, but in 1882 it was changed to Mars since there was already a train station along the way called Overbrook. Speculation has it that the town was a shortened version from Marshall.
In 1895 the town was incorporated as a borough.
Residents of Mars are often called “Martians”, or “Planets” because of the high school team name, which is actually the “Fightin’ Planets.”
The Mars logo kind of floats around the town, here is one on a brick:
And then let’s not forget the only Bank form Mars!!