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??
Back in late May 2008 I was on a return trip home from Ontario via Michigan. I made my way through Central Michigan. As I had been told to “go to Hell” a few times, I decided I would finally go to Hell…in Michigan (see entire trip report)
Hell, Michigan is actually not a real town. It is a “tourist trap” in the midst of the Pinckney Recreation Area, about five miles north of Pinckney, MI. It is, honestly, quite a scenic drive. To get there from the town of Pinckney you need to take south Howell Rd. (no joke…you get to Hell via Howell Rd. — Hell is in the name of the road).
The village of Hell has made a great effort to make sure you know you were in Hell. Here are a couple of pictures….
The actual post office is not in Hell, but in Pinckney, though they have a “branch” in Hell that will stamp an additional “Hell Post Mark” on it though Pinckney will also be added to it.
They have some unique souvenirs in the two shops, and a unique ice cream shop (Scream’s Ice Cream) and even have a “Mayor”. I liked the bench. Note that I sat on the “Hell Flames Bench” while wearing my Utah Blaze hat.
If you ever get to Central Michigan, you should definitely go to Hell. If anything else, it will be fun for all. Send a burnt post card from Hell and have some Ice Cream at Scream’s!!
A couple of days ago I posted an article about Earth, Texas. Back in 2007 I had occasion to visit a friend of mine in Alberta, Canada. One of the side trips we tool was to the town of Vulcan, which has taken full advantage of its name and the association with the TV show Star Trek.
Vulcan is a town located midway between the cities of Calgary and Lethbridge inthe prairies of Southern Alberta, Canada. The population of the town was 1,940 in 2006, and the population of the county, which is also named Vulcan, was 3,718. According to Wikipedia, “The town was named by a surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railroad in 1915 after the Roman God of Fire – Vulcan. Originally all the streets of Vulcan were named after gods and goddesses of the classical world such as Juno, Mars and Jupiter.”
There are indications all over the town of Star Trek. The town took on the Star Trek theme after the great popularity of the TV Show and now has Star Trek visitations all the time, as can be evidenced from their website (linked above).
There is an Enterprise Restaurant, the visitor’s center is space themed (and you can even buy pointed Spock Vulcan Ears there!!). They even have a statue of the Starship Enterprise!
As one drives around the town, there are signs for parks, etc., with the Enterprise logo…
All told, Vulcan is a unique and interesting place to visit….