An Alien in Mars

Famous Spaceship in Mars, PA

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).

Welcome to Mars

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:

Mars Brick

And then let’s not forget the only Bank form Mars!!

Mars National Bank


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Mars, Pennsylvania

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From Earth to Vulcan

Welcome to Vulcan

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.

Welcome sign in Klingon

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.”

Star Trek Wall

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).

Vulcan Public Library Sign

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!

Starship Enterpise – Crafty Jack and Sumoflam

As one drives around the town, there are signs for parks, etc., with the Enterprise logo…

Vulcan Iceplex Sign
Vulcan Country Club Sign

All told, Vulcan is a unique and interesting place to visit….

Vulcan Visitor Center
Welcome to Vulcan Plaque


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Vulcan, Alberta, Canada

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Going through a Hurricane and a Tornado in the same day

Through a Hurricane and a Tornado all in one afternoon

I got back yesterday from a trip to Oregon and left again today for a trip to North Carolina.  On the way, I took some back roads through West Virginia and literally went through a Hurricane and then a Tornado.

A Wall Mural in Hurricane, WV

According to the Hurricane Website, “it was a cool, misty morning in the year of 1774. A party of surveyors, commissioned by George Washington, traveled down the Kanawha River. As the sun was slowly rising, cutting through the fog of this early spring day, they noted in their journal that all the trees at the mouth of the creek were bent in the same direction. and they called the location “the place of the hurricane”. The creek became known as Hurricane Creek because of this phenomenon, and by 1811, according to early Virginia maps, the town of Hurricane Bridge was located where Route 34 now crosses the creek near Route 60″

Hurricane Church

Not much further down the road is another town called Tornado.  Yup…a Hurricane and a Tornado, just a few miles from each other!!

Tornado Post Office

The small unincorporated village of Tornado is part of Upper Falls, WV.  I am not sure how it got its name, but it is fun to see a town named Tornado!!

Tornado Church


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Hurricane, WV to Tornado, WV

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