greetings from hellGreetings from Hell!

Stories of exactly how Hell, Michigan, got its name vary. Some say it was the farmers’ wives way of describing their husbands’ visits to Geroge Reeves’ grist mill and distillery. Others put it down to a comment made by a German tourist about a sunny day (“So schön hell!”). Either way, the name’s been on the books and a part of American lore since 1841.

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Once upon a time, back when people drove station wagons instead of minivans and you found telephones on walls instead of in pockets, postcards were the perfect way to document your trip to a place like Hell.

hell front

The U.S. Historical Postcards collection on Ancestry has plenty of snapshots from some of the best (or worst) named outposts along America’s high- and byways. For example, with a population of 7, “counten’ one coon dog,” it’s obvious that most folks only drop by Booger Hollow, Arkansas, for a visit.

booger hollow

To be fair, Dog Patch, Kentucky, isn’t a real town, but that’s OK, since Dog Patch isn’t a real place.

dog patch ky

Forget Austin, slackers have been kicking back in Loafers Glory, North Carolina, since before they were called slackers.

loafers glory

Horseheads, New York, is home to Horseheads High. Wonder what their mascot is?

horseheads high school

Nothing so peculiar about Main Street in Peculiar, Missouri. Unless this is a recent picture.

main street peculiar mo

And while we’re in the state, good call to not name this motel after the town: Roach, MO.

roach mo motel

Nowadays, the texted selfie is replacing the picture postcard for proving we’ve been to Paris (OK, it was really Texas), or Whynot, Mississippi. But the sentiment is still the same: Hello from Boring, Oregon! Wish you were here…

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