Quad County Towns

On May 5, 2013 · 10 Comments

I mentioned Braselton, Georgia a few months ago in an article called "Bought the Town." In that case the person who bought the town was the actress Kim Basinger who later sold her interest for a stunning financial loss. More interestingly, I noted, the town boundaries included a county quadripoint. Braselton sprawled across Barrow, Gwinnett, Hall and Jackson Counties. The quadripoint itself fell within a creek.



View Quad County Towns in a larger map

I’ve done a couple of things since that cursory observation. First, I converted the static image from the earlier article into an interactive Google Map. Bear in mind that it’s a pain to draw town and county boundaries on this media so consider all lines approximations designed to prove a point. You’ll see all kinds of anomalies if you drill in. Town boundaries were particularly difficult to render exactly due to the haphazard nature of their annexation histories.

Second, I attempted to find additional examples of towns with boundaries that crossed into four distinct counties. I found only three legitimate instances, including Braselton.


Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin



View Quad County Towns in a larger map

I’ve probably been to the Dells at least a half-dozen times over the years. It’s completely tourist-cheezy which I suppose one could view favorably or not so much depending on one’s tolerance for such things. Much of the Dells is over-the-top kitschy although the Ducks are always a good time. I also happened to be nearby in June 2008 right after a huge flood devastated the area. I wrote about Lake Delton’s destruction after the dam blew. The entire 267 acre lake dumped into the Wisconsin River right at the beginning of the tourist season, leaving behind mud, fish and tree stumps.

Nonetheless, until my recent Internet sleuthing, I had no idea that Wisconsin Dells crossed into Adams, Columbia, Juneau and Sauk Counties. The most intensive development fell within Columbia. However, land within the other counties contributed rather significantly too.

The quadripoint fell within the middle of the Wisconsin River.


High Point, North Carolina



View Quad County Towns in a larger map

High Point, North Carolina was the third example although possibly less remarkable than the other two. Certainly, it’s territory included acreage in Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford and Randolph Counties. However, the vast preponderance of High Point fell within the southwestern corner of Guilford. Land within the other three counties ranged from minor to inconsequential. It was obvious that High Point began as a Guilford County construct and sprawled only recently into the others.

Town annexations in North Carolina became rather contentious in recent years. Organized efforts such as Stop NC Annexation sprang up in opposition. The state’s law authorized forced annexations of unincorporated areas, with acquired residents suddenly hit with municipal taxes and utility hook-up charges against their will. North Carolina changed its laws in 2012 to allow people living in such areas to block annexation attempts with a majority vote.


Walkerton, Indiana



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Walkerton, Indiana was a near-miss even though the town itself claimed, "Walkerton is uniquely located where four counties meet." No, Walkerton’s town boundaries remained within a single county, St. Joseph. Also it wouldn’t be "uniquely located" even if borders happened to cross all four because, as noted, there are at least three other instances of such.

What I will concede to Walkerton — and I still find it fascinating — is that the town fell within a little knob of St. Joseph. It’s surrounded on three sides by La Porte, Marshall and Starke Counties. One will hit another county almost immediately after leaving Walkerton heading south, east or west. Walkerton needs to grow just a little bit more to join the other quad county towns.


Postville, Iowa



View Quad County Towns in a larger map

Postville, Iowa also fell just short of the mark. It straddled the Allamakee and Clayton County lines. The quadripoint formed along with Fayette and Winneshiek Counties can be found less than a mile from town. Postville holds promise if it can grow towards the west.

I’ll include one final honorable mention, the unincorporated Citrus Ridge community (also known as the Four Corners census-designated place) in Florida. It included the quadripoint of Lake, Orange, Osceola and Polk Counties (map). However Citrus Ridge is not a town even though more than 25,000 people lived there during the last census. Citrus Ridge simply needs to incorporate. It has more than enough residents to function as a town and it would make a welcome addition to the quad county list.

It was very difficult to find examples of quad county towns. I know there are more out there. Feel free to mention your discoveries in the comments.

On May 5, 2013 · 10 Comments

10 Responses to “Quad County Towns”

  1. MWD says:

    Barrington Hills, IL – in Cook, Lake, McHenry and Kane counties

  2. KCJeff says:

    Kansas City MO. Jackson, Cass, Clay and Platte counties.

  3. Greg says:

    Bellevue, OH, is indisputably in Erie, Huron, and Sandusky Counties. Wikipedia claims it’s also in Seneca County, and it certainly borders it if it doesn’t cross over in some small place.

    • Greg says:

      While I’m at it, New York City encompasses five counties.

      And if Bellevue happens to enter Seneca County, it would be an example of a quad-county town that does not include a county quadripoint.

  4. John Deeth says:

    Oklahoma City: “The county seat of Oklahoma County,… Oklahoma City’s city limits extend into Canadian, Cleveland, and Pottawatomie counties, though much of those areas outside of the core Oklahoma County area are suburban or rural (watershed). ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_city

  5. Ariel Dybner says:

    What about the City of New York – it is in five counties – Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond Counties.

  6. Mike Lowe says:

    For history, we must not ignore Broomfield, Colorado. They didn’t like being across four counties so they made up their own county. Genius!

    • Scott Surgent says:

      The county lines in and around Denver are strange at best. Had Denver not formed into a city-county, it too would sprawl over at least two counties, probably more. There are also tiny enclaves of one county within another. Apparently Aurora (parts of 3 counties) is now looking at following Broomfield and Denver and forming into a city-county. Things could get interesting…

  7. Thias says:

    Completely unrelated to the article, but the awesome “YouTuber” CGP Grey did a video that I think you might enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vui-qGCfXuA

    And judging by the title of the video, it looks like there’s more coming!

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