I’ve collected another raft of small discoveries not nearly meaty enough to stretch into an entire article on their own. 12MC readers have also been kind enough to make me aware of some unusual situations. That must mean it’s time once again for an installment of Odds and Ends, our ongoing collection of bite-sized morsels.
An Interesting Juxtaposition
Where Hooker Meets Pleasure
Certain things are inexplicable and should simply stand on their own without further elaboration. I’m just going to state for the record that Hooker Avenue and Pleasure Drive intersect in Madison, Wisconsin. There, I said it.
I lied. I’ll go ahead and elaborate.
One neighborhood developed with street names based upon military figures from the U.S. Civil War, one of whom was Major General Joseph Hooker. Another neighborhood included rather generic names, one of which happened to be Pleasure Drive. Hooker and Pleasure came together. Apparently I wasn’t the first to discover this odd concurrence. Historic Madison noted that "the street signs at Hooker and Pleasure Drive are reportedly the most often stolen of any in Madison." Imagine that.
There’s also an Old Hooker Road in Georgia. TMI?
Was It the Plan?
Small, Remote Norfolk Island
I received a nice gift on Tuesday, a first-time virtual visitor from an exceedingly obscure land.
I begged rather shamelessly in my Plan for Rare Visitors and hoped it might work. Now, more than a year later, someone hit the site from Norfolk Island. Literally(¹), I’ve recorded hundreds of thousands of visitors on the Twelve Mile Circle since I first started tracking them nearly six years ago. This was the first and only Norfolk Island visitor ever.
Norfolk Island, a largely self-governing territory of Australia, has fewer than 2,500 residents. Yet, it also has its own top-level Internet domain (.nf). That makes it a particularly difficult capture for those of us who like to count such things and want to attract at least one reader from every top-level domain around the world.
That’s why I included Norfolk Island on my earlier wish list when I said, "Australian readers. Maybe one of you plans to go on holiday to the Shire of Christmas Island or the Cocos (Keeling) Islands? Norfolk Island, anyone? Send me a hit if you’re there and happen to think about it."
If one of you did that for me, thank you, I definitely noticed and appreciated it. If it was a coincidence, well, thank you anyway unknown Intertubes voyager.
Warren Co.’s Portion of Augusta Bottom Road
"Joe" made me aware of a situation he’s been following outside of St. Louis, Missouri. I’ll share the article link he referenced from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "County switch floated in Augusta Bottom Road dispute." That article includes all the information one would ever need about the topic although I’ll try to briefly explain and synopsize it without mangling it too much.
Warren County didn’t want anything to do with Augusta Bottom Road after it got flooded-out. The road was a shortcut for people in Franklin County and St. Charles County. It did nothing for people in Warren. Who could blame them for not wanting to pay for its replacement? So they didn’t. Surrounding jurisdictions picked up the tab for Warren’s segment of Augusta Bottom Road. That worked fine until a teenage driver died in an accident on the Warren segment, and her family sued for damages. Now nobody is allowed to use the road; insurance companies won’t provide coverage because they’ll only do it if the policyholder is the landholder. One of the options on the table would involve transferring a bit of land from Warren County to St. Charles so that St. Charles’ insurance would apply and the road could re-open.
It would need to be approved by the Missouri Legislature. It’s complicated.
Joe has been following this story like I’ve been following the Bibb-Monroe Boundary Dispute. These local dramas are endlessly fascinating and addictive. I recommend everyone select one and make it a hobby. You will not be disappointed.
Crime in Isolation
Selden Island, Maryland
"Rob" mentioned a recent crime involving the theft of farm equipment. The crime wasn’t particularly memorable although it happened at an interesting spot, a Potomac River island on the border between Maryland and Virginia. As 12MC has mentioned before, the boundary between Maryland and Virginia follows the low-water mark on the river’s Virginia shore as ratified by the 1874 Black-Jenkins Award (and recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court as recently as 2003). Simplistically, Maryland owns the river and the islands set upon it.
Take a closer look at Selden Island. It’s a lot closer to Virginia than it is to the rest of Maryland, and in fact the only way to get to the island overland is by using a small bridge on the Virginia side (see panoramic view). The officer on duty had to cross from Maryland on White’s Ferry (my visit), drive down through several miles of Virginia, and then cross back into Maryland to take the report.
Well, I thought it was pretty cool.
Thanks Joe, thanks Rob, and I hope everyone keep sending geo-oddities to 12MC!
(¹) a literal literally not a figurative literally
I stumbled upon an old thread on the Straight Dope message boards discussing the naming of streets. Those responsible were the usual cast of characters including developers, county governments, planning commissions, city councils, working-level bureaucrats, and the like. One contributor mentioned that:
Several years ago, I was working with a developer that proposed a “Cartman Drive” for their subdivision. After advising them that about a then-new cartoon called “South Park,” telling them about the character associated with the name, and warning them that the sign might be a frequent target for liberation by the students at the nearby Colorado State University, they changed the name.
I could not find any Cartman-related streets in Fort Collins so the advice stuck, apparently. It would have been a great location though, not too distant from Colorado’s southern Park County and the South Park Basin for which the cartoon was named.
Nobody would be foolish enough or obnoxious enough to name a street after a South Park character intentionally, right? Certainly not an entire housing development? Well, we’re goin’ down to Garland (Texas) and have ourselves a time.
South Park Inspired Subdivision, Garland, TX
I’ll give the developer some credit for attempting to mask his or her intent by avoiding some main characters, obscuring others and incorporating minor characters. The giveaway was a combination of (Eric) Cartman Rd. with (Kenny) McCormick St. Throw in a Mr. Garrison, a Mr. Mackey and a Ms. Crabtree, and the intent became clear. Someone in Garland, Texas had a wicked sense of humor and pulled a fast one on the local planning commission. A few lucky residents of Garland live at the corner of Cartman and McCormick. I know I’d go out of my way to photograph the sign. I’m surprised it hasn’t been stolen, actually.
That made me wonder about other cartoon-inspired suburbs. An obvious one would be The Simpsons on 742 Evergreen Terrace, in Springfield, which may or may not be Springfield, Oregon. There aren’t any Evergreen addresses in Springfield, Oregon so don’t worry about checking. I’ve done that for you. However, there is a genuine Simpson’s house built for a 1997 television contest in Henderson, Nevada.
The Simpsons house, remodeled, in Henderson, NV by rscottjones, on Flickr
via Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license
Sadly, the person who won the contest took a cash prize option rather than physical possession of the home. It was later repainted to fit better with the rest of the neighborhood, and sold. The home is located at 712 Red Bark Lane, Henderson, NV, for anyone in the 12MC audience who may ever want to visit it or perhaps place an offer for purchase.
The Flintstones would have to be the granddaddy of all prime-time television cartoon series. It first aired in 1960 and is considered the first of its genre. I’d thought something Flintstones-related would be easy to find although maybe expecting someone to name streets after Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm might have been a tad bit too obvious. Striking out, I focused on a couple of small towns called Flintstone. Neither contained character from the television cartoon, although both paid homage to the modern stone-age family’s fictional hometown, Bedrock.
Bedrock Lane in Flintstone, Georgia
On the other hand, I am pleased to report that there may still be some hope left in this world. I couldn’t find a single street or house inspired by Beavis and Butt-Head. Plenty of Beavis examples existed. Butt-Head was the problem. I could sort-of envision someone living on Cartman Drive and not minding that too much. However, Butt-Head anything would be considerably more problematic.
There seemed to be a plethora of Beavis streets and other variations in Australia, which I had to assume were completely unrelated. Maybe 12MC readers from Australia are familiar with an historical figure with the Beavis surname? I did find a Leslie Ellis Beavis, a general during the second world war, who might have inspired a few roads named in his honour. Most of the streets were quite minor (Beavis Street, Elsternwick, Victoria, for example) so I’d have to chalk them up to coincidence.
I did find Butt Hollow Road, Salem, Virginia, though. Uh… huh huh huh.
There is a really interesting conversation going on in the 12MC comments section of Deadly Fog pertaining to airline flight numbers and round-the-world trips.
I have a slew of short topics not befitting an entire article on their own. That means it’s time for another installment of Odds and Ends.
Non-Native English Readers of 12MC
Breakdown of 12MC’s Audience from Non-English Speaking Nations
The Twelve Mile Circle receives a robust amount of website traffic from readers in nations where English is neither a predominant nor an official language. It doesn’t come close to the number of visitors from the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and the like, however it’s more than I’d generally expect. I have a hard enough time writing for an English-speaking audience so people from other nations have a double handicap — my trouble stringing together an intelligible sentence along with reading my gibberish in a foreign language.
I examined statistics generated by readers since the beginning of 2013 and recorded the following Top 10 non-English language reader nations: Germany, France, Russia, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and Japan. Those ten comprised a little more than half of the set with another 150-or-so nations taking up the rest. I don’t have a point to make with this compilation, I just found it interesting. That’s all.
Loyal reader "January First-of-May" probably pushes Russia up as high as it is. Russia would still be in the Top 10 although a few slots lower, otherwise.
Metropolitan Area Pattern Game
U.S. Metro Areas with 12MC visitors on August 10, 2013
I based the article "Room to Grow" on the metropolitan area tab in Google Analytics, last November. I mentioned at the time that I hadn’t used that tab much before. I’ve kind-of grown fond of it since then. It doesn’t tell me anything useful that I don’t already know, however I’ve turned it into a little game. Each day I check to see if I can trace a route from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean following a contiguous trail of 12MC readers. I award myself double points if I can also connect to the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. I completed a route and nearly won double points from yesterday’s example.
No, I don’t actually track the points or anything like that. It’s a fun little mindless activity when I open Analytics each morning, like pulling the lever on a slot machine. I can’t trace a path as often as one might think.
Photo by Brandon M.; used by permission
I’m not sure how many readers went back and noticed the comment from "Brandon M." or saw my recent tweet (a good reason to subscribe to the 12MC Twitter feed) so I’ll repost his photo. Brandon read Order in the Court and noticed he’d be near one of the streets called Supreme Court, this one located in Gaithersburg, Maryland (map). He also said he checks the 12MC Complete Index Map for local geo-oddities when he travels. I thought I was the only one who did that so it’s nice to hear the index provided a useful purpose for someone other than myself.
Tripoint House for Sale
Wouldn’t you like to own a state tripoint? Longtime reader Bill forwarded an article link recently: "Delaware Spaces: Three states in the backyard, near Newark." It talked about homeowners who generously allow people to access the Delaware-Maryland-Pennsylvania (DEMDPA) tripoint, even though it’s located on private property. The article included an additional surprise, though. The property is for sale and can be yours for only $525,000!
I thought briefly about snapping it up and doing like Joe Biden used to do when he served in the U.S. Senate: commute daily from Wilmington, DE to Washington’s Union Station by Amtrak train. I certainly knew the route. I guess it was probably after the third or fourth time I mentioned this to my wife, ignoring her eye-rolls and icy glares, when she finally said, "It’s a good thing I love you." My tripoint dreams were dashed. That’s good news for the rest of you, though. You’ll have one less person to outbid if you want to own DEMDPA.
Great Captain Island
The same correspondence that inspired my Tombolo(s) of Connecticut article the other day also inspired Steve of Connecticut Museum Quest to finally complete his Southernmost Point in Connecticut page (subtitled "Then Things Really Went South"). This is the true, untold story of our visit to the island last summer with a modicum of embellishment for amusement’s sake. Visit Steve’s page — you’ll find it entertaining.
Great Taste of the Midwest
12MC Visits Madison, Wisconsin
Saturday was my annual pilgrimage to Madison, Wisconsin for the Great Taste of the Midwest beer festival. This is one of the best beer events in the nation in my opinion, which I know is a bold claim. It’s casual although exceptionally well-run, and it’s hard to beat the lineup of breweries represented. I’ll mark my calendar and hope to return again. 12MC readers in the Midwest should feel free to let me know if they’re one of the lucky few to get their hands on tickets next year.