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Hell

Photo by Patricia Drury

Hell is not only a biblical place, it is also an unincorporated town in Michigan.

There are a couple of stories about how Hell, MI, came to be named hell, the first is that some German travellers got out of their wagon and said So schön hell!, which means “So Beautifully Bright” and the name stuck. The second is that after Michigan became a state George Reeves, the founder of Hell, was asked what he thought the town should be named, and his answer was “I don’t care, you can name it Hell for all I care.”

Although the mailing address of hell is actually Pinckney, MI, (three miles away), there is a post office in the back of the general store where you can send stuff from Hell each year from May through September.

There are some other towns called Hell in the world. One was Hell, California, but it only had one family of residents and now there is a highway where it used to be. Another is Hell, Norway, and while the name is interesting in English, in Norwegian the name stems from the word for “overhang” or “cliff cave” and can also mean “luck.”

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