Tag Archives: north carolina

Pumpkin Center

A sign for Pumpkin Center, CA

The exit sign on the I-5 for Pumpkin Center, California, (Photo by Raymond Yu)

So, I don’t actually have a story to about why Pumpkin Center is called Pumpkin Center, but I do have some interesting, random, Pumpkin Center facts.

I was looking for information on Pumpkin Center, MO, (where Kay Barnes‘ mother was born), to continue the Missouri theme, and found that since the highway was put in there isn’t much left of that town, except for maybe a couple of buildings and a photo by the road.

However, while looking for Pumpkin Center information, I discovered that there are no less than 23 towns called Pumpkin Center in the USA. There are Pumpkin Centers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia. Some states, such as Oklahoma, have several towns called Pumpkin Center. Also, in Colorado there’s a town called Punkin Center, Population 9.

So, if anyone knows why there are so many places called Pumpkin Center, or has a story about why any of the Pumpkin Centers is called Pumpkin Center, I would love to hear them.

Lizard Lick

Photo by steevhead13 on flickr

Lizard Lick is a small town at a crossroads in North Carolina. Legend has it that in the 1800s there was a distillery near the crossroads. Near the still there was a fence, and lizards would come out by the thousands to catch the insects that fed on the discarded mash from the still. We’re not sure if the Lick part of the name comes from the word Liquor, (some people say the liquor store, which was not the officially-sanctioned government one, was called Lizard Liquor), or if it’s because it looked like the lizards were licking the insects, or if it’s because an old man who used to walk along the road were the fence was gave the lizards a lickin’ with his cane.

These days Lizard Lick is probably best known for having a fun name, and for Lizard Lick Towing & Recovery on the TV show All Worked Up. I also read somewhere that there used to be really great peanut brittle at the Town Hall, and maybe there still is.