Tag Archives: oklahoma

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.

Slapout

A photo of Slapout Service in Slapout, OK

Photo by John Curran. Slapout, OK.

There are at least two towns called Slapout in the United States, and it looks like they both got their name in pretty much the same way.

During the depression, highway three was built across Oklahoma. Where it passed his land, a fellow named Tom Lemons moved a chicken coop over to the highway and started a store. His sister worked in the store, and whenever the someone would come in looking for something that they didn’t have she would reply that they were “slap out” of the product. Despite Tom’s protestations, the name stuck, and the town became known as Slapout, Oklahoma.

Some other time, maybe about the same time but data is sketchy, there was a store called the Boys Store in a the community of Holtville, Alabama. If you went into the Boys Store and asked for something they were out of you would be told that they were “slap out of it.” Here too, the name stuck.

Two towns in the US, both with the same name, and the same story about how they got their name. Fascinating.