Interesting/Odd Things About Your Hometown
Brian Homan
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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I was looking through the Geeklists today and hoping for something new and inspiring to jump in on. Alas, there was nothing that really piqued my interest that I hadn't already jumped in on, so here we go...

In this list, please share something interesting or odd about your hometown. You're not limited to one addition, so if your town really has it's freak flag flying, feel free to post it all.
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1. Board Game Designer: Brian Homan
Brian Homan
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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While I currently live in St. Louis, Missouri, I spent most of my life living in the Detroit, Michigan area. Detroit has a lot of interesting places to visit, but one of the oddest things to see is this sculpture hanging near Hart Plaza.

Yep, it's a fist. Actually, it's the better part of Joe Louis' right arm. Joe Louis was a famous boxer in the early part of the 20th century and brought much pride to his hometown of Detroit through the fights that he won and the doors he opened for black athletes.

Honoring him with a giant fist is fitting for Detroit for the following reasons:
1. Joe was a boxer (Duh!)
2. It perpetuates the belief that Detroiters are a tough breed.
3. It perpetuates the belief that Detroiters have no taste in art.
4. Detroit is broke, so we're lucky we have the right arm. The whole body would have been way too expensive.
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2. Board Game: Detroit in a Box [Average Rating:3.75 Unranked]
Brian Homan
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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Ah yes, the Spirit of Detroit. This guy is iconic. Really! The statue was commissioned back in 1955 and was cast in Oslo, Norway. The sphere in the left hand symbolizes God and the people in the right hand are a family group. The Spirit of Detroit brings the two together. Behind the statue is the inscription:

NOW THE LORD IS THAT SPIRIT
AND WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE
LORD IS, THERE IS LIBERTY."
II CORINTHIANS 3:17[3]

Such things might raise the hackles of many anti-religious groups today, arguing that this violates separation of church and state. In 1955, there was no issue, and even among Detroiters today, there is not much contention over the Spirit of Detroit. He has become quite the beloved mascot of the city.

A little known fact: The Spirit of Detroit has been around a while now and he's grown quite attached to the local sports teams. He is often found wearing the jersey of his favorite team when they make the play-offs, as seen below.

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3. Board Game: Monopoly: Ford 100th Anniversary [Average Rating:4.80 Unranked]
Brian Homan
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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Henry Ford was an accomplished engineer, inventor and businessman. Among his notable friends were Thomas Edison (a former employer) and Harvey Firestone. Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, MI and though he did not invent the automobile, he improved upon the design and became the first mass producer of such vehicles. Ford is credited with designing the modern assembly line, and paying his workers high wages for their efforts.

In 1908, Ford began selling the Model T for $825 (roughly $21,000 in today's dollars). As production costs went down, the price of the Model T declined year after year. As costs went down, the number of consumers purchasing the vehicles went up. By the 1920's most drivers in America had learned to drive in a Model T.

Henry Ford believed in paying workers a good wage, but he was firmly against labor unions. He believed that the leaders of said unions, though ostensibly working for the good of their brethren, would end up doing more harm than good. As such, the Ford Motor Company was the last major car manufacturer to recognize the UAW in June, 1941.

Little known facts about Henry Ford:
1. He was something of a pacifist, believing that wars were fought only to make men rich and profit from the death of others. Ford not only didn't support war, he actively tried to stop it (at least in WWI). Unfortunately his methods were unsuccessful and a topic of derision. See Peace Ship in Wikipedia.
2. He once ran for U.S. Senator in Michigan, but lost by 4,500 votes.
3. Ford's company once produced war materials for Nazi Germany while the U.S. still had diplomatic relations with Germany, before entering WWII.
4. Blatantly anti-Semitic, Ford was the only American mentioned in Mein Kampf. In his book, Adolf Hitler ascribed the following to Henry Ford: "one of our most valuable, important, and witty fighters," and additionally, "only a single great man, Ford, [who], to [the Jews'] fury, still maintains full independence...[from] the controlling masters of the producers in a nation of one hundred and twenty millions."
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4. Board Game: Only Oregon Trivia [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Dan Vore
United States
Lebanon
Oregon
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I'm from the great small town of Lebanon Oregon. We have a yearly Strawberry Festival. It isn't much but we do have the worlds largest Strawberry Shortcake!

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5. Board Game: Strange New Worlds [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:12154]
Rich Uncle Pennybags
United States
Florida
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Los Angeles. The title of this game says it all.
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6. Board Game: King Philip's War [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:4410]
Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
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Ah, Cumberland, Rhode Island, my home for the past 4 years. Cumberland is famous for... well, not much.

1 William Blackstone was the first European to settle in Cumberland. He was also the first to settle in Boston and the first to settle in Rhode Island. I guess this guy really enjoyed living in solitude. That, and he tended to cause trouble with the religious folk.

2 Nine Men's Misery, the oldest war memorial in the U.S., is located in the woods of the Monastery, which is actually a library. Yeah, it's a little confusing. So is actually finding the darn thing. It was built in 1676 as a grave/memorial for 9 soldiers who died during King Philip's War.

3 Cumberland is the original home of notable regional businesses Cumberland Farms and Ann & Hope.

4 Notable past/present Cumberland residents: the writer/director/producer team known as the Farrelly Brothers, former major league baseball player Rocco Baldelli, and actor Richard Jenkins.
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7. Board Game: Meteor Strike [Average Rating:5.67 Overall Rank:12467]
United States
Middlesboro
Kentucky
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As far as I know, my town is the only one in the U.S. to be built inside of a meteor crater.

Talk about livin' in a hole.
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8. Board Game: Chester Gump Game, In The City Of Gold [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Ian Harris
United Kingdom
Chester-le-Street
County Durham
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The claim to fame of my hometown Chester-le-Street, in County Durham, Northern England, is that it is the place where the Bible was first translated into English.

http://northeast.greatbritishlife.co.uk/article/chester-le-s...

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9. Board Game: Do you speak English? [Average Rating:4.33 Unranked]
Luis Diaz
United States
Miami
Florida
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Cuz in my hometown, Miami, FL... Most people don't. LoL
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10. Board Game: The Wright Brothers [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Dayton, Ohio - the Birthplace of Aviation. Wilbur and Orville Wright, and all that.

And the home of the Dayton Dragons, a minor league baseball team that in July 2011 broke the record for consecutive home sell-outs for any professional sports team in the USA. Currently at 913 games.



An aside - it's hard to define 'hometown' for somebody who was a military brat and has moved a lot. But I lived in Dayton longer than anywhere else as a kid/young adult so it counts for me.
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11. Board Game: Full Metal Planète [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:1546]
Tim
United States
Frederick
Maryland
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I'm originally from Albany, Oregon. At one time (I doubt it still is though), Albany was considered the rare metals capital of the world.
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12. Board Game: Scum: The Food Chain Game [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:10249]
Josh Lozano
United States
St Louis
Missouri
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Las Cruces, New Mexico. Home to the worlds largest enchilada (last I checked). Appropriately, it tastes like scum. But it IS the biggest...
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13. Board Game: Play Gauss [Average Rating:6.65 Unranked]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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My home town Göttingen was the site of the first electromagnetic telecommunication (in 1833). It originated from the observatory, a few hundred metres from my house, and went to downtown. The route is now shown by a green laser on winter nights.

Carl Friedrich Gauß and Wilhelm Weber, who designed the telegraph, share a monument on the edge of downtown. The statues used to hold some wire, which was lost long ago. The wire made for an interesting posture of Gauß - his upheld hand is regularly ornamented with an empty beer bottle (and he looks seriously drunk that way).
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14. Board Game: Boudicca: The Warrior Queen [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:5673]
goosarino strangeprawn
Scotland
Edinburgh
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Colchester, where I grew up, is the UK's oldest recorded town, and was the capital of Roman Britain at the time of the Iceni rebellion led by Boudicca (Boadicea). She therefore burnt it to the ground- including the temple of Claudius, which was full of terrified townspeople at the time.

When I was little I thought it was perfectly normal to find shards of Roman pottery whenever you dug holes in your garden.

Don't piss off a warrior queen.

Also, the town's Roman name of Camulodunum and some of the more outre theories regarding the Roman origins of the King Arthur myths have led to its status of being a longshot as a candidate for real-life Camelot.

It is a very silly place.
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15. Board Game: Subway Toronto [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Rick Senki
United States
Altadena
California
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Toronto's underground pedestrian system is over 28 km in length.
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16. Board Game: Rally 'round the Flag [Average Rating:6.28 Unranked]
Davido
United States
California
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I've told this before, but here goes again. I grew up in Bedford, MA. Home of the Bedford Flag:

http://www.bedfordlibrary.net/town/bedford_flag.htm
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f6/Bed...

supposedly the ONLY flag carried by the Minutemen at the battle of Concord Bridge (to the April's breeze unfurled and fired the shot heard 'round the world).
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17. Board Game: Free Parking [Average Rating:5.20 Overall Rank:15139]
Wesley M
United States
Illinois
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Freeport, IL only two things really

On August 27, 1858, the second debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas took place

And its the birthplace of Charles Guiteau the assassin of everyone's favorite president James A. Garfield... Yeah that's all I got..
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18. Board Game: St. Louis in a Box [Average Rating:4.20 Unranked]
Brian Homan
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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Here's a cool (and seriously messed up) place where I currently live in St. Louis, MO. It's called the City Museum.

This is a shot of the main hall when you walk in. It's really cool and very bizarre. Artists and artisans took all kinds of common ordinary stuff and made extraordinary things out of them.


There are pathways, tubes, tunnels and secret passages everywhere in the museum. This is a shot of some of the craziness.


If this wasn't enough, there are a series of caverns that run beneath the main floor of the museum. Lots of kids like to play hide and seek down there.


Just outside the museum is a 4-story playground called Monstrocity. It is fraught with danger and the coolest place your kids will every play. There's even a jet fuselage at the top that kids (and adults) can climb into.


What's a museum without a giant preying mantis? Well, we've got one here! We also have a Ferris Wheel on the roof and a school bus hanging over the roof's edge. You can go in that too and walk to the front, if you dare!


No, this isn't the stairway of insanity. It is, however, the way up to the 10-story slide. It's a lot of stairs for 30 seconds of fun, but at least you'll get a good workout. If you're lucky, the organist will be around to play some odd tunes for you during your trek.


The museum also has a circus troop that performs there, mostly made up of kids. They are pretty good, and not shy about pandering for tips when the show is over. On the same floor, there is a room where kids can swing on giant ropes, ride a small train, or slide down giant sloping concrete walls.

We go here every year with the kids, and it is the craziest, coolest museum that your family will want to visit over and over.
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19. Board Game: Rails of New England [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:4532]
Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
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"To be honorable and just is our only defense against men without honor or justice." -Diogenes of Sinope
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The capital of New Hampshire is pronounced "Conquered." The people are called New Hamsters. They pronounce "aunt" to rhyme with "taunt."
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Plymouth, NH - we're the center card in the bottom row. Geographically, we're actually about ten miles north of the center of the state, so our card should be in the top row.

It's our 250th anniversary this year - happy birthday to us!

Nathaniel Hawthorne died here. Daniel Webster argued his first court case here. Mary Baker Eddy went to school here. Robert Frost taught here. Um, that's about it.

Nice place to live, though! Here's a winter view, though there's a lot more snow today:

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20. Board Game: Cash Flow [Average Rating:4.78 Unranked]
Mark Saya
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Michigan City, Indiana, my home town, is the location of Indiana State Prison, which inspired Johnny Cash to write this, okay, not so famous song:

Michigan City Howdy Do

Well Johnson Van Dyke Grigsby was paroled in '89
He never walked on a carpet never tasted dinner wine
His old eyes were slowly fadin' as he walked out of the gate
And he breathed the first free air he'd breathed since 19-0-8

Howdy do Michigan City you're sure pretty sight
But I know there's bigger cities and more excitin' nights
But I think your girls're pretty and I love your children too
Michigan City Indiana howdy do Michigan City Indiana howdy do
Michigan City Indiana howdy do

Filled with the joy of freedom he didn't know that he was old
Cause time don't really matter when it's bubblin' in your soul
Well I don't think he was bitter cause he sure had a smile
And down the streets of Michigan City he walked his first free miles

Howdy do Michigan City you're sure pretty sight
But I know there's bigger cities and more excitin' nights
But I think your girls're pretty and I love your children too
Michigan City Indiana howdy do Michigan City Indiana howdy do
Michigan City Indiana howdy do
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21. Board Game: Temple [Average Rating:6.44 Unranked]
Ronster Zero
United States
California
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I live in Hacienda Heights, CA.

While it's a little known city in the sprawling LA county line, it claims the largest Buddhist temple in the USA.

It is quite wonderful place and well hidden. For the size you can barely see it off the main road. If you ever get a chance, it's quite spectacular.






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22. Board Game: Logistics Command [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Kevin Brown
United States
Macon
Georgia
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Warner Robins GA was originally named Wellston. In 1941 the sleepy little town was selected as the location of an Air Corp Depot, originally named Wellston Air Depot. In 1942 it was renamed Robins Field for the late general Augustine Warner Robins, the father of Air Force logistics. The next year the town incorporated as the city of Warner Robins, also after the general. Today the depot has expanded to be known as Robins Air Force Base.
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23. Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Vermont, New Hampshire & Central New England [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
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The Barnstormers, located in the bucolic village of Tamworth, NH (population 2500), is one of the longest-running professional summer theatres in the country. The company was founded in 1931 by Francis Cleveland, the youngest son of President Grover Cleveland, Francis’s wife Alice and their friend Ed Goodnow, all of whom were involved with theatre on Broadway. Over eighty years later, their legacy continues. Today, The Barnstormers is one of three Equity theatres in New Hampshire and is the only theatre in the world that maintains the summer theatre tradition of eight plays in eight weeks.
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24. Board Game: Gang of Four [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1549]
'Bernard Wingrave'
United States
Wyoming
Ohio
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I grew up in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. It's a small city on the banks of the Fox River in the eastern part of the state. Kaukauna was, in its earlier history, two municipalities. One was on the south side of the river, and the other was on the north side. There were gangs in each of the municipalities, and when the city of Kaukauna was formed to join the two previous cities, Kaukauna officials decided to deal with the gang problem by building three important buildings (the high school, the public library, and the post office) on one of the city's main islands.
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25. Board Game: Spell it! [Average Rating:5.49 Unranked]
Dan Edelen
United States
Mount Orab
Ohio
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I'm a writer and editor.

By some weird stroke, I live in a town that consists of two spelling mistakes: Mount Orab, Ohio.

That was supposed to be the namesake of the biblical mountain, the one on which Moses received The Ten Commandments.

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

Say that name with a southern Ohio accent, though, and suddenly the H vanishes. And so it did in print.

Mount Oreb

But then there was a train station in town. And someone lacking both biblical knowledge and a clipped Ohio accent decided to print up a train schedule distributed throughout the area with the e now an a.

Mount Orab

So that is how an editor lives in a spelling mistake.
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