"We were basically incorporated to be a sewer." The small village of Monsanto, Illinois was incorporated in 1926 to be a low-regulated tax haven for Monsanto Company's chemical plants. These days it's named Sauget, after the family which runs virtually every aspect of it—its real estate, its minor league baseball team (which plays on Sauget Field), and several of its nightclubs, of which there are so many that they are collectively known as the Sauget Ballet. The town's pollution has led to numerous lawsuits, and inspired the song Sauget Wind by alt-country group Uncle Tupelo. [more inside]
A new project called CitID is attempting to collect logos and/or typefaces representing every city in the world. So far, they have over 150 submissions, including Berlin, Kiev, Portland, Bogota, Tokyo, and Cape Town. [more inside]
The Second Amendment of the Constitution of United States of America gives us all the right to bear arms. It means that as Americans we can keep fire arms without governmental infringement. A few days ago many Americans chose to exercise this right at political Town Hall meetings on health care reform throughout the United States. Some are defending these actions. Others are not. The NRA is remaining quiet.
The town of Jerome was incorporated on March 8, 1889 when Arizona was still a territory. A mining town of the real 'wild west' variety, Jerome was incorporated after three devastating fires within an eighteen month period that nearly destroyed the town. Jerome was a wild town with little law enforcement, building codes, or real government. It earned the title "The Wickedest Town in America" by the New York Sun in 1903 for being a hotbed of gambling, prostitution, and vice. [more inside]
Living on the Edge Welcome to Ronda, a beautiful city in southern Spain which is split in two by el Tajo gorge. As a result, certain buildings have been perched on the edge of the gorge’s vertical walls, enormous cliffs bridged by the 200 year old Peunte Neuvo. [more inside]
Hollywood Midget Movie Stars. They started as popular vaudevillians. (From a review: "The chief feature, however, was the ten scenes in which the Singer Midgets appeared. The Midget strong man, the Midget conjurer, the Midget "Cleopatra" with the winning ways--these and many more were there.") They stormed the New York stage. They were members of The Lollipop Guild (YouTube link), as well as playing other Munchkins. They were suspected of being German sympathizers. But they may be best remembered for starring in the world's first all-midget musical western. Now available for your viewing pleasure from YouTube: Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
Small Town Papers. Searchable, digitized archives of small town newspapers.