Monday, September 13, 2010

Gazetteer fun: A-C

The highly entertaining and educational North Carolina Gazetteer has been updated for the first time since it was first published in 1968. (Kudos to Michael Hill at the N.C. Office of Archives and History for undertaking the updating of William Powell's monumental publication.)

For those unfamiliar with the book, it is quite simply a listing of place names in North Carolina. Some are well-known, most are not; some are funny, some are sad and some are just ... quirky. It's a must-have for natives and "furriners" alike.

We figured we would highlight some of our favorites from the book every now and then. This first version will look at random listings that begin with letters, A, B and C. There
are some 2,ooo-plus listings in the Gazetteer, so feel free to search for your own faves.


Aho, community in s(outhern) Watauga County near the heads of Stony Branch, Moore Branch, and Buffalo Creek. It is said that a group of men gathered to select a name for the community but, being unable to agree on a name, decided that that next word spoken by any one of them would be accepted. After a long silence, B. B. Dougherty arose, stretched, and said "Aho!"

Bloodrun Creek, rises in w(estern) Chatham County and flows s(outh)w(est) into Brush Creek. Local tradition says that a "hot skirmish" occurred between small bands of Whigs and Tories during the Revolutionary War. Each side, not wishing to reveal its losses, buried its dead secretly. One of the sites selected as a burying ground was near the small stream, and it was given its present name to commemorate the shedding of blood in the battle.

Chicamacomico, the name given to three communities on n(orthern) part of Outer Banks, e(astern) Dare County, s(outh) of Pea Island: formerly North Rodanthe, South Rodanthe, and Clarks, now known as Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo.

The North Carolina Gazetteer is published by UNC Press. To order one, click

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