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Town Legends


So one evening I was driving down a road. I didn’t know where I was going or how far it was from home, but I was positive that I needed a vacation. One thing I did know was that I was somewhere in Kentucky. I looked at the fuel gauge and saw I needed gas badly and I was, of course, in the middle of nowhere. I soon came up to a sign that said, “Welcome to Spottsville.”  I thought, “What a peculiar name for a town like this?” I mean it looked pretty nice. There weren’t too many people living there. I would guess around maybe 200 people, more or less. As I pulled up to the nearest gas station, I hopped out of my car and saw the cashier standing inside the window peering out at me like I was some kind of alien. I knew I wanted to find out how this town got its name.

So once I filled my tank up I walked inside to get a better look at the place and asked why he was staring at me. He saw me headed toward the front door of the gas station and acted as if he was busy. I slowly walked across the room to the cooler and I stuck my head inside to see what kind of beverages they had and I decided to pick a regular bottle of pop. I then wandered up and down the aisles to see what sort of snacks they carried. I then found my favorite bag of chips and went to the cashier. As I headed in his direction, I saw that his nametag said “Seth.” When I reached the counter he asked me what I was doing here, and I said that I was on a road trip to see my family. Okay, so I told a little white lie because to me he looked a little freakish up close and I wanted to get out of there. Then Seth asked me what I thought of the town. I said I thought it looked pretty nice. I mean it did. There were a few scattered trees and few nice houses. They had some really bizarre buildings though. I believe they were all office buildings but they all looked old, dusty and had brown spots. They looked like spheres; some weren’t perfectly round, but close enough. I had been thinking it was odd, but figured it was some kind of special architecture that they liked. I told him I felt a sort of relaxed feeling while in the town, but I was in kind of a hurry to get some rest. So I asked if there was nearby hotel. He gave me the directions and I was off. I found the hotel easily and I was so exhausted. I checked in and then realized I had forgotten to ask about the name of the town. I figured I would ask in the morning.

I got up bright and early to continue my grand adventure throughout the state of Kentucky, but I remembered I wanted to ask the story of the town’s name. I jumped in my car and headed toward the gas station I had been at the night before. I went inside and saw Seth, the cashier.  Looking at him now, in broad daylight, he wasn’t as intimidating as I had thought. He looked more like a giant teddy bear with a few creepy features here and there, but still a softer face in the light. I went over to the cooler again, got my same drink and the same kind of chips as before. I went back up to the counter and he and I had a long conversation about this little town of Spottsville, Kentucky.

It turned out these buildings had been here before people even started settling here, a long time ago. The settlers had noticed the buildings and were just fascinated by them.  They went inside to see if anyone was there, but sadly there had been no one there for a long time. They didn’t know who built the strange buildings or why they left, but they had loved the buildings so much that they had decided to keep them but try and rebuild them so they were more stable and better looking. They kept the color of the buildings though, with the brown spots and everything.

I finally understood why the town was named Spottsville, and the name was nothing how I imagined it to be, but that’s life. Even though it was an unusual town with an unusual name, I’ll always remember that odd town I had stopped in on my great journey, as I will with the other cities and towns I stopped in that year. It’s one of the few towns trying to keep their history alive and they will always remember it wherever they go. Personally, I’ll go back to that town once a year to visit my friend Seth, the cashier. We now sit and talk for a long time and we have become great friends. I am still traveling because after going to Spottsville, I’ve realized that I’d rather travel and see new and interesting places than work in an office. I find other nice towns in Kentucky and other states, and amazing stories that go with them, but I know that Spottsville, Kentucky will always be my favorite.


The Legend of Morton’s Gap

Morton’s Gap is a quiet, peaceful town. It may be small, but it has a lot of memories for Joy Morton, who just happened to stumble upon it one day.

Joy Morton was a loving, kind, young man. Joy was the founder of the Morton Salt Company. He had become very wealthy since his business took off in 1848, and had come a long way since eating beans and rice for dinner every night. He had a magnificent house and I think one of the prettiest yards I’ve ever seen. But his father, however, still lived in a small town in Kentucky called Earlington.

On May 26, 1851, Joy decided to go visit his father. He hadn’t seen him since his business took off, which is by far too long to go without seeing your own father. So, he called his father and arranged a visit.

Joy left in the morning because he didn’t want to drive in the dark. It was so early when Joy left that the grass still had dew on it and the sun was a pretty pinkish-yellow color. It was very foggy and mysterious on the streets Joy drove down. He was about ¾ of the way there and it was daytime now. He emerged to a giant, black, and mysterious gap in the middle of a road. It was an amazing sight! He was absolutely astonished. He had never seen such a sight in his life. He didn’t know what to do. He looked around to try and look for any signs of human life, or even existence. There weren’t any! The dirt roads looked deserted, like they had never been driven.  Joy’s tire treads were the only ones on the road. He called his father to tell him, and his father was astonished too.

The town was lonely, forgotten, and extremely empty. Joy had never heard of an empty town before. But, as he thought about it, he hadn’t seen any signs as he was on his way there. As Joy eagerly talked to his father, he decided to name the town, since there weren’t any previous owners. He named it Morton’s Gap. He made a sign and posted it up the road. Ever since that day, the town has been called Morton’s Gap.



Two weeks before our wedding my fiancée, Christian and I were going to visit his sister, Lisa. She lived in this hushed, quaint, miniscule town named Smithmills. It sat south of the Ohio River. We went to a diner to meet her for lunch. It was pretty empty except for the two waitresses and about six customers. When we were talking about good places for our honeymoon I brought up the name of this town.

“So how did this town get its name? I mean Smithmills, really?” I asked Lisa.

She responded, “I don’t know but maybe Bertha could help us.” Bertha was one of the waitresses; she looked like she worked there since the Stone Age.

“Hey can you tell us the story of how this town came to be?”I asked.

“Sure honey, of course I can. But there are a lot of myths. There’s one in particular though that’s true.”

It was about 29 years ago when the Smithson family came and settled. There was Ms. Mary Smithson, little Johnny Smithson, and their dog, Sam. When they first got to this rugged place nothing was here. The only thing here was a bunch of cabins, some small fields, and a stream. They moved into a nice cabin along a river in the back. Johnny’s father died in a fire three years ago. His mom got a job at the general store and Johnny and Sam built stuff in their backyard each day. You see, Johnny had a hard time making friends.

One day when Sam and Johnny were walking they met some children. Their names were Millie, Billy, Clare, and Chuck. They were all around Johnny’s age. When he introduced himself to them they thought he was strange. All the kids ran off except for Millie. Millie was a tall blonde ten year old. She thought Johnny was cool and friendly. The day she moved he sat in his backyard building things.

A few months later this town ran out of running water. People didn’t know what to do about this crisis. Some people thought about using water from water bottles, but it ran out too quickly. Others thought about getting water from the river, but it wasn’t clean.

Around this time Johnny was lonely and everyone was worrying about their own problems. Johnny thought about how to get everyone to settle down and become happy again. He started with the running water problem.

When his mom, Mary, went to work Johnny would go into town. He found things he needed to fix the water problem. The river behind his house helped him test out his different inventions. Johnny worked every day and night until he came up with a solution. When the day finally came to show his invention, no one thought it would work. So the next week he built a prototype. The prototype was a spinning wheel with filters and a bucket set to fall and pour out running water.

Everyone from town came out to see this. When the people of the town saw the working model they were surprised. Over the next few days everyone was getting new running water systems in their backyards. People were wondering what these new contraptions were called. Johnny really couldn’t think of anything until he thought about Millie.

“They’re called mills,” he said.

Everyone wondered about the name he came up with. Johnny told them about her and their friendship.

The next week the mayor of the nameless town came to the Smithson’s household. He wanted to tell Johnny and his family that the town had a new name. The new name was Smithmills. The name was after Johnny’s last name, the mills, and Millie.

“So that’s how this great town got its name?” I asked.

“Yep, and Johnny is still alive and married to his wife Millie,” Bertha said.

“There is even a working water mill outside and across the street with both of their handprints.” Sara added.

When Christian and I left we agreed to spend our honeymoon here and come here every March 17th which is the same day Smithmills was named.


Old Landing

In the quaint town of Old Landing, strange things have happened. For instance, how it got its name.  Although it was never proven, most still believe in this tale of a magic airplane. People claim it happened about a hundred years ago. The most common story is the most believable.

One bright, spring morning in 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright were using their engineering talent to create something nobody could ever imagine: a flying machine. They were using the small, Kentucky town because of the large, flat land. They were doing excellent, too. It had taken years, but they had finally finished. They called this magnificent device the Wright Flyer.  All that was left to do was to test it. With much excitement, the brothers walked simultaneously, each putting their right foot first, then the left. They did this often, and occasionally even had the same thoughts.

“I want to test it!” they said in unison, after arriving to the field with the Wright Flyer.

“Go ahead,” Orville, the younger of the two offered.

Wilbur nodded and got closer to the plane. He reached for the familiar lever when he heard a strange, clicking sound. Wilbur removed his hand, and the brothers inspected the plane thoroughly to make sure it was safe. Nothing seemed to be wrong, so he tried again. Suddenly, right before Wilbur started it, the plane took off without a pilot. The brothers did not know what to do. They just stood there in shock. After a few seconds, however, they both got the same thought. Since they owned a bike shop together, they had plenty of bikes available. They ran to the shop, hopped on the handmade, but dependable bicycles, and headed out. They searched thoroughly for the rest of  the day, but found nothing. Eventually, the brothers decided together to give up, and start a new one.

Exactly one year from this odd evening, something even more puzzling happened. In fact, the Wright Brothers were so baffled; even two geniuses like them had no idea what to do at first. While in the same field as the first plane flew away, it happened. A loud, buzzing noise came from overhead. To their surprise, when the Wright Brothers looked in the direction of the sound, they saw a plane! It was about the same size as the Wright Flyer, and the same creamy color. The brothers watched with curiosity as the device landed. Without a word, they ran over and began to inspect it. It was exactly like the Wright Flyer, only better. There were no faults, or even any minor mistakes! It was a lot more modern. There was no one flying this flawless plane, but that wasn’t the strangest part. On the right side, there were the letters ‘WF’ painted in red. This was the same logo on the Wright Flyer! The brothers knew this could no be a coincidence, it had to be theirs.

Everyone the brothers told about this incident told others, who told others. The locals decided to name the town after this odd event. Everyone voted that Old Landing would be a perfect name. To this day, people still go to that spot, hoping something magical will happen.


Reynolds Station

Deep, down in Kentucky, there is a small town called Reynolds Station. With a teeny tiny population of 100, there aren’t too many exciting things happening there, nowadays. It wasn’t always like that, though. Back in 1864, the town was bustling with activity. There was a gigantic train station in the middle of the town. The town was perfectly manicured; ideal houses, obedient and caring townsfolk, and a quaint, little atmosphere. Except for one small problem; a grimy, young, frustrating and crazy besmirchment.

Reynold wasn’t a bad person. He just couldn’t hold down a job and keep a family. Since he couldn’t do these two things, he was an outcast. No one would talk to him or allow him in their homes to stay the night. Reynold, eventually found a home. His home was a bench in the train station. He made the best of his new wretched home. Trains would pass in the dead of night arousing him out of his sleep; local hooligans came and tormented him. Soon, this led him to go insane. Upon going insane, Reynold developed a great fondness for the train station. Whenever a tourist inquired the name of the station, Reynold ran to the person and shouted, “Reynolds Station!!” and as quickly as he was there, he was gone. Reynold was like Flash without the costume; he ran at supersonic speed. Eventually, Reynold’s obsession consumed the whole town. The same thing happened when the name of the town was inquired; Reynold would run up and scream, “Reynolds Station!!” It was as though he had god-like hearing. Now, the townsfolk didn’t know how to comprehend Reynold’s obscene actions. So they shunned him. Soon, they ran Reynold out of town and into the neighboring, ominous forest. With Reynold gone, everything seemed to go back to normal, that is until people started to hear “Reynolds Station!” being wailed when someone asked about the name of the town. This worried the people of the town. They weren’t sure what to do.

That was true until a young, quick-witted man devised an impressive plan to calm Reynold down. He proposed his idea to the townspeople the following night. The people thought it was such a brilliant idea that they put it into action that night. There was much to be done, so they got to work right away. Some embarked into the forest in search of Reynold, while others started to make the signs. The searchers weren’t sure of what they would find. However, when they found Reynold he was still insane but he was more than willing to come back to civilization. Meanwhile, the other townspeople were busy making signs, working so hard that some people’s nail beds started to bleed and their hands blister. When the exhausted searchers and the anxious Reynold emerged from the dark woods, the town had two huge new signs. One sign was in the dead center of town. This sign said, “Reynolds Station. Population 400” in bright, bold letters. The second sign was at the very big train station. Now, this sign was more crudely put together. The letters weren’t as neat; it looked as though they were last minute additions, hastily put on. It read, “Reynolds” above the previous sign, “station.” Reynold looked at the new additions with the big deer-caught-in-headlights eyes, but they were full of amazement. He ran around the town with his mouth agape. It looked like he was going to break down in tears of joy. Through the night, Reynold ran around the town trying to take in all of it. In the morning, Reynold ran to all of the newcomers and dragged them to see the signs. This became a problem; a big one too. But, that is another long, crazy story.

In 1886, Reynold died. He died when a brand new train was coming. He jumped in front of the train; too eager to show his signs. As soon as the train hit him, he died. When everyone figured out what happeded, they went on with their lives. The only reason people know the truth of the town and Reynold is because of Reynold’s best friend, Rufus. Not only was it Rufus, but it was Rufus’s descendents also.



On November 11, Russellville celebrates what they call their Independence Day. It’s the day the town got its name. The story goes, “On November 11, 1645, the King of Kentucky was coming to visit the most beloved town in their history. It is known that all the people that have fought and died for the King of Kentucky have been born and raised there. The king’s name is Russell and he knows that the town does not have a name. He wants to help and show them how grateful he is. King Russell brought his beautiful blue eyed, black haired daughter, Elizabeth, along for the ride.

They got to the town, and noticed all the beautiful things in it. There were tiny brick stores and houses along the streets with blooming, astonishing, shiny ice red roses at each corner. There was what looked like friendly, young children stopping to wave their hat or hand. There were long, rocky driveways that looped along the grass up to the house. There was a huge white three-story house at the end of the town. It was big enough to fit a family of twenty. King Russell noticed the children playing on the front lawn. They seemed to be little girls but they all didn’t have hair. The king was so surprised. He turned so fast that he fell out of the carriage. His daughter was scared that he hurt himself. When she knelt down to see if he was ok, he burst out laughing. Elizabeth was so stunned she gave him a puzzled look. She tried to help him up but the king just said no. He said he wanted to lie in the dirt for awhile.

As nightfall came and the sun set over the horizon, a man with snow white hair and a very plump belly asked what was going on. King Russell got to his feet in slow motion moves. With the help of his daughter he finally got to his feet. He shook the man’s hand and explained who he was. The plump man told the king to hold on a moment, and ran into the house. Soon a handsome man with shoulder length black hair and amazing green eyes came to greet them. The man announced that he was the mayor of the town, and held his hand out to the king. They shook hands and exchanged glances.

After awhile the king asked about the children that were playing on the front lawn this morning. The mayor told the king the children were suffering from a sickness no one could figure out. They also don’t have anyone to take care of them. The king also asked how many children there were. The mayor told the king that there were not many, but too many for anyone who does not have a lot of money. Plus they’re sick, and they need love and care. The king was upset that people would leave their children in their time of need. He wanted to find these people and demand to know what their problem was.
As pitch dark night came they all said their goodbyes. On the ride home to the tiny, tiny hut they were staying in the king mentioned the children only once. Truth was he didn’t like feeling that “pit of the stomach hurt.” The last time he felt that way was when his wife died giving birth to his daughter, Elizabeth. King Russell soon dropped the subject and enjoyed the ride. After they got to their hut King Russell fell into a deep sleep and in it were the sick crying children.

As the pinkish and orange sun started to rise, King Russell awoke with the greatest, most wonderful ideal. He knew that the only way he would be at mercy is if he took the children and gave them the most loving and caring home he could. He told his daughter and she absolutely adored the loving and caring man. She decided to let him take the children. So the king took the children and gave them the happiest, gracious life they could have.

Years later, Elizabeth found that the town, with children going to heaven way too fast, named themselves after her father. She found the town was now named Russellville. It gave her the most caring, and loving feeling she has ever had. The town has had the name Russellville for more than 100 years. To this day it is still the same. That is the story of Russellville’s Independence Day.

Key to Freedom

The legend of Keysburg, Kentucky began on a blistery, cold day in December of the year 1923 with the birth of Cory and Casey. The twins were an unexpected surprise to Roberta and Michael. From the beginning, Mr. and Mrs. Carter knew that something was odd about Cory. The doctors knew something was seriously wrong with the small, fragile, and sickly child. They came in one by one and offered their condolences to the parents.

The Carters were proud, prominent members of their small community. They were very ashamed of their “different” child. The shame led them to a brutal decision. They decided they would keep Cory’s birth a secret to others around them.

From the day the twins came home, Casey was kept in the beautifully furnished nursery, while Cory was kept in a dark and gloomy cellar. There he was, given no human contact except for feedings, diaper changes, and an occasional bath. Casey grew up in a life surrounded by expensive gifts and an abundance of love, but always felt that there was something missing from her life.

On Casey’s 13th birthday she was especially sad, empty and alone. Though there were many children to accompany her that day, she decided to go off into the cellar to cry to herself. And cry she did, until she couldn’t cry anymore. Suddenly she was startled to hear a loud cry from the corner of the cellar. The cries came from behind a locked door. She went over to discover who was making those sounds. She spoke, “Who’s there?” but all she heard was weeping.

Casey flew up the stairs, and ran to her parents screaming, “Somebody is locked in the cellar!” Her parents ignored her cries, and quickly had her party guests leave. They sat her down, and told her to never speak such nonsense again or she would get the worst beating of her life.

From that day on, although she would go down to the cellar everyday while her parents were gone, she never once spoke of the noises to her parents again. As the days went by, Casey spent more time communicating with her new friend. The bond they shared was like no other bond Casey had ever known. She no longer felt alone, sad, or empty.

During the next several years of Casey’s teenage life, she began to search for the key that would release her new friend from his prison. She started by searching her house and did not stop until she had searched every house in the town. By the time Casey was done trying every last key in the town, she was 16 years old. Those three years filled with hope had become a waste of time because she never found the correct key.

On Christmas Day of the year 1939, Casey went down to the cellar and slipped a present underneath the locked door. Her friend began to squeal with excitement and moved about the room. Moments later, from underneath the door, came a poorly wrapped present for Casey. It was wrapped in the paper that contained his gift. She giggled while opening the present and quickly her giggles turned to tears. As the key fell out of the wrapper, she hesitated for a brief moment. She placed the key into the lock, turned it slowly and there on the floor with tears streaming down his face was “her friend.” She embraced him and he shook at her touch. Although quite frightened, he hugged her back. Casey helped her friend escape his prison and hers that day. Once they got up the stairs Casey finally told everyone about her friend in the cellar. She was no longer afraid for a beating. Her love for him made her feel strong and brave. So brave, that in front of all her Christmas guests she demanded that her parents tell the truth about who the boy was and why he was in the cellar? The towns’ people and the sheriff demanded to know as well. As the sheriff placed hand cuffs on Mr. and Mrs. Carter, Mrs. Carter screamed out for mercy and begged Casey to forgive her for keeping her twin from her all those years.

Forgiveness only came on the year of the twins 18th birthday in the form of a monument shaped as a huge key in the center of the town. The huge key was made from all of metal from every key that Casey had tried on the cellar lock. The only key that remained in this newly named town of Keysburg was the one that hung from a chain around Cory’s neck which fit into the cellar lock. And this is the legend of how Keysburg got its name.


The Legend of Stanville

Grazing across the unattractive plains

Reminds you of the old cowboy days.

Stretching across the nuclear skies.

Down below traced straight to my eyes,

Oddly enough there’s nowhere to sit.

Townspeople all bunched in with no fit.

Tired children always are crying

As the old woman in the back is nearly dying.

Sweating away in this humid town

Where no bed nor a/c is ever found.

Inside the house of an ordinary man,

He sits on the floor with no ceiling fan.

Here he’ll tell you what you’ll soon discover.

How Stanville came to be unlike any other.

My name is Stan. This is my town.

It’s extremely hot and we sit on the ground.

Come let me tell you how Stanville was found.

When I came here I saw nothing but gravel.

Pretty soon all of my thoughts started to unravel.

I made brick houses with everything needed.

Once I was done, I felt so conceited.

Then all of a sudden it came to my head.

I forgot to install an a/c or bunk beds.

I tried so hard to find a cheap place to sit.

I guess me being cheap didn’t help me one bit.

As the months passed, cheap chairs didn’t last.

All were satisfied until one day they cried.


The years flew and the trees never grew.

Sitting on the floor became a rule.

Everyone in town thought Stan was a fool.

This is the legend of my poor town.

Of which sometimes I wish was never found.

But yet I’ve learned to cope with the bill.

And the boring rules of the old STANVILLE.


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