Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chicken, Alaska - Small Town of the Week!

Congratulations to Chicken, Alaska! You are the first ever recipient of the Ben Bartley Small Town of the Week Award!

Chicken, you may be asking yourself, "what did I do to deserve this honor?"

The answer: you exist. I like your name. It made me happy to know you exist.

From your homepage, I learned that "Downtown Chicken has a bar, giftshop, cafe, and salmon bake. If you arrive in the morning, try some of Sue's famous Cinnamon Rolls -these things are incredible."

I also learned that in order to get to Chicken, Alaska, I have to take the Taylor Highway. According to your website "The Taylor Highway is made of packed gravel. Trucks, cars, and motorhomes regularly travel the road. The highway is open from Spring to early Fall. Paving is expected in the same year that pigs begin to fly."

Why do they call it Chicken? Your website told me:

"In the late 1800's, early miners traveled far in search of gold. Food was sometimes scarce, but a particular area near the South Fork of the 40-Mile River was abundant in Ptarmigan, now the state bird which bears a resemblance to a chicken. The miners kept themselves alive with the help of the Ptarmigan.

In 1902, Chicken was to become incorporated, the second town in Alaska to do so. The name "Ptarmigan" was suggested. Many people liked the name, but felt the quotation marks were too presumptuous. The name was shortened to Ptarmigan.

The only problem was that nobody could agree on the correct spelling. They didn't want their town name to be the source of ridicule and laughter, so they decided on "Chicken." (The irony is thicker than the foreshadowing.) "

Chicken, Alaska: the first ever Ben-Bartley-Small-Town-of-the-Week!

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