Chronology & Geography of Civil Rights Wade-in Protests

St. Augustine Wade-in on June 25, 1964 – Source:

Though not as well known or as common as the lunch counter sit-ins that protested segregated dining, beach wade-ins were another peaceful tactic used to demonstrate the rampant amount of bigotry and racism that existing during the Jim Crow era in the United States. In the case of beaches, while most of the wade-ins listed below took place in the South, many beaches (both public and private) throughout the country were shamefully off-limit to African-American citizens.

The chronological list below identifies the known wade-ins that took place, their geographical location, and background information on the protest and its organizers.  As always, any additions, corrections, or revisions are most appreciated. Peace!


May 9, 1945, in Miami, Florida – Haulover Beach wade-in on Virginia Key by seven protesters.

September-October 1955, in Sarasota, Florida – by Newtown residents led by Neil Humphrey Sr. at Lido Key Beach. Wade-in included 100 protesters on October 3, 1955. A historic marker is located at the site (see photo below).


November 1955, in St. Petersburg, Florida – several African-American residents were denied access to Spa Beach and Pool. The Supreme Court ruled against the city in 1957, but it wasn’t until 1959 before the facility was opened to all races.

May 14, 1959, in Biloxi, Mississippi – first wade-in, initiated by Dr. Gilbert Mason with his family and friends. At least two historic markers in the city relate information on these wade-ins (see photo below)


April 24, 1960, in Biloxi, Mississippi – second wade-in was led by Dr. Gilbert Mason with 125 protesters. Sadly, this event is more commonly known as the “Bloody Wade-in” or “Bloody Sunday” due to the attacks on the protestors by white opponents to desegregation (see photo below).

Scene from “Bloody Wade-in” in Biloxi – Source:

August 18, 1960, in Savannah, Georgia – by 27 African-Americans at Savannah Beach on Tybee Island.

August 28, 1960, in Chicago Illinois – by a group of 32 protesters led by Velma Murphy Hill at Rainbow Beach. These protests continued during the summer of 1960 and into 1961. A historic marker is situated at the site.

July 4, 1961, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – first wade-in led by Eula Johnson. The beaches were opened to all after a court decision on July 11, 1962 (see photo below).


July 9, 1961, in Chicago, Illinois at Rainbow Beach (see photo below).

Rainbow Beach Wade-in in Chicago, 1961 – Source:

July 23, 1961, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – second wade-in, also led by Eula Johnson. Several more were held that same summer until the city filed a lawsuit against Johnson on August 12, 1961. The federal judge sided with Johnson on July 11, 1962 (see historic marker photo above).

June 23, 1963, in Biloxi, Mississippi – third wade-in led by Dr. Gilbert Mason. Sixty-five protesters were arrested for trespassing on a public beach. Success was not achieved in Biloxi until a court decision in 1967. In 1968 the beaches were opened to all races for the first time (see photo below).

Arrest of wade-in protesters at the third Biloxi protest – Source:

June 25, 1964, in St. Augustine Beach, Florida – first beach wade-in during the “St. Augustine Movement.” (see photo a top of the post)

July 1964, in St. Augustine, Florida – attempts to integrate the beaches on Anastasia Island as part of the “St. Augustine Movement.”

Summer 1975 – Madison, Connecticut – protest(s) led by Ned Coll held at a private beach (see photo below).

Madison, Connecticut – Source: the


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Chronology & Geography of Civil Rights Lunch Counter Sit-ins

Birmingham, AL – Source:

Below is a chronological and geographical list of the start date(s) of known lunch counter sit-ins that took place to protest Jim Crow-style segregated seating and dining accommodations for African-Americans. While segregated lunch counter were most common in the South, the list sadly depicts instances in northern and border states, as well. Locations from 18 states are included in the list.

While the heroic efforts of the four freshman from North Carolina A & T at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina is the best known of these sit-ins, each and every protest took an immense amount of courage on the part of the participants. They all should be commended and honored for their role in the civil rights movement.

Though some of these sit-ins resulted in successful changes without incident, others took considerable effort and too often ended with the protesters being jailed, convicted on bogus charges, and/or being expelled from school. Needless to say, this was a sad time for social and economic justice the United States. In some cities, a successful protest at one lunch counter did not necessarily mean all restaurant lunch counters followed through with integrating. As a result, some cities appear on the list multiple times.

As always, any additions, corrections, or suggestions to this blog post are most welcomes. In particular, any additional details on lunch counter sit-ins that are listed below or that may not be included would be more appreciated and helpful in fully documenting these important civil rights initiatives.


In certain instances, the date given for some of the sit-ons varies between sources. In these case, most often the local resource was used. The discrepancy is also noted in case further research or documentation clarifies the difference. Also, note, this list only include lunch counter protests and not protests related to table seating at restaurants.


Chicago, IL – in May 1942, by  Jack Farmer and 27 others at the Jack Spratt Coffee House on the city’s south side at 47th & Kimbark. The protest was successful. **First lunch counter sit-in in Illinois**


St. Louis, MO – May 15, 1944, at the lunch counter at the Stix, Baer & Fuller department store. The protests led by the CCRC (Citizens Civil Rights Committee) continued off and on for a number of years  here and at the two other downtown department stores – Famous-Barr and Scruggs-Vandevoort-Barney. Full and final success was not achieved until 1954. **First lunch counter sit-ins in Missouri**


St. Louis, MO – 1949 to June 1953, at downtown dime stores in the city. The campaign by CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), which included sit-ins, meetings, and picket lines, lasted 3.5 years before achieving success in June 1953.


Baltimore, MD – May, 1953 to May 1954, by CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) at Grant’s and McCrory’s locations in the city. The campaign archives success in May, 1954. **First lunch counter sit-ins in Maryland**


Wellston, MO – January 1955, by members of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) at three dine store lunch counters in the city. The campaign was successful.

Columbia, MO – May 1954, by members of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) at Newberry’s and Fred Clark’s Luncheonette.


Baltimore, MD – January 1955, at Read’s Drugstore located at Howard & Lexington Streets by students from Morgan State College. Led by CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), the campaign achieves success in February when all 37 Read’s locations are integrated.


Durham, NC – June 23, 1957, at Royal Ice Cream lunch counter located at Foxboro & Dowd Streets, by members of Ashbury Temple United Methodist Church. **First lunch counter sit-in in North Carolina**


Wichita, Kansas – July 19, 1958 to August 11, 1958, at the Dockum (Recall) Drug Store located at Douglas & Broadway in downtown. The protest was successful on August 11, 1958, and is now commemorated by a bronze sculpture. **Highly successfully lunch counter sit-in protest and the first in Kansas** (see photo below)

Wichita, KS – Source:

Charleston, WV – August 11, 1958, by members of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) at Woolworth’s, Kresge, and Newberry’s.  The protest was largely successful, as these three stores soon changed their policies. However,  Diamond department store did not change its policies until May 3, 1960. **First lunch counter sit-in in West Virginia**

Oklahoma City, OK – August 19, 1958, at Katz Drug Store located at Robinson & Main Streets by members of the Oklahoma City NAACP Youth Council. Success was achieved just two days later when Katz’s ended its segregation policy. The campaign was so successful that 40 stores across the state of Oklahoma had followed Katz’s lead by the end of the year. **Highly successfully lunch counter sit-in protest and the first in Oklahoma**

Oklahoma City, OK – Source:

Enid, OK – August 27, 1958, by 50-60 local students at Downs Pharmacy at 120 N. Independence and Sanford-Stunkle Drug Store at 100 N. Independence. On September 4, 1958, the owners of 25 restaurants in Enid agreed to desegregate. **Highly successfully sit-in protest**

Stillwater, OK – post August 19, 1958 – more details needed

Tulsa, OK – post August 19, 1958 – more details needed


Lexington, KY – July 1959, at downtown lunch counters in Woolworth’s and Kresge’s by members of the NAACP and CORE (Congress of Racial Equality). **First lunch counter sit-in in Kentucky** (see photo below)

Lexington, KY – Source:

Miami, FL – August 18, 1959, by 18 CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) protestors at the segregated lunch counters located at Jackson-Byron and Grant’s department stores. **First lunch counter sit-in in Florida**


Greensboro, NC – February 1, 1960, at the downtown Woolworth’s lunch counter by four freshman students attending North Carolina A & T College. It took approximately five months for the lunch counters to be integrated in Greensboro. **Successfully launched a series of  similar sit-in protests at lunch counters across the South** (see photo below)

Greensboro, NC – Source:

Durham, NC – February 8, 1960, at Woolworth, S. H. Kress, and Walgreen’s lunch counters by students from North Carolina College.

Fayetteville, NC – February 8, 1960 by students from Fayetteville State Teachers College at Woolworth’s and McCrory’s.

Winston-Salem, NC – February 8, 1960, by 15 students from Winston-Salem Teachers College at the Walgreen’s at Fourth & Trade Streets.

Charlotte, NC – February 9, 1960, by approximately 100 students from Johnson C. Smith University at eight stores in downtown.

Concord, NC – February 9, 1960, by students from Barber-Scotia College at the Belk’s lunch counter.

DeLand, FL – February 9, 1960 – students from Euclid High School at the lunch counter in Woolworth’s on North Woodland Boulevard. The students continued this protest five times.

Elizabeth City, NC – February 9, 1960, by students from Elizabeth City State Teachers College.

Henderson, NC – on February 9, 1960 – more details needed

Hampton, VA – February 10, 1960, by three students from Hampton Institute (University) at Woolworth’s lunch counter. Approximately 200 students came to the Woolworth’s the following day. The store was located on West Queen Street in downtown. **First lunch counter sit-in the Virginia**

Raleigh, NC – February 10, 1960, by students from St. Augustine’s College and Shaw University at Woolworth’s downtown store, as well as McLellan’s, Hudson-Belk, S.H. Kress & Co., Eckerd’s Drug Store, Cromley’s Sir Walter Drug Stores, and Woolworth’s in Cameron Village.

High Point, NC – February 11, 1960, at the downtown Woolworth’s by 26 local high school students, at McClellan’s by another 30 students, and again at the Woolworth’s in College Village Shopping Center.

Portsmouth, VA – February 11, 1960, at lunch counters in the Rose’s and Bradshaw-Diehl department stores.

St. Petersburg, FL – February 11, 1960, by local students at the S.H. Kress & Co. store. The protest continued off and on for some time, as there were reports in the papers as late as November 1960. (see photo below)

St. Petersburg, FL – Source:

Newport News, VA – February 12 +/-, 1960 at Woolworth’s, Sears,Roebuck & Company, Kresge’s, Nachman’s, Peoples Drug Store,  Greyhound’s Post House, and the New Market Shopping Center.

Norfolk, VA – February 12, 1960, by 38 protestors at the Woolworth’s store located at Granby & Freemason Streets on downtown. (see photo below)

Norfolk, VA – Source:

Rock Hill, SC – February 12, 1960, at McCrory’s Five & Dime and Woolworth’s lunch counters by students from Friendship Junior College/CORE (Congress of Racial Equality). **First lunch counter sit-in in South Carolina**

Nashville, TN – February 13, 1960, at Woolworth’s, S.H. Kress & Co., and McClellan’s lunch counters by students from Fisk University. **First lunch counter sit-in in Tennessee** (see photo below)

Nashville, TN – Source:

Tallahassee, FL – February 13, 1960, held at several downtown lunch counters by CORE (Congress of Racial Equality). A second sit-in took place on February 20, 1960, at Woolworth’s by students from Florida State University and Florida A&M University.

Sumter, SC – February 14, 1960, by students from Morris College.

Salisbury, NC – February 16, 1960, by students from Livingstone College at the Woolworth’s on South Main Street. This former lunch counter has been on display at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh since 2011.

Shelby, NC – February 18, 1960, by students from Cleveland High at drug store lunch counters.

Chattanooga, TN – February 19, 1960, at Woolworth’s and three other lunch counters by students from Howard High School. They were the only protesters who were sprayed with water hoses by local firefighters to break up the protests. Despite this, the lunch counters in Chattanooga were desegregated in August of 1960.

Baltimore, MD – February 22, 1960? – students from several colleges and high schools participated. In March, sit-ins were held at Hecht’s department store and Arundel’s Ice Cream Parlor near Morgan State University.

Frankfort, KY – February 22, 1960, by students from Kentucky State University. Two faculty and 12 students were expelled afterwards.

Richmond, VA – February 22, 1960, at the “Richmond Room,” in Thalheimer’s Department Store by students from Virginia-Union University. Known as “The Richmond 34.”

Richmond, VA – Source:

Montgomery, AL – February 25, 1960, at the segregated lunch counter in the Montgomery County Courthouse cafeteria. **First lunch counter sit-in in Alabama**

Orangeburg, SC – starting February 25, 1960, multiple sit-ins were held at the lunch counter in S.H. Kress & Co. by students of Claflin College.

Lexington, KY – February 26, 1960 – more details needed

Petersburg, VA – **February 26, 1960, by students of Virginia State College at the local library, but the first lunch counter sit-in didn’t take place here until later in 1960. It took place at Spiro’s Department Store.**

Tuskegee, AL – February 26, 1960, by students of Tuskegee Institute – **the location is unclear and may not have been a lunch counter – more details are needed.**

Chapel Hill NC – February 28, 1960, by the ‘Chapel Hill Nine” at Colonial Drug on West Franklin Street.

Tampa, FL – February 29, 1960, by area students and lasted for a week at the downtown Woolworth’s store located at Franklin & Polk Streets.

Columbia, SC – March 2, 1960, by students of Allen University and Benedict College

Daytona Beach, FL – March 2, 1960 by three students of Bethune Cookman at the local Woolworth’s store.

St. Petersburg, FL – March 2, 1960 – more details needed.

Florence, SC – March 3 and 4, 1960, at the S.H. Kress & Co. store – more details needed.

Houston, TX – March 4, 1960, by students of Texas Southern University at the Alameda Road Weingarten’s grocery store lunch counter . **First lunch counter sit-in in Texas** (see photo below)

Houston, TX – Source:

Miami, FL – March 4, 1960, by students of Florida Memorial College at the downtown locations of Woolworth’s, Grant’s, and S.H. Kress & Co.

Orlando, FL – March 4, 1960 – more information needed.

Little Rock, AR – March 10, 1960, by around 50 students of Philander Smith College at Woolworth’s located at 4th & Main Streets. Success was not achieved at downtown lunch counters until November of 1962**First lunch counter sit-in in Arkansas**

Austin, TX – March 11, 1960, by students of Huston-Tillotson College – more details needed.

Galveston, TX – March 11, 1960, by high school students at Walgreen’s, Woolworth’s, S.H. Kress & Co., and McCrory’s.

Jacksonville, FL – March 12, 1960, by students of Edward Waters College. Additional sit-ins took place on March 15th and March 19th.

San Antonio, TX – March 13, 1960, with success being achieved just a few days later on March 16, 1960.

Atlanta, GA – coordinated sit-ins on March 15, 1960, at lunch counters across the city by members of the All-University Student Leadership Group. A follow-up protest began on October 19, 1960 and continued off and on until March 7, 1961.**First lunch counter sit-in in Georgia**

Corpus Christi, TX – March 15, 1960,more details needed as one report indicates no demonstration took place here, but the local stores open up the lunch counters to all on March 25th.

St. Augustine, FL – March 15, 1960 and March 17, 1960 by area students. In July, a lone student sat at the lunch counter at McCrory’s.

Statesville, NC – March 15, 1960, by four student teachers from the Unity School at the Woolworth’s lunch counter. Several African-American homes in town were damaged that night in retaliation, while the four student teachers were relieved of their teaching positions the following day.

Savannah, GA – March 16, 1960, by students from Savannah State College at eight downtown stores. Sit-ins and boycotts in the city continued until October 1961, when the city ordinance requiring segregated lunch counters was repealed. Despite the repeal, some segregated places in the city continued until 1963, as did the boycotts.

New Bern, NC – March 17, 1960, by 16 area students at the S.H. Kress & Co. store and 13 area students at the Clark’s Drug Store.

Memphis, TN – March 18, 1960, and the city’s main library by students from LeMoyne Owen College.  This was followed by later and larger protests at department store lunch counters.

Wilmington, NC – March 19, 1960 – more details needed

Baton Rouge, LA – March 28, 1960, by seven students from Southern University at the S.H. Kress & Co. store lunch counter. Nine more students participated at other locations the following day. The students were expelled from the school, but as Senior Class President, Marvin Robinson so aptly stated:

“What is more important, human dignity or the university? We felt it was human dignity.”

The United State Supreme Court later overturned the “Disturbing the Peace” convictions of the protestors and in 2004, the expelled students were awarded honorary degrees from Southern University and honored by the state legislature. **First lunch counter sit-in in Louisiana**

Marshall, TX – March 26, 1960, by students from Wiley (or Bishop) College at lunch counters, including the Woolworth’s on Houston Street and at the bus station. A fire hose was used on the students during the March 30th protest.

Birmingham, AL – March 31, 1960, by students from Wenonah State Technical Institute and Miles College.

Columbia, SC – March 1960, at store lunch counters, including Taylor Street Pharmacy and McCrory’s, by students from Allen University and Benedict College.

Charleston, SC – April 1, 1960, by 24 students from Burke High School at the S.H. Dress & Co. lunch counter in downtown. (see photo below)

Charlestown, SC – Source:

Danville, VA – April 2, 1960 – not a lunch counter sit-in, but a sit-in at the city’s whites-only library that had once been used as the last capitol building of the Confederacy.

Darlington, SC – April 4, 1960 – more details needed.

Augusta, GA – April 9, 1960, at area department store lunch counters by students from Paine College  – Known as the start of the “Augusta Movement.”

Norfolk, VA – April 12, 1960, by students Virginia State College of Norfolk.

Biloxi, MS – April 17, 1960 – more details are needed as this may have been a wade-in beach protest versus a lunch counter sit-in.

Columbia, MO – April 18, 1960, by members of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) at the Minute Inn Restaurant. A similar protest took place at Ernie’s Restaurant that same year.

Beaumont, TX – April 20, 1960, by students from Lamar Tech.  More details needed.

Greensboro, NC – April 21, 1960, at the lunch counter at S.H. Kress & Co.

Starkville, MS – April 23, 1960 – more details needed.**May be the first lunch counter sit-in in Mississippi**

Dallas, TX – April 28, 1960, by students of Paul Quinn College.

Knoxville, TN – began on June 9, 1960, after delayed negotiations between downtown merchants, city officials, and Knoxville College administrators. On July 12, 1960, downtown lunch counter operators desegregated their businesses.

  • Some resources indicate the protest in Knoxville began on March 7th, but others note that was when the planning began, while the actual first sit-in was June 9th.

Arlington, VA – June 9, 1960 at Peoples Drug Store located at Lee Highway & Old Dominion, as well as at the nearby Cherrydale Drug Fair. This was repeated the following day and added another Drug Fair location and a Howard Johnson’s restaurant. American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell staged amounter-protest at the Cherrydale Drug Fair location. The sit-ins continued at lunch counters throughout the city until June 22, 1960, when successes achieved and they we integrated. (see photo below)

Arlington, VA – Source:

Baltimore, MD – June 17, 1960 – more details needed.

Fredericksburg, VA – July 1, 1960, by local students at the downtown Woolworth’s. The protest expanded to Murphy’s and Peoples. Success was achieved on July 30, 1960, as the lunch counters became desegregated.

Spartanburg, SC – July 26, 1960, at Woolworth’s lunch counter and later at S.H. Kress & Co.

Greenville, SC – July-August, 1960, by students from Sterling High School at the Main Street locations of Woolworth’s, Grant’s, H.L. Green, and S.H. Kress & Co.

Jacksonville, FL – August 14-27, 1960, sit-ins were held at downtown lunch counters by Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP members, until attacked by a mob of more than 200 whites with axe handles and baseball bats – the violent incident became known as“Ax Handle Saturday.” (see photo below)

Ax Handle Saturday in Jacksonville, FL – Source:

New Orleans, LA – September 9, 1960, by four college students at Woolworth’s on Canal Street followed by a second sit-in on September 16th at the McCroy’s at 1005 Canal Street. It took two more years of protests before the lunch counters were opened to all.

  • Some sources refer to a March 8, 1960, lunch counter sit-in in New Orleans, though these could not be  confirmed through local resources. The same is true for one identified on March 28th.

Jackson, Tennessee – October 1960 at the Woolworth’s store on Highland Avenue.

St. Petersburg, FL – November 1, 1960, by 12 protestors at the S.H. Dress & Co. store.

Lynchburg, VA – December 14, 1960, by the “Patterson Six” (two students each from Randolph-Macon, Lynchburg College, and Virginia Seminary)  at Patterson’s Drug Store lunch counter on Main Street followed by a second sit-in at Peoples Drug Store on December 15, 1960. Protests continued beyond those dates.

  • Two resources note a sit-in on March 26th, but this could not be confirmed through local online sources.


Rock Hill, SC – January 31, 1961, a second sit-in was held at McCrory’s Five & Dime lunch counter by nine students from Friendship Junior College.These students were known as “the Friendship Nine.” They would be arrested but charges finally overturned in 2015.

Louisville, KY – February 9, 1961 – by student members of the NAACP Youth Council and CORE at Stewart’s Dry Goods in downtown.

Pensacola, FL – April 25, 1961, by three groups of students at the Woolworth’s, Newberry’s, and S.H. Kress & Co. lunch counters in downtown.

Macon, GA – June 2, 1961, at five department store lunch counters in the city including Woolworth’s.

McComb, MS – July 29, 1961, by two 18-year old young ladies at the local Woolworth’s store. **If the Starkville protest listed above did not occur at a lunch counter, this would be the first such protest in Mississippi.”

Albany, GA – post-November 22, 1961 to summer 1962, by students of Albany State College and others, as part of the “Albany Movement” conducted sit-ins at lunch counters in the city.


Huntsville, AL – January 31, 1962, at the Woolworth’s and G. C. Murphy lunch counters.

Orlando, FL – March 9, 1962, by eleven Jones ugh Schoo students  at Stroud’s Rexall Pharmacy located at Church & Orange Avenues.

Gainesville, FL – 1962 – more details needed.

Sewanee, TN – 1962 – more details needed.


Pine Bluff, AR – February 1 1963, by 13 Arkansas AM&N students at the Woolworth’s lunch counter. The lights were turned out and they sat in the dark the rest of the day. Protests continued daily and numbers grew. Despite 15 students being expelled and jailing of protesters on bogus infractions, the protest eventually succeeded.

Rome, GA – March 1963, at the Murphy’s lunch counter on Broad Street.

Birmingham, AL – April 3, 1963, at lunch counters in the city, as part of the “Birmingham Campaign” organized by the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference). Victory was achieved on May 10, 1963, but was followed by months of racist violence directed at the African-American community that tragically culminated in the September 15, 1963, bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church that killed four young black girls.

Jackson, MS – May 28, 1963, at the Woolworth’s lunch counter (see photo below).

Jackson, MS – Source:

St. Augustine, FL – Woolworth’s on King Street in July 1963, including “the St. Augustine Four.”

Shreveport, LA – July 19, 1963, at two downtown stores – more details are needed.

Forrest City, AR – 1963, as part of “the Arkansas Project,” this was potentially a very dangerous location given the town was named for Nathaniel Bedford Forrest, founder of the KKK.

Gould, AK – 1963 – “part of the Arkansas Project”

West Helena, AR – 1963- “part of the Arkansas Project”

Jonesboro, AR – 1963 – “part of the Arkansas Project”

Warner Robins, GA – October 19, 1963, by 17 students from Fort Valley State College at the Liggett’s Drug Store lunch counter in Williams Plaza Shopping Center.


Tulsa, OK – on March 30, 1964 – more details needed

Beaumont, TX – 1964 at Shelton’s Restaurant – more details needed.


Meridian, MS – at the downtown Woolworth’s store – more details needed.

Tupelo, MS – at the downtown Woolworth’s store – more details needed.


If this topic interests you too, here are a couple of visual links to books available on Amazon* about lunch counter sit-ins.

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Horse, Donkey, and Mule-related City/Town Names



Below is a list of cities and towns whose names are based on equine (horse, donkey, mule) related topics. Any additions, corrections, or suggestions are most welcome.

  • Bronco, California – ghost town
  • Bronco, Texas – ghost town
  • Burro John, Arizona
  • Caballo (Horse), New Mexico
  • Caballo Blanco (White Horse), Costa Rica
  • Cerro Caballo (Horse Hill), Mexico
  • Colt, Arkansas
  • Corral City, Texas
  • Corrales (Corrals), New Mexico
  • Derby Acres, California
  • Gene Autry (famous singing cowboy), Oklahoma
  • Gray Horse, Oklahoma
  • Hayfield, Virginia
  • Hay Fork, California
  • Hay Lakes, Alberta, Canada
  • Haymarket, Virginia
  • Hay River, NWT, Canada
  • Horse Cave, Kentucky
  • Horsehead, Maryland
  • Horseheads, New York
  • Horseshoe, Idaho
  • Horse Shoe, New Mexico
  • Horsey, England, UK
  • Hungry Horse, Montana


  • Kavala (Horse), Greece
  • Lac-Poulin (Colt Lake), Quebec, Canada
  • Los Burros, Arizona
  • Mesa del Caballo (Horse Mesa), Arizona
  • Monte Cavallo (Horse Mountain), Italy
  • Mule Creek, New Mexico
  • Muleshoe, Texas
  • Mustang, Oklahoma
  • Mustang, Texas
  • Old Horse Springs, New Mexico
  • Paddock Lake, Wisconsin
  • Paddock Wood, England, UK
  • Palominas, Arizona
  • Phalia, Pakistan (Named after Alexander the Great’s horse)
  • Puerto de Caballos (Post of Horses) – now known as Puerto Cortes, Honduras
  • Rodeo, New Mexico
  • Roundup, Montana
  • Saddle, Arizona
  • Saddle Brook, New Jersey
  • Saddle Butte, Montana
  • Saddleworth, South Australia
  • Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval (Horseshoe), France
  • Spotted Horse, Wyoming
  • Spur, Texas
  • Upper Saddle River, New Jersey
  • White Horse, New Jersey
  • Whitehorse, New Mexico
  • Whitehorse, South Dakota
  • Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
  • Wild Horse, Colorado


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Burro Buddies – Just looking for love…and maybe a snack

There are certain animals that capture our imagination and hearts. For some folks it may be whales or penguins. For others it may be bison or birds. But for me, it is burros (or donkeys in English). I’m not quite sure why I am so fascinated by these shy, often misunderstood animals, but something about their cautious and mild demeanor, intrigues me. I did not grow up around burros nor have I had much experience with them over the years. I do know that I am not a fan of horses, for they intimidate me. Meanwhile, I do not feel the same regarding burros.

Heaven knows that burros have been poorly treated by humans throughout much of history. Whether they were used a beasts of burden or literally slaughtered by rangers at certain national parks, burros have had a tough go of it through the millennia. Maybe, that’s part of their allure – they have survived hardship through thick and thin and largely remain amiable, though cautious about humans when we approach them.

My first up close encounter with burros that I remember was just a few years ago in California. At the La Purisma Mission State Park near Lompoc, two burros cautiously watched my wife and I wander about the mission grounds. Eventually, I decided to stop by their corral and say hello. It took a few minutes, but with a little encouragement, both of them ambled my way so I could get close up photographs and rub their snout and ears. At that point I was hooked on burros. Unfortunately, I had no snacks to share with them.

Last February, we had three varied and entertaining encounters with burros. The first was Little Donkeytown USA at Rooster Coburn’s Ostrich Farm & Petting Zoo in Picacho, Arizona. Here you could hand feed miniature burros. While this was rather fun and they appeared to be treated well, it did feel like they were a bit of a sideshow or carnival attraction. Despite this hinderance, one could still feel the kinship between humans and burros when we would pet them.

The following day, we hit the burro lover’s jackpot by visiting Forever Home Donkey Rescue north of Benson, Arizona. Upon arrival, some of the burros looked up to see who was here, while others just peeked at us from where they were standing. It only took a few moments from the we exited the car to have burros approaching and greeting us from multiple directions. We could not feed them, as many of them are convalescing, so they were on a regimented diet schedule do to being previously overfed, under-exercised, abandoned, or improperly treated by prior owners. Regardless of this limitation, the burros sure loved to be pet and have their ears rubbed. We have rarely had as much fun as we did for the 90 minutes were there meeting the likes of Turbo, Cisco, and many other burro buddies.

FYI- If you are interested in meeting the burros here, please call ahead to schedule an appointment before visiting Forever Home Donkey Rescue.

A few days later while walking through the quaint art colony town of Tubac, Arizona, we passed by a corral that had three burros grazing on the stubbled remains left growing amidst the dusty ground at the far end of the property. We briefly stopped to take a photo of them and wouldn’t you know it – one of the burros decided to wander over in our direction to check us out. Whether it was curiosity, a desire to have his ears to be rubbed, or the hope of a snack that caused this lone burro to walk our way, I do not know. All I do know is I wish I had some carrots in my pocket for him to munch on. Mental note: carry baby carrots with me more often when in the Western USA!

Just last month I thought we would go an entire trip out West without seeing any burros. Luckily, on our last day in New Mexico we stopped in historic Los Cerrillos, located south of Santa Fe along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway. It turns out the Cerrillos Fiesta was taking place that day and the donkey (burro) race had just been completed. That meant there were a cavalcade of burros wandering around being photographed and praised for their efforts. It was literally burro buddy nirvana for me.

Once again their were no carrots in my pocket (grrr), but one group of burros were there from Mustang Camp, an organization from Milan, New Mexico that cares for and trains wild horses and burros so they may be adopted. While one might ask (like I did) why they cannot just roam freely.  The sad and short answer is that they would be killed/culled otherwise. All four of the burros in the pen we curious about me, but only Louise allowed me to get close enough to pet her and feed her some alfalfa by hand (see photo below).

I was able to make short introductions with several other burros while in Los Cerritos, including Bingo, who was decked out in paper flower bouquets for the occasion (see photo below).

Lastly, I was able to meet this cute burro (see photo below) at the Fall Festival in of all places, Syracuse Indiana in early October. Needless to say it was  expected and pleasant surprise.

Here’s my list of known donkey/burro rescue and adoption organizations (with links) in the United States. Please feel free to forward any additions or corrections.

These pleasant animals were brought to North America by Spanish missionaries, conquistadors, and settlers a number of centuries ago.  They had no say in the matter and should not be hunted and killed for being a perceived nuisance or inconvenience. In fact, some studies may show wild burros may actually help some of the ecosystems where they now reside. Thankfully, organizations like those that are listed above are working hard to save the donkeys/burros (both wild and domesticated) across the country. And for that, I am very thankful.

Amo los burros!


Posted in Africa, Animal rights, Animals, Burros/Donkeys, deserts, Mexico, pictures | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ten Planning Lessons from Chicago’s Northside Neighborhoods



Below is my list of top ten planning lessons garnered from visits to nearly all of Northside Chicago neighborhoods over the past few years, especially those located to the north and east of I-90/94 (The Kennedy Expressway).

  • Even with the vast income disparities and racial segregation between Northside and Southside Chicago, the Northside is still far more diverse than most other cities of the Midwest.
  • Somehow, some way, a rather noisy iconic elevated passenger railway with local stations helps give each neighborhood an identity — something an elevated (or below grade) freeway with exits can never achieve. Is it the romance of the rails? No, I think it is the smaller invasive footprint combined with the unifying aspects of a shared communal experience of riding together instead of driving individually.
  • Each neighborhood and even some sub-neighborhoods on the city’s Northside are quite distinct from one other. Such identification is an important factor in creating a sense of  “place.” (see photos of Lakeview’s gorgeous  Terra Cotta Row below)

  • Well-tended and colorful street side planters, hanging baskets, and gardens go a long way towards softening the hardened urban environment (see photo below).

  • Locked iron gates, security cameras, and secured entrances certainly improve personal safety, but they also detract from neighborliness and cage residents into their own personal prisons.
  • While the streets are largely clean, the alleys can be disgraceful breeding grounds for the city’s legendary rat populace.
  • It is a pleasant sight to see vibrant business, shopping, and entertainment corridors with throngs of pedestrian, cycling, and transit patrons.
  • The lovely landscaped courtyards found along neighborhood street frontage of multiple-family developments are too often diminished by gated barriers of unwelcomeness (see photo below).

  • These neighborhoods feel more alive and vibrant due to the large numbers young residents who are readily visible at most hours on the streets, in the shops, on the trains, and in restaurants/bars.
  • Despite having higher densities, these Northside neighborhoods remain largely comfortable and set at a comfortable human scale, with the exception of the towering wealth monoliths that border Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive.


If you are interested in learning more about Chicago’s neighborhoods, here is a visual link to a guide book that can be found on Amazon.*


*A small commission is earned from purchases that are made using this link to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Problems with Charter Townships

If you are not from Michigan you may have never heard of the term “charter township.” They are different from standard “general law” townships, in that:

“Charter township status is a special township classification created by the Michigan Legislature in 1947 to provide additional powers and streamlined administration for governing a growing community. A primary motivation for townships to adopt the charter form is to provide greater protection against annexation by a city.”


Annexation is not an easy thing for cities in Michigan to do, especially since 1947 – hence why most core cities in the state (except Detroit) are quite small in land area. My guess is most residents in Michigan would be shocked by how aggressive annexation laws are in favor of core cities in other states like Texas, Nebraska, North Carolina, and so on. Here’s a brief comparison of land area occupied by the five largest cities in Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas.

Michigan                      North Carolina                        Texas

City          Area                City              Area              City                   Area

Detroit = 143 sq. miles/Charlotte = 309 sq. miles/Houston = 637 sq. miles

Grand Rapids = 45 sq. miles/Raleigh = 145 sq. miles/San Antonio = 465 sq. miles

Warren = 34 sq. miles/Greensboro = 132 sq. miles/Dallas = 386 sq. miles

Sterling Heights = 37 sq. miles/Durham = 108 sq. miles/Austin = 305 sq. miles

Lansing = 40 sq. miles/Winston-Salem = 134 sq. miles/Fort Worth = 349 sq. miles

AVERAGE = 59.8 sq. miles/AVERAGE = 165.6 sq. miles/AVERAGE = 428.4 sq. miles

  • Areas have been rounded up or down to the nearest square mile. Ranking based on 2010 Census. All data from

One might argue, what’s wrong with wishing to remain independent? Good question.

In large measure it depends on the true intent of chartering, but it can also be judged against reality and good planning practice. Here’s what is meant by raising the question of true intent:

  • If the true underlying intent of chartering was to stymie annexation in order to avoid being absorbed by a municipality that is more diverse than your township, then that is a patently bigoted reason. Granted, that such a shameful reason would likely never be stated so bluntly in the record. However, it is curious that the Michigan’s Charter Township Act of 1947 was adopted in the midst of the Second Great Migration of African-Americans to the North (1940-1970). Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw were among those receiving waves of new African-American residents from the rural South. Furthermore, immediately following World War II, was when white-flight from many of the state’s urban centers was getting underway in earnest. As a result, the Charter Township Act could be interpreted as the legislative equivalent of building the Eight Mile Wall on the north side of Detroit. Perhaps the following paragraph summarizes it best:

“Detroit remains one of the most racially segregated cities in the United States. From the 1940s to the 1970s a second wave of black people moved to Detroit to escape Jim Crow laws in the south and find jobs. However, they soon found themselves excluded from white areas of the city—through violence, laws, and economic discrimination (e.g., redlining). White residents attacked black homes: breaking windows, starting fires, and exploding bombs. The pattern of segregation was later magnified by white migration to the suburbs.”


The 8 Mile Wall, as seen from Alfonso Wells playground. Source:

  • If townships charter themselves primarily to avoid the higher taxes often associated with core cities, then that is a purely selfish rationale. What these communities are essentially saying is the following:

“We want to enjoy the benefits of proximity to your city and its many amenities, without committing towards helping pay for them with our tax dollars. We’ll commute in and wear out your roads, we’ll fly to/from your airport, we’ll rely on your water and sewer, and we’ll possibly use you parks, zoos, and museums, but sure as heck don’t ask us to pay for them.”

  • Thirdly, there are the oft-stated rationale of maintaining the quality of schools, property values, and quality of life. By chartering, it is argued that townships can better control their own destiny in these areas by protecting them from annexation. However, if the true underlying purpose of chartering was a means to make it harder for poor people, diverse populations, and persons of color to move in and/or live there, then the intent is bigoted. Once again, it is unlikely that such vile intent would ever be clearly stated in the records.

As is evidenced from a 2019 report prepared by Governing magazine and the Census Bureau, ten (10) of Michigan’s 11 metro areas still suffer from racial segregation. This includes communities ranging in size from Niles and Muskegon on the smaller side to larger cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids. In other words, Michigan has made zero progress in the 72 years since the Charter Township Act was passed and in the 51 years since the federal Fair Housing Act was passed. While the Charter Township Act cannot be solely blamed for poor race relations among Michiganders, the act has not helped the situation improve, and it can be argued that it may have contributed to creating and/or maintaining segregated enclaves.

Perhaps, the Charter Township Act should be repealed as one step in a comprehensive effort towards improving race relations and reducing segregation in Michigan.


From a practical application standpoint, if charter townships were somehow an amazing panacea of good intentions and practice, their usefulness might be more convincing. In 26+ years as a resident of Michigan and working as a planner for charter townships both in the private and public sectors, their advantage has yet to be proven. In fact, more significant drawbacks than benefits seem evident, including:

Charter townships, in fact all nearly all townships, seem to fall into the trap of trying to create their own little fiefdom. Charter Townships take this even further with city-like services that parasitically feeds off the nearby core city — thereby weakening the heart of the region by siphoning away a proportion of the population, taxes, grants, state and federal funding, expertise, and other resources that go into operating a complex urban municipality. Lansing Charter Township is probably the most extreme example (but certainly not alone) in seeking to create its own pseudo-downtown skyline and its own shopping/entertainment district along the narrow strip of land it still governs along US 127 virtually equidistant to both downtown Lansing and downtown East Lansing. How exactly does that help the region? Or the other two downtowns?

The Vista at the Heights in Lansing Charter Township – Source:

By siphoning off potential investments and population, charter townships harm the very entity that they depend on for their existence and economic well-being. Frankly, most, if not all, charter townships in Michigan would not amount to a hill of beans if it wasn’t for the core city they are located adjacent to or near.

Some folks, particularly the Michigan Township Association, will argue that having a township every six (6) miles allows for better representation. That may have been true in the horse and buggy days, but in the modern world many townships have become duplicative, bureaucratic, and inefficient with wacky/splintered boundaries (see maps below), odd joint-operating agreements, and in some cases tax structures that are even higher than cities and villages. Do we really need another layer of public administration every six miles in the 21st Century? Really? If so, Michigan must be terribly poor at hiring and/or training good administrative personnel, because most other states seem to be doing just fine without so much duplication.

I would also argue that few people actually say they live in places like Lansing Charter Township, Ann Arbor Charter Township, Grand Rapids Charter Township, Midland Charter Township, or Kalamazoo Charter Township. And if anyone does, they likely work for that community or are an elected official. And, it is a virtual certainty that nobody traveling to northern Michigan announces, “I can’t wait to get to So and So Charter Township for vacation!” The majority of the time, vacationers will refer to the prominent city in the area like Traverse City, Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Elk Rapids, Glen Arbor, and so on. Or, they might refer to a particular lake such as Walloon Lake, Crystal Lake, Long Lake, or Houghton Lake.

Here are a few maps depicting how the existence of splintered and disconnected charter townships can Balkanize an area geographically and make for disjointed and confused planning/public service efforts that can vary from block-by-block. With many of townships not even having their own named post office or one that is named for an unincorporated community within their borders (i.e. Okemos and Haslett in Meridian Charter Township or Holt in Delhi Charter Township), the whole political, planning, emergency services process can be very confusing to locals and visitors alike.

Lansing Charter Township (shown in lavender) – Source:

Midland Charter Township (areas shown in beige) – Source:

Wall map of Kalamazoo Charter Township (shown in brown) – Source:

If the Charter Township Act were not to be repealed, here are some suggested solutions to reduce the duplication of services, inefficiencies created by charter townships and proposed ways to strengthen Michigan’s core cities:

  • Streamline and soften the annexation requirements, particularly when the city/village is already providing services to the township like police, fire, water, sewer, etc.
  • Require city hood if the township population exceeds a certain threshold.
  • Require splintered and disconnected townships such as Lansing Charter, Midland Charter Township, and Kalamazoo Charter Township to merge with adjacent cities.
  • Require remaining townships that occupy less than a certain number of square miles to merge with an adjacent city or in rural areas with an adjacent township.
  • Allow neighboring rural townships to merge.
  • De-charter those townships that meet the above criteria, but do not become a city or merge with one.
  • Establish a five year maximum transition period for a charter township to fully become a city.
  • Prohibit township names that duplicate adjacent city names such as Grand Rapids Charter Township, Lansing Charter Township, DeWitt Charter Township, Midland Charter Township, Royal Oak Charter Township, etc. to reduce confusion.
Posted in cities, civics, commerce, demographics, diversity, economic development, geography, government, history, inclusiveness, infrastructure, land use, planning, racism, social equity, spatial design, sprawl, States, Statistics, urban planning | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Some Like It Hot” – Cities/towns built around natural hot springs


The cities and towns listed below from around the globe are located amidst, around, or near natural hot springs. As a result, many of them have become centers for health spas, retreats, and environmental tourism. Unlike their rural counterparts, these locations can be more developed and urbanized. As s result, extra caution must be taken to protect the hot springs from pollution and overuse.

Carefully thought-out planning and zoning programs should be undertaken as these delicate geological features can be adversely impacted by short-sightedness and poor planning. The Hotwells Spring in Bristol, England is an example of a unique natural feature that was lost to pollution.

Secondly, because many, if not most of these communities are situated near volcanoes or volcano fields, environmental hazard and emergency planning efforts must be regularly updated to assure they address all aspects of the potential dangers associated with living in a geologically active landscape. Mother Earth is rarely at rest, and those communities located amidst these geological areas must be on constant watch for subtle changes that may indicate a geologic event is about to take place.

As always, any suggested corrections, additions, or revisions are welcome.

  • Aachen, Germany
  • Abano Terme (Abano Spa), Italy
  • Adapazari, Turkey
  • Agua Caliente District of Tijuana, Mexico – Added on 11/7/19 – Thank you, Dan!
  • Agua Caliente, Peru – Added on 11/7/19 – Thank you, Dan!
  • Aguascalientes (Hot Waters), Mexico
  • Ainsworth, British Columbia, Canada
  • Alhama de Almería, Spain
  • Alhambra de Granada, Spain
  • Alor Gajah (Cute Elephants), Malaysia
  • Angul, India
  • Arta Terme (Art Spa), Italy
  • Atami (Hot Ocean), Japan
  • Baden (Baths), Switzerland
  • Bad Oeynhausen (Bath Oeynhausen), Germany
  • Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
  • Bagni di Lucca (Bath of Lucca), Italy
  • Băile Herculane (Herculane Bathrooms), Romania
  • Bajawa, Indonesia
  • Balikesir, Turkey
  • Bakreshwar, India
  • Banff, Alberta, Canada
  • Banos de Agua Santa (Bath of Saint Water), Ecuador
  • Bath, England, UK
  • Battaglia Terme (Battaglia Spa), Italy
  • Beinan, Taiwan
  • Bela-Bela, South Africa
  • Belknap Springs, Oregon
  • Beppu, Japan
  • Berkeley Springs, Wrest Virginia
  • Besenova, Slovakia
  • Bogacs, Hungary
  • Bojnice, Slovakia
  • Bolu, Turkey
  • Bormio, Italy
  • Bükkszék, Hungary
  • Bursa, Turkey
  • Buxton, England, UK
  • Cajamarca, Peru
  • Caldas Novas, Brazil
  • Caledon, South Africa
  • Calistoga, California
  • Cardanico Terme (Cardanico Spa), Italy
  • Carson City, Nevada
  • Chena Hot Springs, Alaska
  • Chumathang, India
  • Circle Hot Springs, Alaska
  • Ciz, Slovakia
  • Csokonyavisonta, Hungary
  • Denizli, Turkey
  • Desert Hot Springs, California
  • Dongnae, South Korea
  • Dudince, Slovakia
  • Edipsos, Greece
  • Fairmont Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada
  • Furnas, Azores, Portugal
  • Glenwood Springs, Colorado
  • Grindavik, Iceland
  • Guelma, Algeria
  • Hakone, Japan
  • Hanmer Springs, New Zealand
  • Heviz, Hungary
  • Hisarya, Bulgaria
  • Hot Lake, Oregon
  • Hot Springs, Arkansas
  • Hot Springs, Montana
  • Hot Springs, North Carolina
  • Hot Springs, South Dakota
  • Hot Springs, Virginia
  • Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado
  • Hveragerði, Iceland
  • Idaho Springs, Colorado
  • Igal, Hungary
  • Ikaho, Japan
  • Ikogosi, Nigeria
  • Izmir, Turkey
  • Jemez Springs, New Mexico
  • Jošanička Banja (Josanicka Spa), Serbia
  • Kalymnos, Greece
  • Kamena Vourla, Greece
  • Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
  • Khordha, India
  • Kováčová, Slovakia
  • Kusatsu, Japan
  • Kyustenil, Bulgaria
  • Lakshore, California
  • Lakeview, Oregon
  • Langadas, Greece
  • Las Trincheras, Venezuela
  • Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
  • Liquine, Chile
  • Liptovský Ján, Slovakia
  • Llilfen, Chile
  • Loutraki, Greece
  • Malang, Indonesia
  • Maletswai, South Africa
  • Mandraki, Greece
  • Manley Hot Springs, Alaska
  • Mataruška Banja (Mataruska Spa), Serbia
  • McCredie Springs, Oregon
  • Methana, Greece
  • Mezőkövesd, Hungary
  • Midway, Utah
  • Miskolctapolca, Hungary
  • Montecatini Terme (Mountain Basins Spa), Italy
  • Montegrotto Terme (Mountain Grotto Spa), Italy
  • Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Nakusp, British Columbia, Canada
  • New Lebanon, New York
  • Nah Trang, Vietnam
  • Narechen, Bulgaria
  • Noboribetsu, Japan
  • North Port, Florida
  • Ono Client (Hot Eye), New Mexico
  • Okawville, Illinois
  • Ouray, Colorado
  • Ourense, Spain
  • Pagosa Springs, Colorado
  • Palm Springs, California
  • Panticosa, Spain
  • Pavel Banya (Pavel Spa), Bulgaria
  • Pella, Greece
  • Piešťany, Slovakia
  • Pucon, Chile
  • Puyuhuapi, Chile
  • Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada
  • Radium Springs, Georgia, USA
  • Rajecké Teplice (Rajecke Hothouses), Slovakia
  • Rajgir, India
  • Reykholt, Iceland
  • Rotorua, New Zealand
  • Sandaski, Bulgaria
  • Sandikli. Turkey
  • Sapareva Banya (Sapareva Spa), Bulgaria
  • Saratoga, Wyoming
  • Saratoga Springs, Utah
  • Saturnia, Italy
  • Savusavu (Your Own Your Own), Fiji
  • Shirahama, Japan
  • Sidirokastro, Greece
  • Singapore, Singapore
  • Sijarinska Banja (Sijarinska Spa), Serbia
  • Sklené Teplice (Sklene Hothouses), Slovakia
  • Sliač, Slovakia
  • Sohna, India
  • Spa, Belgium
  • Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  • Tabacon, Costa Rica
  • Tacna, Peru
  • Tainan, Taiwan
  • Taipei, Taiwan
  • Tattapani, India
  • Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Replace (Hothouses), Czech Republic
  • Termal (Warm), Turkey
  • Thermopolis, Wyoming
  • Tiberius, Israel
  • Toyako, Japan
  • Trenčianske Teplice (Trencianske Hothouses), Slovakia
  • Truth or Consequences (originally Hot Springs), New Mexico
  • Turčianske Teplice (Turcianske Hothouses), Slovakia
  • Unai, India
  • Velingrad, Bulgaria
  • Veyo, Utah
  • Viterbo, Italy
  • Vranje, Serbia
  • Waiwera (Hot Springs), New Zealand
  • Warm Springs, Georgia, USA
  • Warm Springs, Virginia
  • Warner Springs, California
  • Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Yufuin, Japan
  • Zorritos, Peru


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Ten Planning Lessons from Ancient Pueblos & Cliff Dwellings

Acoma/Sky City Pueblo – Source:

After visiting numerous pueblos, cliff dwellings, and ancient ruins in the Southwestern United States, it is clear to this retired urban planner that the Native Americans were the first great community planners in North America. The sites visited thus far include:

Wuptaki Ruin, Arizona

Based on the observations made at these locations, here’s my list of ten key planning lessons from these inspiring places – the first one is obvious:

  • The arriving European colonists/settlers WERE NOT the first great community planners in North America.
  • Much greater emphasis (and credit) needs to be given throughout the our education system on the contributions from Native Americans to urban design and community planning.
  • One can cite many successful aspects of pueblo and cliff dwelling design that have been incorporated into modern building and design practices.
  • The concept of extended families living together in a communal dwellings is a practice that Americans should consider adopting to help lower housing costs (per person), to help lower the costs associated with child and/or elder care, and to allow multiple generations to learn from and understand each other better.
  • Architecture does not have to be ornate to be awe-inspiring.
  • The level of physical effort it took to establish the ancient pueblos and cliff dwellings of  the Southwest is more than impressive, it is staggering.
  • As planners, we should be seeking guidance from Native Americans and the ancient pueblo and cliff dwellers on the most appropriate ways to reduce our collective footprints on the Earth; to build communities that are more sustainable in a changing climate; and design structures that are longer-lasting and more harmonious with their natural surroundings.
  • Sitting inside a restored Kiva, which is possible to do at Jemez Historic Site in New Mexico (see photo below), is a powerful and moving experience that is so much more than spiritual or introspective in nature – it is profoundly transcendent.

Restored Kiva at Jemez Historic Site, New Mexico

  • These magnificent archaeological and architectural wonders must be documented, preserved, and protected; not only for the benefit of ourselves and future generations, but because of their sacred importance to our Native American friends.

Cliff dwellings in Walnut Canyon National Monument, Arizona

  • As these communities demonstrate, humans have previously had the ability to adapt to “almost any” climate or geography found on Earth. Unfortunately, certain members of humankind are selfishly putting that lesson to an ultimate and wholly unnecessary test when instead, we should be striving to rapidly reduce the levels of CO2 in atmosphere.

Bandolier National Monument, New Mexico

Posted in archaeology, architecture, cities, culture, density, environment, geography, Geology, historic preservation, history, Housing, humanity, infrastructure, land use, Native Americans, nature, placemaking, planning, spatial design, sustainability, topography, tourism, Travel, urban planning | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great and Grand Cities



The following list identifies those cities and towns across the planet that include either “great” or “grand” in their name. Suggestions, additions, or corrections are always welcome.

  • Aguada Grande (Great Waters), Venezuela
  • Ajillata Grande (Great Price), Bolivia
  • Arzergrande, Italy
  • Bajadas Grandes (Great Slope), Mexico
  • Barra Grande (Great Bar), Brazil
  • Bolsa Grande (Great Bag), Argentina
  • Cabeceira Grande (Great Headboard), Brazil
  • Camera Grande (Great Beds), Venezuela
  • Campina Grande (Great Meadow), Brazil
  • Campo Grande (Great Countryside), Argentina
  • Campo Grande (Great Field), Brazil
  • Casa Grande, Arizona
  • Casas Grande (Great Houses), Mexico
  • Cochoapa el Grande, Mexico
  • Cruz Grande (Great Cross), Mexico
  • Cuay Grande, Argentina
  • Cuervo Grande (Great Raven), Mexico
  • Cuitzian Grande (Great Prayers), Mexico
  • East Grand Forks, Minnesota
  • East Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Gran Alacant, Spain
  • Grand Bank, Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Grand Bay, Alabama
  • Grand Bay-Westfield, New Brunswick
  • Grand Bend, Ontario
  • Grand Coteau, Louisiana
  • Grand Coulee, Washington
  • Grande Cache, Alberta
  • Grande Costa, Argentina
  • Grande-Digue, New Brunswick
  • Grande Prairie, Alberta
  • Grande-Riviere, Quebec
  • Grande Riviere, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Grande-Vallée, Quebec
  • Grandfield, Oklahoma
  • Grand Falls, New Brunswick
  • Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Grand Forks, British Columbia
  • Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • Grand-Fort-Phillipe, France
  • Grand Gorge, New York
  • Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Grand Island, Florida
  • Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Grand Island, New York
  • Grand Isle, Louisiana
  • Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Grand Junction, Iowa
  • Grand Ledge, Michigan
  • Grand Marais, Michigan
  • Grand Marais, Minnesota
  • Grand Meadow, Minnesota
  • Grand Mound, Washington
  • Grand Prairie, Texas
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Grand Rapids, Minnesota
  • Grand Rapids, Ohio
  • Grand-Remous, Quebec
  • Grand Ridge, Florida
  • Grand Ronde, Oregon
  • Grand Saline, Texas
  • Grand-Santi, French Guyana
  • Grandson, Switzerland
  • Grand-Synthe, France
  • Grand Terrace, California
  • Grand Valley, Ontario
  • Grand View Estates, Colorado
  • Grandview, Illinois
  • Grandview, Indiana
  • Grandview, Manitoba
  • Grandview, Missouri
  • Grandview, Texas
  • Grandview, Washington
  • Grandview Heights, Ohio
  • Grandview Heights, Pennsylvania
  • Grandview Plaza, Kansas
  • Grandville, Michigan
  • Grandy, North Carolina
  • Grandyle Village, New York
  • Great Altcar, England
  • Great Barrington, Massachusetts
  • Great Bedwyn, England
  • Great Bend, Kansas
  • Great Bend, New York
  • Great Bentley, England
  • Great Dunmow, England
  • Great Easton, England
  • Great Falls, Montana
  • Great Falls, South Carolina
  • Great Falls, Virginia
  • Great Heck, England
  • Great Limber, England
  • Great Missenden, England
  • Great Neck, New York
  • Great Neck Estates, New York
  • Great Neck Plaza, New York
  • Great Notley, England
  • Great River, New York
  • Great Shelford, England
  • Great Snoring, England – added 11/12/19 – Thank you, Dan!
  • Greatstone, England
  • Great Torrington, England
  • Great Totham, England
  • Greatwood, Texas
  • Great Yarmouth, England
  • Grobefehn, Germany
  • Grob Koris, Germany
  • Grob Kreutz, Germany
  • Grobohrsdorf, Germany
  • La Cruz de Rio Grande (The Cross of the Great River), Nicaragua
  • La Grande, Oregon – added 11/7/19 – Thank you Dan!
  • La Grand-Motte (The Great Sod), France
  • Laguna Grande (Great Lagoon), Nicaragua
  • La Poza Grande (Great Pool), Mexico
  • Le Grand-Bornand, France
  • Le Grand-Quevilly, France
  • Llanada Grande (Great Plain), Chile
  • Llano Grande (Great Plain), Mexico
  • Marinha Grande, Portugal
  • Monte Grande(Great Mountain), Argentina
  • Noisy-le-Grand, France
  • Osteria Grande (Great Tavern), Itlay
  • Pantano Grande (Great Swamp), Brazil
  • Pau Grande, Brazil
  • Plaza Grande Ixcan, Guatemala
  • Potrero Grande (Great Paddock), Costa Rica
  • Rancho Grande (Great Ranch), Nicaragua
  • Rio Grande, Brazil
  • Rio Grande, Mexico
  • Rio Grande, Panama
  • Rio Grande City, Texas
  • Sage La Grande (Great Mouse), Cuba
  • Santa Rosa de los Pastos Grande (Santa Rosa of the Great Grasses), Argentina
  • Santo Grande (Great Holy), Nicaragua
  • Sarandi Grande, Uruguay
  • Sierra Grande, Argentina
  • Site Grande (Great Site), Brazil
  • Suaqui Grande, Mexico
  • Tambo Grande (Great Inn), Peru
  • Tolar Grande (Great Lift), Argentina


  • 2019 Rand McNally Road Atlas
  • personal knowledge
Posted in Africa, Asia, cities, civics, Europe, geography, history, Maps, North America, Oceania, South America | 4 Comments

Proposed City Theme Songs



The following are my choices for the song(s) that should be used as the theme song or anthem for the selected cities listed below. Some are familiar, some historic, some new, some inspirational, some witty, and some are even satirical, but they all recall memories and images of a community that the local’s love. Links to each song are provided.

If you know of any that should be included or might be better choices than these, please feel free to pass them and your thoughts along. Enjoy!

Abilene, TX or KS “Abilene,” by Waylon Jennings or George Hamilton IV

Albuquerque, NM“Lights of Albuquerque,” by Jim Glaser

Amarillo, TX“Amarillo,” by Alan Jackson

Asheville, NC“Asheville City Skyline,” by the Lonesome Trio

Bakersfield, CA “Mean Streets of Bakersfield,” by Merle Haggard – (suggested by Robert – thank you)

Baltimore, MD“Baltimore,” – artist unknown

Baton Rouge, LA“Callin’ Baton Rouge,” by various artists

Birmingham, AL“Train to Birmingham,” by John Hiatt

Boston, MA“Boston,” by Augustana

Buffalo, NY“Buffalo Gals,” by Woody Guthrie

Charleston, SC “The Charleston,” by Cecil Mack and Jimmy Johnson

Chattanooga, TN“Chattanooga Choo-Choo,” by the Glenn Miller Orchestra

Chicago, IL “My Kind of Town…Chicago Is,” by Frank Sinatra

Cincinnati, OH“WKRP in Cincinnati” – TV show theme song – artist unknown

Cleveland, OH“Cleveland Rocks,” by Ian Hunter

Dayton, OH“Dayton, Ohio 1903,” by various artists

Denver, CO“A Mile High in Denver,” by Jimmy Buffett or “Get Out of Denver,” by Bob Seger

Dallas-Fort Worth TX“Dallas Days and Fort Worth Nights,” by Chris Le Doux

Detroit, MI“Goin’ on to Detroit,” by Wes Montgomery

Edmonton, AB“Edmonton Theme,” by Annabelle Santos-Dookie – yes, it is hokey.

El Paso, TX“El Paso,” by Marty Robbins

Erie, PA“Erie,” by Jonah Krull

Galveston, TX“Galveston,” by Glen Campbell

Gary, IN“Gary Indiana,” from “The Music Man”

Honolulu, HI – “Honolulu City Lights,” by the Beamer Brothers

Houston, TX“Houston #1,” by Coldplay

Indianapolis, IN“Naptown Blues,” by Wes Montgomery

Kalamazoo, MI“I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo,” by the Glenn Miller Orchestra

Kansas City, MO“Kansas City Here I Come,” by various artists. but particularly the version by Fats Domino

Key Largo, FL“Key Largo,” by Bertie Higgins

Key West, FL“Key West Time,” by Pirate Sessions

Kokomo, IN“Kokomo Blues,” by numerous artists, but the best version is by Marie Martens & the Messarounds (at 8:20 minutes in the linked video – be sure to turn the volume on at the bottom right of the video)

Las Vegas, NV “Viva Las Vegas,” by Elvis Presley

Little Rock, AR “A Little Past Little Rock,” by Lee Ann Womack

London, UK“London Calling,” by The Clash

Los Angeles, CA “I Love LA,” by Randy Newman

Louisville, KY – “Eight More Miles to Louisville,” by various artists

Lubbock, TX“Lonely Lubbock, Nights,” by Aaron Watson

Macon, GA“Macon,” by Jamey Johnson

Memphis, TN“Walking in Memphis,” by Marc Cohn or “Memphis, Tennessee,” by Johnny Rivers

Mexicali, Mexico“Mexicali Rose,” by Jim Reeves

Miami, FL“Moon Over Miami,” by various artists, but especially the version by Ray Charles

Milwaukee, WI“Milwaukee Polka,” by Frank Yankovic

Mobile, AL“Mobile, Alabama,” by Curtis Gordon

Montreal, QC – “Green Gardens, Cold Montreal,” by Sloan

Nashville, TN“Nashville Cats,” by the Lovin’ Spoonful

New Orleans, LA“I’m Walking to New Orleans,” by Fats Domino

New York City, NY“New York, New York,” by Frank Sinatra

Omaha, NE“Omaha,” by Waylon Jennings

Paris, France“April in Paris,” by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Pensacola, FL“Pensacola,” by Deerhunter

Peoria, IL“I Wish I Wuz in Peoria,” by The Smothers Brothers

Philadelphia, PA “Philadelphia Freedom,” by Elton John, though both “Philadelphia” by Neil Young and “Streets of Philadelphia” by Bruce Springsteen are better songs.

Phoenix, AZ “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” by Glen Campbell

Pittsburgh, PA “Rainy Day in Pittsburgh,” by Joe Gruschecky & the Houserockers

Portland, OR“Portland, Oregon,” by Jack White and Loretta Lynn

Reno, NV “All the Way to Reno,” by REM

Saginaw, MI“Saginaw Michigan,” by Lefty Frizzle

Salt Lake City, UT“Salt Lake City,” by the Beach Boys or the Fendertones

San Antonio, TX“New San Antonio Rose,” by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

San Diego, CA“San Diego Serenade,” by Tom Waits

San Francisco, CA “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” by Tony Bennett

San Jose, CA “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” by Dionne Warwick

Santa Fe, NM “South of Santa Fe,” by Brooks & Dunn or “Sante Fe,” by Steve Martin & the Steep Mountain Rangers (added 10/24/19)

Savannah, GA“Sunday in Savannah,” by Nina Simone

Seattle, WA “Seattle,” by Perry Como

Spokane, WA“The Spokane Song,” by the Kelly Ellis Duo

St. Louis, MO“St. Louis Blues,” by various artists

Tampa, FL“Talk Me Out of Tampa,” by Joe Nichols

Toledo, OH“Toledo, My Hometown,” by Sheri Lafontaine

Toronto, ONToronto #4,” by the Tragically Hip

Tucson, AZ“Tucson Train,” by Bruce Springsteen

Tulsa, OK“Tulsa Time,” by Don Williams

Wasco, CA “Radiator Man from Wasco,” by Merle Haggard – (Thank you, Robert)

Wichita, KS“Wichita Lineman,” by Glen Campbell

Winnipeg, MB“One Great City,” by The Weakerthans

Posted in advertising, branding, Canada, cities, civics, commerce, Communications, culture, entertainment, fun, geography, government, history, marketing, music, place names, placemaking, satire, songs, Travel, Welcome, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments