The complete title of the book is: “A Place Called Peculiar: Stories About Unusual American Place-Names”.
This is the kind of book that is fun to read parts of when you are with a group of people who can share your wonder, disbelief and a good laugh at the really unusual names of places one can find in the United States. Sadly, the rest of the time this book can sit, untouched, for years on a shelf. There’s a chapter for every state and frankly, there are only so many weird place names one can examine at a time.
When reading (or flipping through) this book you’ll encounter place names such as “Coin”, “Tea” or even one called “In Between”. And yes, there’s a town called “Peculiar” like the title of the book! Paradise (California) may (or may not) have inherited its name from a saloon called ” a pair o dice” , you can read about it (there are several other additional places called “Paradise” in the US, did you know that?).
My family and I actually visited “Chicken” Alaska and heard a slightly different version of the origin of the name. In the version we know, the people who survived the harsh winter thanks to the ptarmigan, wanted to name the tiny TINY place in its honor. However, they couldn’t spell ptarmigan! But they could spell chicken…