1 hour ago
"It's A Household Name..." - Growing up in rural Wisconsin, I’m used to roads with unusual, if not thought provoking, names. A mile from my parents’ house in Zenda is my favorite. Swamp Angel, a name that captures my gothic romantic imagination, meets up with Cobblestone Road, making it the perfect intersection for any horror story to begin. Edgar Allen Poe would surely have conjured a verse in such a place, right on the edge of a cornfield. And I’m not alone in my love of Swamp Angel because its sign is one of the most frequently stolen in the county. Fortunately, I photographed the original black and white embossed signs in 2013 before they were picked off. Now, newer, less artful green and white signs hang in their place, void of its once prominent mystique.
Some street names are a bit pithy--Argue Road, Devils Lane and Worlds End Road--while others have you riddled with curious giggles. Assman, Butts, Cumming, Hooker and Bong are all REAL streets in Wisconsin. I went to school with a “Bong” and, yes, he WAS a bit of stoner. What else are you gonna do with a name like that? Which leads me to the topic of namesakes--roads honoring people of one-time prominence with legacies lost in time. Rutland Dunn and Speckman Leddle roads both come from old family farmsteads.
So, when I’m out on the road, I look for unusual names. Last week, while driving to New York, I hit the motherload of names. Passing through the great state of Ohio, on I-90, I crossed an overpass bearing the name FANGBONER outside of Fremont. I about died and went to Swamp Angel heaven! With no time to stop, and no available offramp, I vowed to return.
Returning home yesterday, I took the backroads to find several Fangboner road signs. And as I suspected, it was named after a prominent figure. John Fangboner (1846-1939) was a successful agri-businessman, community leader and noted veteran of the Civil War, making him a household name in these parts. Also, as you may have guessed, his namesake sign bears evidence of high theft given its fresh appearance and rather high, secure location. As such, I did my best not to alarm the locals as I took to shooting. .
(©2019 Miranda Remington) at Fangboner Rd