“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
59 entries match your criteria.  


Believe It or Not Historical Markers

Some markers tell fantastical or incredulous stories which get even more surprising and outrageous when you do some research. Most have no relation to the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! franchise.
Autaugaville Marker image, Touch for more information
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2013
Autaugaville Marker
1Alabama (Autauga County), Autaugaville — AutaugavilleIntersection of Autauga and Academy Streets — "America's First Crossroad" —
Robert Ripley's world-wide syndicated Believe It Or Not! column for July 31, 1935 read: "C. D. Abbott is the first citizen of the U.S.A. He is first alphabetically in Autaugaville, the first town in Autauga, the first county in Alabama, the . . . Map (db m68839) HM
2Alabama (Coffee County), Enterprise — Boll Weevil MonumentDecember 11, 1919
In profound appreciation of the Boll Weevil and what it has done as the Herald of Prosperity this monument was erected by the Citizens of Enterprise, Coffee County, AlabamaMap (db m30306) HM
3Alaska (Juneau Borough), Juneau — Eldred Rock
Eldred Rock is the oldest original lighthouse still standing in Alaska. It is a two-story building topped by a light tower. The ground floor was built of reinforced concrete, the first time that material was used for a lighthouse facing Alaska's . . . Map (db m181635) HM
4Alaska (Juneau Borough), Juneau — Five Finger
Southeast Five Finger was the first name given this lighthouse site due to its location on the southeastern-most island of the Five Finger Islands group. The original, wood boathouse and carpenter shop remain. A keeper thawing frozen water pipes . . . Map (db m181645) HM
5Alaska (Juneau Borough), Juneau — Patsy Ann: her history
Ships arriving in Juneau in the 1930's could count on being met at the dock by a small, white dog named Patsy Ann. A local dentist, Dr. E.H. Kaser, brought the English bull terrier as a puppy from Portland, Oregon in 1929. Although loved and . . . Map (db m181734) HM
6Arizona (Cochise County), Tombstone — 35 — Rose TreeMuseum
In 1934, Robert Ripley declares the Rose Bush the World's Largest in the Newspaper column "Believe it or Not". The fire of May 26th, 1882, destroyed the dwellings located here. In 1885, Mrs. Amelia Adamson built the Cochise House . . . Map (db m125645) HM
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7Arkansas (Carroll County), Eureka Springs — The Springs
"It is sometimes called The Basin Springs, and is invariably the first resort for visitors. If there is any one in the city you desire to find, if no other way, go to the Basin Springs, seat yourself comfortable, and await his coming." Prof. . . . Map (db m63300) HM
8California (Del Norte County), Klamath — Captain Courageous1963 - 1983
The heroic voyage of this crossbreed steer; floating downriver from Klamath Glen and up the coast into Crescent City Harbor, was an inspiration to the flood victims of Klamath. He embodied their courage, stamina, and indomitable spirit. A living . . . Map (db m91941) HM
9California (Mono County), Mammoth Lakes — Legend of Deadman
In 1861 the burned and headless body of Robert Hume, a prospector, was found in a shallow grave not far from this site. Later, the head was located in a nearby stream (now known as Deadman Creek). Hume was last seen alive with his partner, . . . Map (db m615) HM
10California (San Joaquin County), Lathrop — The Shooting of David S. Terry
David S. Terry, former Chief Justice of the California State Supreme Court and duelist was shot to death by David Neagle on August 14, 1889 in the old railroad restaurant across the street. Neagle had been hired to protect US Supreme Court Justice . . . Map (db m197162) HM
11Colorado (Jefferson County), Golden — Bridge Load Ordinance Background
Colorado Transcript, September 13, 1882: “Washington Avenue Bridge was badly damaged last Saturday evening by some ignoramus driving and crowding a big drove of cattle on to it. The damage has since been repaired.” Golden . . . Map (db m49897) HM
12District of Columbia (Washington), Foggy Bottom — GW's River Horse[Lisner Auditorium]
Legend has it that the Potomac was once home to these wondrous beasts. George and Martha Washington are even said to have watched them cavort in the river shallows from the porch of their beloved Mount Vernon on summer evenings. . . . Map (db m46980) HM
13Florida (Pasco County), Land O' Lakes — Ehren Community
Named by sawmill owners Frederick and Louis Muller, Ehren means "place of honor" in their native German language. Its post office opened Jan. 17, 1890 and closed in 1950. Burned and rebuilt several times, the post office was once listed in . . . Map (db m67650) HM
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14Florida (St. Johns County), St. Augustine — Robert L. Ripley
Robert L. Ripley was an internationally famous artist, writer, radio personality, movie maker, and world explorer. Mr. Ripley visited over 200 countries, and during his travels amassed an eclectic collection of artifacts, curiosities and . . . Map (db m93169) HM
15Georgia (Colquitt County), Moultrie — Magnolia TreeCirca 1845
Magnolia tree planted by Mrs. George Tucker circa 1845 Moultrie Federated Garden CouncilMap (db m197798) HM
16Georgia (Crisp County), Cordele — Titan I Missile
This is the site of Confederate Air Force Pad No. 1 Holding 98', this giant missile was dismantled in California and flown to Warner Robins Air Force Base. The missile was then transported along I-75 to Cordele. The . . . Map (db m55339) HM
17Georgia (Early County), Blakely — Early County Peanut Monument
The people of Early County, the largest peanut producing center in the world, have erected this monument in tribute to the peanut, which is so largely responsible for our growth and prosperity. Not only has it contributed to the higher living . . . Map (db m164460) HM
18Georgia (Gwinnett County), Lawrenceville — 2 — Goats on the Square
Cattle, hogs and goats were important to Lawrenceville's economy in the 1840's. Unfortunately they also created a problem for the Justices of the Inferior Court. Fences and gates could not keep the local livestock from running at large and settling . . . Map (db m197689) HM
19Georgia (Gwinnett County), Lawrenceville — 6 — The Banished Bank
It was a simpler time in 1905 – even banking was easier. A Gwinnett farmer needing a loan could drop by the County Courthouse on any day and meet up with Mr. E. M. Brand who offered money to lend at his outdoor office, positioned on the steps, near . . . Map (db m197683) HM
20Georgia (Gwinnett County), Lawrenceville — 7 — The Cotton Bag Wedding
The Atlanta Exposition of 1890 was the site of a special celebration of the wonders of King Cotton on Farmers Alliance Day. The main attraction featured the wedding of four couples, dressed in clothing made of white cotton bagging. A huge crowd of . . . Map (db m197682) HM
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21Georgia (Gwinnett County), Lawrenceville — 3 — The Whacking Cane
Gwinnett County socialites in the 1820's were quick and firm in their crusade to fight the evils of corn liquor. One prominent leader was Mrs. Philadelphia Winn Maltbie, daughter of the first Justice of the Inferior Court. It is said that this . . . Map (db m197702) HM
22Georgia (Gwinnett County), Lawrenceville — 8 — Tipsy Mules & Horses
As in most counties in this part of Georgia, there were a few local entrepreneurs who developed a thriving business producing a popular variety of white lightnin'. Customers came from miles around for a chance to purchase some of Gwinnett's finest . . . Map (db m197679) HM
23Illinois (Cook County), Chicago — Hidden TruthsThe Chicago City Cemetery and Lincoln Park, Then and Now
The 1852 funeral for David Kennison was the most elaborate Chicago had ever seen. The City paid all expenses, and donated 2 cemetery lots, intending to erect a monument on his grave. That never happened. The legend of his exploits grew to unfeasible . . . Map (db m10657) HM
24Iowa (Des Moines County), Burlington — Snake Alley
Built in 1894, Burlington, Iowa’s Snake Alley is unbelievably crooked — boasting five half-curves and two quarter-curves that span 275 feet!The street rises over 58.3 feet at a 21% grade and has 1100 degrees of turns!Ripley’s Believe . . . Map (db m175883) HM
25Iowa (Sac County), Odebolt — Odebolt • Popcorn Capital of the World
Cracker Jack 1918 to 1963 August Petersmeyer Specialized in popcorn from 1889-1918Map (db m162252) HM
26Kentucky (Edmonson County), Cave City — 1385 — Sand Cave
Floyd Collins was first to explore Sand Cave. Fallen rock trapped him in narrow passage 150 ft. from entrance, Jan. 30, 1925. Rescuers reached him with food and heat for short time. Aid cut off by shifting earth closing passage. Engineers sank . . . Map (db m319) HM
27Kentucky (Fleming County), Plummers Landing — 1411 — Stockton Grave
In a field 2½ miles east, rock slabs laid like a stone wall mark Robert Stockton’s grave. Buried where he fell, killed by Indians, 1789. His wounded companion, Beacham Rhodes, went back to Stockton’s Station. Returning to site with friends, . . . Map (db m146846) HM
28Kentucky (Jefferson County), Middletown — Joseph Abell House
Joseph Abell built this “Main House” on his 600 -acre plantation about 1803. In 1846, he died at the age of 94. Legend holds that his ghost still guards treasure buried on the plantation. Famed Louisville surgeon Irwin Abell is a descendent of . . . Map (db m203150) HM
29Louisiana (Grant Parish), Colfax — The Famous Burning Well of Colfax
Visitors to this spot were once greeted with a curious sight, a burning well. In 1899 a driller named L. B. Hart completed an artesian well at 1,103 feet. The water was salty, and it bubbled with gas. Hart struck a match near the flow, and promptly . . . Map (db m136182) HM
30Maryland (Allegany County), Cumberland — Capture of GeneralsCapture of Generals B.F. Kelly and George Crook — Nights, February 21–22, 1865 —
A company of Confederates, young men from Cumberland, Maryland, Hampshire and Hardy Counties, West Virginia, captured several picket posts, obtained the countersign “Bulls Gap,” rode into the city, captured two commanding Union Generals, Kelly . . . Map (db m490) HM
31Maryland (Baltimore), University of Maryland — Believe it or Not
Raised slabs mark a number of grave sites at Westminster, but none has garnered as much attention as this one. Once the subject of a "Ripley's Believe it or Not," this gravity-defying piece of marble continues to fascinate. This slab was . . . Map (db m6639) HM
32Maryland (Washington County), Boonsboro — The Lost Orders
No other document of the Civil War has generated so much controversy as Lee's Special Orders No. 191. These “Lost Orders” detailed the movements of Lee's army for the operation against Harpers Ferry. On September 9 Lee sent copies of the order to . . . Map (db m2042) HM
33Massachusetts (Middlesex County), Cambridge — The Smoot
In Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of The Smoot. In October 1958 the span of this bridge was measured using the body of Oliver Reed Smoot MIT '62 and found to be 364.4 smoots +/-1 ear. This provided a very useful metric for generations . . . Map (db m178280) HM
34Michigan (Charlevoix County), Charlevoix — Charlevoix's World's Largest Cherry Pie
The pie crust measured from 14 feet, 4 inches in diameter, 2 feet deep and weighing a total of 7 tons. A total of 1,730 lbs. for the pie crust 850 lbs. of flour 325 lbs. of water 15 lbs. of salt 110 lbs. of milk 375 lbs. of shortening 55 . . . Map (db m154653) HM
35Mississippi (Bolivar County), Cleveland — The Cleveland Depot
Four railroad depots have operated here since Cleveland was incorporated in 1886. The first depot—two Yazoo & Mississippi Valley RR cars tied together and parked on a side track—disappeared when a prankster hooked it to an outgoing . . . Map (db m89937) HM
36New Hampshire (Grafton County), Lincoln — Borasaurus(Granitus Holus)
Millions of years ago, the borasaurus roamed this area, It was similar in size to a T-Rex but with a large drill like horn on its head. It was his constant sharpening of this horn that produced such a smooth hole in this granite boulder. This rare . . . Map (db m97311) HM
37New Jersey (Mercer County), West Windsor Township — Martian Landing Site
On the evening of October 30, 1938, Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre presented a dramatization of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds as adapted by Howard Koch. This was to become a landmark in broadcast history, provoking continuing . . . Map (db m63539) HM
38New York (Warren County), Queensbury — This is "Porcellino"
This is "Porcellino" Created by 17th century Italian sculptor Pietro Pacca The original - there are only two other replicas in the world - sits in Florence, Italy, in a spot where most travelers pass as they leave the city. Legend has it that . . . Map (db m138509) HM
39Ohio (Lake County), Mentor — Mentor Lagoons Water Trail
[History related excerpts from the marker] Natural Shoreline of Lake Erie The Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve's 1.5-mile shoreline represents the longest stretch of publicly accessible natural beach in Ohio. Because it is one of the last . . . Map (db m49134) HM
40Ohio (Lawrence County), Waterloo — 2-44 — The Waterloo WondersWaterloo’s Historic Wonder Five 1934 and 1935 Class B State Champions
Waterloo was home to the legendary Waterloo Wonders. Coach Magellan Hairston and his Wonder Five captured consecutive Ohio state high school Class B basketball championships in 1934 & 1935, winning 94 out of 97 games, and defeating many Class A . . . Map (db m132543) HM
41Ohio (Perry County), New Straitsville — 12-64 — World’s Greatest Mine Fire
During the 9-month Hocking Valley Coal Strike beginning in June 1884, tensions between the Columbus & Hocking Coal and Iron Company and striking miners led to violence and destruction. Starting October 11, 1884, unknown men pushed burning mine . . . Map (db m122804) HM
42Ohio (Putnam County), Miller City — 5-69 — The “Cinderella Kids” of 1950 / The Miller City Wildcats1950 Class B Boys State Basketball Champions — 29 Wins, 0 Losses —
The 1949-1950 season of the Miller City Wildcats boys’ basketball team is one of Ohio’s great sports stories. First year coach C. Norris Simpson assembled an undersized group of farm boys and led them to 29 straight victories, including 11 . . . Map (db m100736) HM
43Ohio (Scioto County), Friendship — Ohio's Biggest Yellow Buckeye(Aesculus flava) — Ohio Byway • Scenic Scioto Heritage Trail —
Height 109 Feet, Crown 60 Feet, Circumference 144 Inches, This tree is approximately 150 Years Old. The Name Buckeye comes from folklore of the Native Americans who noticed that the nut of the Buckeye tree resembles the eye of the buck deer, a . . . Map (db m185499) HM
44South Carolina (Marlboro County), Blenheim — 35-21 — Grave of Mason Lee / Will of Mason Lee
Marker Front: Mason Lee (1770-1821), a wealthy Pee Dee planter known for his eccentricities, is buried in old Brownsville graveyard two miles south of here. He believed all women were witches and that his kinsmen wished him dead to inherit . . . Map (db m31681) HM
45Tennessee (Marion County), Monteagle — RyeMabee 1930Marion County, Tennessee
Was placed on the National Register of Historic Places By the United States Department of the Interior in December, 1997.Map (db m194414) HM
46Texas (El Paso County), El Paso — 5407 — The Rainmakers of 1891
Working on the theory that explosives could cause rainfall because many war battles had been followed by rain, the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted experiments in rainmaking. During a West Texas drought in 1891 the agency brought the . . . Map (db m4788) HM
47Texas (McLennan County), West — 5315 — The Crash at Crush(0.5 Mi. E)
A head-on collision between two locomotives was staged on Sept. 15, 1896, as a publicity stunt for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad. Over 30,000 spectators gathered at the crash site, named "Crush" for MKT passenger agent William G. . . . Map (db m59674) HM
48Texas (Navarro County), Corsicana — Magnolia Cannon
  Fires were a major concern of oil fields. This cannon stood at the Magnolia Petroleum tank farm in Corsicana. It was used to shoot a hole in the bottom of the cyprus tanks if lightning struck. The oil would drain into a pit . . . Map (db m61761) HM
49Texas (Tarrant County), Fort Worth — Midnight1910 - 1936 — "World's Greatest Bucking Horse" —
A Legend in His Own Time As He Is Today Midnight was born in Canada, the property of Tim McNabb. McNabb's "Door Key" brand was Midnight's mark throughout his life. He bucked on the American Rodeo circuit from 1923 to 1933 at which time he was . . . Map (db m35919) HM
50Vermont (Windsor County), Cavendish — The Gage Accident1848 — Cavendish —
One of the most remarkable events in medical history occured about ¾ mile (1 km) from here. On 13th September 1848, Phineas P. Gage, a railroad construction foreman from Lebanon (NH), suffered massive brain damage when a 3ft 7in (107 cm) long, . . . Map (db m44099) HM
51Virginia, Hampton — The Legend Of The Oozlefinch
One night in 1905, Captain H.M. Merriam (while quite possibly under the influence of our favorite beverage) swore he saw a strange, large eyed bird outside the Fort Monroe Officers' Club. His outlandish tale quickly spread throughout the . . . Map (db m166643) HM
52Virginia (Wythe County), Austinville — The New River
In spite of its name, the New River is one of the oldest in the world and one of a few that flows north. Beginning in North Carolina, it flows through Virginia and into West Virginia. The New River was known as Wood’s River until settlers re-named . . . Map (db m155760) HM
53West Virginia (Greenbrier County), Smoot — Greenbrier Ghost
Interred in nearby cemetery is Zona Heaster Shue. Her death in 1897 was presumed natural until her spirit appeared to her mother to describe how she was killed by her husband Edward. Autopsy on the exhumed body verified the apparition's account. . . . Map (db m50356) HM
54Wisconsin (Dane County), Madison — Elvis Presley Fight Scene
On this site, the corner of Hwy 51 and East Washington Avenue around 1 am, on June 24th, 1977, Elvis Presley was riding in the 2nd of two limousines which had stopped for a red light. He was coming from a concert in Des Moines and had just arrived . . . Map (db m37376) HM
55Alberta (Wheatland County), Gleichen — Gleichen's Count Albert Gleichen1863-1937
According to legend, when the first CPR train pulled in at the 12th siding west of Medicine Hat in 1883, a group of VIP passengers got off the train to see the Blackfoot Reserve. One of these men was Count Gleichen (pronounced Glaiken), an investor . . . Map (db m202492) HM
56Québec (Bécancour), Deschaillons-sur-Saint-Laurent — La Roche à Mailhot / Mailhot's Stone
Français: D’après la tradition, en 1810, Modeste Mailhot, surnommé Le Géant canadien, bascula seul cette énorme pierre, que l’on a appelée depuis “La Roche à Mailhot” et la roula jusqu’ici. Né à St-Pierre-les-Becquets le 9 juillet . . . Map (db m151270) HM
57Québec (Communauté-Urbaine-de-Québec) — Hommage à Pierre et Gabriel LeMieux1643 • 1983
Hommage à Pierre et Gabriel LeMieux (nés de Pierre, Louis et de Marie Luguen.) Venus de Rouen, Normandie, s'établir en ces lieux en 1643. Leurs fils se rendirent avec Louis Jolliet à la Baie d'Hudson et furent compagnons d'armes de Pierre Lemoyne . . . Map (db m152896) HM
58Guatemala, Quetzaltenango — World Record for a Marathon While Jumping Rope
El Honorable Concejo Municipal de la Ciudad de Quetzaltenango Dr. Jorge Rolando Barrientos Pellecer Alcalde Municipal El Organo de Coordinacion, vecinos y la Comision de Deporte del COCODE de la Colonia Minerva rinden perpetuo . . . Map (db m128870) HM
59Malaysia, Perak (Teluk Intan), Taman Melor — Elephant Memorial
There is buried here a wild elephant who in defence of his herd charged and derailed a train on the 17th day of Sept. 1894.Map (db m153528) HM
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Dec. 5, 2022