Thursday, June 10, 2010

Those Bizarre AZ Names: Part Two

Here I go again with another group of those bizarre Arizona names for some of the towns and crossings. This group didn’t provide me with much information for the source of their names leaving me to my own devices.

1. Happy Jack – This small place in Arizona is located in the Mogollon Rim Region of Coconino County. With the gawd awful hot summers in Phoenix, many escape to this area for a cool getaway. I couldn’t find the source to this name, so here is what I think. As Jack and his wife, Jill, were heading up the hill to fetch a pail of water, they looked over this beautiful piece of land and decided to stay. They christened the occasion with lots of sex, thus making him a happy Jack. Corny I know, but this is what I thought when I read the name.

2. Hard Rocks - Hard Rocks is a community located in the Navajo County. A beautiful place in the northern part of Arizona where many amazing rock formations can be found. The name came from these rock formations.

3. Booze Crossing – Located in Mohave County, is an area called Booze Crossing. I didn’t find the source for this name but this must be where the Duke boys were able to get Granny’s homemade elixir cross the state without being detected by Sherriff Joe.

4. Pipyak – This town is located in Pima County. I couldn’t find much about the name but I thought it was funny. I just want to know, what the hell is a pipyak?

5. Three Way - Three Way is a community in Greenlee County, Arizona, United States. How did this town get its name, make your own joke here. Perhaps Jack, Jill and a pipyak?

6. Coffeepot – Coffeepot is located in Gila County and got its name for the mountain nearby that was shaped like a coffeepot.

7. Bullhead City – Located near the Colorado River sits the town of Bullhead City. Once known as Hardyville in the 1800’s, this town had a bustling population because of the profitable mines in the area. Once the mines dried up, Hardyville became a ghost town. Many decades later, the town was brought back to life and named Bullhead City after Bullhead Dam. The bullhead name was derived from the Bull’s Head Rock, which is a well known landmark on the Colorado River. The construction for the Bullhead project was completed in 1953.

8. Gripe – This place is located in Safford AZ, which was founded by three gentlemen. Their work on canals and dams was destroyed by floods in 1873 which makes me think that Gripe came out of that incident. Since there was no source for the name, I just have to assume. (We all know what happens when you assume, lol)

9. Kool Corner –Kool Corner is located in Yuma County. The only thing I could find out was that it was named for an area in the town. The name “Kool” brings me back to the 70’s and for some reason, one of George Carlin’s jokes: “I am the hippy dippy weather man, with your hippy dippy weather, man.” Gotta love him.

10. Skull Valley – This town is a small ranch community located 12 miles west of Prescott in Yavapai County. Located in this one-horse town are a general store, a church, an auto shop, and a post office. Skull Valley was once home to western artist, George Phippen. He was co-founder and first president of the Cowboy Artists of American. The town may have been named for all the skulls found in the surrounding desert or a rock resembling a skull, but I’m not exactly sure.

11. Snaketown – The archaeological site of Snaketown belongs to the Hohokam culture of the American southwest, and is located on the Gila River in the Sonoran Desert of central Arizona. Occupied from the 1st century BC through the mid-1500s, Snaketown consists of a village of pit houses and one large (195 feet by 15-20 feet deep) oval ball court, indicating evidence of connections with Central American societies. (Wikipedia)

12. Three Forks – This tiny bit of heaven is located in the White Mountains in Apache County. Was it name for the three forks in the road that meet where the town exists or did a cowboy ride up on the area and saw three forks jabbed into the ground? I am going with the first suggestion.

13. Wikieup – Just about a 2 ½ hour drive from Phoenix, Wikieup is a small community located in the western part of Arizona. Another name I couldn’t fine its origin, so here is how I pictured how the name came about. A cowboy stumbled out of the saloon after spending several hours celebrating his poker winnings. He fell down the steps leading to the saloon and began looking for his horse. He finally found his horse and tried several times to mount up. Two other cowboys watched him flop around like an idiot and decided to help the wasted cowboy onto his horse. As he finally headed out of town, the men heard him yell, “wikieup, you son of a bitch”. After laughing at the dumbshit, they realized the name Wikieup would make a great name for their new town. At least they didn’t name the town “Son of a Bitch”, lol.

I have more to come later and hope that more information is given for the origin of the town, creeks and crossings names.


  1. It is actually located in a beautiful area in AZ.

  2. I think I may already live in Booze Crossing and just not know it.

  3. Haha "Three Way" sounds like a very fun town :)

  4. Again, I don't know what's more fun. The comments or your town names. I forgot all about Wikieup. That's just a fun one to say! Another great list Julie!