Rank #1: Itasca County, MN: Unkillable Louts and Native American Uprisings
We visit Itasca County, home of lakes, logging and long-ago louts. We tell the story of Sam Christy, an 1880s roustabout who could take a real beating, and look at one of the last altercations between the US Army and a Native American group, the Battle of Sugar Point. Also, who stole the ruby slippers?
Rank #2: Bonus episode! Moxie LaBouche of Your Brain on Facts tells us macabre stories from Richmond, Virginia
We are joined by guest Moxie LaBouche of the Your Brain on Facts podcast to discuss some creepy goings-on in Richmond, Virginia. Confederate statues, grave robbers and even a vampire each make an appearance.
Rank #3: Cleveland County, Arkansas: Carpetbaggers and Bear-Wrestling Coaches
We take a trip to Cleveland County, Arkansas and find out how Coach Bear Bryant gained his name and Stephen Dorsey lost a county. Hint: Wrestling bears is better for your reputation than stealing railroads.
Rank #4: Oxford, Miss: The Ole Miss Riot
We are joined by a REAL LIVE one-time Oxford, Mississippi resident who fills us in on the city's history. We then take a dive into the Ole Miss riots, when white supremacists tried to stop James Meredith, the Universty's first black student, from enrolling.
Rank #5: Tensas Parish, Louisiana: White Liners and Voting Rights
We look at the history of Tensas Parish and uncover a terrible story of voter suppression in the wake of Reconstruction.
Rank #6: Lake County OR: Perpetual Geysers and Sheepshooting Murderers
The atlas takes us to Lake County Oregon, home to geologic oddities and the rumors of rangewars past. We tak about alkali lakes where fish won't swim and the legacy of the Sheepshooters.
Rank #7: Bonus episode! Justin from Generation Why tells us about the Kansas City Massacre
In this special bonus episode, we chat with Justin Evans (of the Geneation Why and The Peripheral Podcasts) about a story from his hometown's past: the Kansas City Massacre.
Rank #8: Nevada County, CA: The Donner Party
A small resort community in the California mountains hides a dark history. Yep, we're going there: It's the freaking Donner Party.
Rank #9: Blind Bluesmen and a Disappearing Daughter: Anson County, North Carolina
We take a look at Morven, North Carolina, where a community comes together to support literacy. Then, we investigate the nearby ghost town of Sneedsboro and a tale of disappearance that began at its once-famous Inn. Along the way, we meet Blind Boy Fuller, a virtuoso of Piedmont Blues.
Rank #10: Clay Pipes and Civil Surrenders: Appomattox County, Virigina
We start in Pamplin City, one-time manufacturers of popular clay pipes and end up in Appomattox Courthouse, the site of Robert E. Lee's surrender to U.S. Grant.
Rank #11: Hatchet Wielding Women and Land Running Settlers: Barber County, KS
Our ongoing journey takes us to Barber County, Kansas, where we learn the story of the the hatchet slinging temperance warrior, Carrie A. Nation, and the 1893 Land Run where 100,000 settlers raced for a chance at the American Dream.
Rank #12: Evil Hunters and Misguided Bureaucrats: Eagle County, CO
We take a look at Eagle County, Colorado, home of the Gore Range which was named after one of the worst people to ever slaughter buffalo, Sir St. George Gore. Courtney tells the story of how the Utes were forced out of their homeland due to a misguided, reform-minded bureaucrat.
Rank #13: Waterfalls and Bear Attacks: Cascade County, Montana
We talk about the history of Cascade County, MT, from Lewis and Clark's bear encounters to the environmental legacy of the Anaconda Smelter Stack. Also: the interracial founders of Belt, MT and the natural wonders of the Great Falls themselves.
Rank #14: Manhattan, NV. Ghost towns and nuclear warnings to the future
We start in Manhattan, Nevada, a town that's died and been reborn several times, before checking out the rest of Nye County. We find stories of a man who tried to turn himself into a tiger and a US county with a population of 0, no buildings and no paved roads. Finally, we touch on the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository and the problem of how to warn future generations away from our deadly trash.
Rank #15: Onida, SD: Hutterites, Black Homesteaders and Grasshopper Plagues
We virtually travel to Onida, South Dakota, learn about the life of African American homesteader Norvel Blair, the "science" of water witchery and the intriguing varieties of Hutterites, an anabaptist sect similar to the Amish.
Rank #16: San Saba, TX: Captain McDonald and the San Saba Murder Society
We check out Richland Springs, Texas (go Coyotes!) and learn about San Saba County, where football games are played over an unmarked graveyard. For our history segment, we go back to the 1890s, when honest townsfolk lived in fear of the San Saba Murder Society. Until, that is, Captain Bill McDonald arrived with the Texas Rangers and saw that law and order was restored.
Rank #17: Lincoln, NE: Gas-powered roller skates and the Great Sheedy Murder Trial
On a cold night in January, 1891, local gambler and influential citizen John Sheedy was felled by a blow to his head. Although doctors determined it wasn't life-threatening, he was dead by 10pm the next day. What happened? Was it a convoluted plot by his wife's lover, or were there even more sinister forces at work? This episode, we discuss the Great Sheedy Murder Case, learn the peculiar reason Lancaster NE was renamed "Lincoln," and check out the National Museum of Roller Skating.
Rank #18: Lincoln-palooza: Springfield, Il
Springfield is all about Abraham Lincoln, but hey, what about Mr. Accordion? Also, the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, a giant PLAYABLE bell tower.
Rank #19: Rattlesnake Stations and Stage Coach Barons: Mountain Home, ID
Somehow, Mountain Home, Idaho, isn't in the mountains. In fact, it was founded when one town more or less swiped a post office from another. In this episode, we talk about this little town's peculiar history, as well as Evel Knieval's fateful fall in the nearby Snake River Canyon. Along the way, we'll meet a scoundrel stage coach baron and visit a charming wall made of pennies.
Rank #20: Hartford County, CT: Black dogs and Harriet Beecher Stowe
We check out Bloomfield, CT, one-time home to the New England Muscle Bicycle Museum and the most depressing group of Whigs in the world. Also: Legends of black dogs in the nearby Hanging Hills, and Harriet Beecher Stowe's declining years.