The Anytown, USA Podcast

The Anytown, USA Podcast Podcast

Each episode, we randomly choose a new location in the USA and find out the most interesting story we can about it.

One man's wasteland. Cecil Garland and Juab County, Utah.
When the US Air Force was looking for empty land on which to build a massive MX missile base, Juab County, Utah, seemed like a no-brainer. After all, only 10,000 people lived there. Unfortunately for them, one of those people was Cecil Garland. We tell the story of how Garland stood firm against the US Government's plan to exploit the land he loved....

The Valley of the Crooked Stream: Fulton County, NY
The first European claim on land that would become part of Fulton County, NY was a tract of Mohawk hunting ground called the Valley of the Crooked Stream. We tell the ignominious story of how this parcel came into European hands....


Guam: Not a state, not a county.
From the legacy of colonialism to forgotten Japanese soldiers, we enter uncharted territory (literally) with our first episode devoted to a US territory....

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....


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....

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....


Airships and Pine Robbers: Ocean County, NJ
We check out the island town of Barnegat Light, named after the US's second tallest lighthouse, and find stories of airship disasters, cranberrie bogs and Bloody pine robbers. Oh, and muskrats....

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....


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?...


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....


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....


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....

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....

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....


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....

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....


May's Lick, KY: Tobacco Wars and West Point Generals
We learn about a tiny town in Kentucky with a surprisingly rich past, which includes one of the last arson attacks of the Black Patch Tobacco War, and the birthplace of the first African American National Parks superintendent (and the 3rd  to graduate from West Point). Not to mention a healthy dose of Daniel Boone-era frontier life....

Anderson, Indiana and the Great Gas Boom
Each episode, we choose a random county from an atlas of the continental USA and try to find the most interesting history, folklore and stories about it. On our very first episode, the pen falls on Anderson, Indiana and leads us to delve into the Great Indiana Gas Boom of the late 19th century. When a massive reservoir of natural gas was found below eastern Indiana, a bonanza of industry and profit followed. Unfortunately, so did waste and wild excess. Join us as we tell the story of Indiana's brief tenure ...