Unique Town Names of Anderson County

New Alton Railroad Station

New Alton Railroad Station

Through the years, Anderson County became home to many unincorporated villages, some with very unique names.  Most residents who have lived in the county for some time probably already know the names of Tyrone, Glensboro, Alton and others. But there were others with intriguing names like Lick Skillet and Rough-And-Ready with an accompanying unusual history.

In the vicinity of today’s Alton and Alton Station was the area’s predecessor, called Rough-And-Ready.  This little town started when a post office was built in the 1840s.  The post office was named Rough-And-Ready in honor of then US President, Zachary Taylor.  President Taylor received the nickname “Old Rough and Ready” for his success in the lesser known Second Seminole War.

Rough-And-Ready would prosper and even officially incorporate as a city in 1854.  It had a number of modern businesses, including a large hotel, dry goods stores, and a thriving mercantile business. It also had a number of good schools.

But, like what plagued the City of Lawrenceburg just four miles south, much of the business portion of the city would burn in fires.  The railroad also came through the area and built a station called New Alton two miles away from Rough-And-Ready.  Most of the business drifted to the area around the station, leaving the remnants of the old town behind.

Moving towards the center of the county, there is a modern day road called Anderson City Road.  Back in the mid 1800s, however, Anderson City was more than just a road.  It had a large water powered mill, a unique round school house, and a number of pending business ventures.  Because of its central location in the county, it was even strongly considered to be the county seat instead of Lawrenceburg.  But, a post office was never built, causing the community to never grow further.

Although its exact location has not been recorded, the little village of Lick Skillet got its name from one of our native dishes, burgoo.  There was a political rally in the area, and like most political events in the 1800s, burgoo was served to its attendees.  However, the crowd was underestimated where they not only ate all the burgoo, but also licked the skillet, hence the name.  But, the town was never really developed and nothing much remains except for the unusual name.

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