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Punkin Center, Texas: Five communities share this strange name

Punkin Center, Texas: Five communities share this strange name

May 10, 2021
Click here to view original web page at www.wfaa.com

One small town got the name Punkin Center in a peculiar manner. TEXAS, USA — Texans take pride in their Texas history, and a lot of it can be seen in the name of the state’s notable cities. Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and many others can attribute their […]

Click here to view original web page at www.wfaa.com


One small town got the name Punkin Center in a peculiar manner.

TEXAS, USA — Texans take pride in their Texas history, and a lot of it can be seen in the name of the state’s notable cities. Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and many others can attribute their names to historical Texas figures.

Travel to some much smaller, unknown communities, however, and you’ll find towns with much stranger tales to tell.

Of all the oddly named towns in Texas, Punkin Center might be one of the most confusing. That is, if you’re familiar with your bizarre Texas geography. If you are, you’d know that there’s not just one town called Punkin Center in Texas. There aren’t just two, or three, or even four.

There are five towns in Texas called Punkin Center.

One of them is located just outside Wichita Falls, although truthfully, it hasn’t been called Punkin Center in nearly 50 years. Don’t tell the locals that.

“It never changed,” said area resident and historian Robert Palmer. “It was Punkin Center or Punkin. The people that live here are very proud of that name.”

Five communities in Texas go by the name Punkin Center, but one in particular, outside Wichita Falls, got its name in a very peculiar way.

Today it’s known as Haynesville, even though, until recently, Punkin Center still greeted drivers on the sign heading in to town. The name was changed about 40 years ago to differentiate it from the other Punkin Centers.

“I don’t know about the others, but I’m sure there’s somewhere they raise pumpkins,” Palmer said. “But that’s not a crop around here.”

If there aren’t any pumpkins, why was this particular community ever called Punkin Center?

“The blacksmith shop hired a painter to paint him a sign,” Palmer said.

The painter put a picture of a pumpkin on that sign. But why?

“The only thing he knew how to paint good was pumpkins,” Palmer said.

Essentially, the town was named after a bad artist.

“A bad artist, that’s correct,” Palmer said.

Sadly, when the blacksmith shop went away, the pumpkin sign went with it and the town’s name followed.

Despite the signs that went up around town saying “Haynesville,” locals say the only thing to call their home is Punkin Center.

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Texas

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