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Stranger, Texas: A strange story gave this town its strange name

The town can credit a blacksmith for its weird name.

From Ding Dong to Zipperlandville, Texas is full of cities and towns with really bizarre names. How did those towns get their weird names? Sean Giggy has been crisscrossing the state to find out.

About 45 minutes southeast of Waco is a town your parents told you never to talk to: Stranger.

The town has mostly faded into history, but there are still a few strangers living here.

"I live in the second-oldest house in Stranger,” said Mary Strickland, secretary for the Falls County Historical Commission.

There’s not a lot in Stranger these days, but it wasn’t always that way.

It was originally called Upper Blue Ridge and by 1879, the community had four churches, a school, a hotel and a booming population of 200.

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Back then, when a town got that big it got a post office. In order to send all that mail to the right place, the town needed an official name.

"They started trying to pick a name,” Strickland said. “Every name that they chose was turned down by the U.S. Postal Service. So they were looking for a name. And they went to the blacksmith's shop."

As the story goes it was a postal worker who went to the local blacksmith trying to figure out the town's name.

However, the blacksmith had just moved to the area and when he was asked what the name of the town was he told the postal worker he didn’t know because he was a stranger there.

"That's what happened, so there we go," Strickland said.

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To this day, nobody's quite sure why that postal worker decided to name the town based on the response of the blacksmith, but the folks in Stranger sure are glad he did.

"I've gotten to where I really like the name,” Strickland said. “I like being from Stranger. We're definitely different."

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