JF Ptak Science Books Post 1517 (With thanks to Dick Carlson for prompting this skip-along)
[Hell of Botticelli]
In spite of the nature of the name,"Hell" appears in frothy, popular abundance in the U.S. Gazetteer. I suspect that most of the naming was crustily done, and perhaps some were made in spite or jest--but a fair number of them must have been named for the sake of accuracy. Mostly the names are for geographical bits like a canyon, or swamp, bend, landing, gap, lake, creek, neck, pond, bar, gate, hill, basin or pool--the vast majority of them having to do with water more so than flat-out heat or desert. Hell doesn't always stand alone: there are Upper and Lower Hells, Screaming Hells, Merry Hells, and of course Whole- and Half-Hells.
There's a peculiar minority that give Hell as the name to uncommon places, like a cemetery; but what I don't really understand are the few that reach down low, like Hell Street School (Mahoning County, Ohio) and (though less so) the Hell Creek School (Garfield County, Montana). At least "creek" gives a watery lessening to the firey name--Hell Street, like Hell's Kitchen, just doesn't sound so great.
There are Hells aplenty in the Gazetteer, Old Hell and New Hell, Hell for Certain and Hell for Sure--I wonder now how many other places in the United States are named for the things that one must do to gain admittance to the Lake of Fire?
Bar, Old Hell.
Bay, Hell Hole Bay Wilderness (Berkeley County, SC)
Canyon, Hell. (Millard County, CT)
Cat, Hell Cat Bay (Putnam County, FL)
Creek, Hell (Roswell County, KS)
For Certain Creek, Hell (Leslie County, KY)
For Sure Lake, Hell. (Fresno, CA)
Gap, Hell. (Goshen, NY)
Gate, Hell. (NYC)
Hole, Hell (El Dorado County, CA)
Hollow, Hell. (New London County, CT)
Landing, Little Hell (Martin County, SC)
Lower Hell Hole (Placer County, CA)
Neck, Hell. (Glouchester county, VA)
Old Hell Bight (Wayne County, GA)
Pocosin, Hell. (Onslow County, NC)
Point, Hell (Burke County, GA)
Pond, Little Hell. (Burke County, GA)
Screaming Hell Pond (Fayette County, WVa)
Swamp, Half-Hell (Brunswick County, NC--I believe this one)
Tank, Little Hell (Jeff Davis County, TX)
and of course
Upper Hell for Certain School, (Leslie County, KY)