Mountain Home, USA, In Descending Order

The United States currently boast nine distinct towns called Mountain Home, and one called Mountainhome, a single word. Stretched from coast-to-coast, from California to North Carolina, this plethora of similarly-named places speaks to the nation’s exoticization of rural life, as if calling a place “Mountain Home” guarantees coziness and security. While I’m sure these places are all lovely, they are not necessarily as quaint as the name suggests: the Texas Mountain Home, for example, was home to a slave labor ranch in the 1980s. Yes, that’s the 1980s…

In any event, here, for the love of trivia, are America’s “Mountain Homes” — and one Mountainhome — in descending order based on elevation above sea level. Not all are that impressive or mountainous: I mean, 8,770 feet is nice, in Wyoming, but what about Arkansas’ version, which stands at just over 800 feet above sea level? Is that a “mountain”?*

  • Mountain Home, Wyoming, 8,770 ft.
  • Mountain Home, Utah: 7,005 ft.
  • Mountain Home, California 3,691 ft.
  • Mountain Home, Idaho, 3,146 ft.
  • Mountain Home, North Carolina, 2,129 ft.
  • Mountain Home, Texas, 1,909 ft.
  • Mountain Home Tennessee, 1,635 ft.
  • Mountainhome, Pennsylvania, 1,234 ft.
  • Mountain Home, Arkansas, 817 ft.
  • Mountain Home, Alabama, 745 ft.

*(It turns out there’s a bit of debate over this, with some scientists saying a mountain must reach a minimum of 2,000 feet above sea level, but others saying height doesn’t matter: Mount Scott outside Lawton, Oklahoma, stands at just 823 feet.  It’s all in the eye of the beholder. Some see a mole hill, others a mountain.)

American Gentrification, 1832

We hear a lot about gentrification these days, but it’s nothing new. In fact the whole nation’s whole history is one of gentrification*: the movement of white people into “rundown” or “neglected” areas already populated by people of color, and remaking the land in their “civilized image.”**

But this makes it sound instantaneous, when it was actually a whole process. Here’s how it went down, according to someone who was there.

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