When traveling through Arkansas you may notice some very strange names for towns like Toad Suck, Bald Knob, and Booger Hollow but did you know there is one town that doesn't get a lot of recognition but should because of its name Fifty-Six like the number 56.

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Fifty-Six is a very small town that resides in North Central Arkansas in the middle of the Ozark National Forest with a population of 158, according to the last census data taken from 2020, a decline of 15 people from 2010.

The Origin

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If you're wondering why this town became known as Fifty-Six, according to Wikipedia history tells us that in 1918 when the local folks living there wanted to name it "Newcomb" their request was denied by the federal government which wanted to name the community for its school district number 56. The name stuck and remains on a list of unusual place names.

But according to American History on YouTube the name derived from the year the community was established in 1856. Another theory was it was named after the postal route that ran through the area during that time. Then another theory was named after a creek called 56 because of the number of steps it took to cross it. So depending on who you talk to we may never quite know the true origin of the name but it is interesting, to say the least.

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And for the record, a formidable Shreveport, Louisiana High School Coach Lee Hedges was born there in 1929.

The town of Fifty-Six is also the home of Blanchard Springs Caverns one of the state's most unique underground caves that features some stunning limestone formations and calcite formations that make for an amazing walking tour. Blanchard Springs Cavern is ranked as one of the 10 most outstanding caves in the United States. It is the only cave developed and operated by the U.S. Forest Service.

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The town of Fifty-Six is minutes from Mountain View another small town that offers cabin rentals, and restaurants for some amazing views of this beautiful region of Arkansas. If you love the great outdoors numerous amazing waterfalls, Mirror Lake, and hiking trails in the area are worth visiting.

Have you ever been to Fifty-Six, Arkansas? Just don't call it Area 51.

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Gallery Credit: Jim Weaver

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