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ePODUNK HISTORIC SMALL TOWNS INDEX
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ePODUNK HISTORIC SMALL TOWNS INDEX - STATISTICAL SOURCES

The ePodunk Historic Small Towns Index combines four statistical sources to find small counties and places with exceptional historic character. We assign each source a maximum number of points, and we assign counties a weighted index number based on how they place in the national ranking. We then add the four index numbers together to reach the final Small Town History Index score, with a maximum possible score of 100. Our study is restricted to three kinds of geographic areas:

  • Counties that are not in metropolitan areas;
  • Metropolitan counties with fewer than 100,000 residents; and,
  • In the five states that are almost entirely dominated by metropolitan areas (MA, CT, RI, DE, and NJ), places with fewer than 100,000 residents that are outside of large urban or suburban areas.

The statistics, sources, and weights are:

  • The proportion of all housing units that were built before 1939 (a possible 10 points). Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, http://www.census.gov.
  • The number of properties that received a federal tax credit for rehabilitation that respects their historic significance (20 points). Source: Unpublished data from National Parks Service. For a description of the tax credit program, go to http://www.cr.nps.gov/helpyou.htm#tax.
  • The number of listings on the National Register of Historic Places, a list of 78,000 buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts that have national, state, or local significance, according to state and national historic preservation agencies (30 points). Source: http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/index.htm.
  • The number of buildings, structures, sites, and objects in National Register Historic Districts, a list of 11,000 clusters of historically significant properties (40 points). Source: http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/index.htm.

We assign a Historic Small Towns Index value to 2,628 of the counties and independent cities in the lower 48 United States. We do not rank the 486 most heavily populated counties in the U.S., which are home to 72 percent of Americans.

Our list of the most historic small towns in each state is restricted to counties within the top 20 percent in the national ranking, to ensure that each place in the Index meets high standards nationally as well as statewide. Only two counties qualified for the list in Kansas, Nevada, and Oklahoma, and no counties qualified in North Dakota. We decide on the most historic small towns by looking within the top-ranking counties for places with fewer than 100,000 residents that have the greatest number of buildings, structures, sites, and objects listed on the National Register of Historic Places, individually and in districts.

The National Parks Services web site allows visitors to search for listings on the National Register of Historic Places by state , county, or city. This search engine is at http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/research/nris.htm.

 


TOP-TEN SMALL TOWNS AND COUNTIES BY HISTORY INDEX, U.S.
Rank Small Town County State Index
1 Shirley Middlesex MA 90
2 Woonsocket Providence RI 84
3 Wheeling Ohio WV 83
4 Bristol Hartford CT 83
5 Montpelier Washington VT 77
6 Natchez Adams MS 76
7 Deadwood Lawrence SD 76
8 Hudson Columbia NY 74
9 Newport Campbell KY 72
10 Quincy Adams IL 71

TOP THREE SMALL TOWNS AND COUNTIES BY HISTORY INDEX, U.S. STATES
State Rank Small Town County Index
AL 1 Greenville Butler 51
AL 2 Florence Lauderdale 51
AL 3 Marion Perry 49
AR 1 Hot Springs Garland 52
AR 2 Eureka Springs Carroll 46
AR 3 Searcy White 45
AZ 1 Prescott Yavapai 62
AZ 2 Douglas Cochise 53
AZ 3 Flagstaff Coconino 51
CA 1 El Portal & Yosemite Mariposa 49
CA 2 Mendocino Mendocino 49
CA 3 Sonora Tuolumne 48
CO 1 Dolores Montezuma 49
CO 2 Trinidad Las Animas 47
CO 3 Durango La Plata 44
CT 1 Bristol Hartford 83
CT 2 Westport Fairfield 77
CT 3 Branford New Haven 75
DE 1 New Castle New Castle 66
DE 2 Dover Kent 65
DE 3 Laurel Sussex 60
FL 1 Key West Monroe 62
FL 2 Apalachicola Franklin 46
FL 3 Palatka Putnam 44
GA 1 Rome Floyd 58
GA 2 Thomasville Thomas 57
GA 3 Greensboro Greene 56
IA 1 Guttenberg Clayton 60
IA 2 Dubuque Dubuque 57
IA 3 Maquoketa Jackson 57
ID 1 Wallace Shoshone 59
ID 2 Lewiston Nez Perce 55
ID 3 Pocatello Bannock 52
IL 1 Quincy Adams 71
IL 2 Galena Jo Daviess 59
IL 3 Chautauqua Jersey 51
IN 1 Cambridge City Wayne 61
IN 2 Vincennes Knox 59
IN 3 Rockville Parke 57
KS 1 Leavenworth Leavenworth 47
KS 2 White Cloud Doniphan 42
KY 1 Newport Campbell 72
KY 2 Versailles Woodford 67
KY 3 Danville Boyle 62
LA 1 Natchitoches Natchitoches 50
LA 2 Donaldsonville Ascension 47
LA 3 Franklin Saint Mary 45
MA 1 Shirley Middlesex 90
MA 2 Newburyport Essex 87
MA 3 Easton Bristol 85
MD 1 Frostburg Allegany 67
MD 2 Easton Talbot 62
MD 3 Princess Anne Somerset 59
ME 1 Kennebunkport York 63
ME 2 Castine Hancock 62
ME 3 Rockland Knox 62
MI 1 Hancock Houghton 66
MI 2 Petoskey Emmet 63
MI 3 Crystal Falls Iron 56
MN 1 Red Wing Goodhue 66
MN 2 Winona Winona 53
MN 3 Faribault Rice 51
MO 1 Saint Joseph Buchanan 66
MO 2 Boonville Cooper 58
MO 3 Hannibal Marion 58
MS 1 Natchez Adams 76
MS 2 Meridian Lauderdale 73
MS 3 Columbus Lowndes 63
MT 1 Missoula Missoula 70
MT 2 Kalispell Flathead 67
MT 3 Bozeman Gallatin 66
NC 1 Roanoke Rapids Halifax 61
NC 2 Wilson Wilson 60
NC 3 New Bern Craven 58
NE 1 Nebraska City Otoe 57
NE 2 Fremont Dodge 47
NE 3 Red Cloud Webster 46
NH 1 Harrisville Cheshire 66
NH 2 Lyme Grafton 56
NH 3 Concord Merrimack 53
NJ 1 Glen Ridge Essex 71
NJ 2 Trenton Mercer 67
NJ 3 Bordentown Burlington 64
NM 1 Las Vegas San Miguel 68
NM 2 Los Ojos Rio Arriba 59
NM 3 Gallup McKinley 51
NV 1 Virginia City Storey 46
NV 2 Ely White Pine 41
NY 1 Hudson Columbia 74
NY 2 Essex Essex 70
NY 3 Cooperstown Otsego 68
OH 1 Kelleys Island Erie 65
OH 2 Casstown Miami 59
OH 3 Zanesville Muskingum 59
OK 1 Ardmore Carter 48
OK 2 Okmulgee Okmulgee 41
OR 1 Astoria Clatsop 52
OR 2 McMinnville Yamhill 47
OR 3 The Dalles Wasco 45
PA 1 Gettysburg Adams 67
PA 2 Mount Union Huntingdon 66
PA 3 Paint Somerset 64
RI 1 Woonsocket Providence 84
RI 2 Westerly Washington 76
RI 3 Newport Newport 72
SC 1 Bennettsville Darlington 51
SC 2 Chester Chester 50
SC 3 Union Union 48
SD 1 Deadwood Lawrence 76
SD 2 Rapid City Pennington 61
SD 3 Yankton Yankton 57
TN 1 Columbia Maury 54
TN 2 Oak Ridge Anderson 52
TN 3 Shelbyville Bedford 51
TX 1 Bastrop Bastrop 58
TX 2 Brenham Washington 52
TX 3 Cuero DeWitt 49
UT 1 Spring City Sanpete 60
UT 2 Logan Cache 54
UT 3 Park City Summit 53
VA 1 Keswick Albemarle 63
VA 2 Onancock Accomack 63
VA 3 Staunton Staunton city 59
VT 1 Montpelier Washington 77
VT 2 Hartford Windsor 74
VT 3 Arlington Bennington 73
WA 1 Port Townsend Jefferson 61
WA 2 Roslyn Kittitas 52
WA 3 Chehalis Lewis 46
WI 1 Mineral Point Iowa 64
WI 2 Sturgeon Bay Door 57
WI 3 Watertown Jefferson 56
WV 1 Wheeling Ohio 83
WV 2 Martinsburg Berkeley 68
WV 3 Parkersburg Wood 61
WY 1 Cheyenne Laramie 56
WY 2 Moose Teton 50
WY 3 Rawlins Carbon 49

 



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