A Tour of The Sweetest Town in SC, Strangest Name

7:04 AM, Jul 30, 2010   |    comments
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What's in a name? Would this Upstate town, by some other name be so sweet?

Spartanburg County, South Carolina (WLTX) -- What's in a name? Would this Upstate town, by some other name be so sweet?

Not for resident Kenneth Tucker.

"If you go somewhere and they ask you where you're from they just laugh at it," he said.

He grew up in his Spartanburg County town and raised five kids here.

"I love it, I wouldn't move no where else," he said from his front porch rocking chair.

But despite 55 years of life here, he still gets a chuckle out of telling people where he lives.

"Sugar Tit, South Carolina."

Tucker paused for a three count, and then chuckled.

It's just outside of Greer, more of a crossroad community than a town. Locals seem to accept the name, not thinking about it too much.

"It's just another town," said Ruby Cox.

Cox married into Sugar Tit 35 years ago. She was originally from another odd named town, having grown up in Startex, South Carolina.

Ironically, the only restaurant in Sugar Tit has the most normal name: Joe's.

Cox and her sister-in-law Debbie are the only ones eating at Joe's today, but there are several locals there socializing, or reading the newspaper. None of them could give me a straight answer as to why their town had such an interesting name.

"Do you know anything about Sugar Tit," Cox shouted across Joe's dining room.

The man she was calling to dropped his book, laughed and shrugged.

"I've never really thought about it."

It seems the only time they do think about it is when some stranger comes rolling into town (like me).

If you blink, you miss it.

There's only one stop light, well, two if you count the one at the Sugar Tit Race Track.

When you get to town, there's one sign that welcomes you to Sugar Tit. That sign shares a post with an advertisement for Joe's, the only business in town besides the track.

Like most places in the world, town and city names usually come from famous people.

For example:

Sumter was named after the famous General Thomas Sumter.

Christopher Columbus is honored with the name of our State Capital: Columbia.

You get the idea.

But, after extensive Googling, it's safe to say there's never been anyone in the history of planet Earth with the name Sugar Tit.

Tucker, the by-default town historian shines some light on the mystery.

"Grandma says they used to get flour sacks and wash them out. They'd fill 'em with sugar and molasses and cut a corner of the bag," he said.

Tucker says that's what they would use to pacify babies.

"They called those things Sugar Tits," Tucker concluded, "And there's the town name."

There's no town library or archives, the only church in the area is technically just over the town limits.

There was no other way of confirming Tucker's story, so his tale seemed reasonable enough. And having talked to about 100 of the 900 or so residents who live in Sugar Tit, they seemed fine with that theory too.

Tucker says it's just a funny conversation starter on the few occasions he does go out of town. But says he'll never move for good. There's no weaning him off of his home town.

"It's wonderful out here in the county," he said. "You don't ever have to worry about anything." 

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