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  Merge a County
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muon2
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« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2017, 05:17:43 am »

I can work down the coast to some southern Atlantic states. Counties are colored based on my personal visits (green=yes, red=not yet).

GA: Quitman (2513) and Clay (3183) are the 2nd and 5th least populated counties. In a state with more counties than any but TX, any reduction would help someone trying to get to all of them. These two were the least populated that are adjacent.

NC: Tyrrell (4407) and Hyde (5810) are the two smallest counties. Tyrrell is easy to visit on the way to the Outer Banks, but Hyde is out of the way unless one is traveling to Ocracoke on the OBX. Hyde has had its borders changed more than any other county in NC, so why not go all the way and merge it.

SC: Allendale (10419) and Barnwell (22621). Allendale was the 2nd least populated county in 2010 and is now estimated to be the least populated. The Main Hwy (US-301) misses Barnwell, and much of Barnwell is the Savannah River Site which most people can't visit anyway.

VA: Highland (2321) and Bath (4731) are the two least populated counties. US-220 connects the two, but it's not a road that one would frequently travel. The Delmarva pair and some of the small Tidewater counties could do as well, but they aren't as out of the way from the major cities. It would be easy to pick an independent city to merge back into its county, but I'll leave that unique feature to be decided by the VA legislature.
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muon2
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« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2017, 06:49:01 pm »

I'll just keep moving along the coast to the Gulf states. Counties are colored based on my personal visits (green=yes, red=not yet) with populations from 2010. As seen by the lack of green, I need to spend more time in these states.

AL: Sumter (13763) and Choctaw (13859) are the 8th and 9th least populated counties. They aren't the smallest, but by merging them one takes Sumter on I-20/59 and merges it with Choctaw which is off the highway. That saves a side trip for anyone visiting all the AL counties.

FL: Liberty (8356) and Franklin (11549) are the 1st and 3rd least populated counties. Liberty is one of those small counties that aren't on the coast and are missed by the interstate. It doesn't have any big draw and one isn't likely to just pass through. Along with Franklin it makes up most of the western edge of the Eastern time zone on the Panhandle.

LA: East Carroll (7759) and West Carroll (11604) are the 3rd and 8th least populated parishes. The Great River Road goes through East Carroll which was split from West Carroll in 1877. If merged a trip on that route wouldn't need a detour to get West Carroll.

MS: Issaquena (1406) and Sharkey (4916) are the two smallest counties. Sure, they're both on the Great River Road, so there's no reason not to get them both that way. But the tiny size of Issaquena makes me fear the population will just get flooded out some year.
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Tartarus Sauce
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« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2017, 10:41:27 pm »


Specifically merge them all into Maryland.
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muon2
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« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2017, 11:14:02 pm »

I can complete my merges in the east with the Appalachian/Ozark states. Counties are colored based on my personal visits (green=yes, red=not yet) with populations from 2010.

AR: Calhoun (5368) and Bradley (11508). Calhoun is the least populated county and Bradley is the least visited among county hunters.

KY: Owsley (4755) and Lee (7887) are the 2nd and 10th least population counties. The KY constitution requires new counties to be at least 400 sq mi and 12000 population. This merger would just satisfy that rule (12642, 408 sq mi) as well as take care of two counties without major highways.

TN: Clay (7861) and Jackson (11638) are the 6th and 10th least populated counties. TN has a number of small counties tucked along the KY border like Clay. Clay and Jackson both straddle the Cumberland river so travel between the two is easy, even if both are otherwise off main highways.

WV: Wirt (5717) and Calhoun (7627) are the 1st and 4th least populated counties. Last summer I did a bit of touring in WV with an intent to visit as many counties as was reasonable during the day. Even so I couldn't get to Wirt without a lot of extra time. I did go though Calhoun that day, so the merger would have worked for me.
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muon2
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« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2017, 09:25:13 am »

Here are my picks for some southwestern states. Counties are colored based on my personal visits (green=yes, red=not yet) with populations from 2010.

AZ: Greenlee (8437) and Graham (37220) are the 1st and 3rd least populated counties. Greenlee was created from Graham over its objections and is mostly home to a giant copper mine. I've visited much of AZ, but Greenlee will take some planning to visit.

NM: Harding (695) and Mora (4881) are the 1st and 6th least populated counties. Harding is out of the way of any main roads, but Mora is right on the interstate, so a merger would help.

OK: Roger Mills (3647) and Ellis (4151) are the 3rd and 5th least populated counties. They are large counties on either side of the Canadian river with a bridge that connects them.

TX: Kent (808) and Stonewall (1490). There are more counties in TX than in any other state and lots that are out of the way with few people. There are 18 counties with less than 2000. Of those there are 7 connected pairs of counties. Kent is one of the least visited of the small population counties, so its pair made my list.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2017, 07:23:49 pm »

Merge them back into Pennsylvania. They can keep their separate legislature.
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Tartarus Sauce
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« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2017, 07:25:44 pm »

Merge them back into Pennsylvania. They can keep their separate legislature.

What's the point of merging them with Pennsylvania then? Though this does give me the idea of merging New Castle county with Pennsylvania and slower lower Delaware with Maryland.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2017, 07:41:24 pm »

AR: Calhoun (5368) and Bradley (11508). Calhoun is the least populated county and Bradley is the least visited among county hunters.
The only reference that I could find to "county hunters" was for hams trying to make two-way contact with each county. Is there another meaning?
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muon2
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« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2017, 09:13:48 pm »

AR: Calhoun (5368) and Bradley (11508). Calhoun is the least populated county and Bradley is the least visited among county hunters.
The only reference that I could find to "county hunters" was for hams trying to make two-way contact with each county. Is there another meaning?


That is the more conventional use of the term. County counters often share the same sites as the hams, so I was less precise than perhaps I should be.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2017, 11:23:09 pm »

AR: Calhoun (5368) and Bradley (11508). Calhoun is the least populated county and Bradley is the least visited among county hunters.
The only reference that I could find to "county hunters" was for hams trying to make two-way contact with each county. Is there another meaning?


That is the more conventional use of the term. County counters often share the same sites as the hams, so I was less precise than perhaps I should be.
Is 1781 a current count?  And is the Liz in Somerville, MA a relative?
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muon2
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« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2017, 05:05:33 am »

AR: Calhoun (5368) and Bradley (11508). Calhoun is the least populated county and Bradley is the least visited among county hunters.
The only reference that I could find to "county hunters" was for hams trying to make two-way contact with each county. Is there another meaning?


That is the more conventional use of the term. County counters often share the same sites as the hams, so I was less precise than perhaps I should be.
Is 1781 a current count?  And is the Liz in Somerville, MA a relative?


Yes to both. I'll be adding more along the Ohio river over Thanksgiving.
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muon2
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« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2017, 07:41:59 am »

The western mountain states don't have as many counties as the east, but there are some tiny ones tucked off the beaten path. Counties are colored based on my personal visits (green=yes, red=not yet) with populations from 2010.

CO: Mineral (712) and Hinsdale (843) are the 2nd and 3rd least populated counties. Both sit along the continental divide in the San Juan mountains. CO-149 connects the two counties.

ID: Butte (2891) and Custer (4368) are the 3rd and 7th least populated counties. They are well connected along US-93, but visitors are likely to either travel to Butte to see Craters of the Moon or to Custer along the Salmon river.

MT: Petroleum (494) and Garfield (1206) are the 1st and 7th least populated counties. There are no US highways other than a sliver of US-87 in a corner of Petroleum.

NV: Esmeralda (783) and Mineral (4772) are the 1st and 4th least populated counties. I really wanted to get to all the counties south of US-50 when I was in NV last winter, but Mineral was just too much of a detour while looping the federal lands around the Nevada Test Site (including Area 51). Now Mineral is the only NV county I have left to visit.

UT: Piute (1556) and Wayne (2778) are the 2nd and 4th least populated counties. Wayne was formed from Piute and could go back. That way whether one was passing through on US-89 or coming off I-70 to go to Capitol Reef NP the counties would count as one.

WY: Crook (7083) and Weston (7208) are the 3rd and 4th least populated counties. Devils Tower and I-80 are in Crook, but Weston is off the main path on the west side of the Black Hills.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2017, 03:23:23 pm »

The western mountain states don't have as many counties as the east, but there are some tiny ones tucked off the beaten path. Counties are colored based on my personal visits (green=yes, red=not yet) with populations from 2010.
CO: Mineral (712) and Hinsdale (843) are the 2nd and 3rd least populated counties. Both sit along the continental divide in the San Juan mountains. CO-149 connects the two counties.
The Continental Divide crosses Hinsdale County twice. A county commissioner from the southern part of the county has to travel through four counties (Mineral twice, since South Fork is in Del Norte) to attend commissioners meetings in Lake City. That is in summer. In winter it is six counties, through Durango and  Montrose. (it appears that C-149 is now open year round, so except for some closures the more circuitous route 6 hours, and 250 miles may not be needed).

WY: Crook (7083) and Weston (7208) are the 3rd and 4th least populated counties. Devils Tower and I-80 are in Crook, but Weston is off the main path on the west side of the Black Hills.
From Devils Tower you can loop down through Weston to see Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse before going back up to Sturgis. Is your son old enough to ride?
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jimrtex
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« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2017, 03:33:59 pm »

TX: Kent (808) and Stonewall (1490). There are more counties in TX than in any other state and lots that are out of the way with few people. There are 18 counties with less than 2000. Of those there are 7 connected pairs of counties. Kent is one of the least visited of the small population counties, so its pair made my list.
Dallam and Hartley, since Dalhart is already the county seat of one, and the largest city in both.
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muon2
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« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2017, 07:36:21 pm »

The western mountain states don't have as many counties as the east, but there are some tiny ones tucked off the beaten path. Counties are colored based on my personal visits (green=yes, red=not yet) with populations from 2010.
CO: Mineral (712) and Hinsdale (843) are the 2nd and 3rd least populated counties. Both sit along the continental divide in the San Juan mountains. CO-149 connects the two counties.
The Continental Divide crosses Hinsdale County twice. A county commissioner from the southern part of the county has to travel through four counties (Mineral twice, since South Fork is in Del Norte) to attend commissioners meetings in Lake City. That is in summer. In winter it is six counties, through Durango and  Montrose. (it appears that C-149 is now open year round, so except for some closures the more circuitous route 6 hours, and 250 miles may not be needed).
Virtually no one lives in southern Hinsdale and no direct road from Lake city goes to any residences on the southern end. Both counties have most of their population in the northern parts along CO-149.

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From Devils Tower you can loop down through Weston to see Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse before going back up to Sturgis. Is your son old enough to ride?
[/quote]

I've done the drive from Weston to Crazy Horse. It takes about an hour over the Black Hills.

When we visited Devils Tower it was after seeing Mt Rushmore on our way to an overnight in Buffalo before going on to Yellowstone the next day. That was 2011 when my son was in HS.

TX: Kent (808) and Stonewall (1490). There are more counties in TX than in any other state and lots that are out of the way with few people. There are 18 counties with less than 2000. Of those there are 7 connected pairs of counties. Kent is one of the least visited of the small population counties, so its pair made my list.
Dallam and Hartley, since Dalhart is already the county seat of one, and the largest city in both.

But I'd hate to break up the nice east-west lines of counties in that part of the state. Smiley
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jimrtex
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« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2017, 10:23:10 pm »

The western mountain states don't have as many counties as the east, but there are some tiny ones tucked off the beaten path. Counties are colored based on my personal visits (green=yes, red=not yet) with populations from 2010.
CO: Mineral (712) and Hinsdale (843) are the 2nd and 3rd least populated counties. Both sit along the continental divide in the San Juan mountains. CO-149 connects the two counties.
The Continental Divide crosses Hinsdale County twice. A county commissioner from the southern part of the county has to travel through four counties (Mineral twice, since South Fork is in Del Norte) to attend commissioners meetings in Lake City. That is in summer. In winter it is six counties, through Durango and  Montrose. (it appears that C-149 is now open year round, so except for some closures the more circuitous route 6 hours, and 250 miles may not be needed).
Virtually no one lives in southern Hinsdale and no direct road from Lake city goes to any residences on the southern end. Both counties have most of their population in the northern parts along CO-149.
The trip was not hypothetical, though Mr. Google seems to have misplaced the story. I thought it interesting that a county commissioner could count nine counties just traveling to and from the county seat. I did find a story about Hinsdale County rejecting a joint land use plan with Lake City. I suspect that the county folks didn't like the big city folks imposing their ideas.

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Dallam and Hartley, since Dalhart is already the county seat of one, and the largest city in both.
[/quote]

But I'd hate to break up the nice east-west lines of counties in that part of the state. Smiley
[/quote]
Merge Oldham and Deaf Smith
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« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2017, 03:03:14 am »

I can work down the coast to some southern Atlantic states. Counties are colored based on my personal visits (green=yes, red=not yet).

SC: Allendale (10419) and Barnwell (22621). Allendale was the 2nd least populated county in 2010 and is now estimated to be the least populated. The Main Hwy (US-301) misses Barnwell, and much of Barnwell is the Savannah River Site which most people can't visit anyway.
 

Given the population and the history, I'd actually merge both Allendale and Bamberg back into Barnwell County.  At only 45,000 people it'd still be only 26th out of 44 in population tho it would just barely be our largest county, slightly bigger than Charleston which is spread out along the coast.

Merging McCormick into Edgefield, Calhoun into Orangeburg, Hampton into Jasper, and Lee into Sumter also strike be me as good choices and that would get rid of all the counties that have less than half the population they'd need to be made as a brand new county today. (As a relic of when our House of Representatives was apportioned by counties and each county had one Senator, the requirement is that a new county must have 1/124 of the population of the State since we have 124 Representatives in the General Assembly.

All these would also have the advantage of eliminating all of our counties named after Confederates.
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muon2
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« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2017, 05:55:27 pm »

Here are the last of my picks for the Pacific states. Counties are colored based on my personal visits (green=yes, red=not yet) with populations from 2010.

AK: Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (5,559) and Ketchikan Gateway Borough (13,477). The Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area is disconnected from the rest of the Unorganized Borough and in 2008 a big piece was added to Ketchikan to form the current borough. This merger would complete that process.

CA: Sierra (3,240) and Plumas (20,007) are the 2nd and 8th least populated counties. Both counties are small and losing population in a state with the largest population county. I-80 and US-395 cut through corners of Sierra, but no US highways go through Plumas.

HI: Kalawao (90) and Maui (154,834). Kalawao has no organized county government and is already just a judicial part of Maui. I do think taking the mule ride down the cliff to visit Kalawao is a cool way to get to it.

OR: Wallowa (7,008) and Union (25,748). Gilliam and Sherman are two of the three smallest by population and by area east of the Cascades, but they are both right on I-84, so if visiting one almost always gets both. Wallowa is a long way from Clarkston/Lewiston and from I-84 in Union. Unless one has the time to tour Hells Canyon, one isn't likely to get to Wallowa.

WA: Garfield (2,266) and Columbia (4,078) are the 1st and 3rd least populated counties. They are also among the 10 smallest by area. I suppose one could put them both with Asotin, but I'm only considering pairs.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2017, 08:47:56 am »

Merging McCormick into Edgefield, Calhoun into Orangeburg, Hampton into Jasper, and Lee into Sumter also strike be me as good choices and that would get rid of all the counties that have less than half the population they'd need to be made as a brand new county today. (As a relic of when our House of Representatives was apportioned by counties and each county had one Senator, the requirement is that a new county must have 1/124 of the population of the State since we have 124 Representatives in the General Assembly.

All these would also have the advantage of eliminating all of our counties named after Confederates.
Isn't Calhoun named for John C Calhoun (US Vice President,  Secretary of State, Secretary of War, US Senator and Representative).
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« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2017, 05:30:53 pm »

I have a weird merge/split scenario involving turning 4 counties into 3. (With partial additions from two others.)

Empire County, California: Includes San Bernardino and Riverside counties west of the San Jacinto Mountains and south of Cajon Pass.
County seat: Riverside
Other Cities: San Bernardino, Corona, Murrieta, Temecula, Fontana, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga
Population: 4 million (#5 in USA, #2 in CA)

Coachella County: Includes all of California's low desert (Imperial County, part of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.)
County Seat: Indio
Other Cities: El Centro, Blythe, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City
Population: 500K

Mojave County: Includes Inyo County, the Antelope Valley (from LA County and Kern County), and San Bernardino County north of Empire and Coachella Counties.
County Seat: Palmdale
Other Cities: Lancaster, Barstow, Mojave, Apple Valley, Rosemond, Inyokern, Victorville, and Hesperia
Population: 900K
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jimrtex
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« Reply #45 on: October 30, 2017, 06:51:23 pm »

Here are the last of my picks for the Pacific states. Counties are colored based on my personal visits (green=yes, red=not yet) with populations from 2010.

AK: Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (5,559) and Ketchikan Gateway Borough (13,477). The Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area is disconnected from the rest of the Unorganized Borough and in 2008 a big piece was added to Ketchikan to form the current borough. This merger would complete that process.
The reason Hyder was/is excluded from KGB is because there is no way to get between Ketchikan and Hyder except via Prince Rupert, BC. It would make more sense to use the Unorganized Borough as a single county equivalent, or use all of the model boroughs.
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muon2
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« Reply #46 on: October 30, 2017, 07:22:27 pm »

Here are the last of my picks for the Pacific states. Counties are colored based on my personal visits (green=yes, red=not yet) with populations from 2010.

AK: Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (5,559) and Ketchikan Gateway Borough (13,477). The Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area is disconnected from the rest of the Unorganized Borough and in 2008 a big piece was added to Ketchikan to form the current borough. This merger would complete that process.
The reason Hyder was/is excluded from KGB is because there is no way to get between Ketchikan and Hyder except via Prince Rupert, BC. It would make more sense to use the Unorganized Borough as a single county equivalent, or use all of the model boroughs.

I suppose one should say that you can only get to Hyder from Stewart, BC. One could get to Stewart from the Alaska Hwy without going through Prince Rupert. I see the situation as similar to Point Roberts WA with access only from Canada, but nonetheless is in Whatcom county.
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« Reply #47 on: October 30, 2017, 11:28:54 pm »

Merging McCormick into Edgefield, Calhoun into Orangeburg, Hampton into Jasper, and Lee into Sumter also strike be me as good choices and that would get rid of all the counties that have less than half the population they'd need to be made as a brand new county today. (As a relic of when our House of Representatives was apportioned by counties and each county had one Senator, the requirement is that a new county must have 1/124 of the population of the State since we have 124 Representatives in the General Assembly.

All these would also have the advantage of eliminating all of our counties named after Confederates.

Isn't Calhoun named for John C Calhoun (US Vice President,  Secretary of State, Secretary of War, US Senator and Representative).

I was referring to eliminating Hampton and Lee, which are two most populous counties I'm suggesting be merged away.  Calhoun could be considered borderline given his views, but McCormick is named after the inventor of the mechanical reaper.   It's only sin as a county is that it's ridiculously small in both population and area.
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