Why Is Eighty Eight Community In Kentucky Called So?

A map showing the town of Eighty Eight on Kentucky Route 90.
A map showing the town of Eighty Eight on Kentucky Route 90.

The Eighty Eight community refers to a group of people that lives in the US state of Kentucky. Specifically, the community is found in Barren County in Kentucky some 10 miles from Glasgow, which is along Kentucky Route 90. The naming of this interesting community is quite unique and interesting. The story of the place goes all the way back to 1988, which is when the world heard about Eighty Eight.

Naming of Eighty Eight

The town was named by a person named Dabnie Nunnally back in 1860 who was the postmaster. The exact reason for the name is unknown although some sources claim that the man had little faith in words. To solve the problem, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his change. The value of the coins in his pocket added to 88 cents. Therefore, the postmaster named the small community Eighty Eight.

Another possible theory is that the distance between Glasgow and the small community is around 8.8 miles.

The Post Service of 1988

In 1988, the small community had a small post office with an attendant who was known as Donnie Sue Bacon. The post office used to handle mail for less than 100 rural addresses. However, in January 1988, things were a little different because the attendant had more letters to post. The increase in the number of mail she had to deal with was brought about by the increased popularity of the small hamlet.

As more people knew about the place, superstition about it also increased. Specifically, people who were superstitious about the number eight or had an affinity for the number wanted their mail to pass through the office. All kinds of people, even learned ones, were swept by the wave. For example, seniors from the University of Southern California sent their graduation notices to get a postmark of the post office. All the letters moving from one coast to another also had to be routed via Eighty Eight for a christening of sorts.

Celebrating Eighty Eight

In the same year, people started coming up with ideas of having a grand celebration to mark the community’s growth. Some people suggested that the celebration be held on August 8, 1888, that is, 8/8/88. The idea started took root and the media, inevitably, heard about the celebration. As the popularity increased even more through print and electronic media, letters came from all over the world from places like Argentina, Singapore, and Italy. Some of these people wanted the letters mailed from the Eighty Eight post office on the day of the celebration.

Aside from the celebration, there were other things that happened that further lent importance to the number eight. For example, one couple got married that day at exactly 8:08. After that, several events were held on varying August 8's. A similar celebration also happened on August 8, 2008, that is, 08/08/08.


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