The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, October 29, 2001

Andytown, Florida


Population: 500

GATEWAY to the West! Next stop, 87 miles.

Please don't feed the aligators. Thank you.

Non-existant sign for a non-existant city at the intersection of US-27 and Aligator Alley (now I-75) linking South Florida to Naples on the west coast of Florida.

In 1980 I received a free road atlas from the AAA as a promotion. I was 11 at the time, and right at the corner of Aligator Alley and US 27 was a small town with the amusing name of Andytown. I always wanted to visit the place as a kid, it being so close and all, but never did get a chance to. By the time I got a car in 1989 it was apparent that such a town never did exist, since in the 10 years I had been living in South Florida I had never heard mention of this town, but by then, I had heard that map makers usually add non-existant objects to maps in order to “copy protect” their maps.

A few days ago I told Spring this, and she found it amusing. I figured that since I have nothing else to write about, I might as well write about the copy protection mark that is Andytown, Florida.

As I was making the entry, I thought it might be fun to do a Google search for Andytown. I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting the town to actually exist! There are a lot of map sites offering to sell maps of Andytown and my thought was Boy, Rand McNally is going to great lengths to promote a town that doesn't exist. Spring thought that many people had the same map and thought that the town actually existed. Most of the information I had pointed to 26°07′30″ N, 80°22′30″ W. Very odd.

Looking further, I found out that Andytown existed after all but was demolished in 1979 to make way for the expansion of Alligator Alley, which may explain why I never heard of it (as I moved to South Florida in 1979).

“Amazon registered for first … ”

While doing some research on Andytown I mistyped the URL for Google and instead of hitting a period between the “www” and “google,” I hit the dash and ended up at some domain squatter's site.

And no, it's not great.

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