EXTREME SETTLEMENTS: A COMPREHENSIVE LIST

New Shoreham

You know I love lists – I once made a list of the smallest start parks (and start park units) of every state and territory in the U.S. Well, I recently decided to undertake another project…

This time it’s towns. Actually, I don’t really care if it’s a town, city, village, unincorporated settlement, census-designated place or what not. As long as it’s populated and goes by its own name, then it was up for being on this list. So what is this list, you ask? Well, it’s a compilation of the northernmost, southernmost, easternmost and westernmost settlements in all 50 states and the territories (heck, I even included neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. for good measure).

A lot of people obsess over the extreme points of the U.S. or each individual state, but oftentimes those points are just a random little patch of soil or a rocky outcrop, sometimes far removed from civilization. This lists brings a sense of culture to this process. These are the outliers. These are towns that often are the exceptions that prove the rules within the rest of the state. Visit these places and you won’t necessarily find them to be representative of the state you find yourself in. Heck, you might even get a bit lost, as some of these are well off the beaten track (like New Shoreham in the picture above, the southernmost settlement in Rhode Island is a hour-long ferry ride away from the mainland).

In putting together this list, I spent a lot of time starting at zoomed-in views of Google Maps and The USGS National Map. I even attempted to find the “directional-most” towns along straight-edge (or mostly straight-edge) borders, which proved to be mostly a pain. I’d be honest in saying a few of these are best guesses and a few of these are “ties”. When I couldn’t decide on one, I listed multiple. It’s possible I’m missing some of the smallest of populated places that might be more “directional-most” than the place listed. This is an organic list (as all healthy things are these days) and I welcome input and corrections. That said, I felt I put in a very solid initial effort in setting this up and am pleased with the outcome. As far as I know, this is the first time anything like this has been compiled in one neat list.

Have you visited any of the places in this list? I actually recognized a handful while going through and will likely add this list to my “Places I’ve Been” checklist in the coming days. Enjoy!

  • AlabamaNorthernmost: Ardmore. Southernmost: Gulf Shores. Easternmost: Phenix City. Westernmost: Yellow Pine.
  • Alaska Northernmost: Barrow. Southernmost: Adak. Easternmost: Hyder. Westernmost: Shemya (note: by direction traveled)
  • ArizonaNorthernmost: Colorado City. Southernmost: Nogales, Naco and Douglas (maybe Hereford, too) Easternmost: Window Rock, Lupton (note: Rodeo, NM spills over into Arizona but is not registered as an official populated place) Westernmost: San Luis (note: Gadsen could maybe be considered as well)
  • ArkansasNorthernmost: Blue Eye. Southernmost: Junction City. Easternmost: Blytheville. Westernmost: Maysville.
  • CaliforniaNorthernmost: New Pine Creek. Southernmost: San Diego (San Ysidro District). Easternmost: Parker Dam. Westernmost: Ferndale.
  • ColoradoNorthernmost: Julesburg. Southernmost: Arboles. Easternmost: Holly (note: also least elevated town in Colorado). Westernmost: Dinosaur.
  • ConnecticutNorthernmost: Quinebaug. Southernmost: Greenwich (Byram Neighborhood). Easternmost: Oneco (note: part of Sterling) Westernmost: Greenwich (Pemberwick Neighborhood)
  • DelawareNorthernmost: Granogue, Brandywine, Barkley. Southernmost: Fenwick Island. Easternmost: Fenwick Island. Westernmost: Newark.
  • FloridaNorthernmost: Esto. Southernmost: Key West. Easternmost: Palm Beach Shores. Westernmost: Walnut Hill.
  • GeorgiaNorthernmost: McCaysville. Southernmost: St. George. Easternmost: Tybee Island. Westernmost: Rising Fawn.
  • Hawai’iNorthernmost: Princeville. Southernmost: Naalehu. Easternmost: Pahoa. Westernmost: Pu’uwai.
  • IdahoNorthernmost: Eastport and Porthill. Southernmost: Franklin. Easternmost: Freedom. Westernmost: Eaton.
  • IllinoisNorthernmost: Apple River (note: South Beloit and Russell could be considered as well) Southernmost: Cairo. Easternmost: Allison Township. Westernmost: Warsaw.
  • IndianaNorthernmost: Hesston. Southernmost: Tobinsport. Easternmost: Patriot (note: kind of a cheat here, but the outskirts of town stretch out a tad farther than places along the northeastern straight-line border). Westernmost: New Harmony (note: a populated place named Welborn Switch could be considered).
  • IowaNorthernmost: New Albin and Chester. Southernmost: Keokuk. Easternmost: Sabula. Westernmost: Westfield.
  • KansasNorthernmost: Summerfield. Southernmost: Elkhart, Waldron and Elgin (note: Elgin may have the southernmost town center of these three. The abandoned town of Treece still has a population of two and would qualify ahead of Elgin). Easternmost: Mulberry or East Galena (note: parts of Kansas City can be considered, but the two aforementioned towns have town centers that are more qualified here). Westernmost: Kanorado.
  • KentuckyNorthernmost: Dayton. Southernmost: Dukedom and Fulton. Easternmost: Woodman. Westernmost: Tyler (note: Kentucky Bend could be considered).
  • LouisianaNorthernmost: Junction City (note: Springhill could also be considered). Southernmost: Cheniere Caminada (note: Port Fourchon is further south but doesn’t appear to have a permanent population). Easternmost: Pilottown. Westernmost: Bethany.
  • MaineNorthernmost: Estcourt Station. Southernmost: Kittery (Kittery Point CDP) (note: Appledore Island is an uninhabited but staffed island much further south, but belongs to Kittery). Easternmost: Lubec. Westernmost: Wilson’s Mills (a village in Lincoln Plantation).
  • MarylandNorthernmost: Lineboro or Cardiff (note: other options exist too) Southernmost: Crisfield. Easternmost: Ocean City. Westernmost: Red House (note: or possibly Kempton).
  • MassachusettsNorthernmost: Amesbury. Southernmost: Surfside-Nantucket. Easternmost: Siasconset-Nantucket (note: Nauset Heights may be considered as well). Westernmost: (Town of) Mount Washington.
  • MichiganNorthernmost: Copper Harbor (note: Mackinaw City could be counted as the northernmost outside of the Upper Peninsula and islands). Southernmost: Morenci. Easternmost: Port Huron. Westernmost: Ironwood (note: Pentwater could be counted as westernmost outside of the Upper Peninsula).
  • MinnesotaNorthernmost: Penasse. Southernmost: Elmore, Emmons and Lyle. Easternmost: Grand Portage. Westernmost: St. Vincent.
  • MississippiNorthernmost: Southhaven. Southernmost: Lakeshore or Pearlington. Easternmost: Eastport. Westernmost: Sibley or Natchez (and surrounding communities).
  • MissouriNorthernmost: South Lineville. Southernmost: Cooter. Easternmost: Deventer or Wolf Island. Westernmost: Watson.
  • MontanaNorthernmost: Del Bonita and Sweet Grass. Southernmost: Lima. Easternmost: Fairview (note: Westby could possibly be considered too). Westernmost: Heron.
  • NebraskaNorthernmost: Pine Ridge (note: also known as Whiteclay). Southernmost: Hardy or Byron. Easternmost: Rulo. Westernmost: Henry.
  • NevadaNorthernmost: Denio. Southernmost: Laughlin. Easternmost: West Wendover. Westernmost: Verdi or Border Town.
  • New HampshireNorthernmost: Pittsburg. Southernmost: Pelham. Easternmost: New Castle. (Note: Star Island could be considered if it has permanent population). Westernmost: Hinsdale.
  • New JerseyNorthernmost: Montague Township. Southernmost: Cape May Point. Easternmost: Alpine. Westernmost: Pennsville (note: Elsinboro may be able to be considered as well).
  • New MexicoNorthernmost: Costilla. Southernmost: Antelope Wells (note: This community only houses border agents. Columbus would be considered then if you dismiss Antelope Wells). Easternmost: Glenrio (note: The “tie” goes to Glenrio as it is split by the N.M./Texas border whereas Texico sits next to the Texas border). Westernmost: Rodeo.
  • New YorkNorthernmost: Rouses Point. Southernmost: Staten Island-New York City (Tottenville Neighborhood) Easternmost: Montauk. Westernmost: Findley Lake.
  • North CarolinaNorthernmost: Grassy Creek. Southernmost: Bald Head Island. Easternmost: Rodanthe. Westernmost: Wolf Creek.
  • North DakotaNorthernmost: Portal and Maida. Southernmost: Forbes. Easternmost: Wahpeton (note: Fairmount looks like a very close second). Westernmost: East Fairview.
  • OhioNorthernmost: Conneaut. Southernmost: Burlington. Easternmost: West Hill. Westernmost: College Corner.
  • OklahomaNorthernmost: South Coffeyville (note: Manchester appears to be a close second). Southernmost: Haworth. Easternmost: Arkoma. Westernmost: Kenton.
  • OregonNorthernmost: Astoria (note: Warrenton appears to be a close second). Southernmost: New Pine Creek or McDermitt. Easternmost: Ontario. Westernmost: Port Orford.
  • PennsylvaniaNorthernmost: North East. Southernmost: Blackrock or Pen Mar (possibly a place named Sylmar just east of Blackrock could apply too). Easternmost: Matamoras. Westernmost: Farrell (note: This one is difficult, taking suggestions here).
  • Rhode IslandNorthernmost: Woonsocket (note: possibly a neighborhood in Woonsocket called “Social” could apply, or a place called “Grants Mills” further east). Southernmost: New Shoreham. Easternmost: Adamsville. Westernmost: Watch Hill.
  • South CarolinaNorthernmost: Lake Lanier. Southernmost: Dafuskie Landing. Easternmost: Little River. Westernmost: Long Creek (or Battlecreek, note: most people probably consider Westminster as the westernmost).
  • South DakotaNorthernmost: Lemmon or Morristown. Southernmost: Dakota Dunes. Easternmost: Hudson. Westernmost: Camp Crook.
  • TennesseeNorthernmost: Tobaccoport (note: part of Bumpus Mills). Southernmost: Copperhill. Easternmost: Trade.  Westernmost: Memphis (note: specifically Westwood neighborhood).
  • TexasNorthernmost: Texhoma. Southernmost: Brownsville or South Point (note: South Point originates further south than Brownsville, but Brownsville territory extends further south than South Point). Easternmost: Toledo (note: note sure if Toledo is populated. Nearby South Toledo Bend would be considered for this spot then). Westernmost: El Paso (note: specifically the West Valley area).
  • UtahNorthernmost: Portage. Southernmost: Hildale. Easternmost: Ucolo. Westernmost: Wendover.
  • VermontNorthernmost: Derby Line. Southernmost: Vernon (specifically South Vernon area). Easternmost: Beecher Falls.  Westernmost: Chimney Point.
  • VirginiaNorthernmost: Reynolds Store. Southernmost: Danville (note: many qualifiers, but the southernmost point of the, in theory, slightly curved southern border is part of the Danville area). Easternmost: Chincoteague Island. Westernmost: Gibson Station.
  • WashingtonNorthernmost: Point Roberts (specifically Maple Beach neighborhood), Blaine and Sumas (the small boundary communities of Frontier and Laurier could maybe be considered as well). Southernmost: Washougal (specifically an area called Parkersville. Could also consider an area called Mount Pleasant even further southeast). Easternmost: Asotin. Westernmost: La Push.
  • West VirginiaNorthernmost: Newell. Southernmost: Faraday. Easternmost: Harpers Ferry. Westernmost: Prichard or Fort Gay.
  • WisconsinNorthernmost: Sand Bay. Southernmost: Pleasant Prairie (specifically the Carol Beach neighborhood, which contains the southernmost point of Wisconsin). Easternmost: Detroit Harbor (also known as Town of Washington or Washington Island). Westernmost: Benson.
  • WyomingNorthernmost: Frannie. Southernmost: Washam. Easternmost: Pine Bluffs. Westernmost: Freedom.
  • District of ColumbiaNorthernmost: North Portal Estates Neighborhood. Southernmost: Bellevue. Easternmost: Northeast Boundary Neighborhood.  Westernmost: The Palisades Neighborhood.
  • Puerto RicoNorthernmost: Isabella. Southernmost: Playita (south of Salinas) Easternmost: Culebra. Westernmost: Rincon.
  • U.S. Virgin IslandsNorthernmost: Peterborg. Southernmost: Whites Bay. Easternmost: Knight. Westernmost: John Oley.
  • GuamNorthernmost: Dededo (note: specifically the Potts Junction area). Southernmost: Merizo. Easternmost: Yigo (note: specifically Lupog  area). Westernmost: Naval Station (note: if you disqualify military bases, then Agat would be next in line).
  • Northern Mariana IslandsNorthernmost: San Roque. Southernmost: San Jose. Easternmost: Kagman II. Westernmost: San Jose.
  • American SamoaNorthernmost: Alaufau or Ofu. Southernmost: Swains Island (note: if not considering this disputed territory, then Taputimu is the southernmost). Easternmost: Fitiuta. Westernmost: Poloa or Amanave.

28 thoughts on “EXTREME SETTLEMENTS: A COMPREHENSIVE LIST

  1. Without looking at maps to consider small towns with names I don’t recall, I can recognize having been in 19 of these places. That was an interesting diversion!

    My contention in Western Oregon would be in favor of Warrenton. I lived in Astoria for a little while in my 20s, and generally drove through Warrenton en route to my favorite beach near where the Columbia meets the Pacific (in Fort Stevens State Park). I would guess Seaside and Cannon Beach would be farther west of Astoria, too as Astoria is on the river and not the beach. Astoria has its own merits, though – it is a town with dramatic views, best known for being the setting of GOONIES, KINDERGARTEN COP and SHORT CIRCUIT. And there’s a National Historic Park nearby you would love – Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark hung out hoping for a ship to come pick them up before they decided they had to go back home the way they came.

    • Great stuff RED – love the pics of Hyder. That strange little town is also the focus of the iron butts – long distance motorcycling aficionados that try to tag all 49 continental states in one haul as quickly as possible. Alaska is one of my “final five” but if I do drive up, I may swing through Hyder first just to grab this curiosity…

  2. Very interesting! The “outside the upper peninsula” qualifiers for Michigan have me a little puzzled. Those ARE the northern- and western-most settlements in Michigan. If you’re compelled to separate them by peninsula, could you give us the southern and easternmost settlements for the U.P. too? Thanks for taking the time to list these out!!

    • Yeah I just put those in just for fun really. Obviously, all of it is part of one Michigan. “Mainland” Michigan owns the southernmost and easternmost establishments for all of Michigan so I didn’t feel compelled to do the U.P. qualifiers for that, but now that you mention it, I’ll give it a look!

    • I had to look up South Point and was wondering if Brownsville might not be the most southern instead. It’s city limits goes further south to the Rio Grande further south than the South Point neighborhood.

      • Great suggestion pyongyanjim, and thanks for the correction on Texhoma. Brownsville territory does extend further south than South Point, you’re correct. I don’t know if you can really develop “rules” for this process without having asterisks all over the place anyway, and here’s a perfect example. South Point certainly originates (or its center is located) further south than Brownsville. To put it another way, there are people in Brownsville who live much further north than all people in South Point. I’ve added Brownsville and it’s probably worth listing both on this one for now. I did’t think I could honestly do this for 50 states and come up with a strict 200 places.

  3. For a guy who apparently lives/grew up near DC, it’s kind of harsh for you to completely ignore the entire city east of the Anacostia, isn’t it?

    • Touche! That’s an embarrassing but correct catch and I’ll chalk it up to weary eyes and looking at too many maps as DC was the last one I did. I initially remember looking at Bellevue and then who knows how I ended up at Buzzard Point. LAME! Thank you sir.

  4. I used to live in Fairport, CA. Just a grouping of houses, really, but a nice quick walk into Oregon. Back in the early 1900s, it was a bustling stop on the railroad, and had a dance hall on a dock extending into Goose Lake. That burnt down, but the apple orchards once planted there are still fecund.

    That said, New Pine Creek is actually a CA town, not an Oregon one. It straddles the border, and would be north of Tulelake as a result.

    • Great stuff AB, nice to hear from a former “outlier” himself and a little backstory on Fairport. You are correct on New Pine Creek, CA and I’ve listed it as California’s northernmost settlement. It still applies as Oregon’s southernmost, that’s because New Pine Creek is classified as an unincorporated community in Oregon. Apparently the few residents who spill over the border carried the New Pine Creek name with them.

  5. Maine’s border with New Hampshire leans a little to the west, so I think its westernmost populated place would be farther north—probably Wilsons Mills in Lincoln Plantation.

    • Wilson’s Mills – now there’s picking a needle out of the haystack. A village within a plantation – that’s a new one. Looks to be slightly more west than Fryeburg.

  6. Pingback: Geography Lesson: The Extreme Settlements in Each U.S. State « Bowdoin Daily Sun

  7. Pingback: Smart Growth News – May 6, 2013 | Smart Growth America

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