The One & Only Town of Toast

There is only one town in the world named Toast, and it is in North Carolina. Toast was born in 1929, when the U. S. Post Office decided that two rural routes served by Mount Airy needed their own address and postmaster. The Mount Airy News of May 23, 1929, reported that the new postmaster was I. V. Hutchens, who had a grocery store in the area. He created a room in the store for the post office and installed lock boxes for those who wanted to rent their own P. O. box.

The Department of the Post Office asked Mr. Hutchens to submit a list of possible names for the new town. They rejected four separate lists he sent them, and finally, some unknown bureaucrat in Washington, apparently without explanation, named the post office Toast. The Mount Airy reporter suggested, humorously, that the bureaucrat was inspired by his breakfast. Judging by an internet search, there is no other geographic location with the name Toast, so perhaps he was right.

Cousins Opal and Hubert Oakley in front of Calvary Baptist Church, about 1936.

In 1924 my grandparents bought a house near the Franklin Road in the area that would become Toast. The same year, my mother was born in that house, near Calvary Baptist Church. The family moved to the Sandhills in 1936, leaving a close-knit community that included some of their relatives.

Copyright 2021, Glenda Alexander. All rights reserved.

Sources: “Post Offices by County,” https://webpmt.usps.gov/pmt007.cfm, accessed 12 Sept. 2021.

“Who Named Our New Post Office Toast,” Mt. Airy News, North Carolina, 23 May 1929, p. 1.

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