Yes, that is the real name of the place: Chicken, Alaska. It may sound funny but I think that it would be worth a short visit – even if it is just to say that you’ve been to a place named Chicken. So how come the town got this name?
I got this from the town’s web site:
In the late 1800’s, early miners traveled far in search of gold. Food was sometimes scarce, but a particular area near the South Fork of the 40-Mile River was abundant in Ptarmigan, now the state bird which bears a resemblance to a chicken (Ah the foreshadowing is thicker than steel.) The miners kept themselves alive with the help of the Ptarmigan (if you consider being eaten as helping.)
In 1902, Chicken was to become incorporated, the second town in Alaska to do so. The name “Ptarmigan” was suggested. Many people liked the name, but felt the quotation marks were too presumptuous. The name was shortened to Ptarmigan.
The only problem was that nobody could agree on the correct spelling. They didn’t want their town name to be the source of ridicule and laughter, so they decided on “Chicken.” (The irony is thicker than the foreshadowing.)
So what is there to do in Chicken? To be honest, I didn’t find much but the rustic ambiance that will greet you once you get there is something else. If you ever find yourself up there, you should wake up early in the morning and head on over to Sue’s, where you can the best cinnamon rolls. That in itself is enough incentive for me!