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Preston, East Riding of Yorkshire UK

Preston, Ontario Canada

Preston, Nova Scotia Canada

Preston, Nova Scotia Canada

Who are you and what do you do?
'My name is Tara Taylor. I am a full time playwright, festival director, visual artist and creative entrepreneur.'

Why do you choose to live in Preston?
'I grew up here in Preston. I have moved quite a bit. I have always had nightmares and dream about our land and when I moved back, the nightmares stopped. I realised that being on the land connects me to my ancestors and living family and it is where I feel grounded.'

What's your favourite place in Preston and why?
'My favourite place is at the river where, back in the day, church folk would get baptised in the river. Several years back, there was a family reunion and residents were baptised there again to commemorate the past. I have family members that were baptised there in the 50s, 60s and 70s. I was baptised in the community church across the street from it. My grandmother, great uncle and other family members are buried there.'

What is Preston proud of?
'I believe we are most proud of the way our community sticks together in times of crisis. Residents take pride in the way they take care of their land. Next door, my cousin and her partner have a miniature farm. Its lovely. We are also not on the city water and still have drilled wells, so most of the residents are proud we have maintained clean drinking water. Residents are also quite proud of our local basketball team, The East Preston Pacers!'

Tell us something about Preston that people won't know?
'We are made up of three black indigenous communities: East Preston, North Preston and Cherrybrook. It is the largest indigenous community in all of Canada.'

Preston, Trempealeau County, Wisconcin USA

Preston, Grant County, Wisconsin USA

Preston, Adams County, Wisconsin USA

Preston, Adams County, Wisconsin USA

Who are you and what do you do?
'I am a retired middle school music teacher. I was born in Chicago, Illinois. My husband and I ended up in Friendship, Wisconsin in 1982 because of teaching positions. We built a home in Preston Township shortly after and have been there since. We live on a trout stream. I love to downhill ski in the winter, kayak in the summer and enjoy birdwatching all year round. I substitute teach, volunteer my piano playing at a local church and am involved with Preston's town government.'

Why do you choose to live in Preston?
'We chose to live in Preston because we built a house on a trout stream. Its a beautiful piece of property, very close to the main town. It was a wonderful place to raise our two sons and it is so comfortable to have this place now that we are retired.'

What's your favourite place in Preston and why?
'My favourite place in Preston is my backyard, down by the trout stream. I see owls, deer, muskrats, a variety of ducks and we have a pair of sandhill cranes that have returned for years to a nesting area nearby. The night sky is spectacular any time of the year as well. My eldest son cleared a small spot for me when he was a teenager so I can sit and savour all the natural beauty.'

What is Preston proud of?
'I have been researching and asking people that have lived here what Preston is proud of and everyone just says "it's a quiet place to live and it has a State Park located in it". Many tourists come to camp, hike and cross-country ski. It's main attraction is a 303 step climb to the top of the mound. It affords a beautiful scenic landscape of the surrounding areas. It is called Roche A-Cri State Park.

Tell us something about Preston that people won't know?
'So I did a lot of research on a weird or interesting fact about Preston and I couldn't really find one! Other than there is no knowledge of how or when it was named Preston. There are land maps that go back to the early 1800s. On those maps Preston is clearly marked. There are two ghost towns in Preston, but again not much information on their settlements. Preston is six miles by six miles and is mainly agricultural with some residential community. It has a few restaurants, bars and motels to offer tourists.'

Preston, West Virginia USA

Preston, West Virginia USA

Who are you and what do you do?
'My name is Joseph Hauger, and I am the editor of the Preston County News & Journal, which serves as the main source of news in Preston County, West Virginia.'

Why do you choose to live in Preston?
'There isn't much to the actual Preston within Preston County. When coal was a predominant industry here in the 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a multitude of 'camp towns' throughout the county for the miners. Of the five dozen or so unincorporated communities that have existed in Preston County, only about a few are currently recognised and have any sort of population.

Preston itself is not one of them, and the only evidence of its existence is being erased with the demolition of three or four abandoned, deteriorated buildings that once were company housing. There may be one or two people who live in what was once Preston, but I'm not sure whether they would identify themselves as residents of such. Their mailing addresses and school districts would place them in either Kingwood or Rowlesburg, depending upon the exact location. If anything, they would be likely to call the area in which they reside Fourth, probably derivative of Fourth Camp.

In terms of Preston County, it recently celebrated its bicentennial, having been formed from Monongalia County in 1818. The main reason for it becoming its own county was the rough terrain, including the Cheat River valley, that deterred travel to the county seat for many people in the eastern region. It limited the ability to vote and pay taxes on time.

The county was named for James Patton Preston, the governor of Virginia at the time and is the only county named Preston in the entire United States. Settlers began populating Preston County in 1766, but growth really started when the National Road was built to the north in Pennsylvania. When the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad arrived in the 1850s, development took off to exploit the natural resources, chiefly coal and timber. Agriculture also has been an integral part of the county's economy since its inception.'

What's your favourite place in Preston and why?
'As far as natural landmarks go, the favourite would have to be Coopers Rock State Park, which provides a tremendous view of the Cheat River and its deep valley. At the scenic overlook, it's easy to see why early people would have had problems traversing that area (see my photo for reference).'

What is Preston proud of?
'People from Preston County are particularly proud of their hunting heritage. Each year, the county is at the top of the list in the state for harvesting of deer, bear, turkey and small game. While not a point of pride, the residents of Terra Alta in eastern Preston County endure an average of 175 inches (444 cm) of snow annually.'

Tell us something about Preston that people won't know?
'Preston County was the home of Mahlon Loomis, a dentist who experimented in long-distance wireless telegraph technology. Although his theories on upper atmospheric layers being conductive were disproven, it's possible that his equipment was the first to produce and receive radio signals in the 1860s and 1870s.'

Preston, Washington USA

Preston, Virginia USA

Preston, Virginia USA

Who are you and what do you do?
'I'm an old man who now drives a school bus for Henry County. This is one of those places in Virginia where the governments of the city and county are separate entities. I don't want to drive a bus for the city of Martinsville. I'd get into some tight spaces in a big vehicle!

In terms of my hobbies and interests, I am a Jehovah's Witness, so I devote what time I can to working with my congregation and reading the Bible or things to do with biblical history. Other than that, I'm working a little on what I'd call decorative artwork, not art; that ship sailed long ago as far as I'm concerned. I also like history and well, there's not much I don't take an interest in when it presents itself.'

Why do you choose to live in Preston?
'Firstly, I don't live in Preston but I do live on Preston Road just outside. The reason is that a man who rented the house from my first cousin got caught stealing things, expensive things like four-wheel vehicles, about 12 years ago. They got booted out and my cousin asked me to move in, so here I am!'

What's your favourite place in Preston and why?
'Let me brag about the smallness of Preston VA for a moment. We (or those who do live in Preston) don't have a post office, a store, any schools, civic centres, parks, or anything else. We do have a bunch of houses but that's about it. I do know that Preston once had a train station for the Dick and Willie railroad, about which I know nothing at present. There is a Station Road, where the old station stood and a Dick-and-Willie Road that runs off Preston Road across where Station Road joins. As for the old station, I don't know when it was torn down but I think it was not that long ago. The train stop seems to have been the reason there is such a place as Preston VA, but I doubt the engineer would spend the steam to blow the whistle there.'

What is Preston proud of?
'About all I can say is that a county supervisor lives here but I'm not sure she still holds that position and I'm not sure that people are proud of her.'

Tell us something about Preston that people won't know?
'Preston, VA has lately (as far as I know) come into the possession of a very unique character. I came upon this person in June as I recall when I stopped at the small store closest to Preston. A skinny old man engaged me in what he thought was conversation but I couldn't understand what he was saying. He seemed to ask something about my sister but I couldn't make out anything else. I eventually did understand that he wanted something to eat and needed a ride up the road. I agreed to provide both.

The man got in my Jeep with a sandwich and snacks and we hit the road for Preston. He rolled his window down and began calling out "coo-coo, coo-coo." I wondered why but didn't bother to ask. We got to the driveway leading into a scrappy trailer park where the gentleman disembarked.

Days later I was told that the man grew up on the same road I did, eventually went into the armed forces, was married to a woman he loved deeply. One day he caught her with another man. That set him on the course to become the man he now is.

He approached me at a later time at that same store. I gave him a ride again. The store's owner may have put a stop to his hanging around there because I haven't seen him there again. He still walks Preston Road though, his gait and cap broadcasting his identity to all who drive past.'

Preston, Wharton County, Texas USA

Preston, Wharton County, Texas USA

Who are you and what do you do?
'I'm Patricia Blair, current chair of Wharton County Historical Commission, Wharton, Texas. Genealogy and historical research are my hobbies.'

Why do you choose to live in Preston?
'Preston in Wharton County Texas is now a ghost town, but those who live there have family land they still occupy.'

What's your favourite place in Preston and why?
'Well the only place left of Preston is the cemetery, which has been fenced, but neglect has caused much damage to the tombstones sadly. The pretty surrounding farmland nearby is my favorite place.'

What is Preston proud of?
'Preston was Wharton County's first settlement and lasted for about twenty years. It served as a centre of trade for settlers along Caney Creek in the upper part of the Bay Prairie area. Located on the road from Matagorda to Bastrop (the major road inland from the coast), Preston was expected to become the county seat, though it never did. In Wharton County, we are proud of our history and the many different ethnicities that have contributed to it.'

Tell us something about Preston that people won't know?
'A union soldier from the American Civil War is buried in Preston Cemetery. His name is Captain Tilson Columbus Barden and was born in New York State in 1833 and died age 44 in Texas in 1877. He graduated from the University of Rochester in New York State and had a long and illustrious military career, surviving the civil war to subsequently serve in the US army until 03/18/1869.'

Preston, Grayson County, Texas USA

Preston, Grayson County, Texas USA

Who are you and what do you do?
'We are Michael and Stacy Tucker. We own and operate a marina on Lake Texoma, we live full-time in a renovated vintage Airstream, and we enjoy travelling the world.'

Why do you choose to live in Preston?
'Preston chose us! In 2010 Michael ‘stopped by’ to help his dad with his lake business. Shortly thereafter they bought the marina. Michael met Stacy on Tinder and imported her from Denton, TX in 2016.'

What's your favourite place in Preston and why?
'Island View Park. It's a great beach with amazing sunsets.'

What is Preston proud of?
'Preston has a long history and played an important role in America’s Civil War, serving as a town for cattle crossing, and was part of the ‘Chisolm Trail.’ When Lake Texoma was made in 1938, the actual town of Preston had to be relocated to higher ground and the original town is now under thirty feet of water.'

Tell us something about Preston that people won't know?
'There was a very popular brothel in Preston and the lady that ran it, a husband of a general, found out about the coming invasion during the Civil War from one of her ‘clients’ and rode across the Red River at night to warn Ft Washita. She is known as the Paul Revere of the South.'

Preston, South Dakota USA

Preston, South Dakota USA

Who are you and what do you do?
'My name is Emily. I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota in the spring of 2018. I have always loved the area and wanted to live there, and enjoy being closer to the mountains in Montana and Wyoming. I love anything outside! Hiking, camping, outdoor photography, and horseback riding are my main hobbies. I’m a waitress at a busy restaurant in my small town.'

Why do you choose to live in Preston?
'I don’t live in Preston, because nobody has lived there for almost 100 years! I live eight miles east of Preston in the town of Lead, which also has a rich mining history. Preston was founded in 1897 and the gold mines played out by 1915. I love to find abandoned buildings and ghost towns. Preston’s elevation is about 6,000 feet above sea level and is best accessed with all-wheel drive.'

What's your favourite place in Preston and why?
'My favorite place is a tough choice between the old three-story boarding house and the small cemetery. I like to imagine all of the people who stayed at the boarding house while they passed through the area or worked at the mine, and all of the hard conditions they endured. Inevitably some did not make it, and were buried in the nearby cemetery. Between the harsh winters, the dangers of mining, and the pushback from the indigenous people who inhabited the area before gold-seekers came, it’s interesting to think about the risks that were taken in order to strike it rich.'

What is Preston proud of?
'Preston produced almost 50,000 ounces of gold for one of the mining companies in just six short years. This area of several mining towns was called Ragged Top, named after the nearby mountain. All have been abandoned long ago, and most have no remaining buildings or signs of the past.'

Tell us something about Preston that people won't know?
'Local lore says that in the mid-1890s Mr. Preston noticed a chunk of gold in the hoof of his horse, and that’s how the gold exploration began. There was also a town newspaper for a short time, which was called the Ragged Top Shaft.'