Cranfills Gap, Texas

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Cranfills Gap is a city in Bosque County in Central Texas. The population was 335 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

Cranfills Gap is located at 31°46′25″N 97°49′42″W / 31.77361°N 97.82833°W / 31.77361; -97.82833 (31.773727, -97.828335)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²), all of it land.

History

The area in which Cranfills Gap is located was originally settled by and named for George Eaton Cranfill in 1851.

Norwegian settlers in and around the community, who were mostly Lutheran, built St. Olaf Kirke (kirke is Norwegian for "Church") in a rural area just outside of Cranfills Gap . St. Olaf Kirke, commonly referred to as The Rock Church, is a small Lutheran church located in an unincorporated rural community known as Norse, Texas. Among the pioneers in Norse was Cleng Peerson. The founder of the community of Norse was Ole Canuteson (Ole Knudsen) from the Stavanger region of Norway. In 1917, as the congregation of that church began to grow, a new church was built for the congregation inside the city.[4]

The city slowly grew to its peak population of 600 in 1940. During World War II, Cranfills Gap was the first city to sell more than its quota of war bonds for the Fourth War Loan Drive. While as many as 25 businesses operated within "the gap", as locals commonly refer to it, the population and the business activity slowly dwindled to roughly nine businesses in 1980 and a population of 269 in 1990.

On December 3, 2008, KXXV-TV in nearby Waco reported on its website that Cranfills Gap had been selected for participation in an advertising campaign for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The selection process compared hundreds of rural communities from across the USA seeking "the most unique all American town in all of the 50 states."[5] Cranfills Gap was first contacted by the LVCVA in October 2008 when the town was placed on the list of ten candidate communities. A film crew and LVCVA representative visited the town for a few days and interviewed residents about the town, their impressions of and experience with Las Vegas, and their opinions about the ongoing selection process. In November 2008, Cranfills Gap Chamber of Commerce members were notified that the LVCVA had shortened the list to two finalists including their town. Another LVCVA delegation was dispatched to Cranfills Gap for a closer look at that time. The visitors stayed for about a week and conducted a fresh set of interviews and observed the community at work and play. Although the LVCVA had initially intended to send 150 residents from the winning locality to Sin City, the Cranfills Gap Chamber of Commerce and elected officials struck a feasible compromise with their visitors: if selected, Cranfills Gap would make every effort to provide one hundred adult men and women for the LVCVA's project. During the first week of December 2008, Cranfills Gap and local media were notified by LVCVA that the town had won the nationwide search and 100 of its residents would be sent on a free trip to Las Vegas during the weekend of December 5–7, 2008.[6] Cranfills Gap City Council Member Ron Hubbard told the press that he sincerely hoped Cranfills Gap would reap benefits from the ad campaign beyond just plane tickets and memories. "With that national recognition, maybe people will come visit, see what we're all about," said Hubbard.[7] The national ad campaign began in Winter 2009.

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