Califon is a borough in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. The town was to originally have been called California, but the name was shortened to Califon in order to fit on the welcome sign. Alternatively, the name was related to a bright yellow cattle feed sold during the Gold Rush.
Local legend has it that California became a regular stop for weekend excursion trains through the countryside. When riders bought their tickets they were issued a voucher good for an ice cream; the train would stop so tourists could wander around and cash in their ice cream coupons. Anxious to exploit this source of outside revenue, residents petitioned the railroad to let them build a real station, which they did as a community project. Citing the local account again, two sign painters who came to letter the sign rode the train from Dunellen, but the background paint wasn't dry when they arrived. They sat and drank at the hotel, which later burned down. By the time the sign was ready for their artistic touch, the local tale says, "Califon" was as close to California as the inebriated painters could manage. For more information visit wikipedia.
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