A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 14, 2008
Hub of the Plains (Lubbock nickname)

Lubbock has been called the “Hub of the Plains” (or “Hub City of the Plains” or “Hub City") since at least 1909. Oliver Wendell Holmes, in his book The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858), called the Boston (MA) state house the “hub of the solar system.” Boston quickly became known as the “hub of the universe” and the “hub city.” Lubbock, as the main city of the South Plains, borrowed from Boston in calling itself the “Hub of the Plains.”

A Lubbock satiric bumper sticker reads: “Lubbock, Hub of the Plains (the slowest moving part of the wheel).”


Wikipedia: Lubbock, Texas
Lubbock (IPA: /’lʌbək/) is an American city in the state of Texas. Located in the northwestern part of the state, a region known historically as the Llano Estacado, it is the county seat of Lubbock County, and the home of Texas Tech University. According to an estimate by the U.S. Census in 2006, the city population was 212,169, making it the 90th largest city in the United States and the 12th largest in Texas. The Lubbock metropolitan area has a population of 261,411.

Lubbock’s nickname is the “Hub City” which derives from being the economy, education, and health care hub of a multi-county region commonly called the South Plains. The area is the largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the world and is heavily dependent on irrigation water drawn from the Ogallala Aquifer.

Boston (MA) Online
Hub
What Boston is: The Hub of the Universe. First coined by writer Oliver Wendell Holmes, who actually referred to the State House as the hub of the solar system; today, a plaque in the sidewalk in front of Filene’s downtown commemorates the exact center of the universe (although they’ve mostly covered it over now with some sort of storage area). Actually, pretty much the only people who use the word anymore are headline writers looking for a short synonym for “Boston,’’ as in the apocryphal Globe headline: 

Yale Book of Quotations
edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2006
Pg. 364:
Oliver Wendell Holmes
U.S. writer and physician, 1809-1894
Boston State-House is the hub of the solar system.
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table ch. 6 (1858)

12 August 1909, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, pg. 6:
It is no idle boast nor Alexandrian dream to claim Lubbock the hub of the plains. Those who had the foresight to plan for the future got in on the ground floor. There is yet left enough for many more. Opportunities may be found in town and country. Within the next five years the Lubbock farm lands will be yielding up abundantly the various crops so essential to national prosperity and those who still desire a home may come here and secure one that cannot be surpassed within the confines of the state.—Lubbock Avalanche.

The Avalanche is “dead stuck” on its country and fully believes that no other county in Texas can beat the county of Lubbock. But the Avalanche is less assertive than many other papers, who claim that their own county is the “garden spot of Texas.” Stick to Lubbock and you will be in the swim all right.

OCLC WorldCat record
An industrial survey of the city and county of Lubbock, Texas. “The hub of the plains.”
by Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.
Type:  Microform; English
Publisher: [Lubbock, Tex., Avalanche Pub. Co., 1916]

11 September 1916, Dallas (TX) Morning News, pg. 4:
STREET SCENE IN LUBBOCK, TEXAS, “THE HUB OF THE PLAINS.”

11 September 1919, Lubbock (TX) Avalanche, pg. 6, col. 4:
LUBBOCK IS NOW DECLARED
“CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE”
Lubbock, “The Hub of the Plains” the center of the South Plains activity, the center of south plains distribution, all these and many more are readily recognizable facts, regarding the town in which we now live. Enthusiastically do we speak of town as being such, which is at the same time true. But at the opening exercises held Monday morning for Lubbock schools we learned many new things about our town. Rev. Collins, for instance, in speaking of our city enthusiastically proclaimed it “the center of the universe.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Lubbock, Texas : hub of the plains
Type:  Map; English
Publisher: Lubbock, Tex. : Thatcher Print. Co., 1965.
Edition: Rev. Nov. 1965

OCLC WorldCat record
The centennial history of Lubbock : hub city of the Plains
by Paul Howard Carlson; Donald R Abbe
Type:  Book; English
Publisher: Virginia Beach, VA : Donning Co. Publishers, 2008. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, May 14, 2008 • Permalink