Love it or hate it, few have been able to avoid an idea crafted by two Dripping Springs’ natives that’s gone viral from coast-to-coast.
Whether or not the attempt to change Dripping Springs to Pound Town comes to fruition, or is entirely serious, both Daniel McCarthy and Micah Archer enjoy bringing the national stage, and perhaps a discussion, to their small Central Texas town.
“We enjoy the response to it,” McCarthy said. “I guess we were being a little controversial. Anytime you try to change the town name of 160-something years, people are going to have some qualms about it.”
McCarthy said the idea behind the proposed name change has been talked about for the past few years between himself and a few friends. Much of the discussion has taken place around April, which is when Dripping Springs celebrates Founders Day and Dr. Joseph Pound and his family, who founded what is today Dripping Springs.
Naturally, McCarthy and Archer, who are Dripping Springs High alumni, both felt it might be fun to try and rename the town in honor of the city’s founder. They always talked about making T-shirts promoting “Pound Town.”
It wasn’t until several weeks ago the duo began taking those talks more seriously. It eventually led them to create a gofundme page meant to draw awareness of their cause, as well as possibly draw support for getting a name change initiative on a future ballot.
Before you start flooding our phone lines – No, they can’t do that, at least not right now.
Andrea Cunningham, Dripping Springs city secretary, said General Law Type A cities, such as Dripping Springs, can’t hold elections based on citizen request as they’re not specifically allowed by state statutes. Home rule cities such as Kyle or San Marcos have the authority to call a referendum on an issue, but only if the charter allows for it.
General law cities are free to conduct a poll or public hearing to gauge resident preference to an issue, but the results are not binding in any way, Cunningham said.
What the duo didn’t expect was how quickly and strongly people reacted to the Pound Town idea. Initially, Archer said reaction was 70 percent positive, 30 percent negative. Soon, the story gained traction and has now reached as far as local newspapers and television stations, to media outlets in Raleigh, NC and even national news chains.
While both hoped the idea was just for fun and to get people talking, they’ve also come across those who are upset as well.
And then there’s the snickers and giggles surrounding Pound Town and what it could mean in today’s lexicon. No, we’re not telling you what it means. Go ask your friends.
McCarthy said they had every intention of honoring the city’s founder and if people “want to look at it in other ways, that’s their mindset.”
“We hope that people who are getting super angry, because there’s a lot of vitriol, they channel that into something super productive,” Archer said.
Amid some backlash, the duo also hopes to try to fundraise to help Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead, a nonprofit group that helps with upkeep of the Pound House on Ranch Road 12. However, officials with the Pound House said in a social media statement that they have not asked for, or expect to receive, funds raised via the Pound Town campaign.
Officials said they are “uncomfortable with the idea” that the campaign has been presented as a fundraiser for their organization when they believe it might be for private gain. They also asked the duo to provide disclaimers that they are not affiliated with the Pound House.
That hasn’t stopped McCarthy and Archer from collecting more than $2,200 toward their campaign. Roughly $1,500 of that was contributed by Jesse James, owner of West Coast Choppers. The duo hopes to present the funds to the Farmstead at a later date.
Both lauded the efforts of the Farmstead and the work they’ve put into restoring the Pound House. But they also understood the Farmstead’s hesitance to their cause.
All in all, both love Dripping Springs and what it has to offer. Shedding more light on the town and its history is all an added bonus, they said.
“Now a lot of folks know that history and they’re going to be more aware of the roots of Dripping Springs,” McCarthy said.