Ripton (fictional town)

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Ripton is a fictitious town in Massachusetts, United States. A professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst sought to demonstrate and protest the ignorance of the state bureaucracy in Boston of the rural portions of the commonwealth. To do so, he invented the town of Ripton. He then proceeded to apply for various grants and other official assistance, and the town was allotted funds in the state budget.[1] Several checks were issued, and deposited in an escrow account, before the hoax was uncovered. The funds were returned and the matter dropped.

As a protest of the issue today, some signposts in the western portion of Massachusetts still contain "directions" to Ripton. Lawmakers in western Massachusetts continued to humorously reference the incident in proposed state budgets.[2]


  1. ^ Woodward, Meredith (1985), "Ripton, Mass. - A Real Nowhere Town", Boston Globe (Boston, MA, published July 16, 1985) 
  2. ^ Associated Press (1991), "The Humor Rolls on in the State's Budget", Worcester Telegram & Gazette (May 29, 1991) 

External links[edit]

  • Signpost in the center of Shutesbury, Massachusetts showing the distance to "Ripton".