Stranger, also known as Upper or North Blue Ridge, is north of State Highway 7 and ten miles east of Marlin in eastern Falls County. The area was settled in the late 1840s. The community was linked to the Blue Ridge settlement to the south, and was known in its early years as Upper or North Blue Ridge. The population of the area grew in the period after the Civil War, and in 1879 the community was granted a post office. The most likely story regarding the origin of the town name Stranger is that a post office representative asked the local blacksmith what to name the community, but that the blacksmith, a recent arrival, declined to suggest a name as he was a stranger to the town. By 1884 Stranger had 200 residents, served by four churches, a school, a steam cotton gin, a corn mill, and a hotel; at that time the community shipped cotton and grain. In 1900 Stranger had a population of 107. It still had five businesses by the 1930s, but by the 1940s it reported only one business and an estimated fifty residents. In the 1940s the community still included three churches and two schools. The schools were consolidated with those of Marlin by the 1960s, when the population of the community was estimated at twenty-seven. The Stranger Union Church was still holding services in the 1980s. The population was still reported at twenty-seven in 2000.
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