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Jamestown, North Dakota To Fargo/Moorhead


Courtyard By Marriott

Moorhead, Minnesota

August 11, 2021


Today's highlights:


With low expectations, I went to the Jamestown library and asked the librarian for help finding out why a township in Stutsman County is named Paris. After explaining townships and how Stutsman County is divided into many I could see she was starting to understand. She typed some keystrokes and printed out a document that a woman had prepared in 1982 explaining the history of many town and township names in the county. NO WAY! And there was Paris. Named by a Frenchman who lived in that area. He wanted a town named Paris but dropped that pursuit in 1908.


My first time in Minnesota


North Dakota State Route 46 that I drove today is the apparent longest straight road in the United States. I discovered that while driving it. The road was so straight that I stopped to Google what is the longest straight road. And Bingo:


North Dakota claims its Highway 46 is the longest straight road in the US and Canada. Slight bends aside, the motorway boasts a 31-mile dead straight stretch from Gackle to Beaver Greek.


I thought I had found a cool town name -- Cornstock in Minnesota. Before I got there I realized the name is Comstock. Need glasses, miuch?


Kathryn was a neat little town I found by accident.


Wild Rice is the winner today for a place name; it is named for the river it is located by.


Fargo is a growing city. Coming in from the south I saw a number of subdivisions with houses too big for their lots. Northern Virginia. Downtown Fargo was really cool; a several block stretch of Broadway of upscale businesses in older buildings.


Moorhead is the home of Cornucopia College. They are the Cobbers.


Today's slideshow with a slow jam by the Intruders:





More on Fargo from Wikipedia.


Fargo is a city in and the county seat of Cass County, North Dakota, United States. Being the most populous city in the state, it accounts for nearly 17% of the state population.[4] According to the 2020 United States Census estimates, its population was 125,209, making it the 222nd-most populous city in the United States.[5] Fargo, along with its twin city of Moorhead, Minnesota, and the adjacent cities of West Fargo, North Dakota; and Dilworth, Minnesota; form the core of the Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area. The MSA had a population of 248,591 in 2020.


Fargo was founded in 1871 on the Red River of the North floodplain.[6] It is a cultural, retail, health care, educational, and industrial center for southeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. North Dakota State University is located in the city.



History


Early history


Historically part of Sioux (Dakota) territory, the area that is present-day Fargo was an early stopping point for steamboats traversing the Red River during the 1870s and 1880s. The city was originally named "Centralia," but was later renamed "Fargo" after Northern Pacific Railway director and Wells Fargo Express Company founder William Fargo (1818–1881). The area started to flourish after the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad and the city became known as the "Gateway to the West."


During the 1880s, Fargo became the "divorce capital" of the Midwest because of lenient divorce laws.[7]


A major fire struck the city on June 7, 1893, destroying 31 blocks of downtown Fargo, but the city was immediately rebuilt with new buildings made of brick, new streets, and a water system. More than 246 new buildings were built within one year. There were several rumors concerning the cause of the fire.[8]


The North Dakota Agricultural College was founded in 1890 as North Dakota's land-grant university, becoming first accredited by the North Central Association in 1915. In 1960, NDAC became known as North Dakota State University.

20th century


Early in the century, the automobile industry flourished, and in 1905, Fargo became home to the Pence Automobile Company.[9]


On Labor Day in 1910, Theodore Roosevelt visited Fargo to lay the cornerstone of the college's new library.[10] To a crowd of 30,000, Roosevelt spoke about his first visit to Fargo 27 years earlier, and credited his experience homesteading in North Dakota for his eventual rise to the presidency.


Fargo-Moorhead boomed after World War II, and the city grew rapidly despite a violent F5 tornado in 1957 that destroyed a large part of the north end of the city. Ted Fujita, famous for his Fujita tornado scale, analyzed pictures of the Fargo tornado, helping him develop his ideas for "wall cloud" and "tail cloud." These were the first major scientific descriptive terms associated with tornadoes.[11] The construction of two interstates (I-29 and I-94) revolutionized travel in the region and pushed growth of Fargo to the south and west of the city limits. In 1972, the West Acres Shopping Center, the largest shopping mall in North Dakota, was constructed near the intersection of the two Interstates. This mall became a catalyst for retail growth in the area.

Recent history


Fargo has continued to expand rapidly but steadily. Since the mid-1980s, the bulk of new residential growth has occurred in the south and southwest areas of the city due to geographic constraints on the north side. The city's major retail districts on the southwest side have likewise seen rapid development.


Downtown Fargo has been gentrified due in part to investments by the city and private developers in the Renaissance Zone. Most older neighborhoods, such as Horace Mann, have either avoided decline or been revitalized through housing rehabilitation promoted by planning agencies to strengthen the city's core.


NDSU has grown rapidly into a major research university and forms a major component of the city's identity and economy. Most students live off-campus in the surrounding Roosevelt neighborhood. The university has established a presence downtown through both academic buildings and apartment housing. In addition, NDSU Bison Football has become a major sport following among many area residents.


Since the late 1990s, the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Statistical Area has consistently had one of the lowest unemployment rates among MSAs in the United States. Coupled with Fargo's low crime rate and the decent supply of affordable housing in the community, this has prompted Money magazine to rank the city near the top of its annual list of America's most livable cities throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.


Recently Fargo has been ranked by ZipRecruiter as the "#1 Hottest Job Market". Zippia ranked Fargo as the "#1 city to start a career." Today ranked Fargo as the "#3 best place to raise kids."


Geography


Fargo is a core city of the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area, which also includes Moorhead, West Fargo, and Dilworth and outlying communities.

Fargo sits on the western bank of the Red River of the North in a flat geographic region known as the Red River Valley. The Red River Valley resulted from the withdrawal of glacial Lake Agassiz, which drained away about 9,300 years ago. The lake sediments deposited from Lake Agassiz made the land around Fargo some of the richest in the world for agricultural uses.

Seasonal floods due to the rising water of the Red River, which flows from the United States into Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, have presented challenges. The Red flows northward, which means melting snow and river ice, as well as runoff from its tributaries, often create ice dams causing the river to overflow. Fargo's surrounding Red River Valley terrain is essentially flat, leading to overland flooding. Since the potentially devastating 2009 Red River flood, both Fargo and Moorhead have taken great strides in flood protection; only a near-record flood would cause concern today. Work on the FM Diversion has begun and upon completion, it will permanently floodproof the metro for 500-year floods.


Its location makes the city vulnerable to flooding during seasons with above-average precipitation. The Red River's minor flood stage in Fargo begins at a level of 18 feet, with major flooding categorized at 30 feet and above. Many major downtown roadways and access to Moorhead are closed off at this level. Record snowfalls late in 1996 led to flooding in 1997, causing the Red to rise to a record crest of 39.5 feet, nearly overtaking city defenses. In 2008–2009, significant fall precipitation coupled with rapid snowmelt in March 2009 caused the Red to rise to a new record level of 40.84 feet, but again Fargo remained safe, in large part due to flood mitigation efforts instituted after the 1997 event and sandbagging efforts by the city residents. Further upgrades were made to city infrastructure and additional resources brought to bear following the 2009 flood, which caused no issues for the city in 2010 despite another rapid melt that caused the Red to rise to 37 feet (which ranks among the top-ten highest levels ever recorded). The estimated $1.5 billion FM diversion project is under construction and will channel the Red's water away from the city. As of 2012, Fargo has bought 700 houses in flood-prone areas.[12]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 48.82 square miles (126.44 km2), all land.[13]

Climate


Because of its location in the Great Plains and its distance from both mountains and oceans, Fargo has an extreme humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa/Dfb), featuring long, bitterly cold winters and warm to hot, humid summers. It lies in USDA Plant hardiness zone 4a.[14] The city features winters among the coldest in the contiguous United States; the coldest month of January has a normal mean temperature of 9.3 °F (−12.6 °C). There is an annual average of 43 days with a minimum of 0 °F (−18 °C) or lower.[15] Snowfall averages 50.1 inches (127 cm) per season.[15] Spring and autumn are short and highly variable seasons. Summers have frequent thunderstorms, and the warmest month, July, has a normal mean temperature of 71.0 °F (21.7 °C); highs reach 90 °F (32 °C) on an average of 12.7 days each year.[15] Annual precipitation of 22.6 inches (574 mm) is concentrated in the warmer months. Record temperatures have ranged from −48 °F (−44 °C) on January 8, 1887, to 114 °F (46 °C) on July 6, 1936; the record coldest daily maximum is −29 °F (−34 °C) on January 22, 1936, while, conversely, the record warmest daily minimum was 82 °F (28 °C), set four days after the all-time record high.[16] On average, the first and last dates to see a minimum at or below the freezing mark are September 30 and May 8, respectively, allowing a growing season of 144 days.


In 2011, Fargo won The Weather Channel's "America's Toughest Weather City" poll. After almost 850,000 votes, blizzards, cold, and floods secured the title for the city.[17]


Demographics





2010 census


As of the census[22] of 2010, there were 105,549 people living in the city. The population density was 2,162.0 inhabitants per square mile (834.8/km2). There were 49,956 housing units at an average density of 1,023.3 per square mile (395.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.2% White; 2.7% African American; 3.0% Asian; 1.4% Native American; 0.6% from other races; and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.2% of the population.

There were 46,791 households, of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.8% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 50.7% were non-families. 36.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.87.


The median age in the city was 30.2 years. 19.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 19.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29% were from 25 to 44; 21.7% were from 45 to 64, and 10.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.4% male and 49.6% female.


The median household income was $44,304, and the median income for a family was $69,401, with the mean family income being $89,110. The per capita income for Fargo was $29,187. About 16.0% of the population and 7.7% of families were below the poverty line.[23]


Economy


The economy of the Fargo area has historically been dependent on agriculture. That dominance has decreased substantially in recent decades. Today the city of Fargo has a growing economy based on food processing, manufacturing, technology, retail trade, higher education, and healthcare. In a study published by Forbes, Fargo was ranked the best small city in the nation to start a business or a career.[24]




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