A few weeks ago I drove to South St. Paul for an industry gathering, and had an opportunity to go through cities I had no idea exist.
Sunfish Lake: population 504
Lilydale: population 618
Mendota: population 210
How do these little tiny cities exist in a metropolitan area? How is it that they have not been gobbled up by a larger neighboring city? I can only assume that there is not a Sunfish Lake High School, but is there a Sunfish Lake mayor?
Later on I had to go to yet another city in the Twin Cities area for business. The difference between these two neighboring cities, just across a highway from each other, was striking.
Here's the sign on the south side of the highway:
To protect the identity of the citizens of the other city, I shall simply say that there was no "welcome to" in front of the city name, followed by this disclaimer:
All roads and land are private.
From "Welcome!" to "No trespassing."
And what makes a city "private?" Do the citizens actually own the town? Reminds me of the towns in Wisconsin that are so small they don't even give the population, they just say "unincorporated."
On the subject of city pride, a group of us were recently comparing notes on our small town festivals. We all had them, a local gathering to bring in visitors, drum up some business and have a party. My hometown had "Falls Fest" (consider the city name, Sheboygan Falls); my husband's hometown hosts Boxcar Days, thanks to an active railroad line that came through to pick up harvested grain.
Other names: Daze and Knights (St. Michael, MN), Corn Chaff Days (Hector, MN), Buttered Corn Days (Sleepy Eye, MN).
The tilt-a-whirl, the scrambler and the zipper seemed to make the rounds to all of our small towns. There was always a food tent, carnival games and don't forget the beer garden. Such fun memories.