Magazine Calls My Mom’s Hometown ‘Worst City in Minnesota’
MoneyWise magazine has named my mom's hometown as Minnesota's worst city to live in.
I spent many holidays in this northern Minnesota town at my grandparent's house for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving -- you name it. I LOVED spending time there with grandma & grandpa.
When I was a little guy they lived next door to the police chief, so I would get rides in police cars and get tours of the station. My grandmother was an elementary school teacher, and my grandfather worked as an electrician.
The history of the town is so deeply intertwined with the lumber industry that it’s come to be known as “Wood City” — even after its affinity for dry tinder fueled a fire that destroyed much of the area in 1918. For more than a century, the paper mill, matchstick plant and ceiling tile factory provided hundreds of jobs to Minnesotans, but that way of life seems to be on its way out. The matchstick plant closed in 2017.
Other than family life, my biggest memory of this northeastern Minnesota community was how bad it smelled most of the time. It's better these days with new technology -- but the stink was nasty from the wood pulp and paper industry. Think sulfur, poop, and rotten eggs.
Looking for some tasty eats? Gordie's Hi-Hat in this town has been featured on the Food Network's 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' multiple times. (Try the onion rings, chili, fish sandwich, and burgers.) They have just recently reopened after being closed for the winter.
The worst city to live in Minnesota according to MoneyWise Magazine for 2021 is Cloquet.