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Old 12-30-2013, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Northern panhandle WV
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We bought a house in the "city" of Weirton WV. the population is less than the town I live in in MA. It is an old steel town now the factories are mostly derilict. We have owned the house since 2010 but have not yet moved there, two more years till then.
On the occastions we have been down there to work on the place, we have found most people friendly, though it is a not great neighborhood with many drug dealers etc., But those who are not are friendly.

There is cultural diversity as many of the former steel workers came from all over the world to work there.

I am wondering how such towns or cities compare with more agricultural small towns for any who have lived in both?
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:55 PM
 
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The agriculture small towns I knew differ in your 2nd paragraph.

Many of those small farming towns have ancestors primarily from one county and to this day the town is dominated by names of that ancestory.
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:41 PM
 
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I think perhaps the strong areas of culture are in smaller towns and haven't change much. Large cities tend to blend and often the culture in reality disappears. For instance even speaking a native language in time is loss.I think anyone can tell you different areas of a state to experience some of the settlers cultures they brought with them and the people still identify with.Their town names alone gives some indication.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Northern panhandle WV
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In reading up on Weirton and cultural diversity I fiind that there are at least 50 ethnic groups in Weirton alone, most of which have some sort of organization, there are many festivals and such as well.

In my original question however I was wondering what other sorts of differences, or in fact things that are the same as other small towns, not in a rust belt area, but more what most people think of when they think "small towns".
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:05 PM
 
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I usually expect small towns to have 3 or 4 last names dominate the phone book and church directory.

( relating to my post of many small towns still retaining the nationality of the settlers from150 years ago )
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Old 12-31-2013, 02:33 PM
 
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Rust belt towns, just like rust belt cities, may have pooled their economic expectations on the same economic avenues that rust belt cities did, such as steel, auto, etc. industries. There are still farms in rust belt states and towns, it's probably just not as recognized as the aforementioned industries, or the farm areas which are popular for that purpose, such as Nebraska, Iowa, the Dakotas, etc.
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:53 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Farms towns will usually have a more diverse economy, than relying on PAYCHECKS (energy / mining towns)

Often farm towns will have investment in schools as a community social venue and chance for their kids to get a leg up and out. Previously 'company' towns offered well paying employment without much emphasis on need for education.

There is much to learn about how you can assist your small town.

Start with USDA Rural Economic Development programs and training.

"Main Street" is another organization for helping small towns.

But School / EDU youth opportunities and JOBS will help the most.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:30 PM
 
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Like someone already mentioned, the cultural aspect jumps out right away. I'd also say that industry differences is another thing that comes to mind. It will depend on the "Rust Belt" small city, as some have more than one industry or may have a college/university too.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:00 AM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Like someone already mentioned, the cultural aspect jumps out right away. I'd also say that industry differences is another thing that comes to mind. It will depend on the "Rust Belt" small city, as some have more than one industry or may have a college/university too.
Agreed, having a major educational center nearby is probably even more important than "agricultural vs rust belt". Though my experience is that at least the "rust belt" towns are generally more comfortable and familiar with technology, which is currently essential to any area ever "rebounding" again. Whereas agricultural areas are pretty much into, "we've always done it this way", while chronically avoiding anything that's "not from around here".
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mateo45 View Post
Agreed, having a major educational center nearby is probably even more important than "agricultural vs rust belt". Though my experience is that at least the "rust belt" towns are generally more comfortable and familiar with technology, which is currently essential to any area ever "rebounding" again. Whereas agricultural areas are pretty much into, "we've always done it this way", while chronically avoiding anything that's "not from around here".
not true.

The farmers who are still in business have had to adapt to more ...change....than many of their urban counterparts.

If they still are trying to farm in the 1950 mindset, they would have been long gone.
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