U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Rural and Small Town Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-20-2015, 11:16 AM
 
231 posts, read 657,012 times
Reputation: 309

Advertisements

Hi all! I'm a small-town boy born and bred. The only time I lived in an actual metropolitan area was during my college years (Pittsburgh) and while it was a blast, I don't miss actually living in the city. Visiting is a lot of fun, though.

Anyway, I wondered what your thoughts are on how small is too small (or if that's even possible )

I grew up in a town of about 6,500 in rural Pennsylvania. For PA, or any of those well-populated states in the eastern U.S., 6,500 people is considered rather small. And being within a couple of hours of much larger cities, such small towns (at least back East) tend to fly under the radar and aren't thought of or visited by outsiders unless they have connections to the town.

Now, within 20 miles of town, there were a handful of even smaller towns, which some people would say don't even deserve the name, ranging in population from barely 100 people to 500 or so. A couple of these towns were quite pretty and quaint, tucked away in the woods on the edge of some small river.

I've since moved out to Wyoming, which kind of feels like one big small town. First moved to a town of 1,200, then a town of 4,500, then a "city" of 30,000 ish. After a few years of tiny (and isolated!) town living, 30k feels like a metropolis, even though I "know" it's not.

I found that the 1,200-person town was about as small as I thought I wanted to go. Keep in mind I'm a single guy in my late 20s. It was just big enough to have its own brewery, a couple of nice mom-and-pop restaurants and just enough people to make a few good friends. That was enough for me.

Any smaller I think, and I would have gone crazy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-20-2015, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
983 posts, read 788,967 times
Reputation: 1860
I think part of it depends on how far away the next "small town" is. Also, what is your (generic "your") interest in things like restaurants, shopping, decent medical care, etc?

Our town is 3200 in the metro area; we have a smallish grocery store, hardware store, a few restaurants, and some shops that aren't doing very well. We have basic medical services that aren't very good. I drive about 15 miles to the nearest larger town that has larger grocery stores, quality medical care, etc.

I could easily live in a much smaller town due to social media and my experience that it's easier to feel connected in a small town than in a larger one. There is a town about 30 miles from here that is about 1500 people. They are much more isolated than we are; when there was a major landslide there last year, they became *very* isolated, but it was terrific to see how the community pulled together. I would love living there, but it's too far from dh's work....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2015, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 13,621,327 times
Reputation: 7439
For myself, there is no too small. If a city has paved roads and a stop sign, it is probably too big for me.

My preference is to be where my nearest neighbor can shoot a 45.70 in his yard and be too far for me to hear it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2015, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
2,855 posts, read 984,346 times
Reputation: 5413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
For myself, there is no too small. If a city has paved roads and a stop sign, it is probably too big for me.

My preference is to be where my nearest neighbor can shoot a 45.70 in his yard and be too far for me to hear it.
For those who were wondering what was meant by a 45.70....

The .45-70 rifle cartridge, also known as .45-70 Government, was developed at the U.S. Army's Springfield Armory for use in the Springfield Model 1873, which is known to collectors as the "Trapdoor Springfield". The new cartridge was a replacement for the stop-gap .50-70 Government cartridge which had been adopted in 1866, one year after the end of the American Civil War.

Reference: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.45-70
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2015, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Middle America
37,168 posts, read 43,152,756 times
Reputation: 51777
Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerK View Post
Hi all! I'm a small-town boy born and bred. The only time I lived in an actual metropolitan area was during my college years (Pittsburgh) and while it was a blast, I don't miss actually living in the city. Visiting is a lot of fun, though.

Anyway, I wondered what your thoughts are on how small is too small (or if that's even possible )

I grew up in a town of about 6,500 in rural Pennsylvania. For PA, or any of those well-populated states in the eastern U.S., 6,500 people is considered rather small. And being within a couple of hours of much larger cities, such small towns (at least back East) tend to fly under the radar and aren't thought of or visited by outsiders unless they have connections to the town.

Now, within 20 miles of town, there were a handful of even smaller towns, which some people would say don't even deserve the name, ranging in population from barely 100 people to 500 or so. A couple of these towns were quite pretty and quaint, tucked away in the woods on the edge of some small river.

I've since moved out to Wyoming, which kind of feels like one big small town. First moved to a town of 1,200, then a town of 4,500, then a "city" of 30,000 ish. After a few years of tiny (and isolated!) town living, 30k feels like a metropolis, even though I "know" it's not.

I found that the 1,200-person town was about as small as I thought I wanted to go. Keep in mind I'm a single guy in my late 20s. It was just big enough to have its own brewery, a couple of nice mom-and-pop restaurants and just enough people to make a few good friends. That was enough for me.

Any smaller I think, and I would have gone crazy.

To me, there is no "too small," as I grew up not even IN a town, but on hundreds of acres of farmland, with the closest organized community being a village of 300 several miles away.

While there is no "too small," to me, there IS "too isolated." I need to be able to access grocery and medical staples, a hospital, emergency services that can be there promptly if needed, and in winter, regularly plowed roads.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2015, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
983 posts, read 788,967 times
Reputation: 1860
I know people that live on 80 acres down a back road that is about 10 miles long. They are about 30 miles from any kind of stores, medical care, etc. The nearest village to them consists of a very small mini mart type neighborhood store and a fire station. They live totally off grid - use a generator part of the day. I would love living where they do - it's an amazing life...and yes, I am aware of the kind of work involved in living off grid.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2015, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,101 posts, read 6,288,332 times
Reputation: 9629
The older I get, the less I like people.

I wouldn't mind living 80 miles from the nearest town, but it's more prudent for me to be within a 15-minute commute of work and not far from a full-service hospital.

That said, I would never live in a major metro like NYC, Chicago, or LA.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2015, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Middle America
37,168 posts, read 43,152,756 times
Reputation: 51777
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabbythecat View Post
I know people that live on 80 acres down a back road that is about 10 miles long. They are about 30 miles from any kind of stores, medical care, etc. The nearest village to them consists of a very small mini mart type neighborhood store and a fire station. They live totally off grid - use a generator part of the day. I would love living where they do - it's an amazing life...and yes, I am aware of the kind of work involved in living off grid.
That's how I grew up, down to the 80 acres, except that the nearest village had no minimart, only a post office and a tavern and volunteer fire department. Only difference was that we were not off the grid...power lines ran to our property.

It has its pros and cons. Being close to adequate medical and emergency care and being cut off from safety in snow and ice storms were biggies.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2015, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,508 posts, read 24,046,525 times
Reputation: 36572
My problem with "too small" is the "too nosy" factor. I lived in a town of 200 people, and everyone knew everyone else's business, and if your business wasn't interesting enough, they made up something interesting. I absolutely hated it. That was in WA. No matter how far out of town you live, if you have to go into town, or your kid has to go to school, you will be part of that tiny, nosy community.

I now live in a town of about 5,000, and it's perfect. Hardly any traffic, no problem finding parking, the beaches and woods are not chock full of people - and I rarely run into anyone I recognize. And that's perfect for me.

I grew up in the SF Bay Area, and wouldn't want to go back because of how densely populated it is and all of the problems that go with that. But, I grew up where I was anonymous. I never have anything particular fascinating going on in my life, but when I moved to that small town in WA and I'd go to the post office and the postmistress would ask me why Joe's truck was at my house last night - I was ready to find a bigger town.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2015, 07:30 PM
 
231 posts, read 657,012 times
Reputation: 309
That's a good point. I loved the last small town I lived in, but some of my friends (Who had moved there from cities) eventually moved away because they couldn't stand the rumor mill, the grapevine and the local gossips.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Rural and Small Town Living
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top