Tuesday, February 7, 2012

North Dakota Is Changing

Hello from the far north! Not as far north as Alaska, but just as cold, with wide open spaces and few people. One of my favorite billboards along one of the main highways in North Dakota shows a freeway at heavy traffic time. There’s absolutely no one on the highway! Being an immigrant from California eight years ago, that image has always been good for a chuckle… then recently the truth has started to hit home. North Dakota is quickly and drastically changing. That billboard was created years ago – before the Bakken oil boom in the western part of the state and before people started migrating here in droves. Nowadays it’s hard to be on any main road in North Dakota without seeing lines of semis hauling all kinds of humongous equipment to the oil fields.

Carrington, our small town of less than 3000 people, has begun to see the effects of this new influx of people and boost to our economy. Being at the crossroads of two major thoroughfares (HWY 200 and HWY 281), Carrington has become a resting spot for many of the new travelers who are passing through. Our two motels, The Chieftain and Carrington Inn Suites, have parking lots that are always full at night, and the Stop N Go Gas Station which is located at the crossroads, is literally surrounded at night with huge trucks that are taking a break from the road.

People who have been traveling through Carrington on business have begun to take notice of our small town as a prospective place to settle down. More and more new faces are beginning to be recognizable as established in our area. And, not surprisingly, new businesses that cater to population growth are starting to appear on the scene. A new motel, a new apartment building, a new construction business are a few examples that immediately come to mind.

It will be interesting to see how Carrington handles this new growth spurt, to see how the old mixes with the new. As for me, I simply want to record all the interesting facets that I personally find interesting about our community. I’m curious to see if people will start locking their houses at night, if children will start putting chains on their bikes, if people will no longer leave their cars running while they shop at the local supermarket on a cold wintry night…. Those are some of the fascinating factors that helped me decide on settling in Carrington, myself. And, many of those admirable small-town values are what has kept me here.


  1. Which towns in ND will the oil boom not effect the crime increase?

  2. the values the people kept me there but I moved out . I couldnt take all those people traffic alot of crime now I have to leave but I still need to find a safe place to raise my children maybe South Dakota .Its places where theres nothing to do. Lol then its safe and every one knows each other name some towns please give some suggestions thankyou

    1. I think most small towns in North Dakota -away from the oil fields - are safe and have very little crime. You can actually find out the crime rates by Googling the name of the town and asking for "crime statistics." Good luck with finding a nice, safe place to live.

    2. Just recently we've had bank robberies ... one here in Carrington and another in Medina ... both small towns. As you can see, even our small towns are beginning to be affected by the influx of people due to the oil boom.