Tell me about northern minnesota : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hello everyone!

We are seriously considering moving our family from south central PA to the area between Baudette and BWCA. We are looking for a very rural/remote location where we can find true peace and quiet. We homeschool and love to be out-of-doors. What should we know about (northern) MN? Pros, cons and any little bit of info. you find interesting would be great. Thank you!!

-- Penny Lane Bange (, October 26, 2001


its cold

-- stan (, October 26, 2001.

I'm from Texas.

I visited there two years ago in the summer and I think it's a jewel. It will always be one of my most favorite places. I especially like any place there that's on the water. Try as hard as you can to get on a lake!

-- Rick7 (, October 26, 2001.

I agree with Stan. I was born there. But beautiful too.

-- Jo Farmer (, October 26, 2001.

I lived in No. Minnesota twice and loved it there. Wish I could have stayed!! We were on a lake. It is a beautiful place and the people were wonderful. We were sort of between Grand Rapids and Bemidji. My favorite little town I visited when I lived there (this has been about 15 years ago now) was Black Duck. If you get a chance....check it out..clean and cute and a great little size. It is up near Bemidji.

-- Jenny (, October 26, 2001.

Jenny, Talk about a small world. I went to Blackduck high. This is freaky, considering the town maybe has two stop lights and hardly any population. I agree that it is beautiful. I miss the trees changing color, the iron rich GREEN GREEN plants everywhere. I know there are a lot of areas that are cheep to buy, but the jobs are scarce too. I agree that it is cold. :o) Have a greenhouse to get a jump on spring planting. Get a great wood stove. Get a four wheel truck. Start talking with a Sweedish oooo sound. :o) Ha ha. Good luck, it's wonderful there.

-- notnow (, October 26, 2001.

Penny--If I could, I would up there in a second. I have lived in MN all of my 47 years. Bring warm clothes and a 4 wheel drive vechile. People are friendly and helpful. I think its becuse Mother Nature tries to kill us about twice a month. It does get cold and I mean really cold. To the other posters--I have been to Blackduck. Great little town. Even got a haircut at the local barber shop. If I remember correctly, the barber is a farmer and cuts hair only on the weekends. I even have a photo of the big blackduck statue in the park out by the highway. Good luck

-- Bill (sticky@2sides.tape), October 26, 2001.

I heard the taxes were high in that state. But then again I am in Mo and the taxes are higher than us just about anywhere LOL

-- Teresa (, October 26, 2001.

The day we moved into our house in the Minneapolis suburbs in January it was 18 degrees below zero. The movers couldn't believe it. Every January there would be a period of time (usually three weeks) when it didn't get above minus 20. Our golden retriever would stand on one foot and then another and finally would just lie down. The state bird is the mosquito. Just be prepared if you want to live up north. Our kids live on a lake close to St. Cloud and love it.

-- Dee (, October 26, 2001.

As a child, I vacationed there. Ask the natives about the mosquitos and the deerflies.

Beautiful state, though.


-- joj (jump@off.c), October 26, 2001.

Hi! I'm 16 and my family just moved to northwestern Minnesota to a 53 acre farm from Las Vegas. My father is fom PA and says it reminds him of it. I lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, my entire life so desert was all I knew! But the Red River valley is home to some of the most fertile soil in the world. Since these are called "glacier plains" the land becomes flatter as you go from the arrowhead (of Minn.)to the border of North Dakota. The summers are mild(compared to the 114 degrees I'm used to!)around 80 Degrees with some humidity, we're just finishing out fall and the colors were amazing.The winters are cold and windy but you'll get used to it (like everyone else). I just love every second of my life here!!!

-- Chandler Wible (, October 26, 2001.

So stan, you really DO live in Minnesota!

-- gilly (, October 26, 2001.

Hm -- ask some of the Minnesota people here how much snow they got in the last two days. We got 9.5", and that is less (according to the Tv weatherman) than they got over there.

-- julie f. (, October 26, 2001.

Hi! We considered MN also and went up there one winter to look at a cute cabin. It was Jan. and 30 below but it was a dry cold. The only problem is the homeschool issue. Someone suggested to me not to move there because of the homeschool laws. It's one of the worst states to homeschool in. Also mandatory vacinations. The governor is really pushing the New World Order. So look at all angles. We were in Little Fork when we looked at land and the water to drink was terrific! So there are a lot of good points too! And cheaper land. Does anyone out there know of other back-to-the land folks that have moved to South America? We are interested in looking into a mountainous area not tropical as the heat has adverse affects on our family. Thanks Joan

-- joan roberts (, October 26, 2001.

Hi Penny, I haved lived in Bemidji for the last 13 years as a transplant from North Dakota and can vouch for the beauty and the cold. I'm a horseshoer ,carpenter,etc.jack of all trades and I love it up here. Married a gal from here and she told me of the land so we ended up here and I don't regret it a bit. Land has gone up considerably in the last 3 years. We just bought 40 beautiful acres but had to pay $1000 an acre. You may find cheaper farther out (ours is only 15 miles from town)but it's not cheap anymore. It's just like any place else, there are trade offs. There are alot of homes and land up on the arrowhead where the mines have closed. I have many customers who homeschool plus there are charter schools. My good friend is the president of the school board in blackduck and they have their problems like anyplace else. Still all in all a great place to live and be from. neal

-- neal martin (, October 26, 2001.

I homeschool in Minnesota, no problems here. And vacinations are not mandatory, you just have to file a conscientious objection with the school. Our school district has been very eay to work with.

We live in a small town near Brainerd called Crosby. We have considered buying land up by Baudette also, mostly because it is so cheap....but I have not been up there to find out why! It looks like alot of swamp on the platte (sp) map. The lakes are very nice to live on, but people from the cities are eating them up for cabins and the prices are out of sight!

Email me if you have any other questions, glad to help out any way I can :)

-- Primitive Passion (, October 27, 2001.

Penny, Northern Minnesota, is a great place to live. I've lived here for 30 years. Land is cheap $500 per acre will buy you most anything, as long as you aren't in the Red River Valley or in a tourist area. We are fairly sparsly populated. We have 4 seasons although spring and fall are only a blink. We always joke that the cold keeps the rif raf out. I was in the propane business for a few years and propane boils at -44 and people built wood fires under thier tanks to get them to boil. One stretch we had -52,3 out of four mornings. People are very warm if you pay your oun way(taxes) and are law abiding. If not they are right down nasty,and we all know each others business. We are small town USA after all. I'd love to have more homesteading neighbors so come on up.

-- Del (, October 28, 2001.

Penny: We live in NW Minnesota. We feel it is a good state. Cold in the winters though but we do get all four seasons. Mosquitoes can get annoying. If you have any other questions, drop me an email.

-- Trisha-MN (, October 28, 2001.

Hi Penny:

I've lived in MN most of my life, though didn't come to northern MN till six years ago. We are in the northeast part, about 1 hour from the BWCA. It IS beautiful here. Other posters are right, land is going up and I've noticed the trend around here. And lake places are astronomical. We live not far from a huge, popular lake where prices can go into the millions. We lucked out and unknowingly got our (nonlake) property before prices started to go up. Now, it seems that land is at least $1000 per acre.

There are some wonderful people took me two years to really start getting to know people but that was probably a combination of my shyness, my first time in the country, and the natural reserve of some Minnesotans.

Jobs are hard to come by in the Iron Range region, especially now. I am self employed. The bugs are bad..but you build up a resistance to them after a year or so. It gets cold here...we had temps of almost 60 below one strange winter..but 20-30 below are more typical for lows. The gardening season is short and a challenge! People who love to garden here (and I know a lot of them, and us) go to great extremes to grow things...starting lots of plants inside and/or using coldframes, being real vigilant, and using varieties that can stand the short season. We've had frosts in July and August.

I don't know much about homeschooling but I know of a lot of people that do it around here.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions or email.

-- Cathy in MN (, October 28, 2001.

Thank you everyone! We have really appreciated all that you have written. So, it is cold and there are lots of mosquitoes! I think we can handle that. Now we just need to get some clarity on the homeschool laws. PA, where we are now, is also considered a difficult state to homeschool in. We also need to get more detail on what the land is like in the Baudette area and eastward. We want rural/remote, open and wooded, with water. Location is everything. We looked at northern MN initially because there seems to be so much land that adjoins public land and because it appears to be true wilderness. The population is so much lower too. We want privacy and don't want to be built in. At this point, we're looking at Montana, Idaho and MN. Tennessee was great, except it had such a high population. The Savage Gulf area was gorgeous and the expanse of land was incredible. When you look at it on the atlas though, it doesn't compare with MN or MT. Highways spiderweb the whole east coast. Price is a huge factor too. Once we sell, we will have about $40,000.00 to work with. I'm wondering, with our list of "must have's", what can we do with that kind of money in those locations? Thanks again for all your input. Looking forward to hearing more!

-- Penny (, October 28, 2001.

Homeschooling in MN: how strict the guidelines are has to do with the local district to quite a degree, but statue requires quarterly reports, yearly testing (test of your choice), and super can inspect your facility, although I never had that happen. A pain in the you know what; biggest reason I moved to Wisconsin, which is a piece of cake...just fill out a form once a year.

-- Earthmama (, October 28, 2001.

i dont know about MN, and i understand needing trees , we just bought a 20 acre farm in believe it or not , north dakota , we have lots of trees a huge pond in front , and one behind us , fantastic barns , and huge 5 br house , all for 24,000, and yes the house needs work , but , we were willing to do it , considering , in wisconsin where we moved from , even with a fixer upper house , we couldnt have touched it for less than 50,000

looking in the paper , i find 40-50 acres here with houses for around the 40,000 you mentioned , hs laws are good , and out doors life , well put it this way , we are in southern part of ND , and i have seen more deer here , than in Wis. and i love the fact that there are so few people here , i mean the biggest city has less than 100,000 people : ) and the whole state only has abt 700,000pple

good luck wherever you move,

-- Beth Van Stiphout (, October 29, 2001.

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