A tempting offer

Do you feel like moving to Minnesota? The town of Middle River has an offer for you!

Attention waterfowl hunters who dream about moving closer to marshlands north and west. The goose capital of Minnesota will award you seven-tenths of an acre inside its city limits if you move there and build a house.

That’s right: Zero down, zero interest and zero payments on a roomy 100-by-300-foot lot in Middle River, a town of 300 people set between Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge and the state’s well-known Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area. That’s a combined 182 square miles of breeding grounds and habitat for ducks, geese, shorebirds, song birds, raptors, deer, bear, wild turkeys, grouse, wolves and more.

The incentives don’t stop there. Under the civic growth program launched in 2018 and expanded last year, the welcome packet sponsored by this outdoors-minded community also includes a one-year membership to the local Sportsmen’s Club, a free building permit, two free years of municipal water and sewer, free electric hookup, three months of free cable TV, a $100 gift certificate to the local tavern, and a free, 12-month subscription to The Honker, the community’s newspaper.

Free land? Free beer at the local (and probably only) tavern? How can you turn that down?

It’s only 340km (200 miles) due north of Morris, and the current temperature is a balmy -15°C. They don’t mention it, but there’s probably good ice fishing up there. It’s almost Canada!


  1. billseymour says

    The nearest Amtrak station would be Grand Forks which is unstaffed.  I’d have to either buy my tickets on-line or drive to Fargo to speak to a person. 8-(

    “Different strokes for different folks,” I guess.

    (I haven’t actually taken an Amtrak trip since November of ’19 because of COVID, and I’ll have no reason to travel again until November of this year when I might be attending some meetings in Kailua-Kona, HI…COVID permitting.)

  2. raven says

    That is near where some of my grandparents lived as children.

    They weren’t there all that long and ended up in southern California. Probably because the lakes don’t freeze over on the coast.

    It’s also not too far from where some of my other relatives were born and raised. The town they lived in has so many abandoned buildings that the city periodically tears them down. This is to keep the town from looking like it is full of falling apart houses. You see whole blocks with three houses left on them.

    This town has a similar program. If you want to buy a few building lots, the town will sell them to you for very little. You can buy older homes that are still habitable for maybe $20,000.
    Even at that, very few people have taken the town up on the offer.

  3. hillaryrettig1 says

    considering i’m hundreds of miles south of that and still freezing my ass off, plus hunting sucks, i’ll pass.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    “It’s almost Canada”.
    It’s a step in the right direction, just keep on driving a bit and you reach that hellhole of comprehensive health insurance and gun control.
    There are plenty of abandoned houses here, too. When businesses move to larger towns the rural areas that peaked 1900-1950 get depoulated. If Americans had faith in government they could lobby for measures to reduce the depopulation like efforts to improve local infrastructure and schools, but that is probably abathema.

  5. R. L. Foster says

    I’ve been living in the South for too long to even consider it. Two months of winter is more than enough for me. That, and I don’t, won’t, never, ever, will hunt. I don’t see the fun in killing other creatures for the fun of it.

  6. nomaduk says

    I had pretty much all the Minnesota Nice I can stand when I lived in Shakopee for a few years. If I’m going to get that close to Canada, I’m gonna keep going north.

  7. Larry says

    I give them credit for trying to save their dying, little town. Sadly, however, this isn’t going to do it.

  8. says

    @birger #6: But freedomz? Because nothing spells Freedom! like corpses armed to the teeth.

    Then again, I do detest the broad, sweeping regulations they often come up with. I’ve had access to a wide array of extremely dangerous chemicals and equipment for most of my life, both privately and in a professional setting. And now some paper pusher get to tell me what I don’t need and certainly cannot be trusted with? I could honestly be tempted to switch sides if someone could guarantee that we’d start by kneecapping all the bureaucrats.

  9. weylguy says

    Screw the ice fishing. I wanna kill me lots of ducks, geese, shorebirds, song birds, raptors, deer, bear, wild turkeys, grouse and wolves.

  10. unclefrogy says

    well far from things country life has its temptations but that there place has blizzards in the winter and mosquitoes and other biting bugs in the summer and I have lived in so. cal far too long to change now

  11. wzrd1 says

    Given the average weather conditions, current weather conditions and the bonus packages, I’ll simply say, if I owned Minnesota in its entirety and I owned hell, I’d rent out Minnesota and live in hell.
    Which is why I’m in York, PA. ;)

    Hey, I was born and raised in Philly, we even boo our own teams.

  12. davidc1 says

    Rural towns all over the world are dying,the young sod off to the cities.
    Some towns in Sicily will pay you to move there,great hot summers,all the fruit and veg you can eat.
    The Med on your doorstep.
    Then there is Minnesota,cold ,cold,and more cold.

  13. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    a free, 12-month subscription to The Honker

    The 12-year-old me is giggling uncontrollably.

  14. Becky Smith says

    Winter storm warning here in Northeast Georgia. No milk, bread, or eggs in grocery store. No gas at gas station. 1 to 3 inches of winter stuff predicted, but nothing yet. We’re all gonna die! Minnesota is probably not for me.

  15. hillaryrettig1 says

    @birgerjohansson or, if we had bullet trains. in Japan, for instance, there are tons of little towns that feel so remote, but are only an hour or so ride to one of the big cities. this also helps communities economically and also helps prevent isolation and provincialism.

  16. birgerjohansson says

    It is a good idea to provide rapid transit systems, but the god Mammon demands such services must be profitable. Providing service for social reasons to low-population areas would probably get denounced as communism-nazism-satanism.

  17. blf says

    As someone who does live within a few metres of the Mediterranean, and does have TGV high-speed train services nearby, fibre-into-the-home Internet, etc., etc. — and numerous other advantages (some of which are obviously “first world”) — just what is the attraction…?