Fargo, North Dakota
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Fargo Business Signs
The Sioux (Dakota) peoples inhabited Eastern North Dakota prior to incursions by the United States. The portion of Eastern North Dakota, which would become the city of Fargo, served as a steamboat stopping point along the Red River in the 1870s and 80s. Fargo was initially named ‘Centralia’ when it was founded in 1871, but it was soon renamed in honor of Northern Pacific Railway director and Wells Fargo Express Company founder William Fargo. Its location along the Northern Pacific Railway garnered Fargo the nickname “Gateway to the West.”
Modern day Fargo is the most populous city in the state of North Dakota. In fact, the city accounts for 15% of the state’s population! According to a 2015 estimate by the US Census Bureau, Fargo has a population of 118,523 people. This makes it the 231st most populous city in the country. Fargo is the county seat of Cass County, and along with its twin city of Moorhead, Minnesota, West Fargo, North Dakota, and Dilworth, Minnesota, it makes up the core of the Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to that same 2015 estimate, the Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area has a total population of 233,836 people. This makes it the 192nd biggest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.
In 2014, Forbes Magazine listed Fargo, North Dakota as the fourth fastest-growing small city in the country. On top of this, in that same year, Forbes magazine ranked Fargo, North Dakota as the best small city in the nation to start a business or a career. The largest employer in the Fargo, North Dakota area is Sanford Health, which is responsible for 6,020 jobs.
The second largest employer in the area, with 4,464 total employees, is North Dakota State University. North Dakota State University was established in 1890 as a public land-grand university. Today, this research institution “offers 102 undergraduate majors, 170 undergraduate degree programs, 6 undergraduate certificate programs, 79 undergraduate minors, 81 master’s degree programs, 47 doctoral degree programs of study, and 10 graduate certificate programs.” As of the Fall 2015 semester, 14,516 students in total were enrolled in North Dakota State University programs. The university also had an endowment of $138 million.
Fargo, North Dakota also serves as the site for the largest shopping mall in North Dakota. The West Acres Shopping Center, which opened in 1972, contains 130 stores and services with a total retail floor area of 950,000 sq. ft. (88,000 meters squared). Fargo Theatre, which opened on the 15th of March 1926, is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Fargo Theatre is an art deco building, which has hosted the annual Fargo Film Festival since 2001.
Fargo, North Dakota is brimming with professional sports teams. The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks are part of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. The RedHawks play their home games at Newman Outdoor Field and have five league championships to their name. Fargo Force are a tier 1 USHL hockey team. They play their home games in Scheels Arena. Fargo Moorhead Derby Girls are a women’s roller derby league who play at the Skateland Roller Center. FC Fargo are a member of the American Premier League and play their home matches at Moorhead High School stadium.
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