Sacred Heart, MN., takes the top honors in the "who had the most snow" competition. The Renville County town had 17.3."
There's a fair chance that this is the first time you've heard of Sacred Heart (unless you travel US 212 frequently) , so we provide this glimpse into the new snow capital of Minnesota.
* The city is one square mile big, according to the Census Bureau.
* The median house price there is about $47,000, compared to $200,000 in Minnesota as a whole. The median rent is $481 a month.
* Population: 500.
* Unemployment is 4.5% but 11 percent of the people live below the poverty level.
* At one point, thanks primarily to the railroad (Hastings & Dakota Railway), Sacred Heart had two elevators, two hardware stores, three general stores, two hotels, a blacksmith shop and a saloon, according to the city's website. These included: Paulson's General Store, Nordstrom's Drug, and Oslund's Cash Store.
* It has its own telephone company: The Sacred Heart Telephone Company
* The most photographed building in town appears to be the Hotel Sacred Heart.
* It has four churches, all Lutheran.
* There's no mail delivery. You have to go to the Post Office.
* It used to be called Reishus. Olaf S. Reishus was the postmaster.
* Here are some historical photos from the city.
I'm on Highway 212 pretty regularly for my job, and I have stopped in Sacred Heart for fuel, but have never visited the business district. Looks like a nice little town. I'll pay them a visit next time I'm in the neighborhood.
I spent some time in the Willmar area this past summer and visited some of my favorite towns along Highway 212. Sacred Heart had it's own high school until the '80s (the building is closed but still exists in town). In fact, there were 9 high schools in the 45 mile stretch of Highway 212 from Brownton on the east end to Sacred Heart on the west end (Brownton, Stewart, Buffalo Lake, Hector, Bird Island, Olivia, Danube, Renville, Sacred Heart). All but Olivia were part of the former 212 Conference for athletics from 1947 to 1973 when consolidation of schools along the route started to occur. I still groan a little when I read a sports score today in the St. Paul/Minneapolis papers for Sacred Heart; they mean the private school in East Grand Forks, not Sacred Heart, Minnesota. The students today attend school in Renville which is called Renville County West. The current superintendent I talked to this past summer indicated the Sacred Heart school building is for sale.