Marietta, Minnesota & Yesterday’s Dreams

The first time I’d heard reference to Marietta, Minnesota, I was a college student living in a large, North Mankato, MN, rental house  – 1976, I believe. (The summer of “Afternoon Delight” to add a music reference)   A room was available and in moved a recent high school graduate to the top floor of the old Range Street house.
Me:  Where are you from?
Her:  Marietta, Minnesota
Me:  Hmmm… never heard of it. Where is it?
Her:  East of Watertown, South Dakota and west of Madison, Minnesota
Me:  That doesn’t help – haven’t heard of them, either.

MariettaCoopbw11x14blog

Main Street Marietta, MN 1999
BW medium format film / processed in darkroom / hand colored
Bronika ETRSi medium format camera
scanned as digital file / dirt texture added in Photoshop CS5

As fate would have it, 7 years later I would find myself living 7 miles west of Marietta, Minnesota and would soon learn the geographical locations of villages and towns that could have been part of the wild west.

By the time I arrived,  Marietta was a quiet little village with very little commerce.  Not always so, according to local historians (AKA relatives).

Circa 1967:

  • Why Go Restaurant: (Kids hangout)
  • Hardware store
  • Millie’s Popcorn Stand
  • Johnson’s Chuckwagon Cafe.
  • Nelson’s Jewelry Store
  • Maas Recreation Hall
  • Carl Raetz Marietta Produce
  • Forest Ward Standard Oil
  • Dahle’s Value Mart
  • Bank
  • Orpheum movie theater
  • Red Owl Grocery Store
  • Elevator
  • Coop station
  • Telephone Office
  • Silvernale’s Drug Store & soda Fountain
  • Don Russell’s Barber Shop
  • Roth’s Cafe
  • Post office
  • International dealer
  • Bud’s Station
  • Kanthak’s Auto Service
  • Idle Hour: bar/pool hall
  • Lily Mills Thread Store
  • American Legion
  • Les Hoium’s Butcher Shop
  • Creamery
  • Hotel
  • A 2nd grocery store?
  • Laundromat
  • Pool Hall
  • Red Owl Store
  • Shackelfords Lumber Yard
  • K-12 High School
  • Three churches

Imagine my surprise as they reeled off such an extensive list  of establishments that have been part of the history of Marietta, Minnesota during the years of love, peace and the Vietnam War ~ the1960’s.

What happened?

The talented Charlie Roth featured Marietta, Minnesota in his music video, Broken Ground, and tells the story well.

Can this town be saved?  Technology and the work ethics of its people may be the ticket to help this town and other typical rural communities.  Living in a slower paced, small  town or rural location may be a lifestyle dream someday for those tired of the traffic and rush that urban living requires.

As Mr. Rogers said so well:  Won’t you  be my neighbor?