Kaboom! Is there a fitting nickname for the people flocking to the area for oil?What’s a fitting nickname for all of the people flocking to western North Dakota and eastern Montana for oil? Email your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop it off at The Press, along with your name and phone number. The person with the most creative idea will get $25 in Chamber Bucks. Send them my way by Thursday, May 24.
By: Jennifer McBride, The Dickinson Press
It was amazing to meet two people in passing within five hours one afternoon who moved to the Dickinson area within the week from out of state. Guess what for?
These coincidences happened to me Wednesday — one from Oklahoma and one, if I recall correctly, from South Carolina. He stopped me while I was taking a walk and asked where Dickinson’s pool is. The young man had moved to town just a few hours before by himself.
After filling him in on a brief history of Dickinson’s outdoor water fun, and giving him a five minute rundown on where to go and what to do in town, we went our separate ways.
So very much has happened within the past few months, for those who haven’t witnessed it, it’s hard to comprehend.
This boom has been building and building, but it seems as of late, people, industry and trucks of all shapes and sizes have really made their way to our little portion of the world.
Could we have known just a year ago where we’d be today?
North Dakota again can boast the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 3 percent in April.
Dickinson’s resolution to allow a crew camp was the right move. It’s wise to give hard workers a safe place to lay their heads and it will hopefully keep a few people from calling area underpasses and tree-laden groves home.
On Wednesday, Dunn County commissioners also made a respectable decision, when they voted to lift a crew camp moratorium.
Made apparent by my run-in with the two newcomers, people across the country are packing up their jalopies with whatever fits and are headed here on a whim.
Nearly a dozen homes have gone up in the past few months, or are in the works in Gladstone, right now. This is a town that likely hadn’t seen a new living quarters for at least three years before.
Yards, back alleys and any portion of green space close to a plug-in across the western portion of North Dakota are plumb full of RVs. It’s interesting to take in the creative ways people are making them feel like home — you know, plywood additions, geraniums on make-shift porches, a “beer drinkers live here” sign on the front stoop.
Ice fishing trailers also seem to be making cozy homes for a number of people.
Rentals are swept up within hours of postings. And often tenants are moving in even before the tenant moving out has left the driveway.
Can this in any way be compared to the gold rush of the mid-1800s? Those flocking to California in search of wealth became forever known as 49ers. What will all the roughnecks headed to western North Dakota and eastern Montana become known as?
Is there a nickname out there that I’m just not privy to? If so, let me know. If not, send me your suggestions. Let’s get some ideas flowing here.
The change in population and landscape is phenomenal — I admit I’ve called it insane on more than one occasion.
A semi driver from eastern Minnesota unloading wood next to a newly-poured foundation and I began to talk the other day. He told me how business for his company has really picked up from North Dakota because of the boom. He joked, “Well, a little oil money never hurt anyone.”
I’m going to beg to differ on that statement.
This column is not a complaint nor is it a congratulation. Hopefully it’s a little more insight for those who don’t understand what western North Dakota and eastern Montana are experiencing.
It is what it is.
McBride is The Dickinson Press editor. Email her at email@example.com.