Moorhead, Minnesota: Wikis


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Moorhead, Minnesota
—  City  —
Moorhead City Hall
Location in Minnesota
Coordinates: 46°52′26″N 96°46′02″W / 46.87389°N 96.76722°W / 46.87389; -96.76722
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Clay
Founded 1871
 - Mayor Mark Voxland
 - City 13.4 sq mi (34.8 km2)
 - Land 13.4 sq mi (34.8 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 898 ft (274 m)
Population (2000)
 - City 32,177
 - Density 2,394.3/sq mi (924.4/km2)
 - Urban 35,592
 - Metro 195,685
 - 2008 City Estimate 36,012
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 56560 -- 56563
Area code(s) 218
FIPS code 27-43864[1]
GNIS feature ID 0648070[2]

Moorhead is a city in Clay County, Minnesota, United States, and the largest city in northwest Minnesota. The population was 32,177 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Clay County.[3]

Moorhead was platted in 1871 and a permanent name was assigned to the town on October 6, 1871. Moorhead is bordered on the west by the Red River of the North and city of Fargo, North Dakota. On the east, Moorhead is bordered by Dilworth, Minnesota. Together along with West Fargo, North Dakota, the communities comprise the core of the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area, which has an estimated 2008 population of around 195,685 residents.



Moorhead sits in the fertile Red River Valley. The land around the Fargo-Moorhead area is some of the flattest and richest (for agricultural uses) in the world. This is because it lies on the lake bed of glacial Lake Agassiz, which drained approximately between 9,900 and 11,000 years ago. [4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.4 square miles (34.8 km²), all of it land.

Interstate 94 and U.S. Routes 10 and 75 are three of the main routes in the city. Other nearby routes in the Fargo-Moorhead area include Interstate 29 and Minnesota State Highway 336.


Minnesota State University Moorhead

The city has five major institutions of higher learning: Concordia College (private liberal arts college), Minnesota State University Moorhead (public university), Minnesota State Community and Technical College (two-year to four-year technical college), Globe University/Minnesota School of Business, (private college), and Rasmussen College (a two- to four-year college). The combined student enrollment of these colleges is more than 12,000.

K-12 education is provided to over 6,000 students by the Moorhead School District: S.G. Reinertsen Elementary, Robert Asp Elementary,Ellen Hopkins Elementary,Horizon Middle School, and Moorhead Senior High School. All of these schools are new or remodelled thanks to a $64 million investment in 2004. The district is known for its high student achievement with students consistently performing above the national average on the ACT[5]. The district includes the cities of Moorhead, Georgetown, and Sabin, and has an annual budget exceeding $50 million[5].

The city includes The Red River Area Learning Center and The Probstfield Center for Education.

Park Christian School is a private Christian school in Moorhead providing a K-12 education as well as St. Joseph's, a Catholic elementary school.

Arts and culture

The Rourke Art Gallery and the Rourke Art Museum are native Moorhead cultural institutions hosting the annual Midwestern Invitational Exhibition. Executive Director James O'Rourke displays an important art collection from local, regional and national artists. The Rourke Gallery operates from the historic 1875 Martinson House and the Rourke Museum is housed in the historic Moorhead Post Office building.

Moorhead is the second city in the United States that owns and operates a wireless ISP,, and offers wireless internet to its residents. [3] Operated by Moorhead Public Service and using Tropos Networks’ MetroMesh system, GoMoorhead covers the entire city and some of the surrounding area with its wifi signal. [4]


Hjemkomst Center

Replica of Norwegian stave church at the Hjemkomst Center

The Hjemkomst Center is located in the city. It is a museum containing a re-creation of a Viking ship of the same name. The Hjemkomst vessel was built in nearby Hawley, MN by Moorhead resident Robert Asp, and was sailed to Norway by his children after Asp's early death. The ship is now permanently housed in the center.

The Clay County Museum and Archives, operated by the Clay County Historical Society, interprets the history of Clay County in a free museum in the lower level of the Hjemkomst Center. The Society has more than 30,000 artifacts in their collection, one of the largest and most important historic collections in Minnesota outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Located on the grounds of the Hjemkomst Center is a Stave Church. The traditional Norwegian-style church serves as a symbol of the Norwegian heritage in the Red River Valley. The church is a full-scale replica of the Hopperstad stave church in Vik, Norway.

From about Memorial Day through Labor Day (depending on river conditions), the Red River Ruby, a pontoon boat gives tours on the Red River of the North adjacent to the Hjemkomst Center. Special charters can be arranged outside of the normal operating hours.

An additional historical landmark is the Comstock House, built in 1882 and open for tours.

Popular culture

Moorhead is briefly referenced in the 1998 film The Big Lebowski as the hometown of one of the main characters, Bunny Lebowski. Moorhead is also mentioned in the 1978 film The Buddy Holly Story as the next stop in the ill-fated Winter Dance Party tour. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash en route to their scheduled performance at the Moorhead Armory Building.

Moorhead's pioneer Prairie Home Cemetery on 8th Street is often cited as the inspiration for the name of Garrison Keillor's national radio program, A Prairie Home Companion.


The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks is an independent professional baseball team that plays at Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo. They are part of the Northern League.

Being a cold weather city, hockey has emerged as favorite sport of Moorhead. The community has provided significant support to hockey programs such as Moorhead Youth Hockey. Over the years, Moorhead Senior High has produced a number of talented hockey players, including:

  • Jason Blake (MHS '92) Currently playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, formerly of New York Islanders. Played at the 2006 Olympic games for the United States in Turin, Italy.
  • Matt Cullen (MHS '95) Currently playing for the Carolina Hurricanes, a member of the 2005-2006 Carolina Hurricanes who won the NHL Stanley Cup (championship) in 2006. Played at the 2006 Olympic games for the United States in Turin, Italy.
  • Mark Cullen (MHS '97) Signed into the Philadelphia Flyers system in 2006, competed in 2006-2007 with the AHL Philadelphia Phantoms.
  • Brian Lee (MHS '05) Professional hockey player, previously the University of North Dakota, and the U.S. National Junior Team. Also played for the Ottawa Senators.
  • Ryan Kraft (MHS '94) Played for the San Jose Sharks.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1970 29,687
1980 29,998 1.0%
1990 32,295 7.7%
2000 32,177 −0.4%
Est. 2008 36,012 11.9%

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 32,177 people, 11,660 households, and 7,030 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,394.3 people per square mile (924.4/km²). There were 12,180 housing units at an average density of 906.3/sq mi (349.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.08% White, 0.77% African American, 1.94% Native American, 1.27% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.10% from other races, and 1.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.47% of the population.

There were 11,660 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.7% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.7% under the age of 18, 23.1% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 17.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,781, and the median income for a family was $49,118. Males had a median income of $33,137 versus $23,717 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,150. About 8.2% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.9% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.

Notable Residents



External links


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