1000 Small Towns


Norway, Maine has this whimsical sign pointing to other Maine towns with the names of foreign cities.




By Howard James

Question number one: What is a small town?

In Maine, where we have lived since 1976, Portland is the state’s big city. At the  last census Portland had slightly more than 63,000 residents. Before 1976 we called northern New Hampshire home. Manchester, NH, down near the Massachusetts line, has a population in the 110,000 range. Because both are on the East Coast with the television networks based in New York,  my guess is both cities are better known than a number of larger communities.

For example, there are 125,00 people living in Olathe, Kansas. Ever been there? Heard much about it over the years? Grand Rapids, Michigan has a population of 192,000. Dayton, Ohio has 141,000 residents. The population of Jackson, Mississippi is reported to be 173,514. Billings is the largest city in Montana, with a population of 109,000.˜ Houston, Texas has a population of 2.2 million.

Which means there is far more to America than New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas, Omaha, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami. As we roll across the country in our motorhome we find there are hundreds of small towns that, fortunately, seldom make the newscasts on CNN, Fox or ABC, CBS or NBC.
News of local schools, clubs, local government or police activities usually arrives on Wednesday or Thursday in a non-sensational weekly newspaper.

Watch for us down the road. Our Maine license tag is USA 1.

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