Minot City North Dakota

Minot, a city located in North Dakota, is the 4th largest city in the state. Minot is the county seat of Ward County and is also the trading center for a big portion of northern North Dakota, Southwestern Manitoba and Southeastern Saskatchewan. Also known as “The Magic City”, Minot was founded in 1886 during the Great Northern Railroad’s construction. Minot got its nickname “The Magic City” because of the great increase in its population just five months after it was founded.

What used to be a tent town became a viable city in just a few short months giving validity to the town’s nickname. The Town was named after Henry Davis Minot, a railroad investor and good friend of Jim Hill. During the Prohibition, the city earned another nickname “Little Chicago” as it was the center of all of Al Capone’s businesses. Al Capone used a network of underground tunnels to transport their illegal goods. Some of the tunnels can still be accessed today.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.6 mi² (37.7 km²). It is almost entirely land; the Souris River, its oxbow lakes, and a few creeks take up just 0.14% of the city’s total landmass. The elevation of the river at the city center is 1556 feet (474 m). The valley sits some 160 feet (50 m) below the surrounding plains; the elevation at the Minot International Airport on “North Hill” is 1716 feet (523 m).

The city is laid out on a grid-based street system. Streets run north-south and avenues run east-west. Streets are numbered by their block distance east or west of Main Street. Similarly, Avenues are numbered north and south of Central Avenue. There are four city quadrants (NW, SW, SE, NE) to describe the exact location of any given address. Main Street addresses are simply designated North and South. Central Avenue addresses are simply designated East and West.

A train derailment in the western part of the city on January 18, 2002, sent a huge cloud of anhydrous ammonia towards the town as well as to Burlington. Many of Minot’s citizens got sick and were injured by the gas. One man died from the incident. In early 2006, the court heard the cases that were filed against Canadian Pacific Railway in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While many of the cases are still pending, some have been settled. The Ammonia spill was the largest in US history.