Living the Good Life in Fairmont
Thursday, March 29, 2018
For a small town, Fairmont has a lot to offer. Life is good in the City of Lakes, which is helping attract young families and entice those who moved away to return.
Steve Dodge and his wife Lindsay are recent transplants. They moved to Fairmont in 2011, relocating from Mankato because Steve found a job opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
Dodge works as an engineer at 3M and his wife is an RN at the local clinic. They have four kids, ranging from 2 to 16 years old.
They appreciate the small town feel of Fairmont and particularly like the area walking paths because they like to take family walks in the summer. Dodge says he’s noticed Fairmont has become more family friendly. “A lot of newer, younger couples are moving to town and becoming more active. We’ve seen some positive changes happening because of that, like playgrounds being built.”
Dodge advises newcomers to take a proactive approach to connect with people in the community. There are many opportunities, from arts events to school activities, churches and community education/recreation.
For the Dodges, co-ed adult athletics provided a great entry point for networking. “Even for people who don’t play, it’s a nice social environment and a good way to meet people,” says Dodge.
The couple has built some wonderful relationships through volleyball and softball teams. As they continue to meet more people, Fairmont is feeling increasingly like home. “The town is becoming much smaller as we’re getting to know lots of people. We go to events and recognize people and have lots of good conversations,” Dodge says.
Mat Mahoney’s story is different from the Dodges. A Fairmont native, he moved away and recently returned to make a life in the area.
Mahoney graduated from Fairmont High School in 1999. He left for a number of years to pursue a degree in education in Mankato and then student teach. A long-term substitute job at the local high school brought him back.
The entry-level job opportunity led to a part time teaching job the following year. The subsequent year, Mahoney secured a full time job at Fairmont High School.
Now Mahoney is the activities director and head football coach for Fairmont High School. He oversees 21 different student teams, including athletics programs, band, choir and a variety of other student organizations and clubs. “There’s definitely never a dull moment and I like that,” he says.
Mahoney appreciates Fairmont’s small town atmosphere and reasonable cost of living. He notes the town has an array of activities to suit everyone, from shopping and dining in the historic downtown to theatre, sports and outdoor recreation.
“It’s a great place to raise family. It’s a safe community with a lot of opportunities for kids with the recreational aspect of having five lakes in the area as well as youth sports.”
Though he didn’t expect to stay in Fairmont, Mahoney says he’s pleased with how everything worked out. “I fell back in love with the town all over again, so it worked out pretty good for me,” he says.
Fairmont has small town charm with excellent amenities and quality of life. Find out more about why people are choosing to live here.