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Fairmont
Street in downtown Fairmont
Street in downtown Fairmont
Nickname(s): 
City of Lakes
Location of the city of Fairmontwithin Martin Countyin the state of Minnesota
Location of the city of Fairmont
within Martin County
in the state of Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Martin
Area
 • Total 16.91 sq mi (43.81 km2)
 • Land 15.02 sq mi (38.91 km2)
 • Water 1.89 sq mi (4.90 km2)
Elevation
1,184 ft (361 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 10,666
 • Estimate 
(2020)
10,438
 • Density 667.64/sq mi (257.78/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
56031
Area code(s) 507
FIPS code 27-20330
GNIS feature ID 0643501
Website fairmont.org

Fairmont is a city in and the county seat of Martin County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 10,438 at the 2020 census.

History

Fairmont was platted in 1857. The city was so named on account of its elevated town site. A post office has been in operation at Fairmont since 1858. Fairmont was incorporated as a city in 1902.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.92 square miles (43.82 km2), of which 15.04 square miles (38.95 km2) is land and 1.88 square miles (4.87 km2) is water. The city of Fairmont itself has been built around a chain of five lakes: Lake George, Sisseton Lake, Budd Lake, Hall Lake, and Amber Lake. All except Amber Lake are connected by channels and are used extensively for recreational boating and fishing. Interstate 90 and Minnesota State Highway 15 are two of the main routes in the city.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 541
1890 1,205 122.7%
1900 3,040 152.3%
1910 2,958 −2.7%
1920 4,630 56.5%
1930 5,521 19.2%
1940 6,988 26.6%
1950 8,193 17.2%
1960 9,745 18.9%
1970 10,751 10.3%
1980 11,506 7.0%
1990 11,265 −2.1%
2000 10,889 −3.3%
2010 10,666 −2.0%
2020 (est.) 10,438 −2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 10,666 people, 4,812 households, and 2,816 families living in the city. The population density was 709.2 inhabitants per square mile (273.8/km2). There were 5,251 housing units at an average density of 349.1 per square mile (134.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.6% White, 0.5% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 1.9% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.3% of the population.

There were 4,812 households, of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.5% were non-families. 36.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.78.

The median age in the city was 45.5 years. 21.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.1% were from 25 to 44; 28.4% were from 45 to 64; and 22.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.

Economy

Fairmont has been home to Fairmont Railway Motors, Inc, now part of Harsco Corporation, for a century. The company pioneered motorized railway section cars, later road-rail technologies as well as track maintenance machinery that revolutionized and mechanized rail track engineering. Its 100th anniversary celebration was held in the summer of 2009.

Fairmont products are exported around the world, although the dominant product, railroad speeders, is now mainly in the hands of railway enthusiasts who operate them for fun, such as the North American Railcar Operators Association and the Australian Society of Section Car Operators, Inc.

Fairmont is home to the U.S. headquarters of Avery Weigh-Tronix, one of the world's largest suppliers of weighing solutions.

The Fairmont Sentinel, cited as the most conservative newspaper in Minnesota, is published here. It was founded in 1885 and is published daily, except Sunday. As of 2019, it was owned by Ogden Newspapers and had a circulation of 3,629.

The largest employer in Fairmont is Fairmont Medical Center, part of the Mayo Health System.

Prior to 1992, Fairmont had been home to a major regional frozen food canning operation. Longtime owned by the Stokely-Van Camp company, the plant fell under the United Foods International umbrella after United Foods' 1982 $50 million buy-out of Van Camp's frozen vegetable division. Before closing in December 1992, the Fairmont plant was one three frozen vegetable processing plants producing product for the United Foods family of canned vegetables for sale throughout the United States. The plant reopened and operated until 2015 as Fairmont Foods of Minnesota. Its closing was announced, but instead Tony Downs Food Group purchased it and kept it open.

Top employers

According to Fairmont's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Fairmont Mayo Health Systems 680
2 Weigh-Tronix Scale Manufacturing 331
3 Fairmont Foods of Minnesota 300
4 ISD 2752 (Fairmont Area Schools) 260
5 Hy-Vee 240
6 Torgerson Properties 219
7 Walmart 191
8 REM Heartland 185
9 Lakeview Health Care Facility 151
10 Martin County 131

Education

Local area schools

  • Fairmont Junior/Senior High School
  • Fairmont Elementary School
  • St. John Vianney Catholic School, K-6
  • St Paul Lutheran School, K-8 (Martin Luther High School 9-12 is in nearby Northrop)

Higher education

  • Minnesota West Community College
  • Presentation College-Fairmont Campus

Notable people

  • Kelly D. Holstine, Education Minnesota's 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year
  • Jay Maynard, the internet celebrity known as "Tron-Guy".
  • Paul Willson, actor best known for his role as Paul in Cheers and Bob Porter in Office Space
  • Frank A. Day, Newspaper editor, Minnesota legislator and the 13th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
  • Ryan Majeske, published author, known as PrimetimePokemon on YouTube, he was the 1st famous PokeTuber.
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