How do you define small-town America?

Published 8:16 am Tuesday, January 3, 2023

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What is it that defines small-town America? The term is widely used in speeches given by politicians to country artists’ song lyrics. However, in this modern day in age, are we seeing the American small towns begin to fade away? Older buildings are being torn down instead of restoring them to their former glory. A small business that has been a staple in the community for 10 decades gets knocked out by the arrival of a brand-new box store. A new year has fallen upon us, so instead of looking ahead into the new year maybe we reflect on the history of our past instead.

Small-town America was founded on the principles of being a community. As Shelby County continues to grow, there are often qualities of the small-town factor that begin to fade away into oblivion. There are some hints of small-town America that bleed through into Shelby County.  Over time, storefronts have changed and buildings get replaced, but that sense of community always remains within the cities that belong to Shelby County.

What typically is associated with small-town America is materialistic things, not the ideals that truly label a place small town America. The communities that gather within Shelby County and celebrate its citizens that live within the boundaries of their hometown. It’s the holiday parades, the high school basketball games, the giving back to their community that establish what small-town America is.

How do you define small-town America? It’s not the business that stays open for decades upon end, it’s not the building that has stayed standing for a century, it’s the sense of community that shines throughout. That is how the stores stay open and the buildings stay standing tall. Small-town America is not just a definition that can be found in a dictionary, it is a way of life defined by the people that call that town their home.