Small-town quiz: Where is world’s biggest pile of oil cans?


MORRIS, Minn. -- It wasn't all rural narrative, statistics and economic development plans here this week. During a break at the Symposium on Small Towns that the University of Minnesota Morris' Center for Small Towns puts on every year, there was room for this 15-question Midwestern small-town quiz.

OK, I gave away the first one with the photo. But that was easy anyway. I confess being most chagrined by not knowing anything about Question 13. I don't think it was in my sixth-grade Minnesota history book.

Answers at the bottom.

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  1. This city in Minnesota is known as the “Lutefisk capital of the United States.”

  2. This North Dakota city is home to the “Enchanted Highway,” a series of metal sculptures that holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s largest metal sculpture.

  3. This South Dakota city is home to the largest underground gold mine.

  4. This city is known as the potato capital of South Dakota.

  5. This Nebraskan town was the starting point of the Black Hills Gold Rush.

  6. Iowa’s only island city is named what?

  7. President Herbert Hoover was born in this small Iowa town.

  8. A 50-foot high pyramid of empty oil cans, believed to be the highest oil can structure in the world was built in this North Dakota city.

  9. This small city in South Dakota is home to the Pioneer Auto Museum.

  10. This Wisconsin city is the Loon Capital of the World.

  11. This Minnesota city is the world capital of turtle racing.

  12. What percentage of Iowa cities have populations fewer than 500 residents: Multiple choice: 14%, 52 %, 79%, or 93%.

  13. Franklin C. Mars, the inventor of the Mars candy company, was born in this Minnesota small town.

  14. In Wisconsin, this city is known as the “Jump Rope Capital” of the world.

  15. This Nebraskan village built a church entirely out of straw bales in 1928.


  1. Madison, Minnesota

  2. Regent, North Dakota

  3. Lead, South Dakota

  4. Clark, South Dakota

  5. Sidney, Nebraska

  6. Sabula, Iowa

  7. West Branch, Iowa

  8. Casselton, North Dakota

  9. Murdo, South Dakota

  10. Mercer, Wisconsin

  11. Longville, Minnesota

  12. 52% (490/947)

  13. Hancock, Minnesota

  14. Bloomer, Wisconsin

  15. Arthur, Nebraska

Thanks for this to Kelly Asche, program coordinator  for the center.