Reporting from Cosmos

I’m on the road today, giving me a chance to indulge one of my artful endeavors: guessing what a town is like by its water tower.

My city has boring water towers, which accurately reflects its personality. Others have some whimsy to them. There’s the bobber water tower around Pequot Lakes, the smiling “tin man” (at least I think it’s a tin man) in Freeport, the corn stalk near Rochester.

This one I saw today makes me think Cosmos, Minnesota must be a city of dreamers…


Only 582 people live in Cosmos. But this artwork makes me wonder if some of them long to live somewhere else, a distant galaxy, perhaps.

According to one of the city’s websites:

Daniel Hoyt, an early settler and surveyor, proposed the city name. Hoyt, who later was elected the first township clerk, suggested the name because it was a Greek word meaning order and harmony.

The town is 1 square mile and hosts the Cosmos Space Festival each year, which appears to consist of a medallion hunt, bean bag toss, volleyball, a beer garden, and a bowling tournament. After the parade, they crown Miss and Mr. Universe.

The town proclaims that about 3,000 cars a day pass through Cosmos on Highway 7. As near as I can tell, only one pulled over to research its history based on its water tower.