Did you know that Slinger, Wisconsin is one of the “dying towns”? You might have heard of dying towns; they’re places that aren’t supposed to exist much longer because there’s no longer any purpose for them. Well, Slinger is proof that this is often far from the truth. Slinger is surrounded by cornfields and dairies, and the only things that seem to die there are the people and the crops. This year, the town is celebrating its 100th anniversary, so it’s become the center of attention for residents and those who know them. Because of this, we thought it would be fun to see what the town is really like and if it merits being on your bucket list of places to visit before you die.
Slinger is on the shore of Lake Winnebago, which is one of the larger lakes in the area. The biggest city in the area is Green Bay, which is only 20 minutes away by car. If you’re flying into the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) airport, which is the closest airport to Slinger, then you’ll be landing in a town that’s famous for its festivals and fairs. There are also a lot of churches in the area, so there’s definitely a Christian vibe to the whole region.
Since the town is surrounded by cornfields and dairies, it’s not hard to believe that its economy is based largely on agriculture. In fact, over 90% of the jobs in Slinger are linked to the farm industry. However, in recent years, the town’s economy has diversified, partly as a result of the centennial celebration, so now it also relies heavily on retail and tourism. So, while it might not seem like a place that you’d want to live or visit, it presents a fascinating example of a dying town that’s thriving in the modern world.
As we mentioned before, Slinger is mostly full of older people, with over 60% of the town’s population being over the age of 55. This explains why the town has been able to hold on to its population despite the fact that jobs have become scarce. The town is also home to a lot of farmers who’ve moved away from conventional farming and gone organic, which puts them in direct conflict with the big pharmaceutical companies. This is something that the town has been struggling with for years and has even been the subject of a documentary film called “The People versus Monsanto.” You can learn more about this at the Slinger Historical Society website. Finally, there’s also a good portion of the town’s population that’s descended from German settlers who came to the area in the 1800s and helped to build up the town’s infrastructure.
For those who live in Slinger, the main source of entertainment is the local movie theater, Miller Park. This year, the town is celebrating its 100th anniversary, so the theater is showing classic films and hosting special events like jazz concerts and fireworks displays in the summertime. In the wintertime, the cinema switches to ice hockey and other forms of entertainment, like car shows and dance parties, that are more suitable for indoor activities.
Where to Stay
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Slinger, then the Hotel Bennett is where you want to be. This hotel is from 1898 and it features grand pianos in most of the rooms, which are perfectly set up for playing, and some even come with a grand piano mini-bar. Also, if you stay there, you’ll be just a short walk away from the lake, which is perfect for a sunset cruise or a walk along the water’s edge. If you want a more modern feel with all the amenities of a big city, then you can check out the Holiday Inn Express adjacent to the EAA airport.
If you visit Slinger in the summertime, then you’ll notice an abundance of berries and cherries, which are everywhere. This is due, in part, to the area being a popular cherry-growing region and in part to the fact that the season is ripe. There’s also a wide variety of birds to be seen, so you’re bound to see a lot of different types of birdsong on your travels around town. In the wintertime, there isn’t as much fruit around, so you’ll have to look out for berries and other types of natural food sources like mushrooms and nuts.
Sliar is a unique place that you shouldn’t miss out on if you’re in the area. It may not seem like a place that you’d want to live or visit, but there’s so much more to it than you’d think. You can learn more about Slinger on Wikipedia or at the Slinger Historical Society website.