When I arrived at the crossroads of Cartersville Road and Highway 446, I only expected to see a decrepit schoolhouse and remnants of the Milwaukee Railroad. Instead I found two young farm kids standing on the back of a pickup truck. They led me to their grandmother, who went to grade school at the old Cartersville School. She led me to a family who has farmed the area for three generations. They, in turn, led me to Bill Muri whose family homesteaded there in the late 1800s. Born in 1916, Bill Muri had lived most of his life in Cartersville and was a walking history book.

In 2000, however, Cartersville was removed from the state highway map. Cartersville has as much life as Ross Fork, but it slipped off the map and Ross Fork didn't. Both were farming communities and former railroad towns – one on the Milwaukee Railroad, the other on the Great Northern Railroad. One has an old schoolhouse; the other an old grain elevator. Yet different fates befell them.