My parents live in an area of sparsely populated towns. Lot's of small ranching communities, the biggest one a whopping population of 2000. All these towns were settled in the 1800's by those seeking a simple way of life. It's not an easy life to be a rancher, but those who stay do so because they love it. My cousin waxed poetic as he told me how he makes money or rather doesn't make so much money, but loves the wide open spaces, land, his animals and the feeling of self reliance.
The other thing these towns all have in common is they were largely settled by Mormons. These hard working people set out to beautify their towns and as such almost every town in surrounding 100 miles has tabernacle that was used as a gathering place for worship and for social events.