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Looking back on Discover Spink County

Posted: Thursday, Apr 4th, 2013

What a wild couple of weeks this has been.

It started when my boss, Cindy Lambert, informed me of the Discover Spink tab, included with this paper. I had the freedom to cover stories that I wanted to cover. This included anything from history to the future of Spink County. For my own knowledge, as well as the readers, I decided to cover past stories and topics. It gave me a chance to thoroughly learn about Spink County history. I hope that it also covers some things that you were unaware of as well.

For starters on the Discover Spink tab I wanted to do an old favorite of mine, ghost towns. I have a weird fascination with ghost towns and old abandoned buildings. I donít know why I enjoy them so much. Maybe it is the possibility of discovering something long-forgotten, maybe it is the shear mystery of the place, or maybe it is hard for me to imagine a place that once was that is not anymore. Iím going to say that I bet itís all of the above.

I drove around for hours looking for a couple of the towns. Old Ashton was terribly hard to find. Iím not sure if my directions were incorrect, but I never did find the old site. I found the Crandon site, but it was blocked by five feet of snow. I did not want to walk through that. I drove down and found the old cemetery. I took lots of pictures, but was so excited failed to notice that all the pictures were too bright. So, I went back. Easy, right? Nope. Snow and mud filled the road on the way to the graveyard. I never did get replacement pictures.

Another cool ghost town was Spottswood. I found out about it form a co-worker. I just had to see it. I drove down, five miles south of Tulare, and arrived at a ramshackled house. Paint was falling off it and all the windows were broken. It was a mess, but a beautiful mess. It reminded me of a time that was simpler, made more sense, and required more work, but the payoff was ten-fold.

I snapped some photos of Spottswood, which are included in the Discover Spink tab.

I also learned about Council Rock. I had no idea how much history surrounded Council Rock. Itís a veritable history book left unwritten. The Native American history also is extensive. To think that numerous tribes would come and gather around a rock to discuss matters, settle disputes, and trade is a big eyeopener for me. It was the City Council meeting of its day.

Before I moved to Redfield I did some research on what thereís to do in the area. I came across Legler Park. I thought it to be a quaint little park, at least from the images online. Once I dove into the history, which was limited, I was amazed.

The structure, for how old it is, is in great shape. The first time I mentioned it to some locals they looked at me like I was speaking a different language. Itís hard to believe that in such a small town some people do not know about every little point of interest out there.

I was also very happy to hear that soon the City of Redfield will be fixing it up. Plans are in the works. While the details of what is going to be done, and when, are still unknown, it is nice to think that things as old and with as much history arenít being left to rot. Places like Merle Legler Park should be cherished, maintained, and passed down to our children and future generations. It shows of a time long-ago, where people worked with their hands, did community service for selfless reasons. More places like Legler Park should be built, by the current generation. It would be nice to take some time and do something that we didnít expect to make money on, and rather spent money for future generations to enjoy, for free. After all, it is places like Legler Park that people in America look back to and smile. Kind of like State Parks.

The last main topic I investigated was the South Dakota Developmental Center.

SDDC has been around for so long, and has so much history and change that surrounds it, it is incredible. Itís hard to believe that one place could change so much in little over 100 years.

SDDC is, and always has been, a big employer in Redfield and surrounding areas. Itís amazing to note that employees constantly have to be on the up-and-up with concern to changes in policy, title changes, and more. Itís an ever-evolving building.

The care for the People with Intellectual Disabilities has changed drastically. The way society views People with Intellectual Disabilities has changed. And let us not forget that the actual buildings on the SDDC campus have changed, too. All of it for the better. To improve life at SDDC, in the community, and thus in America.

I guess what Iím getting at with this super long ramble is that I really enjoyed discovering your neck of the woods, or prairie as it were. I want to do more discovering as time goes on.

If you, the reader, knows anything about other things I should look into regarding Spink County please let me know. I would really like to know about ghost towns, or old abandoned structures. Also, if you know how to get to Old Ashton, please shoot me an email. I really wanted to find it and I drove for what seemed like forever and never found it.

Thanks, once again, for letting me ramble. I might have to change the title from ďMusingsĒ to ďRambles.Ē I donít know, weíll see. Enjoy your week.

For the complete article see the 03-27-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-27-2013 paper.

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