Monday, August 24, 2015

Corn Palace

In Mitchell, South Dakota stands the world's only Corn Palace. In 1892, the town of Mitchell was home to only 3,000 people, but they got together and decided to erect a building to serve as a gathering place for the town and it's many rural neighbors living on farms raising corn. This building, the first "Corn Palace," served the community so well that just 12 years later, a larger building was needed to handle the crowds of people who came for social functions, political gatherings and ceremonies. By 1919, it was evident an even larger building was needed.

The current building was completed in 1921. With several significant upgrades completed over the years, it now draws over 500,000 visitors every year for various events such as musical concerts, basketball tournaments, swap meets, industrial exhibits, graduation ceremonies, stage plays, the annual Corn Festival and just to see the exterior wall murals.

Even the street sign posts are
corn themed in Mitchell, S.D. 
Each year, a new design competition is held for the murals to be constructed on the external walls of the facility. After a winner has been chosen, the design is constructed using different colored corn and all natural materials such as various native grasses.

Inside the Corn Palace

You can find all sort of corn related products -
like these corn cob suckers
When the corn cob dude walked by and saw Lil Dude,
he just had to have his picture taken with him!

Many farm items, like this antique Farmall tractor
line the concourse around the building
Outside the Corn Palace

Lil Dude & his gold prospecting
buddy across the street from
the Corn Palace

At an art gallery down the block
from the Corn Palace. Interesting,
but no idea.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Wall Drug

Wall Drug Store is an internationally known tourist attraction in Wall, South Dakota. Known far and wide simply as Wall Drug, the business brings in over $10 million each year and draws about 2 million visitors from around the world to this small, middle-of-nowhere town. 

Most of Wall Drug's fame comes from self-promotion. Billboards advertising the place are seen for hundreds of miles in all directions in South Dakota and neighboring states. Many of them state how many miles it is to Wall Drug. Over the years, a peculiar tradition has emerged by visitors from around the world who put up signs in famous places mimicking the billboards by indicating how many miles it is from there to Wall Drug.  

Wall Drug became famous in the 1930's by offering free ice water to parched travelers who were heading to the newly-opened Mt. Rushmore Monument. As the business grew, additional stores and attractions were added. In addition to the large drug store, there are now cafe's, restaurants, a clothing store, gift shops, a book store and more. Basically, anything a traveler could want can be found here. And the ice water is still free!

Inside the cavernous walkway of Wall Drug

Howdy, Pardner
Looks like Lil Dude has a new girlfriend!

Wyatt says, "Come along
peacefully or the troll
gets it!"