VISITING HURON, SOUTH DAKOTA
Site of the 2013 International Rally
by Sally Elmlinger, reprinted from The Blue Beret
In attempting to write articles on our next International Rally site in Huron, SD, my husband suggested that an "in person" visit was called for. So, on our way home from Sedalia, we drove to Huron and spent a couple of days. What a difference it makes to see a place in person, rather than trying to write about it based on information gleaned from the Internet. The most important thing we learned was the correct pronunciation of Huron. It is not Hugh-ron it is Here-on.
The day after our evening arrival we made our first stop the world famous Huron pheasant. It is quite a sight perched on the top of a building at the Dakota Inn. There are handy steps on each side of the building so you can get a better view of it, but the best view for taking pictures is from the front, facing U.S. Hwy 14 where there is a lovely mural and a descriptive sign. (Be careful not to wander onto the highway, as it is quite busy.
You may be asking who cares about pheasants? Well, Huron is in Beadle County. In 2011 alone $9.9 million was spent in Beadle County in conjunction with the pheasant hunting season from late October through early January.
Huron History Continued:
There were no trees in Huron back in the 1880's until the first sapling was "imported" from Iowa. This "tree" was then only the size of a lead pencil and arrived packed in old newspaper.
Today Huron is a Tree City USA, so named by the National Arbor Day Foundation for national recognition of urban and community forestry programs, which has resulted in the hundreds of trees being planted throughout the city, creating many lovely shady areas.
The town of Huron got started with the building of a saloon, a temporary post office and a drug store.. No surprise there, given the times. There were some rooms available to let in these first buildings where for 50 cents you got a bed with a straw tick and a single blanket, but no mention was made of bugs. To entice settlers to this part of the country, railroads put up posters and newspapers about the free, fertile prairie farm land in Central Dakota. Not surprisingly there were long lines to claim a section of this land.
June 10, 1880, 59 citizens submitted a petition beginning the process to become a city, which was finally completed in 1883. This was prior to South Dakota becoming a state, which occurred in 1889.
Huron has a number of buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At this time, only one of these historical places, the Pyle House (more on this in next month's article), is open for viewing. Check with the rally information desk for the dates and times.
What's to do?
I am going to serialize this portion of my article so that every month I can give you different ideas for some extra curricular activities while you are at the rally. Having been a WBCCI member for a number of years I know that the most important thing when we arrive at an International Rally is ICE CREAM! I really hate to tell you this, but there is a "DQ" right across the street from the Fairgrounds on the west side. We tested their "Blizzards" and they were great as usual.
The Dakotaland Museum located on the South Dakota State Fairgrounds on the south side of 3rd Street, houses over 5,000 artifacts including a log cabin, natural history collection of birds and mammals and many other items of interest to adults and children. Admission price is very low.
Ravine Lake Park is a special area containing a sandy beach, shelter, picnic benches, fishing, miniature golf and rental of paddle boats and inner tubes. It also has ice cream, from the University of South Dakota, and yes, we did test this one out also, yummy! In addition there are sandwiches, pies, etc. available.
Stay tuned next month for more exciting things to see and do in and around Huron.
(Thanks to the Huron Library for the opportunity to spend two hours "speed" reading the book "Huron Revisited" by Dorothy Huss, Robert S. Kuni, William Lampe and Margaret Moxon. Copyright 1988. There will be mention of additional items from this book in my articles over the next months.)