Yes, some may find the Corn Palace in Mitchell SD to be a bit…corny. But no one can deny the civic spirit and sense of boosterism that has put this town on the map since 1892. No one else has a Corn Palace – and boy, are they sorry they didn’t think of it. Imagine, every year they surround the building with murals in a new theme. They do it after the harvest – like now – and then the birds have the murals and the edging to nibble on till there is nothing left by the end of the winter.
We were lucky enough to be here as some murals have already been put up, and the teams were still working on new ones – “Paint by Number” with corn, they call it. And the results are amazing. Our theme this year is one of nostalgia – “Remember When.”
Inside, the murals have been up for many years – created by a local ‘corn artist’ – and they are stunning. See some of the details in my corn closeups!
This is the real heart of the community. Whether a presidential candidate is coming to town or the local high school basketball team is playing, this is the place.
And speaking of presidential candidates, Mitchell is also the home of presidential candidate George McGovern, who is commemorated along with his wife at a library on the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University, which they both attended. Boy, did that bring back memories. You may or may not have them too, but the last picture says it all…
One more stop in Mitchell, at the Prehistoric Indian archeological site. There were Indians living in wood and mud houses in the area of the James River there over 1000 years ago. They have erected a building over a key part of the site, and it is an active training center for archeologists, include those from England’s Exeter University. Bet they get a kick out of Mitchell SD. Wait till they tell them about the Corn Palace back home! At any rate, quite an impressive museum recreation and excavation site.
Next, we were on to Sioux Falls, largest city in South Dakota, and our last stop in this vast state. We started at the falls which gave this city its name, of course. While they aren’t Niagara, they do supply power to this city of 167,000. It is the center of bank services for Citibank, et al, thanks to the South Dakota usury laws – or lack of them. Check your credit card bills carefully, people!