|Ipswich, Birthplace of the Yellowstone Trail|
July 7, 2017
Lac qui Parle State Park, Minnesota
to Mobridge, South Dakota
We are spending tonight in Mobridge South Dakota on the banks of the Missouri River. Mobridge is so named because there is a bridge over the Missouri River at this point. The abbreviation for Missouri is Mo. Combine that abbreviation with the word bridge and the town at that point ends up with the name Mobridge.
Once again we "gave in" and are not spending the night in the tent trailer. It is 105° here and sleeping in our canvas tent trailer did not sound pleasant. I guess we're getting old.
We started the day battling mosquitoes at the campground in Minnesota. Minnesota is known for its mosquitoes, although the state's Department of Commerce does not promote that fact. The mosquitoes made us to break camp at Lac qui Parle State Park in Montevideo (pronounced "Mount video") quickly and gave us a few parting bites on the way out of the campground just to make sure that we would remember the place.
The first town we visited was Ortonville, Minnesota. Ortonville is the county seat for Big Stone County Minnesota. It is another Midwestern city that has been passed by, by the march of time. It appears that it was once fairly prosperous. It still looks pretty good, but there are a few vacant storefronts on Main Street.
While we were in Ortonville we stopped for breakfast at the Ligonberry coffee shop. A ligonberry is a Scandinavian berrry that is somewhat tart, but makes into a very good jam to be spread on muffins.
|Khadija and her sister Karina|
|War Memorial on Courthouse grounds|
The first town that we came to in South Dakota was Milbank. Milbank is home to the Milbank mutual insurance company and is also the birthplace of the Super 8 motel chain.
At a park across the street from Milbank Mutual's headquarters there is a windmill. It turns out that this windmill was a gristmill when the town of Milbank was first settled. As the town grew with houses and other commercial structures going up, along with the planting of trees to line the city streets, the owner the gristmill found that it affected the wind. The wind power had to be supplemented in order to grind wheat into flour.
Eventually, operating the gristmill became uneconomical and it was suffering from neglect. Some public spirited citizens, recognizing the importance of the gristmill to the town's history purchased it and moved it. Later it was restored and moved once again. The Milbank Mutual Insurance Company takes good care of the windmill. From what I read they maintain it for the city, its citizens and visitors to enjoy.
|Competing claims are just part of the fun!|
We moved on from Milbank to Ipswich, South Dakota. On our way to Ipswich we passed through the Prairie Pothole Country. The Prairie Pothole Country is a remnant of the last Ice Age. As the ice receded from the northern Great Plains, it left a relatively flat countryside, but not one that is perfectly flat. As the ice sheet receded, it left potholes as well as moraine. In the spring as the snow melts and with spring rains, these potholes fill with water. Some are so large and deep that they are also fed by springs and remain a standing body of water for the entire year. Most of the potholes dry up during the year. Farmers and cities have eliminated most of the potholes, but those that remain are now guarded as productive wetlands which are the breeding grounds for most of the waterfowl in this country.
These Prairie Potholes proved to be an immense challenge to the railroad engineers and to the road builders of the early 20th century.
Ipswich South Dakota and the birth of the Yellowstone Trail
Vintage scene of Ipswich. It doesn't
look so different today.
Ipswich is the birthplace of the Yellowstone Trail. Joseph Parmley was a lawyer and owned a land office in Ipswich. Parmley was a product of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
|Parmley was urged to run for Congress|
He was caught up in the progressive movement. He joined the prohibition movement and his wife was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. Parmley was also active in the reclamation movement, which turned the West into productive farmland. But most of all, Parmley is remembered for his advocacy and hard work in the "Good Roads Movement".
|Gathering of Good Roads Advocates outside of Parmley Land Office|
Tire Cover from the car Joe Parmley drove to
promote the Yellowstone Trail
|A Sign on the Ipswich Memorial Arch|
Parmley is held in high esteem in South Dakota and particularly in Ipswich. He was a remarkable man.
|Livingroom fireplace made of stones and shells collected by Parmley|
Parmley's house built of brick, stone and concrete.
It won't burn down.
|Joe Parmley, by his hearth.|
|I wish Joe were here so we could talk.|
Tom is a volunteer docent at the Parmley house and Museum.
Tom, a volunteer docent at the Parmley
museum, in front of the Parmley Land office
|Joe Parmley, outside his land Office|