Tag Archives: Damn Dam

My Corner of the World – Roots

Back in August I ventured up to southeast South Dakota for a family reunion. While there the family attended services at Sioux Valley Baptist Church on land donated by my great great grandfather back in the 1800’s. So this reunion Sunday a family member Lutheran pastor led the service. So that was kind of cool. My uncle Glenn, 90+ years old, tells me that the interior furnishings and decorations are the same as they were back when he was just a boy.

So this is me, my cousin Robert, and our uncle Glenn at the site of what my mother called the “Damn Dam” in Flandreau, South Dakota. Glenn, my dad, and another brother and a friend of theirs jointly bought a canoe and used both upstream and downstream of the dam for years. So every year they all had to go visit the dam and take their wives who teased them about it the Damn Dam. So now Glenn takes me and my cousin to it and we tease him a little about but we all know it’s a fond memory of his.

Another place we visit in Flandreau is the Japanese Gardens. An old time dance hall from a long time ago. My grandmother used to talk about seeing Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Lawrence Welk and others back in the day when they were touring the Midwest. I don’t know why they called the Japanese Gardens but I did find out that it temporarily named something else during World War II and then returned the original name a few years later.

I’ve seen it a lot but I’ve never seen it in use. So I was glad to see that a local developer had a cut a deal with the city to restore it and use it as an event space again. There was a large poster inside that laid out a lot of the performers over the years and I wish I had photographed it because it talked about rock and roll groups during the 50’s and 60’s that performed there. I couldn’t find any such information online. I just love it when old buildings are restored and repurposed.

Later on we went to the town of Dell Rapids. Glenn talked about swimming as a kid in the Big Sioux River as it ran by the city park.

Abandoned Bathhouse

Remnants of the old bath house still stand. Nobody goes swimming in the river any longer.

One thing that startled me is we stopped at a gas station and I saw these pumps where you could get either 70% ethanol or 55% for your specially equipped car. Egads!! I thought. I have never seen anything like this. The stuff is pretty potent liquorwise, 70% would be 140 proof alcohol and 55% would be 110 proof. I wouldn’t drink it though as the other component is gasoline.

I always learn a lot on my trips to South Dakota.

I’m linking up with My Corner of the World