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Things to do in Vermillion

  • Ingalls Homestead Laura's Living Prairie Ingalls Homestead DeSmet, South Dakota
    Free Land! There is or was nothing in the whole wide world that could gather anyone faster than those words that brought the Ingalls and many other families to stake their claims to free land, although the filing fees did cost the Ingalls, $16.00, by the time they were finished in 1886. Charles Ingalls filed his claim in the land office at Brookings, South Dakota in 1880, although then it was just known as the Dakota territory, after the Dakota Sioux that had lived there free already for centuries. The church, school and a part-time job were all that Charles needed to help sustain his family as they farmed the 157.25 acres of free land that they had claimed. In 1879, Mary Ingalls would go blind, and Pa Charles told Laura that she would have to see for Mary with words. She did, by writing four "Little House" books that she would write in that homestead, helping her sister Mary "see" the beauty and serenity that surrounded the family as they lived during that hard and difficult time. Laura would see the prairie homestead with words that evoked lovely thoughts and feelings that would someday help all of us see that wonderful land and the trying times that most settlers would endure, trying to carve a home, town and state out of a wild wilderness that would try their very beings. During the harsh winter of 1879-1880, the Ingalls lived in the surveyor's house by Silver Lake for three months, then Pa would build their marvelous little house on the homestead he had just filed on. The Ingalls family lived and struggled to farm on the homestead, except for the freezing winter months when they would head to town and live above the store that Charles owned. In August, 1885, on the 25th day of the month, Laura Ingalls married Almanzo Wilder, after having lived at the home for five years. The family would live there another three years before moving into the house that Charles built in the town. Today, you can visit the old homestead in De Smet, South Dakota, and enjoy the wonderful sights and smells that Laura grew up with on covered wagon rides, the 1880s school sessions, camping, Ma's little house, prairie displays, ponies and horses and many other exciting and fun pioneer activities. The homestead is open for tours every day during the summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with some hours available during the spring and fall when the leaves turn and the colors of the prairie come ablaze with so many beautiful colors that you'll do what they used to do in the grassy hills and knolls, staring up at the brilliant blue sky and watch the clouds float by, describing the many figures that pass effortlessly by. The Ingalls homestead is located in the Dakota tallgrass prairie, where families and friends can come out and enjoy the times of days gone by, imagining the good times and the sorrowful times the Ingalls lived through, just one of the many families that helped this country grow into the magnificent nation it has become. Come and see what it was like, feel the tallgrass under your feet and smell the flowers that blossom in the spring and summer, remembering the childhood days that you loved and miss.

  • Spirit Mound
    Lewis and Clark were on their expedition across the northern lands of this great nation during the early years of the 19th century, and had heard about the legends of the little spirits that lived at Paha Wakan, which is now called the Spirit Mound, and they were quite intrigued. In August, 1804, Captains Lewis and Clark would take a few good men and Lewis' dog, Seaman, on a nine mile walkabout, while the rest of the expedition continued up the Vermillion river. Seaman would get sick from the heat and be sent back to the rest of the group, and even though the men had heard of dangers around this sacred area, they wanted to know more, pushed onward by curiosity. They came to the hill and climbed up to the top; and became mesmerized by the sight, which Clark wrote about, "from the top of this mound we beheld a most butifull landscape; Numerous herds of buffalow were Seen feeding various direction...". When you visit the spirit mound in Vermillion, South Dakota, well, maybe 5 miles from the town, you'll come to the park, where you park your car, and walk along a trail that goes for about three-quarters of a mile, with numerous interpretive signs along the way, that tell the story of the spirit mound. And because of the journals that the captains kept, we know that they went to the top and stood there. The scene is a wealth of prairie wildflowers and grass, like wild rose hips, silky asters, whorled milkweed, evening primrose and sunflowers; as well as hundreds of fritillary butterflies, birds and other prairie critters. More than 300 acres of the prairie have been restored to their pristine origin and it is a magnificent view, full of smells that assail your senses and imagination. If there were pages to be written of this beautiful area, it might be possible to include all the magnificent and marvelous birds that can be seen here; but, there isn't that much space, so just a few samplings are named; great blue heron, sora, semipalmated sandpiper, western kingbird, eastern phoebe, loggerhead shrike, sedge wren, blue-winged teal, ring-necked pheasant, gray partridge and at least another 3 dozens spectacular birds. It is a magical place to visit and one that your whole family will enjoy, and remember for many years, especially a joyful time with their loving family, their parents and anyone else that has come along to share in this marvelous mystery tour.

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  • National Music MuseumNational Music Museum Vermillion, South Dakota
    The National Music Museum: America's Shrine to Music & Center for Study of the History of Musical Instruments (NMM) is located in Vermillion, South Dakota, and was begun in 1973 on the campus of the University of South Dakota, housing a marvelous musical instrument museum. It is full accredited by the AAM and considered a "Landmark of American Music" by the National Music Council. The famous collections are well known all over the world, containing over 13,500 European, non-Western and American instruments from all historical eras and cultures, believed to be the most inclusive in the entire world. The collection contains some of the earliest, most well preserved and historically prominent instruments believed to have survived. Because of its magnificent quality and range, it is certainly one of the most recognized. The museum was started as a partnership between the university, that gives staff and room for the preservation, research and teaching; and the Board of Trustees of the museum, a nonprofit, that acquires, displays and programs the collections. This board entirely depends on the support of the museum members, corporations, foundations, individuals and government agencies. It is contained in an accessible, climate-controlled environment, that houses 9 galleries and displays 850 representative instruments. The acoustics in the Arne B. Larson Concert Hall are magnificent and is the perfect setting for playing and recording the wonderful music played on the original instruments of different periods of history and their cultural milieu. The museum also contains a specialized library, a lab for the conservation and restoration of the instruments, as well as huge study-storage galleries. It also contains 1000 brass instrument mouthpieces from just about every turn-of-the-century maker, violin-making tools, baroque fittings, and early harpsichord and fortepiano tuning hammers. There are numerous other exquisite holdings of related relics and archival materials, like the Salabue-Fiorini-De Wit-Hermann-Witten-Rawlins collection of 650 violin makers' labels, and the American musical instrument manufacturers archives; the biggest of its type in the world. Scholars and students from across the globe come here to use the museum's collections and facilities, that gives a wonderful chance for the students to meet and work with people on the newest scholarship on musical research. Their collection is nothing short of astounding, being the only place on this earth where you can see two 18th century grand pianos with the unique type of action that was designed by the piano's inventor, Bartolomeo Cristofori. One of them was created in 1767 by Manuel Antunes of Lisbon, and is the earliest signed and dated piano by a maker native to Portugal, and the other one was built by Louis Bas in Villeneuve-les-Avignon in 1781, and is the earliest extant French grand piano in the world. Other fantastic and unique keyboards are a Neopolitan virginal, circa 1520, 17th and 18th centuries French, English, Portuguese and German harpsichords; German and Swedish clavichords and three 17th century Flemish harpsichords, with two of them being created by Andreas Ruckers.  These collections are unbelievable, as well as being quite extensive and hold some of the most incredible and unheard of instruments in the world. To find such an exhaustive collection in the middle of the prairie is another strange fact as well. There are woodwinds, early Italian stringed instruments, two Stradivari guitars, one Stradivari mandolin, instruments that can't be found anywhere else in the world, saxophones, clarinets, brass instruments, harmonica, and the Great American guitar collection. In 2007, this small town museum outbid the Metropolitan Museum of Art at a Christie's auction to acquire a very rare, and quite possibly the only one of its kind still in existence, of an English cittern from the late 16th century. Amazing, and one place you will certainly want to visit when traveling in that region of our beautiful country.

  •  W. H. Over Museum
    This museum is the results of a Perkins County homesteader, with an eighth grade education, becoming a scientist and director of the University of South Dakota museum, and started in Albion, Illinois in 1866. That is when William Henry Over was born, and when he was young, he found an arrowhead in his father's field close to Albion. As the other young boys of his age started finding ways to break the boredom in their lives, Over started collecting plants, artifacts and insects, and by the time he was 15, he was showing his wonderful archaeology collection in his house in southern Illinois. Somehow he knew that he would one day direct a big museum, and when he moved to Minnesota to get into business, he still would collect anything interesting that he could find or acquire. In 1901, at the American Exposition in Buffalo, NY., he again showed his collection, often giving lectures on the local topics from potatoes to early man. Over was living in Deuel County, South Dakota in 1908, and he now collected fossils, and since he was such an avid collector, he was able to recognize unknown crab and snail fossils, two that later were named after him; the Pisidium overi and the Dakotacancer overani. It wasn't long before Over, his wife and two children, son and daughter, moved to Perkins County and started a homestead. He was now a farmer, and still a collector, and in 1912, he would publish an article called, "Notes from the Northwest South Dakota" in a journal, called Curio Collectors. Soon, he was studying natural history, that spanned fresh-water shells and fossils to the colossal bones of the dinosaur, triceratops, telling about the relics that were left in Perkins County by the Arikara peoples. Just the year before, he had written about the difficult work it took to break rocks to get the specimens of sphenodiscus lenticularis, and eventually the piece would fall into the hands of the University of South Dakota Dean, E. C. Perisho, who was also the state's geologist. That is how Over and his family moved to Vermillion in 1912, and he became the assistant director of the USD museum. That new job was able to let Over become very active in the field of archaeology, also increasing his interests in history and the cultures of the Native peoples of South Dakota. Back in 1907, he had given a discourse on the earliest South Dakota people, the Arikara, whom he'd said were somewhat civilized, raising beans, squash, corn, tobacco and pumpkins, as well as using fire to make tools and pottery; and led a quiet and serene lifestyle in earthen lodges set in permanent villages. During the period from 1917 to 1919, he and his associates would spend two months, each summer, searching for pre-historic villages along the Missouri River, and discovering 125 sites. He wrote an article, called, "the Arikara Culture in South Dakota", that told about the earliest knowledge of these ingenious natives. In a 1931 Volante article, it was told that the USD museum held the biggest collection of Arikara relics in the nation, which Over said put the Arikara on the map. He would conclude, through his findings in 1934, that the Arikara had began in the southwest. Two years after he'd joined the museum, Over started collecting live animals, devoted to getting and education young minds, he acquired three live opossums, some snakes and a snowy owl, as well as a diamondback rattler from Texas. The Chicago Zoological Park bought all his snakes in 1941, and all through his extensive career, Over's interests would continue to blossom and he wrote as well; many books that evolved through his discoveries and his growing knowledge. In 1936, the university honored his exploits by giving him an honorary degree of doctor of science, and in 1948, after 35 years of service to that organization, he retired, at the age of 82. The very next year, the university regents honored him even more when they changed the name of the museum to the W. H. Over museum. And then, on February 20, 1956, at the age of 90, William Henry Over passed on.

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Local Restaurants in Vermillion
  • Main Street Pub
    Appetizers; Main Street chips & salsa, spinach quesadillas, sautéed mushrooms, potato skins, nachos, sausage & cheddar plate. Pub specialties come with choice of potato, green beans or corn, dinner salad or cup of soup and fresh French bread; grilled rosemary chicken is fresh boneless chicken breast seasoned w/ variety of herbs & rosemary; rainbow trout is pan-seared trout topped w/ lemon pepper & butter; southwest grilled chicken is fresh Texas style grilled boneless chicken breast topped with grilled tomatoes, onions, mushrooms & covered w/ melted Swiss cheese; marinated chicken breast seasoned & grilled; pork tenderloin is thinly cut & lightly breaded served w/ seasoned mushroom sauce; hand breaded fried steak is thin cut rib eye, hand dipped & lightly seasoned; rib eye is 12 oz cut of aged choice beef grilled to order; NY strip is 10 oz cut of choice beef seasoned & grilled; filet mignon is 8 oz. cut of choice beef hand cut and grilled; hamburger steak is hand pressed steak topped w/ grilled onions, mushrooms & brown gravy. Pasta; shrimp pasta is big portion of seasoned pasta with mozzarella cheese topped w/ shrimp; angel hair pasta is topped w/ tomato-wine sauce seasoned w/ Italian zest; baked pasta is plate of Pub famous pasta w/ red wine sauce & combo of three blended cheese. Salads and combos, sandwiches and wraps.

  • Raziel's
    Appetizers; French fries, waffle fries, chili fries, Raziel's mashed potato sundae is signature chunky garlic mashed potatoes topped w/ gravy, real bacon bits, cheddar cheese & garnished w / red onions, steak tips is grilled steak tips seasoned, chicken strips is litely breaded chicken breast tenderloins w/ fries, boneless wings, Razi's nachos is tortilla chips topped w/ grilled chicken, tomatoes, onions, peppers & jalapenos served w/ sides of salsa & sour cream, spinach artichoke dip, quesadillas, onion rings, cheese curds, spicy dill pickles, fried green beans, cauliflower nuggets, calamari, fried jalapeno buttons, little double hamburgers, two garlic loaves & oil, soup du jour. Pasta entrees; chicken alfredo linguini is heavy cream, fresh basil & parmesan cheese reduced; primavera is red & green peppers, tomatoes, red onions, squash, green beans and parsley sautéed with garlic, olive oil, & white wine sauce tossed on bed of linguini; tomato & red pepper is red bell pepper, tomatoes, basil, olive oil & garlic sautéed & served over linguini; linguini pomadera is complex red sauce, made w/ red wine, tomatoes, garlic, seasonings & herbs served over linguini; Venetian chicken pasta is cornucopia of fresh, creamy, herbal flavors with tomatoes, over pasta; pesto linguini is basil, pine nuts & garlic ground into olive oil, over linguini; southwest chicken is onions, peppers and tomatoes sautéed w/ creamy chipotle cheddar sauce over linguini; pappa grazia & chicken is butter, cheese and herb coated pastas served over bed of fresh spinach.


Rosemary Chicken Main Street Pub Vermillion, South Dakota


Filet Mignon Main Street Pub Vermillion, South Dakota



 Chicken Alfredo Linguini Raziel's Vermillion, South Dakota

Venetian Chicken Pasta Raziel's Vermillion, South Dakota




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  • Big Sioux Recreational Corridor & Canoe Trail Big Sioux River Vermillion, South Dakota
    The Big Sioux Recreational Corridor Council was started by an assorted group of concerned citizens in the Big Sioux river region. Since that early period, there have been a number of groups and communities that are interested in the use and preservation of the Big Sioux River have teamed up to make that great river better, and the areas that surround it. The river starts out slowly in Watertown, South Dakota and flows along gathering momentum until it joins the mighty Missouri River at Sioux City, Iowa, the Big Sioux has been a resource for all the magnificent and untamed glory of the people that have had an opportunity to experience and enjoy her. The Big Sioux River is the Iowa-South Dakota border, and lies mainly within three counties in the northwest region of Iowa; Lyon, Sioux and Plymouth. There is plenty of canoeing and kayaking going on in the South Dakota and northern Iowa regions along the Big Sioux river, where you and friends or family can lazily paddle this marvelous river and its tributaries for miles and miles. For the more slowly flowing water, and the novice canoer or kayaker, the Jim River is the perfect place to start out. The region is home to some of the best wildlife viewing in the nation, and a special place to make sure your camera is well charged and has plenty of space. But you must be quick and always at the ready, since you never know what is taking a quick drink as you come slowly around a bend. The James River is one of those typical prairie rivers, although this one is said to be the longest unnavigable river in the world, unless you are traveling by canoe or kayak. The Big Sioux is another story, starting out in northeastern South Dakota and meandering its way to Sioux Falls, where it becomes the boundary between Iowa and South Dakota; and then joins the Missouri River. It is great in the spring time when the water is just right, and you can start in Brookings and paddle all the way to the Missouri, with many folks saying their favorite area is between Lien Park in Sioux Falls and going to Newton Hills State Park. Some of the majestic sights that you might see along the way, in the Big Sioux Recreation Area, are the Gitchie Manitou Park, the old Klondike Mills site and Newton Hills State park; where all of these magnificent areas are filled with flora and fauna, the likes that you don't ordinarily see. Along this stretch, there are some difficult low head dams, and here you will have to portage. The Split Rock Creek is another beautiful area as it flows through the northeastern Minnehaha County and then runs into the Big Sioux east of Sioux Falls. During high waters in the spring or after heavy rains, it becomes one of the best white water rafting areas in the region, but be sure you are up to this type of paddling as it can become quite dangerous real fast. This stream will drop down 130 feet over the next 8 miles of water, with the red quartzite that face the creek giving you some fantastic images of diverse rock formations. On the Vermillion River, you can probably paddle from spring to fall, unless something dramatic should occur, but otherwise it is a wonderful journey for most intermediate paddlers from Centerville south to the Missouri. Speaking of that outstanding river, there are many miles of great paddling if you have some experience and don't mind spending the day or two on the river.

  • South Dakota Art Museum
    Starting out in 1970, the South Dakota Art Museum has been the repository for people from all areas of the states and world to come and learn about the artistic legacy of this great state, in all kinds of assorted ways. There are permanent galleries, workshops, lectures, changing exhibits, guided tours and publications that inform the public, students, faculty and artists, a large number of chances to learn more about the art of this state and to get into conversations between the artist and viewer. Inside the building, you will discover 6 wonderful galleries, a Kid's Sensation Station and the museum store. Inside the collections, you will come across the Harvey Dunn, who was born in 1884 on a homestead by Manchester, South Dakota, where his talents were seen by his art instructor, Ada Caldwell, at the South Dakota Agricultural College, now the South Dakota State University, where young Harvey attended from 1901 to 1902. Caldwell encouraged Dunn to continue his artistic study at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he learned from Howard Pyle, one of the country's most prominent illustrators, and after spending two years with Pyle, Harvey would open his own studio in Wilmington, Delaware and soon had a successful career in illustration. During 1915, he opened the Leonia School of Illustration in New Jersey, and just after the opening, he was called into service in WWI as one of eight artist-correspondents, in the American Expeditionary Force in Europe. After the war was over, Harvey came back to the states and his artistic talents excelled. He is recalled as the state's best artist, leaving a legacy of war reporter, teacher and painter of the plains of South Dakota. In the museum's Native American art collection there are more than 900 pieces that span the late 19th century to the 20th, that includes the materials of culture, historical and aesthetic in the state. This collection contains the works of numerous artists, and include quillwork, pipes, clothing, headdresses, beadwork, baskets, bags, tools and moccasins of the North American Plains, jewelry, rugs and pottery from the southwest, and carvings and baskets from the Northeast Coast of North America. The museum contains the biggest collection of maghab linens in the world, containing more than 2500 magnificent hand embroidered linens that were created on the island of Madeira in the 1930s-1970s. Marghab, Ltd. was started in 1934 by native South Dakota Vera Way Marghab and her husband, Emile.  Another excellent illustrator that came to South Dakota from England during the 1970s is Paul Goble, also an author, who used American Indian traditions in his children's books. Just after he came to South Dakota in 1977, his book, "The Girl who Loved Wild Horses" got the Caldecott Medal for being the best-illustrated children's book for the year. Paul gave the original illustrations from over 30 of his books to the museum.

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  • Heritage Hall Museum Plains Indian Artifacts ExhibitHeritage Hall Museum Freeman, South Dakota
    The Heritage Hall Museum is devoted to saving the rare artifacts of their ancestors that led to the standard of living today enjoyed by all. Their desire is to leave a record for their children's children to learn and understand from their forefathers; and houses more than 20,000 historical relics showcased for your pleasure. The collections span 24,000 square feet of space where there are more than 10,000 pieces that include antiques, native wildlife exhibits, pioneer tools, pioneer household relics and more that include; agriculture items, more than 220 birds mounted; preserved historic buildings; Plains Indians Artifacts display, early transportation vehicles and more than 10,000 photo, documents, periodicals and books. In the archives, there are over 10,000 documents, books, periodicals and photographs that relate to the local history, that is mostly German and Scandinavian, including more specifically main cultural groups that are Low German, Hutterite, Swiss Mennonites, as well as a sprinkling of Keibronn, Kassler and Schwabisch; and in these are two 17th century Luther translations of the Bible and a 1780 German edition of the Marty's Mirror, which are today, priceless. In their agriculture display there is horse drawn equipment, numerous old tractors including a Fordson, and the North American Mennonites donated 50 of these tractors to the Russian Mennonites that helped them to put more land under cultivation. In the area of transportation, there are authentic horse-drawn buggies and very rare Indian, Marsh & Metz, American and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, with a few going all the way back to 1908, as well as vintage automobiles that include a 1908 Black, 1908 Brush, 1910 Buick, a few Model T's and a 1909 Avery Truck, one of only three known to still exist. Some of the agricultural equipment includes old horse machinery, an arboretum, a rare one-cylinder engine and a marvelous tool collection. Another excellent collectible is the 1927 Lincoln-Paige biplane, buggies and sleighs and a license plate display. One of the finest examples of early homes is the 1879 Pioneer home of Ludwig Deckert, with the lumber being hauled by oxen and wagon from Yankton, 34 miles south, moving in 1979 to the museum site; containing many of the original household relics and furnishings. One of most unique items in the old home is the Russian oven and heating system that was constructed in the middle of the house.

  • Devil's Gulch & Split Rock Park
    The Devil's Gulch may sound familiar as it was one of the places that Jesse James jumped over when he was being chased by a posse, and if you stand on the bridge there, you'll have a better idea of just how deep and wide this chasm really is. There are majestic quartzite rock formations at Palisades State Park and Split Rock Park that will just astound you and let your imagination run wild. Here is a place that entices you to camp, then fish or hike until you are too tired to move. The scenery is magnificent, lying along the Split Rock Creek, and the red quartzite formations are better and more vivid along the carved out walls above the gulch. The image of Jesse, being chased by the Northfield, Minnesota posse, is something that quickly comes to mind along the beautiful chasm, taking you back in time to the fall of 1876 when this event occurred. There is a great visitor's center here, containing many artifacts and relics of yesteryear, as well as photographs and the map that details your hiking trails. The hike is only an hour, but along the way, you'll come across wildflowers and prairie grasses, not to mention the flowing sounds of the water rolling over and around boulders and rock formations. The steel bridge that takes you across the chasm is high up, so be sure not to look down, unless those kinds of heights don't bother you. All along the trail, your camera should be at the ready, with so many magnificent sights to take pictures of and so much scenery to stop and wonder at. It is a breathtaking time, and the entire region is full of places to stop and smell the flowers, or the deep pungent smell of the earth and woods. There are numerous legends about this area, besides Jesse's exploits, and you want to be sure to investigate all of them so when you do take the hike, you'll know what happened where.

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  • Petrified Wood ParkPetrified Wood Park Lemmon, South Dakota
    The Petrified Wood Park in Lemmon, South Dakota, was constructed during 1930 to 1932 by the local townsmen led by visionary Ole S. Quamem, who used unemployed men to build this marvelous and magnificent display. About 30 to 40 of the town's men were unemployed by the Great Depression and could use any kind of work to bring home the bread and bacon to their families. Ole was an amateur geologist, who had the men scavenge the area for the rocks and fossils, and then bring them back to Lemmon; to build a spectacular display of petrified wood, that included a waterfall, a wishing well, a castle, the Lemmon Pioneer Museum and hundreds of piles of sculptures, created using nothing but petrified wood. Ole's heirs donated the property in 1954 to the city, that is considered to be the world' biggest petrified wood park of its kind. In 2002, the were major repairs and renovations done to the park so that it could be restored to its depression era beauty, and while this was happening, one of the workers noticed an official looking person watering the grass that grew between the rock cones. Surrounding the castle, there are at least a hundred conical sculptures that measure up to 20 feet high, with a few being made of spherical cannonballs, which are round rocks from North Dakota's Cannonball River. This tree appearance adds to the mystique of the petrified forest park, more so since it is hand made, and built in an area of the treeless northern plains. At Christmas, the trees are decorated with lights, for the annual Fantasyland exhibit. The castle is evidently made from different types of petrified wood, but also with thousands of pounds of petrified dinosaur and mammoth bones, and on the interior walls, behind the gate and spires, the walls are bathed with dinosaur bones. It is open all year long, with a museum and gift shop that is open during the summer, from the usual Memorial Day to Labor Day.

  • Skull & Bones of Hero the Elephant
    One of the most interesting and unique exhibits inside the W. H. Over Museum is the exhibit of Hero, the elephant, which is such a large display that it had to be put in its own article. Hero was one of those circus elephants that traveled in the many shows and small circuses that went from town to town in this country years ago, before the animal activists told people that these huge and other animals were actually suffering and had to be looked after. In those days, the animals didn't bite the hand that fed them or run over crowds in their frenzy to find freedom. This special elephant weighed well over five tons and had become the main attraction of the Orton Circus. He was always behaving, until that fateful day in May, 1916, in Elkton, South Dakota, he went crazy, some blaming a "bulling spell" and others thought the cold and snowy harsh weather had just got the better of him. Or maybe it was the fault of his keeper, Henry Newton, who forgot to dope the big animal with rosin, a common practice at the time to keep Hero docile for the show and the crowds. Anyway, when Hero bumped into the water wagon, Henry decided to flog the elephant, which didn't help matters either. Hero grabbed the ignorant keeper and flung him 30 feet, and as Newton crawled under another wagon, Hero came over and knocked it over, crushing poor Newton. Hero went after two ponies and was goring them to death, although he didn't have any tusks, he did have teeth, and then stomped those distraught animals to death. He wanted to stump Newton into the ground, but it was too muddy, luckily for Newton, who was still alive. By now, the circus people were getting their weapons and firing as fast as they could. Soon the townsfolk got into it because they didn't want a mad elephant going wild all over their town. The rifle bullets and the shotgun rounds only enraged Hero more, as he was hurting. He fled the town and went into the fields nearby, with local farmers grabbing their weapons and joining in on the wild melee. Hero continued to rampage around the fields for over 12 hours until one of the local sheriffs was able to bring him down with a high powered rifle. After it was all over, no people were killed, just the two ponies and Hero. Elkton is about 120 miles away from the museum, and the director there knew the value of this possible exhibit, so they went and got the carcass, skinning it and gutting it; and then William Over got the bones and took them to the museum. William made sure that he got all the necessary papers and left. The town of Elkton has tried many times to get the bones back, but William Over was very thorough; although they do have the gun that killed Hero, and a piece of luggage that was made from his skin. It is a good thing that the animal activists have come along, since it is a sad story, and one without a happy ending for anyone.

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May 12, 2011