Rangeviews: Small S.D. community is home to community, class and fun
I like Edgemont.
It’s a small town in the far southwest corner of South Dakota that could have “Never Say Die” as its motto. However, some years ago it chose a more positive, forward thinking slogan, “Why Not Edgemont?”
Why not, indeed.
The people of the town, and the outlying community, too, pull together in ways that a larger town wouldn’t even contemplate in coffee klatches. Back in the day, Edgemont had a livestock sale barn that kept the town hopping and on sale days, fed the crowd and fed them well, as sale barn cafes are known to do. Want a piece of truly homemade pie? Find a sale barn and you’ll have your pie.
Following the sad trend of Rapid City, S.D., and Chadron, Neb., the Edgemont sale barn closed down. It mostly sat empty for several years until a group of community volunteers decided to put the place back in business. Not as a sales barn, mind you, but as the Edgemont Community theatre, a melodrama venue. People can make reservations and have a steak supper before the play served by cast members — dinner theater, if you will — or just attend the play. A duo sings Western songs before the main event and during intermission. Various ages from the area having fun and doing it for the community urge attendees to boo and hiss in the tradition of melodrama. Each summer, two different plays are given and they draw attendees from many miles around.
Edgemont is the southernmost trailhead for the Mickelson Trail, a hikeable and bikeable trail 109 miles long constructed on an old railroad bed that leads into Lead, S.D., Edgemont has a nicely kept city park which contains a gazebo from which Teddy Roosevelt spoke on April 25, 1903. The building next to the park is the Trails, Trains and Pioneers Museum again run entirely by volunteers. One hitch is there is a small pond at the trailhead and the city park. Not to be flummoxed, the community decided to put in a covered bridge and set out to raise private funds to do so. They hired it built in Ashland, Mont., by Moses Borntreger, an Amish builder.
Once it was delivered and assembled in place in 2011, trail users, visitors and residents alike could add seeing a covered bridge to their “things I have done in life” list. And Edgemont has another feather in its cap — not only is that the only covered bridge in South Dakota, but in all of the northern Great Plains.
Nuts and Bolts fabric shop is a quilter’s dream, if you like personalized customer service, including sewing machine repair with antique machines a specialty. When the owners started the business they thought it would be a fabric shop with a small equipment shop on the side, hence Nuts and Bolts. They got so busy with the fabric they ditched the engine repair business and came to the conclusion they are nuts about their bolts (of fabric.)
Peggy showed cattle and other exhibits at the Fall River County Fair held annually in Edgemont. ❖
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