Monday, April 27, 2015

Wall, South Dakota

In December 1931 Dorothy and Ted Hustead had just purchased the only drugstore in a town call Wall at the east edge of the South Dakota Badlands.  Business was bad in the little prairie town where only 326 people, very poor people, lived.  Most were farmers wiped out by the Depression or drought.

Christmas was coming, but Ted Hustead said there was no snow, no sparkling lights, just hard cold air.  The cold wind in the prairie whipped up the dust devils.  Tin Lizzie's where chugging down the two lane highway with suitcases strapped to the running boards.  Ted Hustead thought to himself that someone was going home for the holidays and wished that they would stop even if just for a cup of hot coffee but they didn't.

Business didn't improve and the Husteads were ready to cash out when in the summer of 1936, a very hot summer, Dorothy had an idea.  She had been watching and listening to the jalopies running up and down the highway and with the heat came the germ of an idea.  After discussing the idea with Ted it was decided that they would install signs along the highways offering Free Ice Water....Wall Drug.  The idea worked and people began to stop to take advantage of the free offer and the Husteads made sure everyone left happy.  They poured gallons of ice water, made ice cream cones and gave highway directions.  The signs worked so well that the store hasn't been lonely for customers every since.  The store can draw up to 20,000 customers on a hot prairie day.

Today the signs start on the highways for miles and miles.  Giving you the expression of this huge place that has everything and it doesn't disappoint.  The store is big with nearly anything you might want with the exception of groceries.  The food is good and you could spend a couple of days trying to see all the odd stuff the have.

The pictures above were swiped from the web.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

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