Thursday, May 6, 2022
Temperature 79 Degrees, Overcast
Falls Park, Sioux Falls, SD
USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial
Porter Sculpture Park
We awoke to a beautiful day with abundant sunshine. Not the kind of day to stay home and stay inside. So, off we went sightseeing.
This was one of our stops today. Their web site states: if you only have time for one stop in Sioux Falls, it has to be Falls Park, the cities namesake. The park is comprised of of over 128 acres. . .along the big Sioux river.
The structure in the background, behind the wooden building with two windows, are the remains of the Queen Bee Mill. The original mill was seven stories high, built in the 1880’s and cost about $500,000 to construct. At the time it was one of the most advanced in America. It could process 1500 bushels of wheat a day. However, by 1883 the mill was closed – a victim of inadequate water supply and a short supply of wheat.
The building seen here was once the Sioux Falls Light and Power Company building, completed in 1908. The building used to house three 500-kilowatt hydroelectric generators and used the dam and millrace from the Queen Bee Mill. The plant was abandoned in 1974 and subsequently donated to the city who in turn converted it into the Falls Overlook Cafe.
This was another stop we made in Sioux Falls: USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial.
There web site tells us: The South Dakota Battleship. . .was the most decorated battleship of World War II. For security purposes, she was called Battleship X after her first major battles. to prevent the enemy from identify the top-of-the-line battleship.
At first an effort was made to secure and transport the entire ship to South Dakota. However, when that failed the idea was born to create an outline of the ship within the confines of the park.
Looking toward the bow.
Looking toward the stern.
There was a small museum located in the center of the park that we next visited.
It was a small but well laid-out museum with many artifacts taken from the battleship. However, since I had already spent hours aboard the actual battleship USS Alabama we didn’t spend a lot of time here.
We had one final stop we wanted to make, if that is the cows would cooperate.
Yup, closed – sort of. We called and the owner, Wayne Porter, told us feel free to open the gate and view the park. But. . .
if the cows are near the gate don’t even try it. Darn, there they were so we could only take a few pictures from the other side of the fence. So here are some pictures I was able to get.
There are 50 plus one-of-a-kind sculptures on the grounds that we just couldn’t get close to thanks to those darn cows. The grounds open up to the public on May 15th and the cows will be gone but unfortunately we’ll be some 400 miles west of here by then. I encourage you to Google the site and see for yourself what one man has created that has delighted so many for so long.
So that was our day on The Road of Retirement. We’re having a ball traveling along and viewing some really great attractions in this great land of ours. Hopefully, as we move west we’ll eventually find some better weather. The days so far have been a real mixed bag. We’re still trying to get used to the winds which seem to be so much a part of the central plains. I’m still trying to figure out a way to mount a sail on Elvira. All in all I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are two of the most blessed people on the face of the earth.