Redcliffe Pier

Monday, August 8, 2011

CORN COUNTRY SD-USA Adventure Part 19

After Minneapolis we continued our bus tour to Pierre (pronounced Pier), the capital of South Dakota. We travelled through miles and miles of green fields of corn and grain it was very pretty.

We stopped in the prairie town of Mitchell, to see the fascinating, folk art, Corn Palace. In 1892 the first Corn Palace was built and the early settlers displayed their agricultural bounty on the building's walls to attract immigrant farmers to settle here. Each fall a festival was held to celebrate their productivity. Over 100 years later the tradition remains. Each picture on the walls is made from corn cobs sawn in half. Only natural colours are used but other grains such as rye, oats and sour dock are also used.  

The sides of the building are also covered with corn cob murals. Each summer new murals are created. They are still working on the panels under the pictures. The background is not complete.

I was blown away with the different colours of the corn and the intricacy of the pictures.

Even inside the walls are adorned with more of this amazing folk art. The building is used for  Basket ball and entertainment as well as the tourist gift shop. Unbelievable merchandise made from corn.

Then it was time to push on. As the rolling green prairies stretched for miles the tour guide played a documentary DVD about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Two explorers who walked across the continent looking for a water way to access Asia. Jefferson also wanted them to study plants and animals and the Indians. 

Our next stop was at Chamberlain Visitor Centre built on the site where Lewis and Clark made camp by the Missouri River. It was a museum as well.

These prairies were the home of the Sioux Indians and this sculpture in the picnic grounds represents an Indian tepee. 

The site of Lewis and Clark's camp and the Missouri R. There was a sign here saying beware of poisonous snakes.

After another ride through the prairies we came to Pierre for our overnight stay. Not long before, the town had been threatened with floods. Luckily the sand bags worked. We were intrigued by the little access bridges with flower planters on them and the sign saying "No Skinny Dippin". We found a super Italian Restaurant for a delicious meal. To see our trip on the map click here

20 comments:

  1. All my years of living in North Dakota and hitting South Dakota here and there I never managed to see the Corn Palace. I was so . . . . YOUNG then with a baby I had no idea what to do with. Gads I was naive about everything. :)

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  2. This must have been an amazing sight.The murals are so unique. Your journey across America must have been so much fun.

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  3. I really enjoy folk art, but I have never seen the likes of these corn pictures. What a trip you are having.

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  4. Thank you for sharing the photos and your impressions of my home state. I grew up in those places and it was so nice to see them again.

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  5. You had a fabulous tour -- and though it sounds exhausting. (Took us years to get to all the places you did so far ;>)...course we didn't have a driver! But it definitely showed you how big the country is (although that wouldn't surprise you as much as it would some people I've talked to as we travel (those from Japan and Europe are often blown away if they travel the part that you saw on your last three posts. )

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  6. I love your blog --- beautiful pictures and all .... my blog and have a translator thank you very much for your advice regards from the Canary Islands

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  7. The corn palace is so interesting I never realised there were so many different colours of corn - and those murals on the wall are gorgeous!

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  8. The cornpalace I had never heard of before. Amazing to see what you can do with corn. We only give it to cows but I have never known you can make art with it.

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  9. Oh My---I love that corn palace... Have never been to that part of the country before. I'd love to see that place. Is Mitchell in South Dakota also? I know that Pierre is--but have never heard of Mitchell...

    Glad you found a nice restaurant... Neat country up there, huh???
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  10. Thanks for showing those Corn Palace murals. I've read of the Corn Palace before, but have never seen such good pictures of the art work.
    We found the same tepee representation at an Oklahoma rest area on our trip. It was nice to see that the people of Pierre kept their sense of humor in face of a potential disaster.

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  11. The Corn Palace is amazing. When our son used to make his treks to the family homestead in North Dakota with his grandfather, they stopped here on the way as I remember the photographs. In the face of adversity, as in the sandbags in Pierre, a good sense of humor is needed. After hearing of the floods in the Minot area, I'm glad they were spared. Fun and interesting post as always.

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  12. What an amazing artwork with these corn cobs ! We also travelled through South Dakota but I don't think we stopped there.
    Your head must be bursting with all what you have seen ! I am already exploding with only Oxford, lol !

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  13. that corn palace is amazing, and i am thinking how much talent and work went into those pictures.

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  14. Diane, it is so interesting to follow you on this trip across our country, and hear your perspective. (Does anyone from your tour group read your blog? I think there are some observations here that they should pay attention to.)

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  15. Hi Diane! What a trip...

    Waiting for you in Corsica... ;)

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  16. Wow, I love the building. Yeah, the colours of the corn - amazing.

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  17. Diane, what a neat place to visit. I like the murals on the Corn Palace. The countryside is pretty. A nice stop on your tour, great photos.

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  18. My goodness, those murals in the Corn Palace are wonderful. Such detail. It must've been great to see them up close.
    I love the little footbridge over the sand bags. Clever touch.

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  19. GREAT photos. I am enjoying your trip so much!

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  20. Somebody in Pierre has a good sense of humor...love that little bridge.

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