Silver Threads

History of the senior center written
by Nila Fostvedt

School days, School days,
Good Old Golden Rule days

A replica of the first Dakota Territory School house  rests on  the Vermillion Senior Center property at 320 W. Main. During the winter of 1864-65, Captain Nelson Minor and his company of Calgary men built the first schoolhouse. Released from active duty as a member of Company A, the school's first teacher was Captain Shaw. He taught a four month winter term. The building was also used for church services, political gatherings, and as a polling place.

The replica first rested beside the museum on campus, then moved to a location by Highway 50 before settling at the bottom of Ravine Hill, on Dakota St. It rested there on cement blocks for 15 years. It had no floor or covered windows.

August 1978 – the Vermilion City Council voted to deed the replica to the DAR Daughters of American Revolution, Paha Wakan Chapter, and to give permission to have it placed under the large tree at the end of Minor Lane east of the Senior Citizen's building. On moving day, Wilbur Tiahrt, John Armstrong, brothers Donald, Todd and Tom Tiahrt helped. A tractor and haystack mover were used. The foundation for the log schoolhouse was provided by Louis Weinberg of Elk Point.

Here it was to be renovated, floor and windows installed and opened to visitors as a historical, educational museum, with alternating collections of pictures, maps, textbooks, coins, dolls, valentines, buttons, quilts and etc. The Senior Center would keep a key.

Did you know Captain Minor is buried at Bluff View Cemetery?

We're all young at heart, just a little older in places!

The Vermillion Senior Center would welcome you for activities, games and meals.  You don't even need to drive, just call Vermillion Transit for a ride to and from a destination and head to 320 W. Main.  Come, you are welcome anytime.

More history from Nila in the next Silver Threads.

Activities & events
of the center

Sunday, Oct. 10  – Pancake Breakfast at the Center 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (second Sunday of every month).

Friday, Nov. 12  – Silver Threads Annual Health & Product Fair 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The center will be serving lunch (soup and sandwiches) and sponsor a bake sale.  This informative event will include local businesses and organizations, plus two mini-seminars. Door prizes and drawings throughout the event. Flu shots and blood pressure checks provided by Sanford Health.   

 The silent auction event continues with items added and removed as we get appropriate bids. The center has also started a gift shop which contains items made or donated by members and friends of the center. We have many wonderful items including afghans, baby quilts, pot holders, gifts, glass dishes and more. If you have items you would like to donate, please call or bring the items to the center. The auction & center store items are open to the public.  

Activities available:
Knit, Stitch & Portable Crafts every Friday at 10 a.m.

Contact the center for a schedule of the other daily activities such as pitch, bridge, pinochle, dominoes, cribbage and scrabble or be the one to start a new activity.

Pancake Sunday is always the second Sunday of each month (except in May) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $4 for pancakes, sausages, coffee and juice and is prepared by the senior men and women of the center.  

Visually Impaired meet the second Monday of each month at 1 p.m. at the center.  They meet to discuss options for different types of support and equipment for visual impairment.

Foot clinic is held on Tuesdays at the center by Sanford Vermillion Clinic, call 624-2611 for an appointment.

Vermillion Medical Clinic presents a program on health topics and checks blood pressure – check the center for date.

Hy-Vee pharmacy visits once a month to assist with prescription help and diabetes information.

The Dakota Senior Meals prepares and serves food Monday through Friday in the kitchen and dining area of the center.  The nutrition program is a separate program under the direction of ROCS and receive state & federal funds to help pay for a small portion of the meal cost.  A donation for your meal helps support the program.

All members of the center receive a monthly newsletter with scheduled events and activities plus a menu from Dakota Senior Meals. Members are encouraged to participate in the daily activities and events, educational and health programs, share in the book and puzzle exchange, participate in fundraisers and other activities or events.  Members need to be only 40 years of age and pay an annual fee of $25 per year or $250 lifetime.

The senior center is a non-profit organization that welcomes volunteers and financial donations.  We sponsor monthly fundraisers and send out requests to businesses and organizations in the community as our means of funding. If you or your group would like to help sponsor a fundraising event, please contact the center at 624-8072.  Be watching for more events and activities in the next "Silver Threads".

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