Sesquicentennial Highlights



(Copied from the May 10, 1973 Plain Talk)

Plans are nearing completion for the observance on June 30 of the 100th anniversary of the town of Burbank.  Located about five miles east of Vermillion, the town site was surveyed and platted in 1871 and named in honor of John A. Burbank, governor of the territory from 1869 to 1875.

The spot on which the village stands has an early history.  It is said that a half-breed by the name of Alec C. Young settled here in 1855.  For several years the spot was known as "Alec C.'s Point."

The railroad reached this section in the fall of 1872, and for many years at least six trains ran through the place every day.  Older citizens who used to ride the cars will remember an old time fiddler who was often on the depot platform when the train came in and scraping away at his Stradivarius.

Before the general use of the automobile Burbank was a busy place, especially at harvest time.  Loaded wagons would be lined up waiting their turns.  Sixty years ago there were two elevators to take care of the harvests.

At that time there was a large general store operated by Nels Anderson, whose family home was a few miles southwest of Burbank.  The building also housed the post office and the telephone exchange.  When Anderson retired because of ill health the store was taken over by Manning & O'Connor and they were in business there for a number of years.

A bank was established in the town in a brick building built for that purpose. This bank was in business for a number of years, the building later being occupied by the post office. At present it is being used for storage purposes and the post office is in a new building across the street.

The Thompson Lumber Co. of Vermillion had a lumber yard in Burbank for a number of years before the change in the times.  Jack Mack, well known at that time, was the early day manager. A later manager was Walter O'Connor of Vermillion.

East of Burbank in the early days there was a community named Liberty. Not much is known about this place, but there was an item concerning it in a copy of the Dakota Republican dated June 5, 1874 that stated:  "Wm. G. Curtis of Liberty has bought out the interest of J. L. Fisher in the Lodi mills and will remove to that place in the near future."

Mr. Curtis never suspected that he was leaving one community that was to vanish without a trace to embark in business in a village that was also doomed to disappear completely.

In its most prosperous days, before the automobile was in common use, there were two general stores in Burbank, and the town also had a barber shop and a blacksmith shop. At present there are about 30 residences in the town and there is also a tavern on the south side of the highway where you can quench your thirst and satisfy your appetite.

In 1973, Sioux Tools Company, who is locating in Vermillion, broke ground this past week for their new building. Vermillion welcomes them to our area.

Mister Rogers of the Mister Rogers TV show visited Vermillion this week and 1200 youngsters, age 3 to 5 attended the show held at the Continuing Education Center at USD.  One of the questions asked by a youngster was, "Mr. Rogers, how did you get out of the television set?" The show was sponsored by South Dakota KUSD-TV.

Highlighted by a successful alumni meeting in Pickstown Thursday, the USD fund raising campaign for the proposed Dakota Dome multi-purpose physical education facility topped the $1.3 million mark this week.  Forty-six 10 year seating subscriptions were signed during the week.  This brings the total number of seating subscriptions to 182.

Mr. & Mrs. Dale Holt are the new owners of the Sletwold Flower Shop.  They come here from California.  They will continue the business under the name of Sletwold-Holt Flower Shop.

"For Head Turning Pretty Hair" call the Vermillion Beauty Shop at 4-2810.

Completion date for the refurbishing of the Fullerton Lumber Company is October 1st.

The City Council passed a resolution of necessity for the construction of a sanitary sewer to serve the Country Kitchen, a new restaurant being built on Cherry Street.

The Downtown Mall has caused much discussion.  It is located between Mount's Recreation and Hanny's Clothing Store.  It was built at an expense of less than $2,000. And is an attractive bit of greenery in downtown.

The Country Kitchen opened on September 12th.  Free Strawberry pie will be served to the first 200 eating dinner.  The Country Kitchen will be open 24 hours a day.

There are 814 pupils riding the Vermillion school buses each school day according to Ken Beringer, Business Manager of the Vermilion Schools.  Three hundred two of these pupils are picked up on seven rural routes. Four hundred twenty seven students are transported, most of them to the Middle School and High School.

One of the most successful homecomings in recent years was celebrated on Thursday and Friday.  The Homecoming Queen, Allison Lee and Homecoming King, Gregg Merrigan was crowned the 1973 Royalty.  Members of the rock band, Chuck Eklund, Dave Torre, Rich Iverson and Kevin Fischer entertained at the morning assembly.  On Friday night, the Tanagers defeated the Winner Warriors 26-14.

Ike and Tina Turner will provide the entertainment at Slagle Auditorium during Dakota Days.  If you want to attend you must hurry as the tickets are almost gone.

End 1973

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