To the editor:
“Aha,” indeed, David! The feat of preserving the landmarks of downtown Vermillion pulses with promise! The 16 women pictured, and the other female and male entrepreneurs who were not shown were aware that, over time, Vermillion’s perpetually self-sustaining economic stability lays in its heritage and in its Divinely-endowed beauty.
Nearly all of the buildings in Vermillion’s downtown district, were built soon after the disastrous flood of 1881 and testify to the ingenuity of a group of people, ingrained with Christian values, who – in spite of the calamity – persevered. Many of their homes, churches and government buildings were gone. Their cash to buy food and pay debts had floated down the river. Willing to consider the ideas of others, left-brained and right-brained thinkers worked together and solved their problem. To be protected from flooding in the future, the town was moved to the top of the hill. To be aesthetically satisfying it was plotted by the Dakota Territory to include the area along the edge of the bluff. Obstructions to the awesome view laying beyond were removed. There, with a commonality of purpose, the shops, churches, community buildings and cemetery were established.
The entrepreneurs featured in your Nov. 1, 2013 Plain Talk issue, David, commendably mirror the characteristics and ingenuity inherent in the builders of the landmarks which they have preserved.
I thank them for their insightfulness.
Edis J. Anderson