Wall, South Dakota

Day 160

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     In 1931, during the depression, Ted Hausted, just two and half years out of pharmacy school, and Dorothy, his wife arrived in Wall, South Dakota to purchase a drug store for sale. The town doctor, G.W. Mills, told Ted that Wall needed a pharmacist and predicted he could do well. Unfortunately, he did not do well to begin with. However, in a moment of inspiration during the hot summer of 1936, Dorothy suggested the drug store might supplement its revenue by pulling travelers off Highway 16, the dusty east-west route across South Dakota which people took to visit Mount Rushmore. She thought that if they put up a little sign out on the highway offering free ice water to tourists on their way to Mount Rushmore maybe some of them would turn off to quench their thirst and perhaps even buy something. In the days before air conditioned cars, ice water was a lure.

     Now, you can see billboards advertising Wall Drug 200 miles away. Like those in 1936, we couldn’t resist but to stop in. While still a drug store, it is now much more. Selling all kinds of touristy stuff, and lots of amusement for the kids.

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