A Flandreau history picture book has been printed in advance of the city’s 150th birthday next summer and is for sale at various city locations.
“Flandreau Images of the Past, Vol. 1” was put together by Dale A. Johnson, who researched and edited the book.
“I love it. I enjoy the challenge, I guess,” Johnson said about the process of putting together the book with photos and research mostly coming from the museum records, old newspapers and Johnson’s research-oriented mind. “I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while. I actually plan on doing three books,” he said.
Chapters are broken into community, cultural values, health, serving, weather, parks and recreation and social life.
Johnson already has 250 photos chosen for the second book, which he would like to have finished by Christmas. He has some of the research yet to do. The first book took less than three months to put together. His third book will be text with stories from Flandreau.
The books are important so people know where they come from, he said. Many people may not have history that goes back more than 15 years or so, whatever is their own context, he said.
“Now they can go back and say Maynard’s was a two-story building and when it was built, it was the largest department store in eastern South Dakota,” Johnson said.
There are pictures of businesses, including ice houses that were used before refrigeration to store ice blocks cut from the river and kept frozen all through the summer. One year, a storm destroyed one of two ice houses and there was a shortage of ice that year, Johnson said.
Johnson enjoys keeping records of how the community was before people’s current memories. “It’s preserving the past,” he said.
The Volume 1 book with 122 pages is $22, tax included, and in addition to the museum, it is for sale at Dakota Stop and the Trading Post. The book has 244 photos with information under each, including 2018 addresses for buildings that are featured.
“I honestly think it is a great project with the Sesquicentennial coming up and all-school reunion all happening at once. There’s a lot of people that maybe grew up here and don’t know the history,” said Joshua Kellogg, museum director.
The museum has ordered 500 of the books, with part of the sales going to benefit the museum.
“We’re just going to see how it goes,” Kellogg said. So far, a couple dozen books have been sold.