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Hutchinson County: History, Hunting and Heritage

4/4/2007
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PIERRE, S.D. – Tucked near the state’s southeastern corner, Hutchinson County is deeply rooted in the heritage of South Dakota. From mazes and museums to festivals and recreation, find it all in the communities of Clayton, Dimock, Freeman, Kaylor, Menno, Milltown, Olivet, Parkston and Tripp.

The completely restored Klauss-James Archive and Art Museum in Parkston features exquisite architectural details. The upper museum floor houses drawings and paintings of artist Bernard Albert James. On the main floor, visitors will find the Klauss Archive of music manuscripts, classical CDs, reference collections, music scores and more.

All ages will find amusement at the Corn Maze in Freeman. This 20-acre attraction features three mazes, each with varying levels of difficulty. The Corn Maze opens in late July and closes in late October with a special Haunted Maze Halloween weekend.

With thousands of public acres available throughout the county, hunting is a very accessible pastime. Pheasants, ducks, geese and deer are just a few of the native wildlife. Local stock dams, the James River and Silver Lake offer great fishing throughout the county. The Lake Menno Recreation Area provides great water activities, not to mention excellent fishing.

The Heritage Hall Museum Complex houses the largest privately-owned exhibit of Plains Indian artifacts on display in South Dakota. Visitors also can view an old-time schoolhouse, furnished pioneer home and other objects pertaining to the region’s history. Traveling southwest to Menno, visitors will want to make a stop at the Menno Heritage Museum and Annex, which exhibits memorabilia from the founding and early development of the region.

One of the region’s most popular festivals is Schmeckfest, an annual celebration dating back to 1959. Event features include the ethnic foods, crafts, and traditions of the Germans-From-Russia Mennonites who settled the Freeman community. The celebration also features a full-stage musical production.

The Uniquely South Dakota series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight unique aspects and attractions in each of South Dakota’s 66 counties. This profile was researched and compiled by Shayla Waugh, public relations intern for the Office of Tourism.

Click on the special “Uniquely South Dakota News Series” link at MediaSD.com to access the complete list of articles.

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