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Pat & Rose Mary Trask's mystery photo was taken by Don Hoskins of Huron.
Pat & Rose Mary Trask's mystery photo was taken by Don Hoskins of Huron.

Mystery Photo No More

Jul 24, 2012

Update — the mystery has been solved!

Lots of you guessed that this was the Odd Fellows Home in Dell Rapids. We just spoke with Joan Rasmusson, owner of the former orphanage and nursing home, who verified it for us. She's in the midst of renovating the beautiful, historic structure. The old laundry equipment area has been converted into condos, and more improvements are planned. Not many of the structures pictured lasted throughout the years, but Joan mentioned that the apple orchard is still there.

Joan's no stranger to the renovation process. She was involved with restoring the Grand Opera House, a gorgeous 1888 theater in the Romanesque Revival style that is hosting plays, concerts and other events once again. She informed us that other Dell Rapids structures are being fixed up. That's exciting news for the northern Minnehaha County gem. 

 We recently unearthed a photographic mystery here at South Dakota Magazine. Back in 2001, Pat and Rose Mary Trask of Wasta, South Dakota sent us this picture, along with a plea for help:

Our community service club, (WTL for "Willing to Learn" — not "Women Tell Lies" — Club) was painting and cleaning our Elm Springs Community Hall when we found the enclosed historic photo. None of us knew what building this was so we hope you can help us identify it.

We didn't recognize this scene then and we don't now. Do you? The back of the photo is blank, but "Don Hoskins / Huron" is printed in white on the front. That's the only clue we can offer. 


07:25 am - Tue, July 24 2012
Rebecca said:
No idea but it looks gorgeous!
08:28 am - Tue, July 24 2012
Daniel Hauglid said:
Looks like the odd fellows home in Dell Rapids
08:37 am - Tue, July 24 2012
Daniel Hauglid said:
This is the closest photo I could find.
09:08 am - Tue, July 24 2012
Laura said:
Here's a few more shots of the Odd Fellows Home. Wish we could see some of the outbuildings.

The home housed orphans until 1947...I was thinking the structure to the right of the home and before the clotheslines looked a little playgroundish. Any thoughts?
12:05 pm - Tue, July 24 2012
Brian said:
This photo is not very recent. Obviously, taken after the invention of the airplane, but jugding by the barn, silos, background, and foreground left, was taken more than 60 years ago.
12:52 pm - Tue, July 24 2012
Liz Almlie said:
The photo was taken before 1959, when an addition was built on the south side of the building. The Odd Fellows Home provided care for elderly Odd Fellows members from South Dakota as well as orphaned or dependent children of members. The children went to school locally and helped out on the Home's farm.
The Odd Fellows Home of Dell Rapids was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was a weekly highlight on the National Park Service's website:
You can visit the Dell Rapids Museum for more info too!
02:49 pm - Tue, July 24 2012
Bruce Preston said:
Looks a little like the sugar factory that my Dad worked as a hod carrier. He accidently knocked a brick off the scaffold and was fired on the spot for it lit very close to the supervisorSZHS5 2mnsz
06:52 pm - Thu, July 26 2012
David Laustsen said:
I think it is a building at the Redfield State School.
04:32 am - Fri, July 27 2012
TB said:
Old Fellows Home in Dell Rapids, circa 1965 maybe?

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