A Landing a Day

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Archive for May, 2011

Spink, South Dakota

Posted by graywacke on May 6, 2011

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  So, you guessed it, yet another OSer . . . SD; 52/49; 1/10; 5; 157.5.  I have roughly a 50-50 chance of landing in an OSer.  Why am I 1/10?   Only the LG knows . . .

Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Spink:

Here’s a somewhat expanded view, showing Spink’s proximity to Vermillion (home of the U of SD) and Akron, IA:

Here’s an even more expanded view, showing that I landed in the far SE corner of SD, with the Missouri R to the south (although not labeled), which is the boundary between SD & NE; and the Big Sioux R to the east, the boundary between SD & IA:

I bet that without clues like the names of the rivers, you’d never guess that the above map showed the SD – NE – IA Triple Point.  Anyway, here’s my broadest view:

Here’s my GE view, showing a predictably agricultural setting:

You can see a creek to the north, which is an un-named tributary to Brule Ck.  It flows west to Brule Ck, which heads south and then east and flows into the Big Sioux R (4th hit); on to (of course), the Missouri (362nd hit); on to (of course) the MM (771st hit).

Here’s a StreetView shot from Route 11, just north of my landing.  Naturally, I’m looking south towards my landing, which is about a quarter mile away:

Here’s a GE closeup of Spink:

Believe it or not, I found this in Wiki:

A community named Spink was established in Spink township in 1871.  At its peak, the community was strong enough to compete for the title of county seat.

Toward the end of the 20th century, only a few business remained in the community of Spink. The Spink Cafe was (and still is!) the center of life in the township and is still a place were farmers would gather to talk about the bean or corn crop and share a pot of coffee.  Gary’s Repair was (and still is!) the place where people could get the truck or tractor a little work.  The old Co-Op that went by the name of Spink Oil was the town’s gas station. Spink Oil closed in 1997.

I found an article about the Spink Cafe in the October 18, 2006 edition of the Akron (IA) Hometowner.  I lifted some excerpts and pictures:

Saving Spink Cafe — one of South Dakota’s landmarks

Fund-raiser is this Saturday in Spink

 By Julie Ann Madden



It’s a place where you can come as you are to share a meal and meet friends or make new. “It’s just a relaxed place,” said Spink Cafe co-owner Diane Otten of Spink, S.D. “People can come in from the field, stop here and have supper. They don’t have to worry that they have their farm clothes on.” “Or they can come in all dressed up,” she said. “It’s just a Mom and Pop place.” Diane and her husband, John “Junior” Otten have owned the South Dakota historical landmark since 1997.

“Spink was going to be a big town,” said CarterTwedt whose ancestors settled the town.  The railroad was to go through Spink but then it went through Elk Point.” Therefore, the largest population Spink has ever had is between 30 and 40.  Now, the population is eight people – four to the west and four to the east of the cafe.

“The Friday night Fish Fries during Lent and Sunday dinners tend to draw the largest crowds.  Recently, we served 70 people Sunday dinner and last spring we served 150 during a Fish Fry,” said Diane Otten. “Sometimes there’s only three customers in a day. It just depends on which fields the farmers are in and who else is in the area.”

“The Spinkburger is the best in town,” she said. “It’s two hamburger patties, mayo, mustard, lettuce pickle, onion and tomato.”  Breakfast is available any time they are open. They sell beer and the coffee pot’s always on. Spink Cafe is open Wednesday through Sunday. Wednesdays are until 8 p.m. or “until the last customer leaves.” Fridays and Saturdays, they open until 10 p.m. or so. Sundays is 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  “It’s really a family-run business,” said Diane Otten, “and I think the cafe is an important part of history.”  Otten admits they don’t make a lot of money operating the café – “there’s is always something to repair. It takes a lot of work but we have a lot of fun here.”

I love that the Spinkburger is the best in town.  In a town of eight people and (of course) only one restaurant, it’s hard to argue the point!  Also, I looked long and hard to find who the origin of the name “Spink.”  The info is probably out there somewhere, but I have only so much time to search . . .

I’ll close with this Panaramio Easter 2009 sunrise shot by “PatMikeDoyle” taken about 7 miles SW of Spink:

That’ll do it. . .



© 2011 A Landing A Day

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