Happy Birthday large building in Pierre.
KCCR, KELO and a host of others are reporting on the State Capitol's impending 100th birthday. 2008 would mark the 100th Anniversary of the laying of the Capitol's cornerstone.
And 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the Capitol's opening for business.
Part of the announced centennial celebration next year will be to encourage people to visit this vital part of South Dakota's heritage.
There are so many stories surrounding the building that people don't know, and that may be lost to history if we aren't careful.
The age of the building is one factor - I know in my grade school youth, a school mate's dad provided the key for us, and I actually went up in the dome to look around. Anymore, it's much too treacherous, and that part of the Capitol has been sealed off for more than a decade as too dangerous. And there's also that Blashfield painting, which will likely remain sealed behind a wall until the next full building restoration.
In looking at the history, it's not just the Capitol we should know about - it's the whole grounds. I hadn't known that for years after it's construction, Capitol Lake had been a very popular skating pond in the winter. That is, until some kids drowned in it around the 30's or 40's.
And until I was informed of it recently, I had no idea that there are wild mink that live in burrows under the rock shore.
So the urban legend goes, it was discovered 15-20 or so years ago when during a luncheon that the first lady at the time was hosting on the back porch area, one of the swans that used to live in the pond came tearing from the shore, towards the luncheon, with this brown furry thing attached to it, taking large hunks from it's neck.
As the waterfowl ran through the middle of the luncheon, jetting blood as the animal continued to eat it's dinner, a frantic call was made to staff, and the situation was resolved.
Despite efforts to remove them, I'm told the mink population bounced back, and they still haunt the rocks along with Koi, carp, turtles and the occasional frog.
This Capitol Building moment is brought to you by the SDWC. (And the pins from the last Capitol Fight are from my personal collection)