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July/August 2018 FEATURES



Karen Lovcik-Gleason talks about the life lessons she learned while growing up in Aberdeen that have helped her run an internationally successful women’s golf accessories company.


Is there a gift more meaningful than giving someone a handmade quilt? Aberdeen’s three quilting guilds put a lot of time, talent, and love into every stitch.


Your source for what’s happening in Aberdeen.

20 MUSIC BY HANNAH Guitarist and vocalist, Hannah Jepsen, feels at home in the Aberdeen music scene.


Never miss an event in the Hub City.


Can taco night get any better? The answer is yes, if you serve these grilled shrimp tacos topped with crunchy coleslaw and homemade avocado pico.


2 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018




The tradition has been to move from the small town to the big city to find better opportunities. Rachel Albright did the opposite, and has found some noteworthy advantages of starting her career in Aberdeen.


Realtors Eric Vetter and Jamie Mack want Aberdeen to have a real online presence when it comes to finding and listing rental properties. See how they’re making that happen with RentAberdeen.com.




Swimsuits, sandals, shorts, and shades! Karisma Boutique and Arrow Boutique have all your summer wardrobe needs covered.

Not many people get the opportunity to work at a place they enjoyed visiting as a kid. Take a firsthand look at everything Erik Dean is doing at Aberdeen’s favorite bicycle and hockey supply store, Dakota Outdoors.

From part-time construction gigs, to remodeling work, to completing awardwinning homes, Woehl Construction’s craftsmanship keeps on progressing in the Hub City.

Warm weather calls for hours spent on a patio with food and drinks. Before summer is over, we challenge you to try each one of these outdoor eating spots for yourself and see which one becomes your favorite.


To beat the land rush, some ambitious homesteaders jumped the gun and claimed land in Brown County before it was officially available to claim. Find out what happened to some of these early “sooner” sites.


Even though it was only in operation for just over a decade, Aberdeen’s streetcar system is still a talked-about part of our Hub City history.


The Aberdeen YMCA knows that creating a fitness community isn’t about having the best facility, but about putting others first. DAKOTA OUTDOORS + RACHEL ALBRIGHT + OUTDOOR DINING + STREETCARS


ON THE COVER Aberdeen photographer, Christina Shilman of Paisley Tree Photography, caught this summery shot of Olivia Bushnell, Amanda Tobin, and Tiana Kjerstad relaxing at Richmond Beach in outfits from Arrow Boutique and chairs by Dakota Outdoor Living.







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ISSN 2378-3060

Disclaimer: This is my first editing job. When the position opened, I wanted to apply right away, but didn’t because I literally talked myself out of it so.many. times. I thought, there’s no way they’ll hire me, I’m mostly just a mom and a sort-of, sometimes writer. Finally, I brought the dilemma to my sister-in-law, a successful sales manager and an encouraging influence in my life. She helped me realize the only thing holding me back from giving this new thing a try was, well, me. Do you ever put limits on the things you can do like that? Maybe you think you’re too young or too old, or don’t have enough hours in the day, to sew or bake or climb mountains or whatever it is that you want to do. But in this issue of Aberdeen Magazine, we get to meet people who are proof that even if you don’t feel completely ready, or the timing isn’t exactly perfect, if you show up anyway and put in the work, amazing things can happen. For example, instead of deciding nobody would hire a recent college graduate, Rachel Albright (page 26) applied for and received the position as shelter coordinator for Safe Harbor. Because she decided to go for it, she gets to make a lasting influence on the shelter and its programs. There’s also Erik Dean (page 22) who left his insurance job and bought Dakota Outdoors without knowing a thing about bikes, except that he liked them. Under his management, the store is still going strong seven years later. Even though she says she wasn’t an expert quilter or leader, Betty Dobberpuhl still took a chance and organized two of Aberdeen’s three quilting guilds (page 18). The guilds donate quilts to charities, have had their work in art exhibits, and are a relaxing place for members to make friends, all because she was brave enough to bring up the idea. And how crazy would it be to build a house for the first time? As he was growing his business, Troy Woehl of Woehl Construction (page 30) did just that in 2004. To date, he’s now constructed over 20 new homes in the Aberdeen area. So this summer, while you’re reading these stories and those of other people in our community (both past and present) who’ve leaped into things in spite of all their reasons not to, remember that you can always fall if you jump. Or, like the saying goes, you can also fly.



PUBLISHER Troy McQuillen

DESIGN Eliot Lucas

AD SALES Abby McQuillen abby@mcquillencreative.com

PUBLICATION OFFICE McQuillen Creative Group 423 S. Main St., Suite 1 Aberdeen SD, 57401 (605) 226-3481

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SUBMISSIONS Aberdeen Magazine welcomes your input. Message us your story ideas, drop off historic photos, or stop in for a chat. Email us at: troy@mcquillencreative.com

WEBSITE www.aberdeenmag.com


T H IS ISS U E ’ S C O NT R I B UTO R S PATRICK GALLAGHER is a regular contributor commenting on Aberdeen’s personality, food options, and history.

MIKE MCCAFFERTY is an avid historian, accomplished writer, professional fisherman, and trainer. His passion is Great Plains history, and he currently serves as a member of the Dacotah Prairie Museum Board. Mike has had over 200 articles printed in outdoor magazines throughout the Midwest and Canada.

TARA SCHIPKE has been cooking in restaurants for 14 years. She is currently the assistant manager at Minerva’s Restaurant and Bar and a custom pastry and dessert chef. Her passion for cooking started at home with parents who were great cooks and encouraged learning in the kitchen. In 2012, she graduated with honors from Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis.

CHRISTINA SHILMAN is a wife, mom to an amazing baby boy, mental health therapist, and owner of Paisley Tree Photography. Her photography business opened in 2013, and specializes in weddings, seniors, families, children, and lifestyle sessions. She loves capturing authentic and unforgettable moments for her clients.

DANIEL MCCOY is a cop turned Crossfit coach. The Monterey, California, native moved to Aberdeen, his wife’s hometown, in 2013 to pursue a career as an Aberdeen police officer. That same year, he joined the Aberdeen YMCA as a member. Today he is the head coach and manager of the YMCA’s Crossfit Rails program.

4 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

BECAH FLIEHS is a tropical travel agent who's been helping people plan their dream vacations for over six years. She's traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and Hawaii, building relationships on site and gaining experiences to help pair her clients up with the perfect vacation. She's been recognized by leading brands like Karisma Resorts, Funjet Vacations, and AM Resorts as a top sales agent. In her free time, she loves traveling with her own crew, which consists of her husband Trey and their three young daughters, Taylor, Mya, and Emme. She runs her travel agency, Love to Travel, out of her home in Groton, SD.

Any personal information, email addresses, or contact submitted to the editorial office or online via our Facebook page will not be sold or distributed. Aberdeen Magazine does wish to publish public comments and attitudes regarding Aberdeen, therefore written submissions and comments on our Facebook page implies permission to utilize said information in editorial content. Aberdeen Magazine is produced exclusively in Aberdeen, South Dakota. All content is copyright with all rights reserved. No content may be shared, copied, scanned, or posted online without permission. Please just ask us first. We’re pretty flexible.



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HUB CITY HOTSHOTS ARE IN FULL SWING In railroad terms, a “hotshot” is another name for a fast-moving train. In baseball, the Hub City Hotshots are also playing to be ahead of the rest. The Hotshot’s inaugural season got underway in May with a home game at Fossum Field, and will conclude in mid-August. The team is part of the summer collegiate Expedition League. Newly formed this past spring, the league currently has eight teams, each with about 30 players, and represents the Great Plains region of the U.S. and Canada. Coaches recruited players throughout the country to play in Aberdeen just for the summer before resuming their academic and baseball careers elsewhere in the fall. Hub City Hotshots owners, Chuck and Mayra Heeman, say their goal is to create a team that the community is proud of. “We want to build a place where families can bring their children and have a good time at an affordable rate.” // – Jenny Roth  For tickets and a game schedule, visit www.hubcityhotshots.com.

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 While his teammates look on, a player for the Hub City Hotshots takes his turn at bat during their season opener.

MEET ABERDEEN’S NEWEST FIREFIGHTERS AND EMTS The Aberdeen Fire and Rescue Department has six new recruits who will have completed both their EMT and Firefighter 1 and 2 training by the end of July. Landon Binfet, Carter Deyo, Cody Carter, Austin Nath, Jordan Dahme, and Kyle Stoddard will be the first to finish a new accelerated model of fire and rescue training in Aberdeen. Afterwards, some recruits will go on to take an additional year of training to become paramedics. // — Jenny Roth

 The new recruits for the Aberdeen Fire Department are Landon Binfet, Carter Deyo, Cody Carter and Austin Nath. Not pictured are Jordon Dahme and Kyle Stoddard.

 Cars old and new will line Main Street on August 25 for the 19th Annual Sizzlin’ Summer Nights Car Show.

HEATIN’ UP MAIN STREET FOR TWO NIGHTS Car enthusiasts are taking over Main Street for not just one, but two, evenings this summer at the 19th Annual Sizzlin’ Summer Nights Car Show. The familyfriendly event starts on Friday, August 24, with a concert, beer garden, and car show participation registration. Then on Saturday, August 25, the fun continues when hundreds of new and classic cars line Main from Sixth Avenue through Railroad Avenue. The public is welcome to come out anytime between 3:30 and 8:30 PM to browse all the makes and models, listen to live music, and grab a bite from local food vendors. If you can’t make it in the afternoon, try and catch a glimpse of the cars as they cruise through Aberdeen on their organized exit route, which goes past both Wylie and Melgaard Parks, on Saturday night. // – Jenny Roth

Photos by Troy McQuillen


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RSLFC FILLS IN THE GAPS WHEN PAYING FOR COLLEGE While we’re soaking up the sunny summer months right now, many students and their families will soon be gearing up for college in the fall. There are a lot of things to think about when starting this new chapter in life, and one of these is finances. Aberdeen’s Reunion Student Loan Finance Corporation (RSLFC), located at 105 1st Avenue Southwest, has been helping families locally and all over the U.S. prepare for college for over 40 years. The main products offered by RSLFC are private iHELP Student Loans and consolidation loans, all funded through community banks. What makes RSLFC stand out is their exceptional customer care. Every student who applies for a private student loan with them is guided into making the best choices for their long-term finances. A private student loan should be the last resort to help pay for college, so they coach students on maximizing the most benefits they can from federal aid, grants, and scholarships first. If a private loan is an option, they assign each student with their own personal account representative who helps them through all stages of the borrowing process, from origination to repayment, instead of directing questions through a big call center. A few times a year, RSLFC also participates in a free, informative parent’s night in Aberdeen, where families can get answers to their questions about paying for college from a panel of local experts. // — Jenny Roth

 Projects cost about $12 to $20 for kids and $30 to $50 for adults. The new DIY hub is located in the Brass Kettle and Arrow Boutique building at 322 S. Main Street, and is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM, Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and Sundays from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

 Tiffany Langer has nearly 100 customizable DIY projects on hand for both kids and adults at her Pinned Workshop.

 To learn more, visit www.slfc.com or call 1-800-645-7404.

Photos by Troy McQuillen

 The employees at RSLFC assist students nationwide in paying for college with private iHELP Student Loans and consolidation loans. Photo Courtesy of RSLFC

Our social media newsfeeds are crowded with amazing DIY projects, but does anyone ever get around to successfully completing them on their own? Aberdeen’s Pinned Workshop is here to turn your Pinterest board dreams into reality. Store owner, Tiffany Langer, says she keeps up with the latest DIY trends and has anywhere from 60 to 100 customizable projects on hand at all times. Individuals, families, and groups are welcome to bring in their ideas and leave with a finished product that looks as good as it would if you had bought it through Etsy. Store employees will help you as much, or as little, as you want when you “come in, relax, create, and forget about the mess.” // — Jenny Roth

 Ron Parker’s newest album, The Ron Parker Experience, is available now for download.

8 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

Whether he’s on stage with just his voice and a piano, or is backed by an entire jazz ensemble, Ron Parker’s presence grabs an audience’s attention. Along with playing in various gigs and events around town, this spring the Aberdeen musician also released his third album. The Ron Parker Experience is a collaboration with other South Dakota musicians, and an infusion of the diverse musical styles Ron is known for, including “soul-infused R&B, uplifting gospel, and intimate piano ballads.” // – Jenny Roth  To listen to the album, head to www.roneparker.com

Photo courtesy of Ron Parker



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 Local artists and members of the Leadership Aberdeen Class got busy putting a fresh coat of paint on the downtown OshKosh B’gosh sign in May. Courtesy photo.

Photo by Troy McQuillen

AN INVITATION TO RIDE Since their soft opening in April, bikers from across the region have been taking advantage of the warm weather by riding to Aberdeen to check out the new Stutsman Harley-Davidson store located at 717 385th Avenue South. Danielle Stugelmeyer, the store’s motor clothes manager, says the response and support so far from the biker community has been amazing. The store is a sister branch to Stutsman’s Jamestown location, and is owned by Brad Gebeke. They are a full-service Harley-Davidson, housing a large selection of bikes, parts, a service department, and riding gear. // — Jenny Roth


 The staff at Stutsman Harley-Davidson are all owners and/or riders of HD products.Front row (LTR): Danielle Stugelmeyer, Karla Balster, Lenny Roth, Dan Mount, Bryan Little. Back Row (LTR): Chris Baade, Kordell Balster, Kenny Hix, Mark Berg

Summer in Aberdeen wouldn’t be complete without the Brown County Fair. Along with the carnival, rodeo, grandstand entertainment, Big Air ATV Tour, and other usual activities, there are some new highlights to add to your fairweek agenda on August 13 -19. For the young fair lovers, the Kidz Zone is adding four inflatables, and the carnival will be opening earlier than previous years, starting on Tuesday, August 14 at 1:00 PM. While the kids are having fun, the grownups can check out the home brew contest (the winner gets to co-brew a limited edition batch with a brew master at Dakota Territory Brewing that will be

10 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

Photo by Troy McQuillen


sold for a limited amount of time at Slackers after the fair) and the wine and scotch tasting event. A favorite part of visiting the fair is sampling the many food options, and new on the scene this year will be Thai-Style Rolled Ice Cream and Wild Bill’s Old Fashioned Soda. // — Jenny Roth  For a complete schedule of the 2018 Brown County Fair, visit www.brown.sd.us/brown-county-fair/home.

A familiar downtown face is sporting a fresh new look thanks to the Signs of the Times project hosted by the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Leadership Aberdeen Class. With the help of local artists, sponsors, building owners, and committees, the class revitalized the almost completely faded OshKosh B’gosh sign at 224 S. Main Street, on the building that is now home to Dakota Territory Brewing. The sign was first put on the side of Calmenson’s Clothier, which was open in Aberdeen at this location from 1925 to 1947. Class members did research around town to make sure the sign turned out looking as close as possible to its original state. Artists Nick and Nicole Fischer, Greg Blair, and Maddie Aguirre lent their expertise in outdoor murals and were able to complete the painting the weekend of May 11 and 12. The Leadership Aberdeen Class says revamping the well-known OshKosh B’gosh ad was a great way to promote Main Street and connect Aberdeen’s present to its past. // — Jenny Roth

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YOU GOTTA GLOVE IT Brilliant ideas can happen anytime, even in the middle of your golf game by JENNY ROTH


“Good things come about when you work hard.”

12 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

 Karen Lovcik-Gleason (left), owner of Glove It, LLC, stands with a buyer at her company’s booth during the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.

do. Good things come about when you work hard.” While Glove It first started as more of a side gig Karen ran out of her home, it has now grown to employ eight people in their Tempe, Arizona, office, 22 sales representatives across the United States, and six international distributors. About the value she sees in being from Aberdeen, Karen says, “If I had the chance to hire someone from the Midwest, I would. I’m really proud of the area and environment of work ethic that I was brought up in.” After high school, Karen graduated from the Fashion Merchandising Program at Arizona State University. Prior to starting Glove It, she worked in the Fashion District on Seventh Avenue in New York City, one of the main fashion design and manufacturing centers in the world, and owned Regalia Accessory Company for 18 years. At first she thought Glove It would only be about golf gloves, but it has since grown to include all kinds of women’s golf, tennis, and active lifestyle accessories. They have golf bags and everything you carry in them, headwear, sports totes, tennis backpacks, and more, all available in stores worldwide. Karen says, “Our niche is really to encourage women to bring out their own

personality. We think outside the box of traditional golf attire, and have a variety of prints-traditional argyle, animal, florals, plaids- that you can mix and match and use to coordinate all your accessories together.” Glove It’s success is no doubt due to Karen’s hands-on approach to running her company. She is actively involved in all aspects of the business, from fabric buying and design, to manufacturing and sales, to the daily administrative work. She says out of everything, her favorite part is coming up with new products and designs. Every year she creates about 10 new prints, with the goal of bringing the latest styles and colors in fashion to life in golf and active wear. Her first design, a leopard print, is still the company’s best seller. These days women golfers are showing up to the game in the vibrant colors and bold prints of their choice. For Karen, one of the most rewarding things about her work is when she is playing golf and sees other women on the course wearing her products. “Adding your personal style just puts that extra touch, and when you feel better, you play better. I love providing people with something that they like and that makes them happy.” //

 For more information on Glove It, LLC, visit www.gloveit.com.

Photo courtesy of Karen Lovcik-Gleason

a r e n L o v c i k- G l e a s o n has always followed her “passion for fashion.” She says, “Why wear something boring when you have the opportunity to make it fun?” While golfing with some friends one day in the early 2000s, her eye for great accessories came up disappointed. Many golfers use a glove to improve their grip, but she noticed those on the market for women came in just one style: plain white. She knew feeling good in what you wear is not only a great conversation starter for women in sports like golf, but also a way to lift spirits and confidence on the course. “There weren’t any options for personality or anything to set you apart from anyone else, so I decided this could be a great opportunity,” she says. And just like that, Glove It, LLC, her now internationally successful women’s golf accessories and apparel company, was born. But even though her inspiration for her business started on a whim, Karen had the perfect background to put her new idea into action, starting with her upbringing in Aberdeen. She and her five siblings, as well as her mother, all went to Aberdeen Central. Growing up, she learned how to sew her own clothes, and another important life lesson that she says has shaped her work ethic and helped her run her company for 15 years. “My parents brought us up to know that we could do anything we worked toward. Golf, like all industries, has had its ups and downs. You have to have the tenacity to work through that and not give up right away, because every failure is a lesson that catapults you to do the next step in accomplishing what you want to


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July 4, all day Wylie Park Free  The holiday fun will start with a performance at the Castle by the Storybook Land Theatre at 5:00 PM, followed by an Aqua Addicts Water Ski Show at 7:00 PM, Duck Derby at 8:00 PM, and Aberdeen Municipal Band Concert at 8:30 PM. A fireworks display over the park will conclude the celebration at dusk.

July 20, 6:30 PM & July 21, 10:00 AM Storybook Land Free  Storybook Land is having a party all weekend long, and everyone is invited. Friday’s activities include photos with costume characters, a concert in the Castle, and a watermelon feed. Saturday’s schedule is filled with arts and crafts, inflatables, author presentations, and a performance by the Storybook Land Theatre.


July 11 & August 8, 7:00 PM registration, 7:30 PM run Melgaard Park $3.00/person or $5.00/family  Run, jog, or walk on a twomile scenic course designed for runners of all ages and abilities that highlights the Moccasin Creek Recreational Trail. DOWNTOWN SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

July 12 & August 9, 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM Main Street Free  Summer nights are for food, beverages, and live music. Don’t miss the final two downtown concerts of the season, featuring Dirty Word on July 12 and the Barstool Prophets on August 9.


July 14, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Main Street Free  Traffic will be closed on Main Street to make room for a day of sidewalk sales and store specials, fun activities for the kids, and food vendors.

 Aaron Watson


July 14, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM RDO Equipment Co. Free  Kids can take part in tractor and barrel train rides, face painting, and crafts, while adults can go on mower, Gator, and equipment test drives at this event that gives everyone the chance to get a close-up view of farm machinery.  Dirty Word

August 4, 7:45 AM – 3:15 PM Brown County Sportsman’s Club Rifle Range Free  All youth ages 8-15 are welcome to attend this handson opportunity to learn about shooting sports, hunting, and conservation. Stations will be set up for lessons in archery, dog training, fishing, trap shooting, and more. Registration is required, visit


August 19, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM The Aberdeen Aquatic Center Free will donation  Man’s best friend gets to make a splash at the closing of the Aquatic Center’s season. Bring your favorite canine to take a dip, cool down, and “doggie paddle” in the pool.



July 20, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM Dakota Event Center $20  Singer and songwriter, Aaron Watson, will headline an evening of country music along with opening guest, Lexi Wyman, from Newburg, North Dakota. BLUES, BREWS & BBQ

July 28, 11:00 AM – 11:30 PM Centennial Village, Brown County Fairgrounds Free will donation  Eight live performers will be taking the stage at this ribfeststyle event. Plenty of food booths, a children’s area, vendors, backyard grill master cook-off, and a bean bag tournament will round out the day.

14 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018



August 13-19, all day Brown County Fairgrounds Free admission  Come for an afternoon, or spend the entire week, at one of the biggest summer events in the region. Whether you like to ride the Ferris wheel at the carnival, cheer on the athletes in the rodeo, or browse the vendor booths and livestock barns, there’s something for everyone to see and do at the fair.


August 25, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM JB’s Country Store in Chelsea, SD Free admission  Get pickin’ at this outdoor arts in the park meets “junk” show that is packed with handcrafted, upcycled, and vintage items.

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It’s time to rebuild your average taco night with this delicious variation that’s fresh for summer by TARA SCHIPKE

16 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018



AVOCADO PICO 2 ripe avocados, diced 1/4 cup finely diced red onion 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced finely 1 garlic clove, minced 3 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice 1/2 Roma tomato, diced Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat your grill to medium high heat.

SHRIMP MARINADE 3 tbsp. Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic Seasoning (see notes at left for making your own) 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 tsp. fresh lime juice 1/2 pound (about 24) raw, peeled, and deveined shrimp Wooden skewers COLESLAW MIXTURE 2 cups chopped coleslaw mix Splash of apple cider vinegar THE FINISHING TOUCH 1 package mini flour or corn tortillas of your choice Cojita or feta cheese for garnish

2. Combine all the ingredients for the avocado pico and put it in the fridge to chill until you’re ready to build the tacos. 3. Combine the coleslaw with a splash of apple cider vinegar and set aside. 4. In a large bowl, combine all the shrimp marinade ingredients. Don’t let it sit too long or the lime juice will start to cook the shrimp. 5. Carefully slide the shrimp onto presoaked wooden skewers and grill two or three minutes on each side, until the shrimp are no longer opaque. You can also sauté the shrimp in a skillet if you don’t have a grill. 6. Warm your tortillas on the grill for just a few seconds on each side, or in the microwave. 7. Assemble tacos by placing the coleslaw mixture and three warm shrimp in each tortilla with the avocado pico on top. Garnish with Cojita or Feta cheese. Makes eight tacos.

Photo by Tara Schipke


hese shrimp tacos are grilled to perfection and add an extra punch with crunchy coleslaw and homemade avocado pico. For garnish, I recommend topping them with Cojita cheese. Cojita is a hard cow’s milk cheese that originated in Mexico. It’s salty, robust, crumbly-dry, and known for its granular texture that resembles Feta or Parmesan. This recipe calls for the shrimp to be grilled on wooden skewers, but if you don’t have a grill, simply sauté them in a skillet. If you’re using the skewers, make sure you soak them in water ahead of time for at least 15 minutes to prevent burning. For added flavor, I use Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic Seasoning, but you can make your own marinade by mixing together cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and chili flake if you like to add more heat. The nice thing about this recipe is that it can easily be modified to fit gluten or dairy-free diets, and as an added bonus, it’s also low in calories. //

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The stories behind the stitches of Aberdeen’s three quilting guilds by JENNY ROTH

Art is meant to be admired. Quilters take that one step further, and create pieces that aren’t just made to be hung on a wall and appreciated, but are at their best when being useful to others. Aberdeen Area Modern Quilt Guild member, Lucky Peterson, explains what quilters love about their craft. “Quilts are made to be used, not just looked at. We love it when people can throw them on the ground, and build forts and play with them. It’s neat when you can see your art really being used like that.” The Aberdeen Area Modern Quilt Guild is one of three quilting organizations in Aberdeen. They officially formed in 2014, making them the newest group to the area. Lucky says, “We wanted to get together and explore modern quilting, and what that looks like both here and nationally.” The definition of modern quilting can have a wide continuum of meanings, but generally speaking, some characteristics of modern quilts that distinguish them from the more traditional styles are large expanses of negative space, bold colors and graphic prints, minimalism, and alternate grid work. The modern quilters have nearly 15 members that range in experience from seasoned quilters to beginners who are just learning the art form. They meet monthly at various

locations around town to expand their knowledge on modern quilting patterns and techniques. Many quilters pick up the hobby because they want to make a gift for someone else. About six years ago, Lucky was helping to manage The Fabric Bin, but hadn’t yet gotten into quilting. After making a wonky nine patch quilt for a friend’s baby, his wife (girlfriend at the time), who was a quilter, encouraged him to give quilting a try. “I wasn’t so sure. I had done the wonky nine patch because in that pattern things don’t have to line up, and I was always afraid to try quilting because things never line up, but I did that quilt and then looked into modern quilting, and thought I could do that.” Betty Dobberpuhl is a founding member of both the Aberdeen Area Quilt Guild

“Quilts are made to be used, not just looked at.”

18 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

and the Candlelight Quilt Guild. She also talks about how quilters love to give their finished products to others. At the monthly meetings for both guilds she belongs to, members gather together with grocery bags at their feet. These bags are filled with the projects they’ve brought for the “show and tell” portion of the meeting, where they get to share with others what they have been busy creating. Betty says, “The things that come out of those bags, I think, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’ everything they bring is just beautiful. And then they’ll say, ‘I made this for my grandchild,’ or ‘I made this for this person.’” Along with giving to friends and family, the guilds often donate their quilts to places like the Ronald McDonald House in Sioux Falls, the Salvation Army, the Aberdeen Police Department, and local hospitals and nursing homes. The average price for most quilting fabric is about $11 per yard. Other expenses can include your pattern, the insulating batting layer between fabrics, the backing, and any tools and equipment like rod cutters or cutting mats. After purchasing supplies, the next thing put into any quilting project is time. It takes hours to cut, piece, and sew everything together in intricate detail. All of this might sound like work, but Betty says it’s the opposite. “People will look at a project and say, ‘Wow, that looks like it took a lot of work!’ But if it was work, I wouldn’t

Photos by Troy McQuillen

conversation blocks

 Members of the Aberdeen Area Modern Quilt Guild meet about once a month to work on modern quilting techniques and patterns.

 Quilters Lucky Peterson (left) and Jean Schaffer (above) work on their latest projects.

do it! I call it pleasure.” For most quilters, quilting is simply “good for the soul,” and a way to relax and take your mind off of other things. Betty and her friend, Darlene Jaeger, now of Big Stone City, formed the Aberdeen Area Quilt Guild 25 years ago. Darlene is a very accomplished quilter, and when Betty heard she wanted to start a quilting group, she reached out and offered to help. She jokes, “Darlene knew what she was doing, but me not so much. So the story goes at our first meeting I made the name tags, and Darlene did everything else.” Today, the guild meets monthly and has members from Aberdeen and numerous surrounding communities. They’ve always met at the Aberdeen Recreation & Cultural Center, first when it was in the old Monroe Building, then on State Street, and now at its current location in the former Aberdeen Central School. “The ARCC has been wonderful to us-always so great to work with and helpful. We’re very fortunate in that.” Along with “show and tell,” each meeting has a unique presenter who gives mini courses on different sewing and quilting techniques. The Aberdeen Area Quilt Guild has always met during daytime hours. Realizing that there might be people who worked who would also want to enjoy quilting together, Betty decided to put a notice in the newspaper to see if anyone would be interested in quilting in the evenings. The response was huge, and the Candlelight Quilt Guild quickly got underway. During their first meeting, they chose a


president and officers, and started coming up with their own programs. Betty laughs, “I found someone who was a great quilter to teach the presentation at the first meeting, and again I made the name tags. After that, the group just took off.” The Candlelight Quilt Guild is run very similar to the Aberdeen Area Quilt Guild. Peggy Hallstrom is their current president. During the day, she works as the registrar at NSU. She says she knew how to sew growing up, and that she made her first quilt to take with her when she was going away to college. Peggy mostly does hand quilting, and her fellow quilters call her talent “phenomenal.” For her, quilting is a joy and a good way to relax and unwind after a busy day. “I like fabric-the colors and feel- and being able to choose the ones you like and put them together in interesting ways to make something useful that you can put on a bed, or hang on a wall.” She adds, “Quilting is kind of an obsession for some of us!” //

Throughout May and June, all three Aberdeen quilt guilds had a two-part, collective exhibit on display at Presentation’s Wein Gallery. Art Through the Eye of the Quilter brought together the many diverse styles and talents of various area quilters. Members of each guild submitted their favorite pieces for the exhibit, which had not only traditional bed quilts, but also projects like quilted table runners and handbags. The response was so great, that they had enough pieces of art for two different displays, one in May, and one in June.

DAKOTA VISIONS ART QUILT In 1993, the Aberdeen Area Quilt Guild took on an exceptional, and larger-than-usual, quilting project. That year, The National Endowment for the Arts sponsored hundreds of artists from South and North Dakota to submit quilt blocks adorned in the art medium of their choice. The artists used all kinds of materials and methods, including copper and hardanger embroidery, when creating their blocks. Twenty quilters from the Aberdeen Area Quilt Guild were put in charge of engineering the project and piecing together all 102 blocks. The Dakota Visions 1993 Art Quilt served as the backdrop for the Dakota Art Congress’s Convention in Aberdeen that year. july/august 2018 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



MUSIC BY HANNAH Guitarist Hannah Jepsen is always looking forward to her next song by JENNY ROTH


annah Jepsen’s philosophy on learning to play the guitar is to simply close the book and get strumming. In the 18 plus years she’s taught guitar lessons, she’s learned that people don’t want to play songs they don’t like listening to. So instead, she teaches them to play the music they do like. “I don’t necessarily follow a lesson book. If you hear a song on the radio and like it, that’s what you’ll want to learn to play,” she explains. Besides enjoying the music they create, Hannah also wants her students to feel confident in their abilities right from the start. To do this, she makes sure they walk out the door of their very first lesson knowing how to play a whole song. For her young students, the first song they learn is almost always “You Are My Sunshine,” the same song she started out playing as a young girl. Hannah became a guitarist at age seven, but it actually wasn’t the first instrument she pursued. “In first grade I took piano lessons, but that only lasted about two weeks. My dad then said to me, ‘You can take a guitar anywhere,’ so I decided

20 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

Footsteps Counseling provides family, couples, individual and group counseling.

Photos by Troy McQuillen

Many of our clients use our services for a variety of mental health issues, including:

to try guitar lessons. I loved my teacher right away, and was hooked from there.” By her sophomore year of high school, the Roscoe, Minnesota, native was teaching guitar lessons as a part-time job, as well as singing and playing for weddings at her church. She’s kept up both of these side gigs ever since. Currently, Hannah has a handful of guitar students who range in age from eight to 40 years old. She teaches lessons a couple nights a week out of her home in Aberdeen, in addition to working full time at the Department of Health and part time as a massage therapist and wedding decorator. The active wife and mother also plays guitar and sings for multiple wedding ceremonies every year. Often times when she sings at one wedding, it ends up leading to another. “I book a lot of events during the weddings I’m singing at because couples usually have friends at their ceremonies that are also planning on getting married in the near future.” Hannah says social media has been another great resource for growing her business, Music by Hannah. “My first guitar student was a friend of mine who wanted to learn. After that, it grew by word of mouth and from students sharing posts on Facebook about where they were taking guitar lessons.” Perhaps the most unique way she’s gained a new student over the years was by an advertisement she placed on the side of a derby car. She says, “What’s kind of cool now is that I have former students who are guitar teachers themselves, teaching the next generation how to play.”

 Hannah Jepsen gives guitar lessons to a handful of students, including Dr. Ty Hanson, each week from her home in Aberdeen.

In the early 2000s, Hannah recorded two CDs while living in Minnesota, titled Just Me and What Christmas Means To Me. Then in 2004, she moved to Aberdeen. She says it was easy being a new musician to the area, which is one of the reasons she continues to call Aberdeen home. “This is really a musical and theatrical kind of town. There are always events going on, and between those and the active NSU community, it isn’t hard to find people here who like to talk music.” Hannah regularly adds her voice to the Aberdeen music scene by going to local nursing homes a couple times a month and singing “some good-old music” for the residents. This July, she will also take the stage and perform for the fourth time at the annual Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival at the Fairgrounds. Just like in teaching guitar lessons, she isn’t afraid to leave the book and sheet music behind while performing. “My style is mostly contemporary country, but I like to take the song I’m covering and do my own thing with it.” Guitar lessons, weddings, music festivals, recording studios, nursing homes. Hannah is definitely proving you really can take your guitar anywhere. The best part for her though is that even after playing for so many years, it still doesn’t get boring to pick up the same instrument. “You’re never done learning the guitar, there’s always a new song to play.” //

 For more information on Music by Hannah, find her on Facebook or at www.musicbyhannah.weebly.com.

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SHIFTING GEARS How Erik Dean of Dakota Outdoors went from customer to owner at one of his favorite childhood hangouts by PATRICK GALLAGHER

22 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

ï&#x192;&#x2DC; Erik Dean, owner of Dakota Outdoors, has learned everything there is to know about finding the right bicycle for his customers.


ne great reward life offers some people is the chance to make their living doing something they loved as a kid. When I was young, I loved my bike. Riding it, of course, but monkeying with it too-getting my hands dirty swapping seats or handlebars, attaching a mirror or basket, even repairing an inner tube. I loved going to stores to check out bike parts. But then derailleurs came and outsmarted me. Erik Dean used to do something similar when he was a kid, but he did something about it. Erik grew up locally and, after graduating from NSU, worked in insurance in Aberdeen, North Dakota, and Nebraska before coming back home. In 2011, tired of corporate life, he walked into Dakota Outdoors,

for $5,000). Now there are many categories of bikes, and Erik sells about a dozen. Styles range from easy-ride comfort bikes and cruisers, to mountain bikes made for rugged terrain, and road bikesthe one-time 10-speed bikes that now have 20 to 30 speeds and are made for pavement. There are a variety of styles in between, as well as hybrids that combine elements of different styles. Erik says he sells a wider variety of bikes than the old store, both more models and brands. “I didn’t know a lot about bikes when I bought the store,” he admits, “but I learned.” Now when someone tells him how they want to use a bike, he can point them to the right style. Service is a key part of Dakota Outdoors. They service what they sell and whatever people bring in. It’s kind of in Erik’s blood. “I did fix, or attempt to

Photos by Troy McQuillen

“I didn’t know a lot about bikes when I bought the store, but I learned.” the store he liked to visit as a kid, and asked Chuck Prochaska and Mark Grasse if they wanted to sell the store they had owned since 1978. They said yes. Erik and his wife, Bridget, own the store, and while Erik manages it day-to-day, Bridget has another job. After Erik got a handle on the place, he got rid of water sports, downhill and cross-country skis, and billiards, narrowing the store down to bikes, hockey, and fitness. Plus darts. “We have three basic product lines now” (plus darts), he says. “It makes it easier to manage and to train staff.” When I was young, there used to be, like, three styles of bikes: kids bikes, adult bikes, and cool bikes-stingrays with banana seats, chopper handlebars, and sissy bars (I wish I had kept mine after I saw one on eBay

repair, my own bicycles as a kid,” he says. “I repair bikes now for two reasons: I enjoy working on bikes, and I do learn about the products more in depth by assembling and repairing the bikes.” He also employs his teenage sons part time in bike repair (their daughter does janitorial work). Following on his motivation for doing repairs, “It’s really important to keep educated,” Erik points out, “to be on top of what we’re selling and what the industry is doing.” When he and Bridget travel, they often check out other bike stores and talk to the owners to learn from them. “We can share information with other stores,” he notes. “There’s no need to reinvent the wheel” [author’s note: bike humor]. It must be a bike store thing: Aberdeen expatriates who manage bike shops elsewhere

 Dakota Outdoors is located at 402 N. Main Street in Aberdeen.

also come to Dakota Outdoors and talk shop. Bikes are still the biggest part of the business, and fitness equipment is the second major product line. On many days, I ride an exercise bike at home (I have to after my kids hauled it up from the basement and eliminated an excuse). When I stop at Dakota Outdoors, I can be tempted by the recumbent bikes, the chaise lounge of fitness, but I’m afraid of falling asleep. Erik expanded the fitness line and moved to higher-end gear. It’s not exactly “Outdoors” equipment, but it does seem to

have a season. I think it’s called New Year’s resolution season in the industry (i.e., when I bought my exercise bike). From fall to late winter, treadmills and other equipment are front and center in the store, then they move to the back to make room for bikes, a sign of spring. Erik’s crew will deliver and set up your equipment, remove your old gear, dispose of it responsibly, and service it (they also have contracts to service fitness equipment at many local schools and organizations). Da ko t a O u t d o o r s a l s o stocks hockey gear, a very specialized line in Aberdeen july/august 2018 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 One of the advantages of purchasing your bicycle at Dakota Outdoors is the service. They’ll repair your ride and get you back on your way in no time.

with a pretty defined market. As the designated supplier, Erik works with the Hockey Association, which dictates the products, to learn the number of kids playing each year, which dictates quantity. “It’s not a complicated business,” he laughs. A strange fit, darts were in the store when Erik took over. “People were used to coming here to buy darts, so we kept them,” he shrugs, “They don’t take up much space.” Marketing darts is basically word-ofmouth both among players and between them and the store. “We learn from dart players what to buy,” he says. In his seven years as an owner, Erik has “learned a lot about running a business-the analytics, stocking, customer service. Things change every year, even for darts. You need to keep on top of changes.” W hen asked, he doesn’t necessarily think of anything he wishes he’d done differently. It’s not because he’s made no mistakes, but if he had done

24 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

things differently, he notes, “I wouldn’t have learned what I learned.” One of the primary areas of learning has been in inventory and stocking. “That’s been a lot of trial and error,” he admits. “You make mistakes and learn.” He’s definitely learned to listen to customers. “High end bikers know the products well,” he says. “Sometimes they race elsewhere and bring back information on trends.” On the topic of racing, Dakota Outdoors sponsors some local bikers, including Craig Harrison, a world-class competitor. While Dakota Outdoors is about the only dedicated bike and fitness store in the 100-mile radius Erik figures is his market area, he has competition, and he’s practical about it. “People might look here but buy online or at a box store,” he acknowledges, but there’s a difference. “They may sell the same brand but they’re not necessarily offering the same products. They don’t offer the same quality, and they

I asked Erik for the most unusual request he’s gotten. “Can’t think of anything,” he says, giving me the good customer service answer. “I usually don’t find things customers ask unusual.” What about unusual products? “We had a six-foot tall unicycle. We sold it to a guy working on the pipeline years ago. I asked him to give me a demonstration before I sold it to him. He had to use a six-foot ladder to get on the unicycle, but did ride it around.” Another local businessperson in Aberdeen that I envy, Erik eschewed his other youthful career goals-major league baseball player and lawyer-to run the store he loved as a kid, and he still gets to get his hands greasy. //

 Along with bicycles, Dakota Outdoors also specializes in hockey gear, fitness equipment, and darts.

Photos by Troy McQuillen

don’t offer service,” he argues. That’s why he sees customer education as part of what he offers. “Also, a family can buy junior’s bike from us, ride it for years, and trade it in to us.” And used bikes are popular at the shop. “They can’t do that with a box store bike.” One big lesson for Erik in becoming a business owner is respecting and patronizing local businesses. “They give back so much to the community,” he says. So does Dakota Outdoors. They support various bike and youth programs, and while I was visiting with him, Erik arranged a donation to a hockey fundraiser. That sense of loyalty is something he takes to heart. He admits, “If a buddy buys a bike online, I notice.”

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A PROMISING PATH Aberdeen transplant, Rachel Albright, proves that opportunities start within, and can flourish in the Hub City by JENNY ROTH hen you talk to Rachel Albright, you immediately get the sense that she is strong, confident, and determined. Determined to be the best person she can, and also to help others see the best in themselves. As the shelter coordinator for Safe Harbor, she spends her days advocating for shelter clients, and anyone in the community, who needs support to get back on their feet after trauma. The 22-year-old manages the shelter’s daily operations, provides crisis counseling, assists with caseload management, leads awareness projects, and more. “I love seeing people successfully restart their lives after a traumatic event, and being a part of that even if it’s in a small way. It’s vital to see that there are people out there who can overcome so much.” For anyone who knows Rachel, it’s no surprise that the recent college graduate is in her current position with Safe Harbor. She works hard, and isn’t afraid to go after her goals, whether that means being the kicker on an otherwise all-male football team in high school, recruiting herself to play college softball, or moving thousands of miles away from home to further her education. Until a handful of years ago, Rachel had spent her entire life living in Pasadena, California, a busy city located just northeast of downtown Los Angeles with a combined urban population in the millions. She had to consult a map to know just where Aberdeen was, and got her first glimpse of South Dakota on the drive between the Sioux Falls Airport and NSU’s campus. Her initial impression of the state, with all its “open land, abandoned farms, and dead animals on the side of the road,”


26 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

Photo courtesy of Kory Burdick

 Rachel and Safe Harbor Office Manager, LaVonne Walker.

 Rachel Albright, center, is presented with graduation gifts from NSU Women’s Softball teammates, Katie Dawson and Kennedy Thompson, on Senior Day last season.

Photos by Troy McQuillen

“I want to be able to help people who are in similar situations as I was in, so they don’t have to go through the same things I went through.” was understandably, “What have I gotten myself into?” Since she was just seven years old, Rachel knew she wanted to play college softball. Her love of sports started at an early age. “Growing up, there was always a ball rolling around in our backyard, or some kind of sports game on TV.” At age six, she started playing soccer every fall. Her mom wanted her to also have a sport to play in the spring, so she decided to give softball a try. The joke in her family today is that it was actually a helmet that convinced Rachel to stay in softball for more than just one season. “On try-out day they gave us these helmets, mine was navy with mini butterflies and sparkles and had my name spray painted on it in this purple, pink, and white tri-layered color. When I brought it home to show my mom and she found out it cost $60 she said, ‘Well now you have to play for two seasons!’” After her first year of softball though,

sparkly helmet or not, Rachel knew that she had definitely found her sport. She started taking pitching lessons, and by her freshman year of high school, was actively looking at softball programs in colleges all over the country. She posted videos on YouTube of her skills, and one of these grabbed the attention of former NSU assistant women’s softball coach, Travis Owen. He emailed Rachel, but she says she was more interested in universities on the East Coast and in the southern part of the country. Eventually, she emailed Travis back, and after he saw her playing in a game in Colorado, he invited her to visit NSU. Despite the culture shock of seeing South Dakota for the first time, she says when she stepped onto NSU’s campus she knew it was the right place for her to be. “I had toured a lot of colleges at that point, and I really liked the community feel around NSU and Aberdeen. The campus was small, but not too small, and even after being here for only 48 hours, I could see how the people rallied around the college and supported the students. It was ultimately the community aspect of Aberdeen that drew me in. I felt welcomed.” Rachel played for four years on the NSU Women’s Softball Team. During her freshman year, she broke a 29-year-old school record by hitting nine homeruns in one season. She also holds NSU’s career record for RBIs, and is tied with two of her teammates for the record in career homeruns. Along with playing softball, she was on the NSU Student Senate, NSIC Academic Team, and AllAcademic Team for softball. In 2017, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in

sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice and human services. This fall, while continuing to work at Safe Harbor, she will start online graduate school classes in human services forensic behavioral health through Concordia St. Paul University. Ultimately, she hopes to someday go into detective work. Personal experiences her family went through while she was growing up have influenced Rachel’s decision to study social work and human services. She says, “I want to be able to help people who are in similar situations as I was in, so they don’t have to go through the same things I went through.” She also credits her mom, Lynda, and her late-uncle, Robert, for pushing her to believe in her abilities and skills and to not let anything hold her back. “They taught me to see the good in people, and to know that people do need help, and that I can help them.” Living in Aberdeen has made an impact on Rachel’s life and career. She says she’s thankful for all the work experiences she’s learning at Safe Harbor, and that getting a similar position in a larger city would be much more difficult as an entrylevel professional. “People have more confidence in kids right out of college here. This position is a tremendous step on the right path for whatever my career will hold later on.” Moving to a new state without any family and friends nearby was challenging, but she adds that the people she’s met in Aberdeen have welcomed her with open arms, and that has made the adjustment so much easier. “It has been great to be out here the last five years. Aberdeen is another home to me.” // july/august 2018 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



THE RIGHT MOVE RentAberdeen.com is making it easier than ever to find and list rental properties in the Aberdeen area by JENNY ROTH


hances are when you have a question, one of the first things you do is ask Google. If it’s an apartment or home for rent in the Aberdeen area that you’re looking for, then RentAberdeen.com is what’s popping up in your search engine. The site puts photos, prices, descriptions, and even videos of rental properties all in one place, and right at your fingertips.

28 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

“It’s very easy to use, even if you’re unfamiliar with the Internet or computers.” Most property owners taking advantage of the site are repeat customers. Annette Schwan has been using RentAberdeen. com for over two years. She says in addition to providing a large online audience, the  In 2015, Eric Vetter and Jamie Mack launched site has been valuable RentAberdeen.com, a time-saving resource for finding to her in many ways. and listing area rental properties. “There’s no limit to advantages the site offers to the amount of photos you can both landlords and tenants is post of a property, and you can that it saves them time. Eric include lengthy descriptions, says, “A potential tenant can so everything a client would look through all the photos on need to know is right there. the website and see the property If they have any questions, before they walk in the door, so they have the choice to call they don’t have to spend time or email us.” She adds that visiting apartments or homes she also appreciates the site’s they aren’t interested in.” straightforwardness. “It’s very

easy to use, even if you’re unfamiliar with the Internet or computers.” W hen they envisioned their website, ease is exactly what Jamie an Eric were planning on. They wanted RentAberdeen.com to be simple to navigate without leaving out any important features, like the map locator that shows renters the details about the neighborhood and nearby amenities of a property. Landlords who are new to the site are given a 15-day free trial so they have a chance to get the hang of it. Eric says, “Everyone that uses the website loves it and returns to it. Our goal is to make life easier for people, and to help out the community with this resource.” //

Photo by Troy McQuillen

Eric Vetter and Jamie Mack established RentAberdeen. com in 2015. As realtors with Century 21, they were both getting the occasional phone call from people wanting to know where to go to find a rental in Aberdeen. In helping clients with their search, they realized they wanted an efficient resource that everyone could access to find available rental properties, so they created one! Jamie says they chose a website to launch their new venture because most renters, especially in the younger generations, rely on the Internet. “There are always a lot of people looking for rentals, and we wanted Aberdeen to have a real digital presence in that area.” On average, over 100 people from all over the United States visit RentAberdeen.com every day in search of their next apartment or home to rent. Tenants can browse the site free of charge, while landlords pay a monthly fee to post their properties. One of the biggest


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A Building Success Woehl Construction has a solid foundation in craftsmanship and customer care by JENNY ROTH


he saying goes if someone likes the work you do, they’ll tell two people. If they aren’t happy with it, they’ll tell 10. In other words, a good reputation in business is everything. It has also been said that your home tells your story. Woehl Construction has mastered the art of building houses people both love to come home to and tell others about. Troy Woehl has owned Woehl Construction in Aberdeen since 1998. During the 20 years he’s been in business, most of the jobs his team has completed came to be because of a previous

customer’s recommendation. He says, “Word of mouth is huge, especially in a small community. If you treat people well and do a good job, they’ll tell others.” His customers often take the time to say thank you after a job is complete, sending cards or leaving extra cash with a note telling the crew to have lunch on them. Appreciative reviews on Woehl Construction’s Facebook page call Troy’s company, “dependable, reliable, on schedule, on budget, and mindful of the customer’s interests.”

Owning his own business had always been a goal for Troy. After studying construction management at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, he returned to Aberdeen and started doing construction projects for people as side jobs he made time for during evenings and weekends. Eventually, these side jobs were keeping him so busy that he decided to start his own company. Then in 2004, a local couple, Bob and Kathy Fischbach, took a chance on “a young man growing his business” and gave Woehl Construction their first new home building project when they allowed them to construct their lake house. Since then, Troy’s company has built 21 custom homes in the Aberdeen area. In 2009, one of these homes won several awards, including Best Floor Plan and Best in Show, in the Aberdeen Homebuilders Association’s Parade of Homes.

“If you treat people well and do a good job, they’ll tell others.”

 James Bowman and Troy Woehl, owner of Woehl Construction, work on site at one of their current construction jobs.

30 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

Photos by Troy McQuillen and Stephanie Ludens


multiple jobs at once, they pride themselves in doing one project at a time, completing it well, and then moving on to the next. This way, each customer gets the attention to detail needed to have things finished in a timely manner, on budget, and with the quality of craftsmanship they are known for. When working on someone’s house, they treat it as if it were their own. Troy says, “We work with people from the very beginning when they are getting the plans together, all the way through to the completion of the home, and communicate with the subcontractors to keep the project flowing smoothly the whole time.”

 Pictured are two Aberdeen homes that were completed by Woehl Construction (top). Troy Woehl has been remodeling and building homes in the Aberdeen area for over 20 years (left).

Along with putting up new houses and shops, Woehl Construction also tackles all kinds of remodeling, siding, and roofing projects. The vast majority of their jobs are residential, but they also do light commercial work. Instead of taking on

Building relationships has been Troy’s favorite part of owning a construction business in Aberdeen for the past two decades. One of his great friends is his longtime employee, James Bowman, who has been with the company since 2001. Many of the people they build homes for end up becoming friends as well, and they enjoy working alongside customers. Troy says, “I love what I do. The best part is getting to the end of a project and seeing how delighted someone is with the job you’ve done, and knowing they’re satisfied with how their home turned out.” //

 For more information on Woehl Construction, email troy@woehlconstruction.com, call 605-380-4473, or find them on Facebook.

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Justin Peterson, Amanda Tobin, Nicole Hieb, Korey Maple, Olivia Bushnell, Tiana Kjerstad, and Maddie Smith model all our favorite beachready clothes and accessories.

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Mizzen and Main men’s top, Tommy Bahama shorts, and Swig cup from Karisma Boutique.


Aberdeen’s Karisma Boutique and Arrow Boutique have everything you need to look your best at the beach. So what are you waiting for? Kick back, relax, put your toes in the water, your chair in the sand, and enjoy the warm rays of summer knowing you’ve got the perfect outfit. photography by CHRISTINA SHILMAN


Beach Packing List by BECAH FLIEHS BEACH ESSENTIALS 99 Beach Bag 99 Sunscreen 99 Aloe Vera 99 Bathing Suit 99 Swimsuit Cover-up 99 Sunglasses 99 Hat 99 Flip Flops 99 Insect Repellent 99 Sand Toys

Customizable shirts by A/P Graphic Tees and Cups (left) and South Dakota caps are found at Arrow Boutique.

CLOTHING 99 Undergarments 99 Socks 99 T-shirts 99 Shorts 99 Sleepwear 99 Dress Shirt 99 Long Pants 99 Dresses 99 Light Jacket 99 Casual Shoes 99 Dress Shoes 99 Accessories (belt, jewelry) Arrow Boutique has dresses, maxis, and more (left), plus Quay Australia sunglasses and woven beach bags. Complete your look with a Swig travel bottle, hat, and purse from Arrow Boutique.

TOILETRIES 99 Tooth Brush/ Paste 99 Deodorant 99 Brush/Comb 99 Shampoo/ Condit. 99 Hair Styling Prod. 99 Contacts/Glasses/ Saline Solution 99 Razor/Shaving Cream 99 Makeup 99 Medications 99 Vitamins TRAVEL ESSENTIALS 99 Travel Documents 99 ID/Passports 99 Cash (small bills for tips)

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BEST BEACH LOCATION FOR EVERY SEASON Traveling to the beach can be awesome anytime, but some places are better during particular seasons. Check out these recommendations by Becah Fliehs from Love to Travel to find the perfect spot for your next trip. WINTER – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Averaging only two inches of rain per month during the winter, this beautiful island is a great spot to get out of the cold weather. It’s quickly become the most visited destination in the Caribbean, and boasts year round golf in addition to pristine, golden sand beaches. While most vacationers stay in Punta Cana, the area of Cap Cana is one of my personal favorites with quieter, more private beaches.

Beach lounging is a breeze when you have a colorful Turkish or round beach towel by Karisma Boutique, or a comfortable outdoor glider by Dakota Outdoor Living.

SPRING – HAWAII April and May are the ideal months to visit Hawaii. The islands are in their dry season at this time, meaning there is very little rain and wind. It also happens to be the start of low-tourism season, so there are great prices to be found on airfare and resorts. With spring flowers blooming and beautiful weather, you can enjoy these exquisite islands with no regrets (and no crowds). SUMMER – BAHAMAS Made up of over 700 different islands, the summer is a perfect time to check out the beautiful beaches of the Bahamas. With the average temperatures in the low to mid 80s, you get great weather without it being sweltering. My favorite of the islands is Exuma, where the water is an unreal shade of blue and you can swim with local pigs! FALL – ARUBA Part of the ABC islands, Aruba is the perfect fall location for your beach travel. Located only 18 miles from the northern coast of South America, it’s sheltered from most of the hurricane activities that happen during this time of year. With its powder-soft, white sand beaches and dry climate, you’ll have plenty of sunny days to enjoy the calm, crystal clear water. Their motto is “One Happy Island,” and believe me, you will leave one happy beach bum.

34 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

Karisma Boutique has a wide selection of summer clothing, sandals, accessories, and Z Supply swimwear for both men and women.

Stylist Haleigh Hepper of Trés Chic Salon created Nicole’s flawless beach waves.

Don’t forget to fill that cooler! The SOCIAL Sparkling Wine sold at Karisma Boutique pairs well with their vacation-vibe koozies.

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Eating on an outdoor patio is one of the delights of nice weather. Warm days are all too rare in the frozen north, and when we can be outside, we like to be. In an appreciation for the outdoor dining options we have in Aberdeen, the following is a look at restaurants in our area that serve patrons on the patio. To draw the line somewhere, I didn’t include fast food places, coffee shops, or other establishments with outdoor tables where you serve yourself. I also won’t dwell on the wind. It’s a part of life on the Plains, and you deal with it. I remember seeing waves in my beer on one patio, but being outside and being served was worth it. Without further ado, here is everything you need to know about outdoor dining in the Hub City. by PATRICK GALLAGHER photography by TROY MCQUILLEN

36 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

 1702 6TH AVE SE

POUNDERS PUB & GRUB This is one of the nicest patios in town, and one of the newest. Beware however, the taps out there are misleading. It’s not serve yourself. It reminds me of Bruce Springsteen’s “American Land” (I’ll take any chance to proselytize for the Boss): “Dear, I hear the beer flows from the faucets all night long.” Not! The taps are real, but that’s water flowing out-one of many fountains on restaurant patios, it earns kudos for relevant originality. The lattice roof provides some protection from the sun as does the pull-down shade on its west end. I’ve never tried the heating pit, but it’s a nice addition for evenings and to extend the season. The seating scheme puts high top tables along the patio’s west edge, effectively blocking the view for patrons sitting at the regulation-height tables in the interior-but then the view is of Merton Street. The high tops might make it easier for everyone to see the wall-mounted TVs, but it’s always been too bright for me to make out what’s actually on the screen. The patio seats about 50 people, making it pretty much the largest capacity outside spot in town.

 602 S 3RD ST

PALM GARDEN This fairly spacious patio probably has the smallest seating capacity-maybe because the fountain’s location limits table arrangement. Nicely, however, it never seems crowded. Without a roof, it opts for tables with umbrellas. The location on the east side of the two-story building means the patio is in full shade as early as late afternoon, which is a benefit (and it’s a great wind block—if the South Dakota wind ever happens to blow from the west). It’s also tucked behind the bakery, so it’s somewhat shielded from Sixth Avenue.

 2411 6TH AVE SE


Another new outdoor place, it’s pretty compact, fitting into the basic footprint of the restaurant, but it still seats about 30 people. It also has TVs on the walls, and although it’s on the east side of the building -which, along with the roof, protects patrons from the sun- it’s usually still too bright to see what’s on the screen. While the roof covers the whole patio, if you’re seated along the south-facing railing, you’ll catch the sun. But you’ll be at a low table, if that helps, because Wings and Rings reverses Pounders’ theme, putting high tops along the inside walls. A benefit here is distance. Unlike other patios on Sixth Avenue, this one is the farthest away from the traffic, although it looks directly at the street (through the parking lot). All in all, the Wings and Rings patio is functional and efficient. july/august 2018 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 715 N 10TH ST

MAX & ERMA’S Usually set for about 20 people (choose a Wolves or Saints table), Max & Erma’s has an interesting site in northwest Aberdeen on, but still half a football field from, Highway 281. Because the patio is on the southeast side of the building, you look out on traffic, but it’s usually not obtrusive. The roofless location can be warm as it catches the summer sun for long parts of the day, but umbrellas are available. Niched into a corner of the building, it’s a simple, pleasant place.

OTHER VENUES? Aberdeen is fortunate to have the patio eating options it has, and even more would be better! People watching is one of the great attractions for an outdoor eating location, so Main Street would be an ideal spot. Height is cool for outdoor dining. A rooftop or balcony eatery would be a great addition, as long as I don’t have to sit near the edge. (Wakeside is a balcony, but it’s not in Aberdeen.) I’ve been to many riverside urban outdoor eateries, and flowing water adds ambiance to any setting. A patio next to running water would make for a great summer night in Aberdeen. How long before Moccasin Creek gets flowing?



While it’s not in city limits, Wakeside’s balcony definitely merits mention. Pretty much a no frills place-no roof, no fountain (though there’s water nearby)-it relies on umbrellas for its handful of tables. Once there with a couple people, we sun dialed, moving around the table to stay in the shade. It’s the only outdoor seating area where there can be live entertainment (on the patio below). What makes Wakeside more special, of course, is its location looking down on Mina Lake. What could be more relaxing? Miles away from the main highway and traffic sounds, it’s very serene. The boats and jet skis could feel like Sixth Avenue, but since they slow down to go under the bridge on Old Highway 12, it’s peaceful. For the view, Wakeside wins, hands down. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon sipping a beverage.

 412 S MAIN ST


The exception to the table service rule here is Canterbury on Main Street. You pick up your tray at the counter and carry it outdoors yourself. Some guests may not even know Canterbury has a patio. Tucked away behind the shop, it’s really a lovely place. A kind of trellised canopy with vines snakes overhead, providing naturalistic protection from the sun. Greens climb the walls, and the patio is bordered by flowers and vegetable plants. The whole area is watched over by a tree near the restaurant’s back door. Surrounded by walls, the view is only a few feet away, but it’s an enjoyable and exotic space-not exactly the middle of Aberdeen’s urban jungle, but it could be almost anywhere.

38 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

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40 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018



y the 1870s, the railroads were the cash cows of the country. They were transporting everything from coast to coast, and if they chose to come OREG. through your land, you would IDAHO prosper immensely. The railroads moving west were everywhere, except through Dakota Territory, where Chief Drifting Goose had stopped the rail lines at the Minnesota border until 1880. Starting in 1879, homesteaders and entrepreneurs moved into eastern South NEV. Dakota, staking out claims on landUTAH they believed the railroads would want toTERR. come through. In our previous CALIF. issue, we talked about the city of Columbia in Brown County, and how they had gambled on the railroad coming through their fair city, but ARIZ eventually lost that bet. As a result, the city TERR. thrived for a short time, but then declined rapidly. In this issue, we’ll take a look at some of the other towns that sprang up within two years of Columbia, but also disappeared almost as quickly as they were founded. Early entrepreneurs and investors knew that to entice a railroad through their site they needed a stable and reasonable path that would require the least amount of cash investment on the part of the railroad to build the track. They also had to convince people to settle in the new proposed railroad town site. Since the Pony Express had long ceased operating, all mail was now delivered by rail, so becoming an official post office site was seen as a big drawing card to get the railroad’s attention.

The Rush Is On: 1878-1882

While the city of Columbia was springing up, the rest of Brown County was quickly being overrun with settlers. Towns were being platted by “sooners,” investors and entrepreneurs who claimed land before it was officially offered to claim, and by the railroad town site companies who were taking the same risk as the sooners. Some of these sooner towns were Yorkville, Rondell, Dodge, Winship, Gem, Foster, Bern, Nahon, Murray, Grand Crossing, Santa Clara, Savo, and Gage. Most of these were established as post offices in anticipation of bringing in the rail line. Other towns established after claim opportunities were official were Aberdeen, Bath, Rudolph, Ordway, Putney, Huffton, Detroit, Plana, James, Randolph, Warner, Richmond, Tacoma Park, Groton, Frederick, Westport, Mansfield, Houghton, Hecla, and Claremont. In this story, we’ll focus on the fate of the sooner sites mentioned above.  This plaque is located on Yorkville Road, on private property, where the road runs parallel with the Jim River. If Yorkville expected a railroad to come through, the cliff on which this site sits would have posed an engineering challenge for sure. Yorkville Road is northwest of Groton and does show up on Google Maps. Photo by Troy McQuillen







N. actually MEX. W.A. York arrived in the James TERR. River Valley about one year before Byron M. Smith from Minneapolis, who had established the city of Columbia TEXAS in 1879 (see last issue). York built a log cabin in the spring of 1878 at a popular river ford in the same area as coordinates NE 30-124-61. He left that fall, and in April 1879, returned with his parents, wife, three children, Lester Blackmon, and Ed Harnoise. They brought with them enough supplies to build a grocery store and hotel wing, and received government approval to operate a post office on July 30, 1879. The winter of 1880-1881 was brutal, and the area homesteaders took refuge in the York Hotel, surviving on venison and homeground flour. The spring of 1881 brought in more settlers, and York’s ferry, operated on the James River, was in high demand. In 1881, when the trains arrived, York’s ferry business was all but done. Mr. York then left Yorkville and moved to Groton, sold out all his holdings, and moved to Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. On February 2, 1883, the Yorkville Post Office was closed. A year later, the Yorkville bridge was built over the James and the train no longer stopped there. It never became a town.


 This map shows what Drifting Goose accomplished with his stance of peaceful resistance. He had stopped five rail lines from crossing into Dakota Territory from Minnesota and Iowa until 1880 while other areas were being developed to the west coast. Anticipation MICH. was high and the area was ripe for development. When PA. Drifting Goose left, a mad rush began for settlers/ speculators to stake land OHIO IND. claims where they guessed rail lines wouldW. run.VA If they were right, they could become VA. KY. by developing a town wealthy site. If they guessed wrong, N.C. they would fade away. TENN Map illustration by Stephanie Ludens. S.C.



RondellMISS. was first established as the Oakwood Trading by Pierre ALA.Post in 1835 GA. LeBlanc. In 1838, Major Joseph Brown built LA. a cabin here. It was occupied on and off many times prior to 1878 (see “Chief Drifting Goose” in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of Aberdeen Magazine). In May 1878, the FLA. Henry Slack family, along with James Humphrey, came to this site, checked it out, and went back to Waubay where they met Francis Raundelle, a French trader who had occupied the site from 1839 until 1851, when he moved to Waubay with his Dakota wife. In the winter of 1878, Humphrey and Slack returned to check on their claim and built a dugout, the first settler’s home to the area. During the spring of 1879, Humphrey also put up a log cabin, and by November had built a store and applied for a post office commission, naming the site Empire City. In April 1880, he received an official post office designation with the name changed to Rondell, an American spelling of Francis Raundelle’s last name. Upon becoming an official post office, Humphrey built a huge general store that was two stories tall and offered everything from yard goods, groceries, and even farm equipment. This complex also featured a blacksmith shop and his family’s living quarters. On the second floor, church services were offered along with Sunday school, community dances, and even funeral services. Settlers in the area

Continued on Page 44 july/august 2018 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



Note: The letter and number designations on the sites in this story relate to sectiontownship-range numbers in Brown County. The letters show where a site was located within a specific section. For example, the site designation for Yorkville is stated as NE 30-124-61. This means it was at the northeast corner of section 30, in township 124, in range 61. The GIS Office in the Brown County Courthouse has Brown County sectiontownship-range maps available for those interested in finding these sites.

42 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

*Exact date not known

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 Brown County's first general store, built and operated at Rondell by James Humphrey from 1879 to 1915.

shipped all over the Midwest. The success of the creamery led to the creation of the Savo Farmers Telephone Company, organized as a co-op after the creamery model in November 1910. Despite the coop’s success, a town never materialized. Soon rural mail delivery was available from Frederick, resulting in the closure of the Savo Post Office on September 15, 1915. The creamery closed by the end of 1915, and in 1918 the store also shut its doors.

Winship also came here to vote and hold various meetings. Despite all this, a town never grew here. The rail lines went to the north and to the south of Rondell. The post office was closed in November 1902, and the huge store was closed when the town of Stratford was established to the north. Rondell was located at SW 24-121-63.


Dodge was located at SE 20-122-61, and was set up as a post office in somebody’s home from June 1882 to September 1884. Not one piece of mail was ever delivered to this site. It was west of the current city of Groton, and never became a town.

J.H. Fletcher had homesteaded this property, located at SE 13-127-60, and was granted post office status in January 1885 in hopes of starting a community. A year later in 1886, both Hecla and Claremont were up-and-coming towns, leaving Santa Clara, near the Sand Hills, to fade into history. The post office was officially closed in 1896, but the actual postal service had stopped a few years earlier.

Winship was a Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad station north of Frederick. It never became a post office. A schoolhouse was built here in 1889 in Osceola Township. Two grain elevators were also built, and a brief attempt was made to create a town in competition with Frederick. The highest population ever recorded for Winship was a mere eight. By the mid-1930s, Frederick had won the town battle. Winship was located at NW 11-128-64.


Grand Crossing

Santa Clara

Daniel Wegner established a post office in his home in 1882, and operated it until November 1900, when the position was given to another fellow who had taken the

Grand Crossing was to be what Aberdeen is today. Located at NW 36-123-64, it was established in 1879 by the Rice Brothers from Watertown, who erected a store. They hauled materials from Watertown and built a two-story building with a store on the first floor, and living quarters for their families on the second floor. J.C. Pryor established present-day Aberdeen to the north of Grand Crossing in 1880. John Firey then bought this lone building from the Rice Brothers and moved it with horses to Aberdeen in 1882, where it became Lacey Drug.


Bern was located at 8-125-65 as a post office in a settler’s home, until mail service came to Westport.  Gem Township's first post office in the home of E. S. Nelson. The picture also shows harvesting with a header and head boxes.


Gem was another post office established west of Groton in February 1883, in the home of E.S. Nelson. In November 1896, his post office dissolved. He protested strongly, and after four years was granted the first rural route delivery system in Brown County on June 11, 1900. Noah Ashley was the mail carrier on this firstever rural route delivery. Gem was located at SE 28-122-62.

44 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

Civil Service Examination. The post office was moved into a store that had recently been built at NE 14-128-63. A creamery built by the store, the Savo Finnish Creamery, became the first legally incorporated coop in the area, and was patterned after coops operating in Finland. The University of South Dakota provided the co-op with their first butter maker. It was not long before the butter made by this co-op was in high demand, as it won numerous superior awards at fairs. Soon this butter was trucked to nearby Frederick, SD, in tub barrels, where it was


A rail station planned for 10 miles north of Aberdeen, Gage was located at E 6-124-64. It had an elevator and tried to compete with Westport, but Westport won the battle. Foster, NW 6-124-64, Nahon, 15-12263, and Murray, NE 18-125-65, were all proclaimed as town sites, but they never developed into anything more than a person’s dream for the future. Stay tuned for our next issue, where we’ll learn more about the towns in Brown County that DID prosper as a result of the railroad. //

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Catch a Car! A trip through the history of Aberdeenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transient streetcar system by TROY MCQUILLEN

46 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

Photo courtesy of Dacotah Prairie Museum


ue to the recent interest in a replica trolley shuttle business here in town, I decided to finally write a story about Aberdeen’s popular streetcar system. However, the reality is, the story isn’t all that dramatic or overly interesting (though it is to me for personal reasons that I’ll discuss later). I rely on a book about Brown County’s history written in 1980 for facts about the region’s development. In the nearly two-inch-thick volume, only about four paragraphs were dedicated to the streetcar system. However, there are quite a few pictures around of the Aberdeen “cars” that are just so cool to look at. Many cities had streetcars, just like many cities had roads. They were simply a means of transportation. Aberdeen was the second city to install a trolley system in South Dakota. Sioux Falls was the first. Aberdeen was plotted and planned by very forward entrepreneurs who consistently risked a lot to make a buck, and to advance the city. In 1941, an elementary school was dubbed, “Howard Hedger” because it was built on land donated by these two gentlemen, not one guy named Howard Hedger. Neither lived long enough to see the school, but much of what they invested in shaped our city and, here’s a stretch, they are the reason you’re holding this magazine. The year was 1886. An Iowa company was given permission to install a streetcar system in Aberdeen. The company never delivered. Two years later, another outside company again convinced the city to let them build and operate a system. They actually broke ground and began construction. Unfortunately, the brash members of the Aberdeen community revolted and physically halted their progress. Seems they didn’t want to be exploited by an outside “monopoly.” After

Photo courtesy of Dacotah Prairie Museum

 This picture shows the open cars used in the summer. The car on the right was the engine car, while the one behind it was simply a trailer car. On the way to Wylie, in one particularly marshy area, the tracks were actually under water.

this, two other attempts were made to raise money and enthusiasm for public transportation. They both flopped too. It took about 30 years after its plotting for Aberdeen to finally get a trolley system. Eight successful entrepreneurs funded a streetcar company called The Aberdeen Street Railway Company (later, Aberdeen Railway Company). The man at the top of this endeavor was Charles A. Howard (of Howard Hedger fame). This was the period when Aberdeen and Columbia were fighting for the county seat (see Aberdeen Magazine, May/June, 2018). Both Howard and Hedger were involved in the county auditor and register of deeds offices, so they moved back and forth and ultimately settled in Aberdeen when it won the county seat. Howard then joined an existing abstract firm in Aberdeen. When he got called up to lead a regiment into the War

of Philippine Insurrection in 1898, he entrusted Hedger with his firm, Coe and Howard Abstract Company. Upon returning (as a Major and a hero), he was so impressed with Hedger that the two formed a partnership. Howard and Hedger then conceived of their own residential development for Aberdeen and plotted a new subdivision up north. It was built on higher ground than downtown, a bit out in the country away from the smoke of coal and trains, and had wide streets with a median going down the center. They developed the Highlands District, straight north of downtown Aberdeen. It was to be a bit exclusive, with one house per quarter block. Room to breathe, as they described it. And to kick things off, Howard and Hedger each built similar homes on Main Street, on opposite sides of 12th Avenue. The homes were designed by J.W. Henry and still stand today. But how would one get to such a new development, a mile from the city’s core? A streetcar, of course. Just as the plans for the Highlands were advanced, so too was the idea for a home-grown trolley system. And both Howard and Hedger were the two biggest investors in the street railway. Electricity was finally becoming a reality for the city, so a new, modern housing development fed by a new, electric streetcar seemed like a winning combination. The layout of the track was very strategic, as one would expect. It

july/august 2018 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


connected Northern Normal (now NSU) with Wylie Park from north to south, and made several diversions to the east to include St. Luke’s Hospital and other railroad depots. Each depot was within one block of a streetcar line. Oddly enough, the tracks only went down three blocks of downtown on Main Street. In this area, in front of the Ward Hotel, there were double tracks, so cars could pass each other if going in opposite directions. Howard and Hedger wanted to protect the serenity of their Highlands District, so they encouraged the tracks to jog over to First Street and continue north to the “car barn,” or service barn for the cars. The car barn was located just off 15th Avenue NE, to the north, right in the front yard of what is now Presentation College. The line continued north to Wylie Park, which was the place to go in the summer. Six reversible street cars arrived in Aberdeen in October 1910. The cars could be driven from either end so that they didn’t need to be turned around at the end of the lines. The company maintained enclosed cars for winter (with pot-belly stoves for heat) and open cars for summer. The first streetcar hit the tracks on Thanksgiving Day 1910. As you can see in the pictures, these were electricpowered trolleys. A web of overhead wires was hung on buildings and poles all throughout town, and to this day you can still see wire brackets on some of the older buildings. The streetcars were very popular. Fares started at just five cents for adults

(and dogs). Sports events at both Northern and Wylie’s baseball fields constantly taxed the system and stressed out the motormen operating the cars. On the first day, 5,000 fares were collected. The fares didn’t seem to match the number of riders, but the loss was shrugged off as a good first run. As it would turn out, summer profits were high, but winter months quickly eroded gains. It is surprising to know that automobiles were already on the scene in Aberdeen when the streetcars started. In fact, by 1912 there were over 400 automobiles in Aberdeen. As one would expect, the cars eventually rendered the streetcar useless. While

the venture never appeared to be overly lucrative for the investors, things got bad in the 1920s. They raised the price of a fare to ten cents in 1921, but a few months later they slashed it back down to five cents. This caused a bit of a rider frenzy, but wasn’t enough to make it worth while. Plans were made to end service and sell the system off. However, everything shut down abruptly a few months earlier than planned, on July 31, 1922, partly because of the resignation of the system’s superintendent, A.F. McQuillen. My great-grandfather. Much of the equipment for Aberdeen’s streetcar system came from Duluth, MN.  When the sooner town of Grand Crossing got started just south of the area that became Aberdeen, a couple buildings were built. When the Milwaukee Road bypassed the town in 1880 and plotted Aberdeen, the buildings were moved up to the new town. Lacey Drug was one of these buildings. This picture was probably taken just as the streetcars were getting started in 1910. This is the southeast corner of Main and First Avenue (100 block). The Ward Hotel is across the street from this location. Note the Highlands promotional sign on top of the streetcar.

48 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018

Photo courtesy of Dacotah Prairie Museum

 The Witte Hardware building behind the streetcars is the Sander's Sew-N-Vac building. The museum building is in the background (Northwestern Bank building). Double tracks were built here so streetcars could pass one another if going opposite directions. The clock on the left was a promotional clock for the jewelry store. Due to inconsistent timepieces (watches, the court house, etc.) this clock was deemed the “official” time for the streetcar schedule.

A.F. McQuillen was an instructor for streetcar motormen, and was heavily involved in the streetcars in Duluth. Charles Howard summoned him to Aberdeen for $75 per month. He came a few weeks before the inaugural run of the streetcar, and was employed as the superintendent of the Aberdeen Street Railway for its entire time of operation. No one knows why he resigned. Charles Howard announced the closing of the streetcars early because of his resignation and the fact that the city would not make a decision to take over the railway or not. For its entire existence, the streetcar company was privately operated, but probably should have been subsidized by the city, as it was important to Aberdeen’s development. All businesses, even if they are only viable for a short time, affect the lives

 Surviving relics of the Aberdeen Railroad Company (family collection): 1. Andrew F. McQuillen and his I.D. tag 2. Photo of A.F. McQuillen (left) in Duluth 3. Punch tickets 4. Cross section of streetcar rail 5. Motorman’s rule brochure 6. Motorman’s cap

of those involved. The streetcar system lasted just 12 years, yet was instrumental to many generations of my family and our involvement in Aberdeen. Many McQuillens came through Aberdeen because of the streetcars, just like countless other families land here for work and stay, or leave. After the streetcar system closed, A.F. decided to stay in Aberdeen and went on to produce a large family. That’s why I’m in Aberdeen today. I don’t know why he decided to stay here. Perhaps in 1922 it was a great, safe town in which to raise a family. And, it was, after all, the Hub City. Several months later, A.F. would be contracted by Charles Howard again to prep the streetcars for sale to another city. The cars were loaded onto flat train cars and shipped out in February 1923. //

 The Car Barn (streetcar maintenance and storage shed) was located just off 15th Avenue NW, which is now the grassy area at Presentation College. A.F. McQuillen is on the right.

 Sources and Credits As usual, I tapped the many books by the late Don Artz, including The Town in the Frog Pond, The Life and Times of the Dacotah Prairie Museum Building, and his annotated version of A Souvenir of Aberdeen, The Railroad Hub of the Dakotas. Sue Gates at the Dacotah Prairie Museum is always generous with photo research and usage rights. Many of the details came from a 1993 paper submitted for a class to Northern State University by a student named Michael Glau. The paper is thoroughly researched using newspaper articles of the period, artifacts at the museum, and an extensive interview with my grandfather, Cliff McQuillen, A.F.’s son. Other facts, artifacts, and photos came from our personal family collection kept by myself, David, and Gordon McQuillen. I also stumbled upon some handwritten notes from A.F. McQuillen in the K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library’s clipping file providing some specific details of the streetcar routes.

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to Wylie Park  Streetcar Route This 1911 map shows the actual lines and routes of the streetcar system. It was said that people could get from Wylie (not shown) to Northern in 20 minutes. Eastward reaching lines went to St. Luke’s Hospital and other train depots. Each streetcar was equipped with bells so passengers could alert the motorman of his or her desired stop. Note the car barn location north of 15th Avenue NW. The track extending north and west went to Wylie Park.


Wylie Park was originally an area of land purchased by the City of Aberdeen in August of 1910. The park opened July 4, 1911. The Aberdeen Railway Company actually donated adjacent land suitable for a lake. An Aberdeen Weekly News article from August 17, 1911 states the Aberdeen Park board dug out the lake – a 25-acre area – and the streetcar company drilled a three-inch wide well to an underground artesian water supply. The lake was named Minne-Eho, and according to the article, is a Sioux term meaning wonderful lake. Aberdeen Railway built a driveway around the lake and planned to build track around it as well. The lake was dug to a depth of five feet with several pockets were dug deeper to benefit fish. McQuillen family legend states that A.F. McQuillen dumped the first fish into the lake from a cream can he had carried on the streetcar to the lake. The article states that Wylie Park, with its new lake, would become a favorite resort for Aberdeen. How true!

50 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE july/august 2018









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GET STRONG WITH YOUR SQUAD Fitting in with your exercise crew is about more than completing workouts together. Daniel McCoy, Crossfit coach at the Aberdeen Family YMCA, shares what it really means to build a fitness community by DANIEL MCCOY How do you build a f itness community? The idea sounds as easy as apple pie, but it involves more than what first comes to mind. Of course it takes thoughtful coaching, meticulous event planning, preparation for the best local competitions, after-hours socials, a great lounge room and clean facility, time

spent tuning up the equipment, marketing, attending trainings and coaching seminars, updating social media, and making sure membership costs are fair. But while all these things are important, none of them are the driving factors behind a fitness community. You could do all of the above and still not have a real community. So

what do people really need to reach their goals for their health? The answer is an environment that is caring, trusting, and intentional. Caring is what it’s all about. It’s putting your coaches and members before yourself, because you care about them as people, not just about their fitness goals. As a matter of fact, they get more fit because of the genuine expectations you have for the community. You have to get to really know the people you spend time with, like their names and the names of their family members, big life events, and strengths and weaknesses. Showing the community you care must come from your heart. No bologna, just the real stuff. You must also be trustworthy and willing to trust the community. This one is challenging because it takes time and goes beyond the walls of the gym. In the Crossfit community, we have tough workouts that are always changing. To the conventional eye, the program might not seem up to the test of fitness. However, over time as people get stronger, faster, leaner, and FITTER, the community will start to trust you. They will have you over at their house, let you spend time with their kids, and maybe even invite you out to eat! This third trait might be the least complicated, but also the most difficult. Being intentional can be a challenge, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. It requires you to be knowledgeable, which in turn aids in your credibility and shows you care enough to put time and money into becoming a better coach. For example, I can go buy an apple pie for my family and it might taste good, but if I put in the work to make an apple pie, it changes the aroma of the whole house. Everything you do for the community must be done with purpose, and there is no time to waste. So yes it’s easy, like apple pie. //

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Aberdeen Magazine July/August 2018  

Aberdeen, South Dakota's community lifestyle magazine.

Aberdeen Magazine July/August 2018  

Aberdeen, South Dakota's community lifestyle magazine.


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