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Looking for History on Highway 14

John E. Miller

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ISBN 10: 0962262161 / ISBN 13: 9780962262166
Published by South Dakota State Historical Society Press, 2001
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Looking for History on Highway 14

Publisher: South Dakota State Historical Society Press

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

Edition: First Thus.

About this title


Book by Miller, John E.

From the Publisher:

Winner--Mountain Plains Library Association Literary Contribution Award

Millions of Americans have fond memories of traveling United States Highway 14, the Black and Yellow Trail, to South Dakota’s Black Hills and beyond. Armchair travelers wanting to sample small-town life, significant historical events, and modern-day marvels will find much to please in John E. Miller’s Looking for History on Highway 14.

For three hundred years, small towns were central to the way Americans lived their lives and derived their values. During the past century, an industrialized, urban, media-saturated society has come to define American culture, but the notion of the small town still excites the imagination.

Miller seeks to capture the spirit and essence of small-town life, taking the reader into cafes, depots and stores to meet farmers, ranchers and townspeople. He encourages people to think seriously about the quality of life and sense of community that contribute to the ideal of the small town. Although Miller focuses on small towns in South Dakota, much of what he writes applies to the history and fate of small towns in general.

Highway 14 traverses the heart of South Dakota, passing through Pierre, the state capital; Brookings, home to the state’s land-grant university; and Huron, the state fair city. Towns on the route include De Smet, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s little town on the prairie; Manchester, hometown of prairie painter Harvey Dunn; and historic Fort Pierre where trade routes and cultures—American Indian and white—intersected. Here, French explorer Francois La Verendrye buried a lead-plate marker in 1743, Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery encountered the Teton Lakotas and fur-traders and missionaries pursued their livelihoods among the native inhabitants.

Along the way, Miller visits an Elkton celebration, an Arlington farm family, an Iroquois cafe, historians in the town of Miller and the Highmore courthouse. He describes Saturday night in Harrold, Midland’s railroad depot museum, memories of Philip’s hardware store and the world-famous drugstore in Wall. He completes his tour at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, a place that reminds us that history is more than facts—it is the glue that binds us together as a people and supports our cherished values and beliefs, many of them derived from America’s small-town heritage.

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