Monday, September 20, 2010

Buffalo Ridge, Gary SD

There is this place. I've driven past it a few times although quite a few years ago. It is in Gary, SD (The Gateway to the Dakotas, as it was known back then). It was the state school for the blind in the late 1800's. It had fallen into a state of major disrepair. And by that i mean the walls were falling down, windows were broken out, vandalism, you name it. Then a few years back i heard that someone came in and was restoring everything.
I remember my dad telling me that he would see the blind children going down to the creek nearby holding onto a rope that was tied between the trees so that they knew the way. I thought, what history there must be there! So I took off and went one day.
I was not disappointed!!! I took a walk on the trails they have by the lake. Didn't even know that part existed! Beautiful, i tell you! Did some journaling, did some reading, did some photos.
Then had lunch at the Rock Room. It is actually the kitchen/dining area from when it was the school. the stone foundation is original and i tell you absolutely BEAUTIFUL! See?
It is that same way on the inside. I sat at a small side table since there was only one of me. i actually could reach over and touch the rock wall. and i did. can you imagine all the work that went in to building that foundation??? Then, as i was eating my lunch, a wonderful man from the historical society introduced himself and told me i could join his next tour. Thank you Mr. Baer! It is simply outstanding the things i learned! You can go there now and camp, hike, stay night at the newly renovated hotel (used to be the boys dormitory), have lunch/dinner/drinks at the Rock Room, they even have facilities for family reunions, weddings, birthdays, you name it, they can do it. And, it is all surrounded by beautiful grounds!
Oh, ya, forgot to mention that all the buildings are connected through underground tunnels. How else would the children get from place to place in the winter? Those tunnels are also included in the tour you will get! How utterly interesting is that???
Now, as you can see, i can't say enough about the place! you simply MUST go yourself! You can tell i am impressed as i have never had a post this long! I have more pictures to post tomorrow of the trail, so come on back!


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