Scenic USA - South Dakota

Prairie Village

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Prairie Village Church, Madison, South Dakota

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Prairie Village, a few miles outside Madison, South Dakota, is a collection of authentic small town buildings from the early 1900s. From Route 34, the 120 acre site appears as a small village, complete with homes, a town bank, a church and a train depot. The first buildings were moved onto the site of the Eastern South Dakota Thresherman's Annual Jamboree. Over the years additional buildings were added to the site, bringing today's total nearing 40. A train track was laid around the perimeter and features three vintage locomotives. Matching the historic engines with rideable rails, Thormodsgaard Cabin - Prairie Village, South Dakota some of the track was relocated from the Madison switch yard, dating back to 1887.
   The merry-go-round is always a hit with young school children, especially when it's coupled with a friendly sounding calliope. The German built Herschell Spillman carousel, vintage 1893, is thought to be one of a few remaining steam powered carousels.
   The premier event of the year is the Annual Steam Thresherman's Jamboree, scheduled every year for late August. The grounds will come alive with the Allis-Chalmers "gathering of the orange", parades, tractor pulls, musical entertainment and plenty of delicious food.

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