Sunday was a travel day, but we had lunch at our stop at the Corn Palace. The Corn Palace has been in Mitchell since 1892. It started small and has grown over the years. Todays Corn Palace was built in 1921 and is redecorated every year. They use native corn, grasses and grains of SD. The new theme is selected each year by the Corn Palace Committee along with the artist. They use 3,000 bushels of milo, rye, oat heads and sour dock tied into bundles and nailed to the building. The corn used is cut in half length wise and nailed to the patterned wall.
All of those murals are done with corn!! Can you see the individual cobs? The reason for the Corn Palace was back in 1805, when Lewis and Clark traveled through the northern plains, they wrote in their journals that the area was the Great American Desert suitable only for buffalo. Surely, they wrote, no man could ever make a living farming here. Wanting to prove Lewis and Clark wrong, as well as to entice settlers to the area, the Corn Belt Real Estate Association built the first Corn Palace to showcase all of the crops that could be grown in the rich Dakota soil. Of course, the festival each year celebrates the harvest with lots of entertainment and a carnival. Interesting, very interesting.