Should Canistota Actually Be Canastota?
Canistota was 'born' back in 1883 in the same way countless towns were born: The railroad chose the site. If you do some checking, you'll find that huge numbers of towns were 'birthed' by a railroad company, and conversely when the railroad decided to move those precious tracks somewhere else, well...poof! Ghost town.
But Canistota flourished and is today one of the communities of which South Dakota is justifiably proud! But wait for just one more thing...
The name 'Canistota'? Where did that name come from? Well, I'm not exactly sure how to tell you this, because all of us in these parts love the name 'Canistota'. But, well, truth be known...it was a mistake!
That's right, one of those railroad guys decided to name this new community after his hometown back east in New York.
He was from...Canastota. When the application for the name came through the Post Office (which is, I guess, how it worked in those days) there was a clerical error in the spelling (these days we'd blame it on a computer glitch) and 'Canastota' became 'Canistota'. Yep, tis true.
Now, the railroad continued to call the town 'Canastota' until finally in 1919 the Postmaster said 'Enough is enough' and officially changed the name. So Canistota is either well over a hundred years old or...not quite a hundred!
Either way, I'll say this: If you want to have a cup of coffee or a sandwich and find yourself among nearly 700 of the finest people you'll ever meet, take a trip to Canast...oops, I mean Canistota, South Dakota!