No, Not Okoboji, Iowa. It’s Okobojo, South Dakota!
Okoboji, Iowa is one of the favorite vacation destination’s in the Upper Midwest. Millions have visited there over the year, boating, camping, swimming, relaxing.
Okobojo, South Dakota? Well, not so much.
But there was a day when people (OK, not millions..not even thousands) called Okobojo, South Dakota home.
It’s abandoned now, a classic South Dakota ghost town. Where is it? Or more properly put, where was it?
Well, it was in Sully County, over in the Onida area. The first settler arrived in 1882, which was just a bit scandalous because the Federal government didn’t open lad there until 1883. But no matter, Peter Brennan was there and pretty soon many more folks, most from Iowa, Ohio and Illinois.
And it wasn’t long before the town had all the essentials: A general store, hardware store, printing office, town hall, cemetery and perhaps most important for the time, a slaughterhouse. There was a school on the west side of the township and a newspaper, too. And this was all back in the late 1800’s.
But alas, it wasn’t to last. By the 1890’s the crops were doing very poorly due to severe weather and slowly but surely, people moved out and moved on. By the turn of the century Okobojo was, well, a ghost town.
But when you’re out at Okoboji, Iowa next summer, sitting out on that boat, raised a bottle and toast the other Okoboji….oops, I mean Okobojo!