Hidden Gem in South Dakota For Shakespeare Lovers
You might be hard-pressed to find a Shakespeare lover in your group of friends, co-workers, softball team, church circle, fitness class, or wine tasting club. But maybe not.
There are a lot of angliophiles in the world. The Oxford Dictionary defines an Angliophile as "a person who is fond of or greatly admires England or Britain". This definition also widens out to include any and all things to do with that country.
This includes men with British accents, any Benedict Cumberbatch movie, and trifles. Lots and lots of trifles.
A trifle is a traditional British dessert made with sponge or angel food cake, gingerbread (just about any cake really) - - soaked in any kind of booze and layered with - - just about anything, fruit, jam, chocolate pudding, but not beef, as in the famous Friends episode!
There are at least some angliophiles in our state and the proof is this hidden gem in Wessington Springs. This small town with a population somewhere over 1,000 is just a smidge under a two hour drive north and west of Sioux Falls.
There you will find The Anne Hathaway Cottage and the Shakespeare Garden. This beautiful and extraordinarily well-preserved replica of the left side of its namesake at Stratford-on-Avon, was built back in the 30s by a long time Wessington Springs english teacher and her husband.
Anne Hathaway was the "cougar" (she was 26, he was 18) married to William Shakespere and outlived him by 7 years. The cottage is a replica of her family's home where Shakespeare would have visited her when they were "courting".
The Shakespeare Garden area is massive and filled with flowers of all kinds, water features and ponds, shady trees and the perfect area for walks or picnics in the grass.
The cottage and garden grounds are lovingly cared for by the The Shakespeare Garden Society of Wessington Springs. It has been the site of high teas, weddings, tours, and other special events.
The cottage is open by appointment, and the garden year round. The location is now on the National Registry of Historic Places.