South Dakota’s Best Under A Grand: Estelline, Population 768
Ah, 'tis good when the railroad comes to town. Or rather, when the railroad starts a town.
It's a story repeated in town after town, community after community in South Dakota. And I'm sure it's the same in most other states.
Back in the day (we're talkin 1800's here), if the railroad decided to go here, a town would spring up. If the railroad decided to go there, well a town would spring up there.
And so it was with one of South Dakota's best Under A Grand, those great communities with a population of less than a thousand folks.
Welcome to Estelline, population 768 (at least according to the 2010 census).
Incorporated in 1882, but with Post Office established in 1879, when that railroad said 'Howdy', Estelline was born. Named after the daughter of a Federal Judge, Estelline really began to grow in the early 1900's. Why? Well, a creamery was built thanks to this growing community and so...it grew even more. And it continues to be a bustling South Dakota community.
Now, if you've motored up I-29 from Sioux Falls (or maybe down I-29 from, say, Fargo) you've driven right by Estelline. Well, maybe not 'right by' but the town is just seven miles west of the Interstate on Highway 28. Take a little time from your go-go-go schedule and swing on in!
Chances are the first thing you might notice is the gazebo on the south end of Main Street. You see, it was built by volunteers...in 1928! And it still stands as a 'Welcome' to town.
And speaking of the town, you'll find a bit of the past, a bit of the present and even a peak at the future. And it all looks bright! And yep, go ahead...you'll want to take the short drive to South Dakota's second largest natural lake, Lake Poinsett. The fantastic recreation area provides great outdoor fun, and sure, you can fish, swim, go tubing and 'get away from it all'.
Now, don't be thinkin' this is just a sleepy little town. You bet you can stretch out and relax, but check out their thriving business community. Heck, one you come for a visit you might just want to call Estelline home!
Tell you what...if you've never stopped by, put Estelline on your bucket list of towns to visit in South Dakota. And if you have been there before, come on back, the coffee's always on!