Wednesday, August 23, 2017 – I’ve heard about Wall Drug in South Dakota. Like a lot of things what I thought it would be like is very far from it. I thought it would be like a big Walgreens. There is some of that but Wow, it is so much more.
Before you even get there you are treated to seeing mile after mile of what my parents generation called Berma Shave signs. Here’s a couple that I took pictures of and one with many of them in one photo. They are really cute and some are funny. This first photo shows the legal miles per hour on this stretch is 80 mph! The popularity of these signs grew to the point where people would ask for copies of them to take home. Eventually, signs promoting Wall Drug started to appear in Europe. These signs are now scattered throughout the world.
Wall Drug is so big that they have signs all around showing you “You are Here” because getting lost in there is quite possible.
Beginning as a small pharmacy in a small town (the town population at the store’s founding in 1931 was 231), the wife of the store’s owner had what was, at the time, a revolutionary idea. The store would capitalize on the new tourist rush towards Mt. Rushmore and offer travelers free ice water. Without the benefit of coolers or bottled water, this stroke of genius caught on with travelers, and the store’s popularity grew exponentially.
Today, Wall Drug is a dizzying shopping center occupying several blocks of space. Still serving up free ice water and coffee for a nickle, it also boasts many tacky souvenir shops, amusement park like games, a splash park, 400 seat restaurant (where you can order Buffalo and something delicious called Sour Cream and Raisin pie), a chapel where weary travelers can worship, and a six foot jackalope (that’s what I’m sitting on in one photo). Those are some of the things you’ll see in the photos below. What Roy’s eating in one photo is a Buffalo burger.
There is no way to have an order in which the photos should be arranged. At any one time we had no idea where we were in the maze of stores. We went through each of the stores in the front, then there is an outdoor play area and behind that another group of shops. Roy got a gold panning pan and I got some goodies for the grandchildren.
Roy kept sitting down next to these fancy ladies! I found an old gold miner to chum up to! Brave old me climbed up on top of this “Jackalope” with people watching to see if I was going to make it up and down! I made friends while there with some of God’s creatures!This old miner tried to talk Roy into going gold mining with him!Another one of those Roy kept sitting down next to! This display depicts Wild Bill and Doc Holliday playing poker. These guys played some great music and were animated.The coffee is only 5 cents and always has been. Roy is eating a buffalo burger but you can’t see it!
They have always offered Free Ice Water and we had some!Some of the shops and eateries in the front huge building. I can confidently say we’ve never been anywhere like Wall Drug. If you are ever in the area around Mount Rushmore be sure to hop on over to Wall Drug, you’ll be glad you did!
Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!