Small Town of the Day – Garretson, SD
A posse chasing the legendary Jesse James in Garretson is just one of the many eye-popping adventures this town has known!
Garretson used to be located where beautiful Palisades State Park is today. When the Great Northern Railway line was extended, the buildings were relocated and Garretson officially was incorporated in 1891. The town was named after A.S Garretson who was the owner of the original land and a railroad executive.
Over the years, Garretson has seen many great establishments. By 1915, a grand three story hotel with classy restaurant welcomed visitors. There was a cigar factory, lumber yard, several grocery stores, many vehicle and farm equipment dealerships, a movie theatre and two banks.
Today, Garretson is the “City of Parks:”
Palisades State Park has majestic chiseled rock walls surrounding the river below. Visitors and campers enjoy swimming, fishing and rock climbing.
Devil’s Gulch Park is where you can walk across the 20 foot chasm where the notorious Jesse James jumped on horseback while being chased by a posse after unsuccessfully robbing a Northfield, MN bank. The walking bridge is not for the
faint of heart as the weaved metal flooring allows you to see straight down to the bottom!
Splitrock Park which is a great camping location which also is home to an almost 90 year old dam and bathhouse.
Garretson is also home to EROS Data Center. It currently houses one of the largest computer complexes in the Department of the Interior, with approximately 600 government and contractor employees.
Jesse James Days is June 21-23 this year with a tractor pull, parade, fishing derby and a full list of activities at garretsonsd.us.
Visit the Garretson Heritage Museum, open on Saturdays and special events throughout the summer on Main street.
Garretson is a great place to raise a family. Kids enjoy the in-ground swimming pool, an excellent school system and the local FFA (Future Farmers of America) has been #1 in state almost every year since 2000.
Garretson is also a great place for your kids to go to school, home of the Blue Dragons.
We want to be one of the first to extend congratulations for their upcoming 125th milestone next year.
Thanks to Beth Warden for this story and pictures.