Watertower, Lake Preston, South Dakota
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NGComets
N 44° 21.820 W 097° 22.540
14T E 629431 N 4913549
Quick Description: Small town watertower.
Location: South Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 6/1/2009 6:50:56 AM
Waymark Code: WM6GHV
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Webfoot
Views: 2

Long Description:
Although settlers were noted as early as 1874 in this Kingsbury County town, Lake Preston was not incorporated until June 22 of 1906. The first post office was established here in 1882. The History of Lake Preston in 1909, as noted by the Gazetteer Publishing Company of Denver lists Lake Preston’s location at the intersection of two major rail road lines as critical to existence of local prairie settlers. Many thriving private businesses claimed Lake Preston or Preston with over a hundred public or service buildings or ‘offices’ including numerous grain elevators, banks, hotels and mercantile as well as a central station for the Dakota Central Telephone Company during these early years.

Outside of our area, Lake Preston is best know for the first large outdoor swimming pool and our unusual school mascot, the Divers! Refurbished just over a decade ago, the outdoor pool and grand hundred-year-old park are a major spot of recreation during summer months. Two base ball fields, tennis courts, free camping with electric, volleyball, horse shoe pits and a skate board park complete this comfortable public area.

Located in the center of Kingsbury County in the center of eastern half of South Dakota, today Lake Preston offers its seven hundred town residents some of the most recent advancements, including high speed internet service, cable and other amenities. We still have a public school system that rivals the best in the country (by our near top listing in SD’s comparison a few years ago), with enrollment of 205 in K-12 education. Our school system offers a great math, science and computer programs with foreign language along with the typical school subjects. Our state accomplishments are spread across sports, traditional education (math contests) and all of the theater, music and public speaking arts. Adult participation is evident with supporting clubs for music, athletics and scholarship.

Agriculture is the main stay of this town. Lake Preston’s location on US Highway 14 with Brookings only 31 miles east and county seat De Smet just 8 miles west and Huron 45 west on this highway too. We are situated on the major rail line, DM & E, which has provided our up-to-date grain facility and soil service center, the capabilities of easy access to world markets. This cooperatively owned grain facility is a major employer in town and continues to prosper in a down sized agriculture economy.

Although our immediate trade area only covers about twelve by twenty miles, our present list of businesses in Lake Preston is over 80, some of which are located just outside of town. Along with the farm coop, we offer a nursing home, brand new assisted living center, day care facility, drug store, Century 21 tool manufacturer (employs over 25), clinic with full time PA, dentist, welding shop and cabinet making businesses, central milk plant, bank, newspaper, realty, supper club, furniture and gift retail, quilt shop, full service auto parts and repair and body shop, motel, numerous trucking and all types of building and construction needs including a lumber yard. Also main street offers an excellent ‘home town’ grocery and small town café. Many other unique businesses complete the circle to include a photography, bait and barber shops and fitness center on main street.

Our location next to the popular ‘4 Lakes’ including South Dakota’s largest, Lake Thompson, provides a back yard of great fishing, hunting, camping and hiking. The newest state recreation area adds much to our economy locally. Many families have chosen to retire here and recently some young families moved back to call this home.

We offer four churches in town with Lutheran, Methodist, UCC and Assembly of God. There is close access to two other rural Lutheran churches plus Catholic and other religious affiliations in either Arlington or De Smet.

Organizations active in our community include the Legion & Auxiliary, Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, Civic club, Progressive Community Women, (who sponsor the county snow queen contest every November), a car club, boy scouts, 4-H, genealogy society, extension and card clubs for enjoyment.

Lake Preston city holds city council meetings twice monthly and have 4 full time employees. One of these is a full time economic development coordinator since June of 2005. New office space adds to the viability of such offices. The city boosts a library open several days a week and a new community room available to the public for meetings, dance classes or family gatherings. A Teen Center on main street also offers youth entertainment.

Volunteer fire protection and ambulance are some of the best in the state with a full crew of each always available at a moment’s notice. Trucks and equipment are kept as up to date as ardent volunteers can maintain them with constant up keep of this program.

Our city and rural area is served with water from Kingbrook Rural Water and electricity from Otter Tail Power Company whose operation and peaking plant are located on the west edge of town. Rural electric needs are handled by Kingsbury Electric and the Northwest Energy natural gas line runs just west of town. This allows for possible development opportunities such as our planned ethanol plant and anaerobic digester in the near future.

Several other public events compliment our town including the area wide “Town & Country Days” which in the past was known as ‘Watermelon Days’. This annual event in July gives the community a BBQ, worship service, car show, free swimming and games, lawn tractor pull and street dance. Every five years during the all school reunion, we share extra events of a barn dance, banquet and parade. Other annual events to draw attention to our little prairie town are two fishing tournaments, fire works display at the Lake, craft show, community rummage sales and a community homecoming parade.

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