Las summer I started going through my dad’s old collection of color slides and scanning them to my computer — and cleaning them up as best I can. Since I finished with the images from Mexico, I’ve decided to go a little deeper into the past and share some of the more interesting photos in my family’s slide collection.
This week I’m taking you back to the summer of 1959 (slightly before my time!) to a trip my mom, dad, and two older sisters took through Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Wyoming. These are some beautiful and historically significant sites, and I only wish I could have been along on the trip.
Cave of the Mounds in southern Wisconsin has been a tourist destination since 1940. It has been called “the significant cave of the upper Midwest” by the Chicago Science Foundation, and was designated a National Natural Monument in 1987.
Hill City, South Dakota, is located in the Black Hills, only 13 miles south of where Major General Armstrong Custer’s expedition discovered gold in 1874. The Black Hills Central Railroad reached Hill City in 1893; it continues now as a tourist passenger train.
The Rushmore Cave, also in the Black Hills, was originally discovered in the 1870s, but it wasn’t until 1950 that a dedicated couple took over the site and painstakingly built it into a well-known tourist attraction.
Even back in 1959, the wild burros at Custer State Park in South Dakota were quite happy begging for snacks from the tourists; these days you can still find them hanging out, waiting for treats. And to me, the two in the images above look suspiciously like the ones in this vintage 1950s postcard offered on Etsy, titled Black Hills Beggars! (Scroll down the page to see it.)
This rustic building with the Museum sign was originally the Forest Service office in Hill City, South Dakota. It and many other Black Hills structures were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. In 2009 this structure was restored and transformed into the Peter Norbeck Visitor Center, dedicated to honoring the hardworking men of the CCC.
Mount Rushmore is such an amazing and iconic sight, even to those of us who have never seen it in person. I also like this image a lot because it shows a portion of the old Buffalo Dining Room and gift shop. I can’t help thinking about the segment of Alfred Hitchcock’s “North By Northwest” filmed in the dining room (that movie was released in July 1959)! And this building no longer exists; it was replaced in the late 1990s by the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, as the Mount Rushmore National Memorial continues to update its facilities.
Finally, with the Tetons looming in the background is Menor’s Ferry on the Snake River in eastern Wyoming. The hand-operated ferry pictured below was a reconstruction of the Bill Menor’s original; service began in 1892 and carried on until 1927 when a bridge was built to accommodate the increasing traffic. The National Park Service took over the property in 1953, and a new replica ferry and its associated buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.
Next week, I’ll continue the Memory Monday series, starting with some really beautiful slide images from even further back in time, 1951. This collection includes scenes from the California State Fair, San Antonio Texas, and Lake Tahoe. I can hardly wait!