At Kickin' Country, we know that some of the real gems when it comes to small towns are off the beaten path of the interstates. There are towns that, unless you are from there, or around there, you just don't go to or through. Alcester is headlined in this story, but you can also check out all the Small Towns of the Day this past week here!
According to Wikipedia, before incorporation, the settlement's name was Linia before being changed to Irene. In 1879, the Western Town Lot Company changed its name to Alcester in honor of Colonel Alcester of the British army. Yes, that information came from the internet, but it doesn't sound like something you can make up. So it must be true.
Alcester's motto is 'Small Town Treasure,' They've been around since 1893 and at last count I believe just short of 900 people live there. Whoever put together their website did a fine job in telling a little bit about the town. According to alcestersd.org
Alcester was founded in 1879 by the Western Town Lot Company of Chicago, a company who had access to the future plans of the Chicago Northwestern Railroad’s trek into Dakota Territory. One hundred thirty-five acres of land were purchased from R.B. Harding and Mary Harding, divided into lots and sold for $50 each. A depot was the first building to be erected in Alcester and lumber company was the first business.
The Historic Hyden House, now a private residence located on Hyden Drive, was built in 1910 by one of Alcester’s first doctors. The large home was used as a medical facility and residence when it was completed. Later it became a bed and breakfast.
The Alcester Community Band was organized in 1921 with Deecort Hammitt as its director. The band played every Saturday night for many years and held a variety of concerts in the Old Opera House. Deecort Hammitt’s song “Hail South Dakota” was chosen as the state song in 1943.
Long time businesses in Alcester include the Alcester Union newspaper (now the Alcester Union & Hudsonite), Lincoln-Union Electric Company (now Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc.), State Bank of Alcester, Morningside Manor, Alkota Cleaning Systems, Inc. and Custom Coils. Alcester is also home to a grocery store, convenience store, two restaurants, a library, medical and dental office, drug store, two bars, hair salons, a chiropractor, insurance agencies, thrift store, furniture store, hardware store, grain elevator and more. Farming and agriculture are also very important to the community.
Alcester is very proud of the Alcester-Hudson School, which was nationally recognized as a Blue Ribbon School in 2005.
I've been through Alcester. The town has a great small town vibe and feel as you come though on highway 11. Over the years I've taken a TON of calls for song requests over the lunch hour from Custom Coils, (Are they still there) and our family made a trip there years ago for a basketball tournament. You can tell a lot about a town by their school, it's 'small town awesome.' They have consolidated with Hudson.
Have you been to Alcester? Do you know anyone from Alcester? Let us know on our Facebook page and if you have anything to add about our Kickin' Country Small Town of the Day, we'd love to hear from you.l
Alcestersd.org also says:
The Herbert Anderson Memorial Park, located on Highway 11 has two park shelters, a swimming pool, horseshoe pit, baseball field and restrooms. A South Dakota historical marker honoring Governor Archie Gubbrud, born in Norway Township north of Alcester, is located there.
Alcester is also home to the Union County Fair held each summer. Entertainment, commercial booths, food vendors and 4-H and open class judging events in livestock, grain, produce and the art are held.
Events going in Alcester this weekend, The Annual City-Wide Rummage Sale is scheduled for Saturday, June 1st from 8 a.m to 3 p.m. Please contact Diane Neu at (605) 934-1820 or (605) 934-2500 to register. Cost is $10 for advertising. List of items you are selling is due May 31.
And one more thing, Rick Fink is in an office 'right next to me.' His son Koln Fink and his band will play at the Alcester Bar at 9 p.m. Happy Birthday, Kelsey and Lisa Welsh!
Just heard from a Lincoln County Ducks Unlimited acquaintance Corey Hughes. He said his grandfathers business called Pete's Produce has been in business for over 75 years.Local hardware store and fertilizer business. Way to go Pete's Produce!
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