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Arts & Life

Stories of Redfield

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City of Redfield
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As part of SDPB's Landscapes of South Dakota series, Thursday's Dakota Midday broadcast live from the historic Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Depot in Redfield, South Dakota.

The first settlers arrived in the Redfield area in 1878 and the town became the Spink county seat eight years later after a conflict with Old Ashton. The railroad made Redfield a major town in the region with the Chicago and Northwestern and Milwaukee Road rail lines passing through. Former South Dakota Governor and U.S. Senator Peter Norbeck began his political career in Redfield. But the town’s greatest claim to fame is its role in establishing pheasants in South Dakota.  In 1908 pheasants were released on a farm north of town, with other successful Spink County releases around Doland and Frankfort. Today Redfield calls itself the Pheasant Capital of the World. Although the heyday of the railroads is over, this town of 2,300 people is still at a transportation crossroads with the junction of highways 281 and 212.

Spink County Historical Museum curator Alan Evans discussed the area's history, along with Chicago and Northwestern Historic Depot Museum and Visitors Center curator Kathy Maddox and Spink County Historical Society's Mary Lou Schwartz.