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Arts & Life

Art Rusch talks Vermillion before the 1881 Flood

W.H. Over Museum, Vermillion
Vermillion after the 1881 Missouri River flood

This interview is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

As one of the first towns in Dakota Territory, Vermillion had a prominent role in the early territorial settlement of the Missouri River basin. But it all came to an end in the Spring of 1881.

On today's Images of the Past we'll have a look at how a natural disaster wiped out the town and forced residents to choose between abandoning what was left or rebuilding from scratch. Joining me now is Art Rusch, a retired judge, state senator, and author of "Vermillion Before the Flood," an article published a few years back in the South Dakota State Historical Society journal.

If you'd like to see some photos of how Vermillion looked after the flood and read a transcript of today's interview with Art Rusch, check out our Website at sdpb.org/imagesofthepast.