On the South Dakota Prairie

On the South Dakota Prairie

We took a trip in the summer of 2014 to photograph some vanishing places in South Dakota and Nebraska, and these few photos would be the last we took on that two-day adventure.

South Dakota Prairie

South Dakota Prairie

All day we had been racing against the sun, trying to squeeze in as many places as we could before dark. When it became obvious we weren’t going to make it to our next destination by sundown, we started looking for a place to shoot while the sun was still up. We found this place and resigned ourselves to shoot from the fenceline since the property was posted, but within minutes, the owner arrived on a quadrunner. He was a super nice guy and gladly gave us permission to photograph the house. “She ain’t gonna be standin’ much longer,” he said.

South Dakota Prairie

South Dakota Prairie

The windmill still turns in slow, off-balance revolutions, accompanied by an occasional metallic clunk that stands out against the otherwise natural soundscape of the prairie.

South Dakota Prairie



South Dakota Prairie

South Dakota Prairie

Down the road a piece, the Devoe Cemetery.

Devoe, South Dakota

Somebody told us there was a church here at one time, but we don’t know how long it’s been gone. Devoe was never really a town, more of a rural community.

Devoe, South Dakota

We photographed the headstone of a young pioneer, L.O. Kenny, who died far too young at only twenty five, in November of 1893. The setting and the stone were quite beautiful, and they help tell a story, however scant on detail, about life as a homesteader on the South Dakota prairie.

Devoe, South Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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3 thoughts on “On the South Dakota Prairie

  1. Thanks for sharing! I’m curious whom the homestead belonged to. My grandparents (Marjorie & Dale Bisbee) in the late 1940s lived in Devoe and my Great Grandparents (Claude & Alma Bisbee) also had a homestead in Devoe. The church from Devoe was restored and moved to the nearby town, Cresbard, SD. The church is now a neat little museum.

  2. Dear Celisity: My great-grandfather Charles Edward ‘C.E.’ BECHTEL lived in Cresbard with his brother William H. Bechtel. C.E. died of the pandemic flu in 1918 and, I believe, was buried in Cresbard. You mention a church and a museum located in Cresbard. Do you know who I may contact at the church and museum to find burial records? I have found it done difficult to get any data in that area? Brock bridgway1@gmail.com

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