Free water and a jackalope at Wall Drug

Wall Drug Store

510 Main St.
Wall, SD
(605) 279-2175
Infamous drug store, Souvenirs

I love this place! It is a crazy tourist trap near the Badlands, with a big jackalope and great cowboy boots. The small town drugstore made its first step towards fame when it was purchased by Ted Hustead in 1931. He bought Wall Drug, located in a 231-person town in what he referred to as “the middle of nowhere”, and strove to make a living. Business was very slow until his wife, Dorothy, got the idea to advertise free ice water to parched travelers heading to the newly-opened Mount Rushmore monument sixty miles to the west. From that time on business was brisk.

Wall Drug grew into a cowboy-themed shopping mall/department store. Wall Drug includes a western art museum, a chapel based on the one found at New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque, Iowa, and an 80-foot (24 m) Apatosaurus that can be seen right off Interstate 90. It was designed by Emmet Sullivan who also created the dinosaurs at Dinosaur Park (in South Dakota) and Dinosaur World (in Arkansas).

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(Photos & text © copyright 2006-2014 Kelly Ludwig, all rights reserved)