Then and Now: History Edition
Press & Dakotan

Then and Now: History Edition


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    Then&Now SECTION B Yankton Press & Dakotan September 25, 2017 Downtown Yankton Business Agriculture & Manufacturing A shot of nighttime shopping on Third St. in downtown Yankton, probably taken in the mid to late 1960s. (Photo: Dakota Territorial Museum) When Downtown Yankton Was King Downtown Yankton s Days On Top Are Behind It And Potentially Ahead Of It BY ROB NIELSEN L PHOTO: DAKOTA TERRITORIAL MUSEUM ABOVE: A shot of Third St. in downtown Yankton taken sometime during the 1930s. Business was still strong despite the Great Depression. BELOW: Today, Third St. in downtown Yankton still features its share of traffic (and a lot more trees) as the district aims to recapture some of the retail activity that has moved elsewhere. ike many small towns across the Midwest, Yankton s downtown was once the main focus of its residents. Most people shopped there, lived there, worked there and celebrated the town s biggest events there. But as with many of those same towns, Yankton grew into a small city, and it found growth spreading away from the onceconcentrated commerce to other areas of town. There has also been an evolution in retail that saw dominance in suburban malls, big-box stores and finally the Internet that have all eaten away at downtown businesses. But some in the community are currently working to bring back the vibrant days of when downtown Yankton was king. WHEN DOWNTOWN WAS KING In December 2015, the Press & Dakotan talked with a number of current and former residents about their memories of downtown. Bernie Hunhoff, former District 18 state senator and co-founder of South Dakota Magazine, which is based on the eastern edge of downtown Yankton, recalls a much more crowded downtown. It was packed with people and cool old cars, he told the Press & Dakotan. Mostly, I remember it was a busy place and a gathering place. There were four men s clothing stores, a couple of grocery stores, several dime stores and it was packed. Every store was busy and one fed off another. It was just the place to be. Then-Yankton mayor David Carda said there was a greater significance to events downtown. I remember as a kid we d go down there, he said. Crazy Days was a big deal back then. Streets KELLY HERTZ/P&D DOWNTOWN | PAGE 11B