Photo op! Huron’s 28 foot, 22 ton pheasant made of fiberglass and steel is the World’s Largest Pheasant and has affirmed Huron as a premier pheasant hunting destination since 1959.
The South Dakota State Fairgrounds boasts the largest campground in the state with 1,306 camping sites offering electrical and full hookups.
The new industries have attracted a culturally diverse workforce, including Hispanic men and women and refugees from Myanmar.
Welcome to Huron!
More stories on Huron …
Hazel Mahone lived nearly every one of her 100 years in Huron. She had been a successful businesswoman in the Beadle County seat, but when she died in 2010 she hoped friends and neighbors would remember her for her “love and concern for people. Buildings, cathedrals, palaces, ruins all were important, but of primary importance are the people who occupied the buildings. All I want to do is be nice to people.”
Huron’s Marvelous Murals
That ag heritage has inspired much of the city’s street art. Murals depict pioneer settlers, the legacy of the fair, agrarian politics, the great ‘82 Land Rush in the James River valley and pheasant hunting. However, other themes are also represented; a 2002 mural honors the USA’s healing from the 9/11 disaster.
A Pheasantless Huron?
Over the course of 60 years, the fiberglass pheasant has been nested in by hundreds of pigeons, bombarded with UV rays and hailstorms, infiltrated with water, and even taken a lightning strike to the head. “If you look up inside that pheasant you can see daylight,” says Schnathorst, adding that some of the original steel mesh frame inside the fiberglass is nonexistent. “So how are you going to strap on to a pheasant and lift it, and not have it cave in with its own weight?”
The Comeback City
It was then that South Dakotans most definitely had to take a harder look at Huron to see past gloomy headlines. Yes, forecasters in the 1980s had been right. Huron would know struggles but, as this state’s history proves over and over, struggles can bring out the very best in South Dakotans. Huron’s residents stepped forward with ideas and, in many cases, their own dollars to move their community forward. Today Huron is a city of 13,000 with a promise of employment for skilled workers.