Rapid City’s Oldest Building
Quick! Can you name the oldest building in
I don’t know about you, but I have a closet bigger than that. We keep old shoes and a vacuum cleaner in there. Can you imagine eating, sleeping, and storing all your stuff in such a space? It was comfy enough for Pap Madison, though, who lived there for a couple years before moving to a farm in what is now the
I’ve been fascinated with this little cabin ever since I learned about it during “Pioneer Days” at my grade school. At the time, we were required to memorize the poem that sits on the doorstep of the cabin. Written by Richard B. Hughes, it reads:
I was built in the olden, golden days
When this was an unknown land;
My timbers were hewn by a pioneer,
With a rifle near at hand.
I stand as a relic of ‘seventy-six,
Our nation’s centennial year;
That all may see as they enter the Hills
The home of a pioneer.
No, I didn’t remember that from third grade – I had to look it up.
I find it sad that the cabin is so overlooked and underappreciated. A friend and I rode our bikes there once (probably not long after the poem-memorizing event) and, after dodging scary Main Street traffic, managed to walk the length of the park and peer through the cabin’s windows. I don’t know what I was expecting – a rotty old bed and stove covered with cobwebs? – but Parks & Rec garden tools wasn’t it.
Fortunately, efforts are being made to have the cabin added to the National Historic Register and then relocate it to the grounds of the