The potato is king in Clark, South Dakota where local farmers grow bushels of the tasty tuber. That’s why each year the town throws a party in honor of its favorite over-used, under-appreciated starch. The first Potato Festival in Clark was held in 1972.
The first settlement in Clark County was in June 1879. In May of 1881, the governor appointed county commissioners who then met and organized the county. They passed a resolution declaring that the Clark House, owned and kept by Mrs. M.E. Greenslet, be designated as the official headquarters. This house was 1/2 mile north of where the present county seat of Clark County now stands. The Chicago and Northwestern railway reached the townsite of Clark in June 1882 and it was settled by fall. Clark is presently the county seat, it’s also the largest town located in almost exactly.
Recreation / Community Events
The Clark County Historical Society sponsors a Threshing Bee in August. The weekend’s events entail threshing wheat, baling hay with a stationary baler, corn shelling, plowing,?antique tractor slow races?and digging early potatoes.
Mr. Potato Head is proud of Clark’s Potato Days celebration where the locals vie for top honors in a Potato Sculpture and Best Decorated Potato Contest. Past winners included an astronaut, farmer, race cars, and tooth. The Potato Dish Cooking Contests always bring out the best cooks in the county. And previous highlights of the celebration involve grown adults wrestling each other in mashed potatoes. Potato Day Headquarters is located at Dickinson Park. Information on activities and eating places for the day is available, as well as souvenirs.
Get up close to history and and walk into the past by visiting the Beauvais Heritage Center Complex with its settler’s claim shanty, Clark Railroad Depot, school, church and other buildings from the turn of the century. Services are still held at the church. See how the dressmaker, funeral parlor and other Main Street Clark businesses once operated. Many interesting historical items from the area, including Governor Elrod. Admission is free and tours are by appointment.
The Classic Wheels museum showcases restored classic cars, motorcycles, tractors and airplanes and highlights an extensive model collection. Located on East Hwy 212 stop by Fridays from 1-5 PM or by appointment.
Take a drive on tree-lined North Commercial Street and see where South Dakota’s fifth governor Samuel Elrod lived. Read the historical marker at corner of South Commercial Street and Hwy 212 and see Elrod items at the Clark County Museum. Since this is a private home there are no tours available.
Bell’s pasture sculptures and The Little Fellow Gravesite are frequent stops in Clark as well as several painted murals throughout town.
- Clark Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 163, Clark, SD, 57225
- Website: clarksd.com
Source: City of Clark