Groton, South Dakota
Population: 1326 (2000 Census)
Location: Northeast South Dakota, Jct. of SD 37 & US 12
City Government: Mayor-Council
Zoning: Planning and Zoning Commission
Groton is more than 100 years old and has successfully weathered the test of
time. The town prospered along the tracks of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul
Railroad. Groton, like many other prairie railroad stations, was named after one
of the New England towns familiar to railroad officials. In this case, Groton
received its name from Groton, Mass. The town was platted and registered in
1881, even though settlement of the area began much earlier. Groton faced the
challenges of changing times. It has survived and faces the future with positive
and progressive attitude.
An active group of 28 individuals formed the Groton Development Partnership. The
group purchased a 135-acre tract of land for economic development purposes. The
Groton Chamber of Commerce sponsors many activities annually.
Besides its link to both state and federal highways, Groton is served by the
Burlington Northern Railroad. Bus and truck transportation services are
available. An airport is available in Aberdeen, just 20 minutes west of Groton.
The city offers educational, cultural and recreational opportunities to its
residents, both young and old. For the young, a public school system provides a
solid education with about 550 students enrolled in K-12. The Groton Community
Library and Community Center provide cultural enrichment to the community. Just
minutes away is the Granary Gallery, which offers art and music programs. A
60-bed nursing home provides care for those who can no longer live alone. Groton
has retirement housing for senior citizens and low-income housing is available
for those who qualify.
There are six
churches within the community:
Emmanuel Lutheran Church (ELCA)
First Presbyterian Church
Groton Christian and Missionary Alliance Church
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church
St. John's Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod)
United Methodist Church
For those interested in joining a civic group, Groton has the following to
Groton Booster Club
Groton Garden Club
In the center of the city is a square block city park. The park has playground
equipment and a canopy with several picnic tables under it. It also has a
walking path which several residents use throughout the day.
RURAL CULTURAL CENTER
The Granary Rural Cultural Center is a unique place for people to celebrate the
culture and art of the Dakotas. The Granary Campus consists of the Memorial
Gallery, five display rooms set in a restored wooden granary; Putney Town Hall,
a multi-use center moved to
the site in September 1996; and a large wooden gazebo for outdoor activities.
The facilities situated in rural Groton, South Dakota, sits on 2.3 acres of
parkland amid shelter belts and corn and wheat fields, in the heart of the
fertile James River Valley. Located nearby is the site of the old Yorkville
trading post, and Tacoma Park, once the region's favorite summer gathering
The Granary, a non-profit organization, hosts two major festivals annually. The
All Dakota High School Fine Arts Exhibition in May of each year, celebrates the
achievements of junior and senior high students from North and South Dakota.
Young artists gather for intensive workshops, entertainment, awards and public
art exhibition. The All Dakota Fine Arts Festival is in June of each year,
displays the best in original art produced by regional visual artists. Visitors
see artists doing work-in-progress, view a professional art exhibition, and be
entertained in a family-oriented atmosphere. Admission to the public exhibition
is $3 for adults and $2 for school students. Food and refreshments are served on
For more information, write:
GRANARY RURAL CULTURAL CENTER
40261 128th St.
Groton, SD 57445
Groton has one of the nicest baseball complexes in the state. It features one
main field and two smaller fields. Groton has t-ball, pee wee and midget
baseball teams, women's softball, adult softball, a teener team, American Legion
team and Amateur team.
OF SILVER SKATES
Groton's Carnival of Silver Skates was
started in 1938. Back then, it was a mid-winter activity featuring a hockey game
between two Aberdeen teams -- the Canuks and Esquimox. There was the crowning of
a carnival queen, there were ice races and figure skating exhibition by Aberdeen
skaters. Since then, it has blossomed into a local event with at least 100 young
skaters participating each year. Parents put much time into the annual event,
making costumes and getting everything ready. The young snowflakes and former
skaters make it an event that helps to break up the winter. It is indeed a pride
and joy of Groton as it is the longest running amateur ice skating show in the
In the winter of 1938, the community of
Groton decided to hold an ice skating carnival for the opening of its new ice
skating rink. Groton skaters, both young and old, together with skaters invited
from nearby towns, participated in this event. It consisted of skating races,
figure and stunt skating and an exhibition by Aberdeen Skaters. The Carnival has
been held each year, except during the World War II years of 1940, 1943, 1944,
and 1945, thus bringing us to the current 67th Annual show of
Carnival of Silver Skates January 30, 2005.
For the first skating carnival, no one
had costumes, but in 1942 most skaters acquired costumes which they wore for
each performance. Sweaters and corduroy skirts were popular during the 50s and
60s. Eventually the costumes were designed to enhance the theme of the program.
Materials were used to reflect the lighting and present a more glamorous effect.
Headdress and skate covers as well as a variety of props added a new dimension
to the show.
In 1941 the Works Progress
Administration (WPA) helped with decorations, lights, scenery, and royalty
throne as well as providing a hot dog stand, a new dimension to the carnival.
Throughout the years many individuals and organizations in the Groton Community
have sponsored this event. Today, it is supported by its own non-profit
organization, which consists of parents of skaters, depending solely on
donations, skating fees and admission fees during the carnival.
In the early 50s the City of Groton
purchased their own spotlights. In 1952 the rink was enlarged to 200 X 90
which provided a larger skating area as well as more space for parking spectator
Many generations have participated over
the years by performing their own specialty acts. Throughout the years local
people have redesigned the scenery and raised funds to refurbish the skating
rink and equipment. The first warming house was in use for the 1939 Carnival
with no indoor bathroom facilities. In the 1950s, a brooder house was brought
to the scene to provide a changing area for boys. In 1969 this warming house was
destroyed by a tornado, which never touched the scenery and decorations. Roy
Richards who donated it to the community of Groton, built a new warming house at
that time. Today the rink and warming house are located next to the Groton High
School. This is about to change, as this will be the last year for this location
due to changes happening at Groton High School. The current location is being
turned into a parking lot for the school. The new location will be on the West
side of Groton by the soccer fields and baseball complex. The pond and warming
house are maintained and run by the City of Groton, whos employees do an
outstand job providing safety and free skating for the Community.
In 1988 Governor George S Mickelson,
Proclaimed the Days of January 30 & 31 of that year, Carnival of Silver Skates
Days in South Dakota to acknowledge the 50th Anniversary of this
Grotons annual winter event has become
the most colorful outdoor affair of its kind in the entire northwest, as well as
one of the most elaborate outdoor ice carnivals in the entire country.
The ice carnival provides training,
sportsmanship and participation among the youth of Groton starting at ages 4 and
going thru Seniors in High School. One of the many highlights is the Crowning of
the Carnival Queen, which is currently chosen from the Juniors and Senior
skaters. This years candidates are:
There are many other activities that are available in Groton:
9-hole Olive Grove Golf Course
Two Soccer Fields (over 100 youngsters participate in this upcoming sport)
Municipal outdoor swimming pool
Outdoor tennis court with lights
Outdoor basketball court with lights
Outdoor volleyball court
Outdoor ice skating rink with warming house
Near Sand Lake Wildlife Refuge
Near Amsden Lake