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De Smet in Kingsbury County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Couse Hardware

 
 
Couse Hardware Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 14, 2018
1. Couse Hardware Marker
Inscription. Edward H. Couse purchased this lot and the original store building on it from Charles P. Ingalls. By 1885 Couse had succeeded well enough with his hardware business to expand his operation and replace his original wood framed building with a brick-veneered store building (shown above).

Building began during the summer of 1886. The cost of the Opera House was about $9,000. It was a 44-foot x 80-foot brick-veneered structure with two floors and a basement. There was an elevator at the back of the building running to the basement and up to the second floor, to move furniture, props and other large items. December 1886, was the opening of the Couse Opera House housed on the second floor.

The Opera House became the center of community activities and remained so for more than two decades. Sometime before the US entered WWI in 1917, Edward Couse sold his business, and it became the Miller Opera House. In the late twenties it became a JC Penney store and remained so for about thirty years. It is now the home of Ward's Store.

Pa's first building in town was located at the northwest corner of Second Street and Calumet Avenue. He had an office building and stable on this lot and his store was diagonal across the street from it.

The store had a tall false-front, a front door with a window on either side,
Marker detail: Couse Hardware Store, 1908 image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Couse Hardware Store, 1908
one long room and a back door with a side window near it. The family spent a short time here before they quickly moved out to the claim, fearful of claim-jumpers.
By the Shores of Silver Lake

 
Location. 44° 23.177′ N, 97° 32.962′ W. Marker is in De Smet, South Dakota, in Kingsbury County. Marker is at the intersection of Calumet Avenue SE and 2nd Street SW, on the right when traveling south on Calumet Avenue SE. Touch for map. Marker is mounted at eye-level, directly on the subject building, at the southeast corner of the building, facing Calumet Avenue. Marker is at or near this postal address: 127 Calumet Avenue SE, De Smet SD 57231, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Waters Land & Loan Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Kingsbury County, S.D. (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Kingsbury County Courthouse (about 700 feet away); De Smet Forest / De Smet (approx. 1.3 miles away); Harvey Dunn, N.A. (approx. 8.3 miles away); KELO-Land Centennial Gold Rush (approx. 8.3 miles away); Harvy Dunn and Grace Ingalls Dow (approx. 8˝ miles away); Manchester (approx. 8˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in De Smet.
 
Regarding Couse Hardware.
Couse Hardware Marker (<i>wide view; marker mounted at left corner</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 14, 2018
3. Couse Hardware Marker (wide view; marker mounted at left corner)
Building now houses Ward's Store & Bakery
 
Also see . . .  Virtual Tour of De Smet: Couse Hardware & Opera House. (This link presents various historic photos of Couse Hardware & Opera House through the years.) As of 2015, it is now the home of Ward’s Store. Many tourists to De Smet enjoy stopping here for a cup of coffee and a donut or lunch. The locals also frequent Ward’s store and it is a staple of the downtown community. (Submitted on September 29, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. ArchitectureIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
Ward's Store & Bakery (<i>corner view; marker visible left edge</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 14, 2018
4. Ward's Store & Bakery (corner view; marker visible left edge)
Ward's Store & Bakery (<i>front view; marker visible at left</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 14, 2018
5. Ward's Store & Bakery (front view; marker visible at left)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 2, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 29, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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