The Kampeska Trail

To the editor:

I’m trying to shock the people of Marshall and the people of Watertown, S.D. This Indian trail became the Marshall to Watertown road.

The Kampeska Trail – what is it? It’s an Indian trail from Marshall to Watertown (really from Marshall to Lake Kampeska), about 80 miles.

I have talked about it in Marshal and Watertown. People don’t think it was important. Really this is true. Well, the road made the two towns. Before the railroad, marshall and Watertown were trading centers. Pioneer people went there for supplies. So the people in St. Paul mapped out pioneer roads from Flandreau, S.D., to Fort Ripley in Minnesota.

When the railroad people built the first railroad into South Dakota, they chose the Marshall to Watertown road to lay the track. Did you know the railroad came from Chicago?

Here I’m going to say that’s why the Watertown and Marshall people got it taken out. They wanted tracks to the Twin Cities. Marshall had its large hotels. Watertown had five railroads and roundhouse. First big store was Montgomery Wards. I was there in 1929. I was a kid then – it was so big.

Now the highways make the transportation. Think about it. Marshall has U.S. Highway 59, State 23, State 19, State 68 – four highways. Watertown has the Interstate U.S. 81, U.S. 212 and State 81. That’s why Marshall is pushing for State 23 to be four lanes.

Walter Birner