I had heard of the "Corn Palace" before but never really knew where it was. We happen to stop at Mitchell for the night.
This is interesting to see. There have been three Corn Palaces - 1892, rebuilt in 1905 and then the present was built in 1921.
It was built because Lewis and Clark traveled through this area and they wrote in their journals that the dry area was only suitable for buffalo. They wrote that no man could ever make a living farming here. So the settlers built the first Corn Palace to showcase all of the crops that could be grown in Dakota.
Every year they redo the murals. The materials are all native corn, grasses and grains of South Dokota.
From a brochure - "The process begins in the early summer when all of the grasses and grains are removed from the building and replaced in new geometric designs. 3,000 bushels of milo, rye, oat heads and sour dock are tied into bundles and nailed to the building." They do a sort of "corn-by-number" project. About 275,000 ears of corn are sawed in half and nailed flat-side to the building. There are 11 different colors of corn used.
The building itself is gymnasium and is used for approx 150 basketball games a season.