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Groton, South Dakota Tidbits

My great-grandparents, Sybrant and Francelia ROBLEE Brott migrated from New York to South Dakota in the 1880s. Their daughter, Carrie (my paternal grandmother) was married to Jacob Detling, a native of Wisconsin, in Groton, where the Detlings had settled.

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, Massachusetts. The town was platted and registered in 1881, even though settlement of the area began much earlier.

In the 1880s, Brown County, South Dakota was one of the fastest growing areas of the United States. Located at the junction of U.S. Highway 12 and South Dakota Highway 37 about 20 miles west of Aberdeen (county seat of Brown County), Groton today has a population of fewer than 1,500.

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 United States.

Posted in Community Musings, Detling Family History, Older Posts.

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