Mitchell is the county seat of Davison County, South Dakota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 15,660, making it the sixth most populous city in the state. For those looking to explore the city, there are several things to do. Some of the main things to see in Mitchell include the Lake Mitchell and Guns of History Gun Gallery. The McGovern Legacy Museum is another interesting place to visit in Mitchell.
The City of Mitchell in South Dakota is working to restore the quality of Lake Mitchell. The project will include building wetlands and preventing sediment from entering the lake. The city consulted the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at South Dakota State University and has applied for a $5 million National American Wetlands Conservation Act grant. The project will also benefit wildlife. The lake is susceptible to algae outbreaks during dry spells. Fortunately, recent rain in Mitchell has helped prevent outbreaks.
The project will benefit tourists, residents, and businesses alike. In addition to supporting local tourism, the project is expected to enhance outdoor recreation and increase economic activity. The American Rescue Plan, which is funded by the EDA, is the partner organization behind the project. In addition, the project is expected to create 20 jobs in the region.
A great place for families to spend a weekend or a week, Lake Mitchell in South Dakota offers a variety of outdoor activities. Among these are fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. The campground is also a great place to camp. There are picnic areas along the trail. It’s also home to one of the state’s top municipal golf courses.
The Firesteel Creek Watershed drains into 693-acre Lake Mitchell. The ratio of watershed acres to lake area can be problematic. Fortunately, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (SDGF&P) has expressed an interest in restocking the lake with fish. In addition, the state is committed to improving the quality of the water and sediment of the lake.
In addition to reducing the phosphorus load entering Lake Mitchell, the City of Mitchell has undertaken a program called the Firesteel/Lake Mitchell Watershed Project to install Best Management Practices throughout the watershed. The goal is to reduce phosphorus concentration by 50 percent by 2015, which will lower lake productivity and ease the intensity of the annual algae blooms. Educational outreach has played a vital role in reaching this goal.
Guns of History Gun Gallery
The Guns of History Gun Gallery in Mitchell, SD is a one-of-a-kind museum that showcases Native American battle guns and other items from the 1800s. With exhibits ranging from Sitting Bull’s shotgun to Crazy Horse’s Winchester rifle, the museum has something for everyone.
The museum’s first display includes 30 pieces related to the history of the Sioux, Cheyenne and U.S. Cavalry. In addition to these pieces, a rotating exhibit of consequential weapons will be featured throughout the year. Among the pieces on display is the Winchester ’73 carbine, which was used by Crazy Horse in 1876. The carbine was engraved with Togia pictographs. Crazy Horse received the Little Rifle in the 1868 Fort Laramian treaty, which returned the Black Hills to the tribe.
Another Mitchell attraction worth visiting is the Carnegie Resource Center, which has a permanent exhibit about the Corn Palace and the history of the area. The Carnegie Resource Center also has a large collection of local history, heritage and past events. Another historic site that offers a unique experience is the Castle Bible Land museum, a museum set in a castle that takes visitors on a spiritual journey. The museum features a replica of the Temple of Solomon and scenes from the bible.
When visiting Mitchell, South Dakota, be sure to visit the Corn Palace. This Corn Palace is made entirely of corn, and features murals and designs crafted from the various varieties of corn. It is updated each year during harvest time.
Starlite Drive-In Theatre
The Starlite Drive-In Theatre opened in 1949 and has undergone numerous renovations. It now features digital projection and F-M radio stereo sound. Visitors can even bring their own portable radios to enjoy their show. Besides 3 rows of traditional speakers, there’s also a full menu of snacks and refreshments.
The Starlite Drive-In Theatre in Mitchell, SD is a historic drive-in cinema. Founded in 1949, it offers nostalgic experience at economical prices. It offers a full concession menu including fresh hot popcorn with real butter and Pepsi products. There are also traditional speakers in the front three rows, but you can also listen to your favorite movies with portable radios. The drive-in is located at 4601 North Main Street, just north of Lake Mitchell.
Aside from the movies, the Starlite Drive-In also offers a variety of food options and mini golf. The 2022 season opened with Spider-Man: No Way Home, but there are also several other big movies on the schedule. The Starlite Drive-In is back in business and ready to provide summertime entertainment!
This movie theater is open until 8 pm and allows for a relaxed atmosphere. It accepts all major credit cards and features two screens where two movies are shown back-to-back. There is a wide range of concessions available, including popcorn, pizza, hotdogs, mini-donuts, nachs, and nachs.
McGovern Legacy Museum
The McGovern Legacy Museum opened in October 2006, as part of the Center for Leadership and Public Service and the George and Eleanor McGovern Library. The museum has received thousands of visitors during its first year of operation. The museum is expected to continue growing in the years to come. The museum’s director, Donald Simmons, considers the museum’s first year a success.
The museum is dedicated to the life and career of the former senator and representative from South Dakota. It will tell the story of the politician’s early years, from his Depression-era childhood to his service as a B-24 bomber pilot during World War II. It will also tell the story of his work for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. Later, Dr. King would break with the political establishment and became an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War. While millions of Americans embraced him, many others viewed him as a near-traitor.
The McGovern Legacy Museum is located in the McGovern Center at Dakota Wesleyan University. There, visitors will find artifacts and memorabilia from McGovern’s life. The museum also has videos narrated by McGovern, telling the story of this former DWU student.
For those who love museums and history, Mitchell, SD is a great place to visit. With the World’s Only Corn Palace, Cabela’s Wildlife Exhibits, the Dakota Discovery Museum, the McGovern Legacy Museum, and the Carnegie Resource Center, the city offers many ways to engage and learn about the area.
Mitchell has many outdoor activities. The town’s 12-mile lake shoreline has beautiful forested areas. The region is best enjoyed in the fall foliage season. Camping is available at the nearby Lake Mitchell Campground. Birding is also a popular activity in the area.