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Philip to Fort Pierre wagon train agenda

The communities of Philip, Midland and Fort Pierre, and all points in between, invite everyone to join in on the Verendrye Museum Association sponsored, 100th anniversary Historic Bad River Trail Scotty Philip Memorial Ride, or to visit the evening programs as the wagon train follows the old Bad River Trail.

Programs will feature authors, historians, local historians and period music. This trail follows one of the oldest Indian trails in South Dakota, originally the path of the buffalo from the Missouri River to the Black Hills,

This year's historic event will kick-off with the first ever Scotty Philip Days, with entertainment for all, including horse races, demonstrations, a dedication of a bust of Scotty Philip, music and food in Philip, July 15, 16 and 17.

A special speaker will be Sheila Philip, Scotty's grandniece. After a farewell parade out of Philip at 10:00 a.m., July 17, the wagon train will continue its daily eastward trek, stopping for a Midland celebration on July 18. Then, on to Fort Pierre with stops at several historic ghost towns along the way. Campsite locations will be marked.

The commemoration will conclude with a parade and program in Fort Pierre, beginning at 4:00 p.m., July 23. More than 70 cowboys, cowgirls, dudes, kids and waddies have signed up to serve as Pony Express couriers. Special letters from area communities and ranches along the trail will be carried by Pony Express or stagecoach, using an exclusively designed Scotty Philip envelope and cancellation stamp. These letters should be turned in to the post offices along the way by July 12.

T-shirts, caps, visors, maps, etc. will be available at the administration table. For insurance purposes, anyone who rides horseback or in the wagons, must wear a button for liability protection.

Noon lunches will be offered by the Fort Pierre Lions Chapter. Evening meals will be made available at each campsite by civic groups who are fundraising. All riders must register for insurance purposes. If someone wants to ride, they should phone Connie Grittner at 223-3255.

All evening programs during the overnight layovers will begin at 7:30 p.m. CDT. Local historians are welcome to share their memories. Daily reports and anticipated next-day activities will be announced each evening by trail boss Darby Nutter, wagon master Gerald Kessler, or administrator Gary Grittner.

The July 17 evening camp will be at the Glen Hostutler's ranch; 11 miles east of Philip, turn south off Highway 14. Ken Stewart of the South Dakota Archives will outline the early ranches along the Bad River. Cathie Draine, Blawk Hawk, will tell of the cowboy life of George Philip. Faye Longbrake, Dupree, and John Powell, Rapid City, will tell of the relationships of the Scotty Philip and Dan Powell families.

The July 18 stop will be near Midland in a pasture in the northeast corner of town, owned by Jerry Jones. The evening program and supper will be at the Midland City Park. Rides will be furnished. One speaker will be Jan Bierle, Midland, who is a fourth generation resident to live along the Bad River and has been the Midland Museum curator for 20 years. Shorty Jones, Midland, grandson of Tom Jones, will speak on the history of 100-year ranches. The evening will also include the wagon train's own "Scotty Philip," games, roping, horseshoeing and a photo studio.

The evening of July 19 the wagon train will stay at Philip Mathews' pasture, four miles east of Capa on the north side. He will give a welcome and tell stories of Bad River that cover four generations. Capa historian and Capa's last resident, Phil O'Connor, will relate early railroad history. There will also be musical entertainment.

July 20 will be on Van Meter Road south of the Bad River bridge 10 miles north of Murdo. One speaker will be Clarice Roghair, Murdo, an author who grew up near Van Meter. Dale Gunderson, Rapid City, will present his studies of Scotty Philip. There will also be a music program.

July 21 will be at Wendte in an old baseball field. Gay Logan, Philip, is a historian with close ties to the Bad River and the local community. Blaine Nordvold, Eagle Butte, will present cowboy poetry. Bernie Duffy Sr., Fort Pierre, will give memories of Andy Feeney. Music will be by Harney Hohrman, Fort Pierre.

July 22 will at the Carlisle ranch; follow Bad River Road five miles and follow the signs to the campsite. Jim Carlisle, Fort Pierre, will give the welcome. He is a fourth generation resident on the Bad River. Further entertainment will include the Prairie Chickens vaudeville show. Also speaking will be James Aplan, Piedmont, historian and antique book collector who grew up at the Carlisle ranch. Webster Two Hawk, Pierre, will tell of Indian history along the Bad River. Music will provided by the Brian Puckett Singers.

July 23 will be at Fort Pierre. Johns Duffy, program chairman, will conclude the wagon train. The ceremony in Fort Pierre will not be a history program like the other evenings on the trail. Rather, it will be a wrap-up of the ride and the history uncovered. People anticipated to offering remarks at this program include Sam Tidball, a representative for the mayor of Philip, Dennis Daugaard, Darby Nutter and Gerald Kessler.