Wall Drug, Wall, SD
Travel far enough along Interstate 90 (and probably other highways) and you’ll see sign after sign for Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota.
From their website:
It was December 1931. Dorothy and I had just bought the only drugstore in a town called Wall on the edge of the South Dakota Badlands. We’d been open a few days, and business had been bad.I stood shivering on the wooden sidewalk. In this little prairie town there were only 326 people, 326 poor people.Most of them were farmers who’d been wiped out either by the Depression or drought.Christmas was coming, but there was no snow, no sparkling lights — just viciously cold air. Out on the prairie the cold wind whipped up dust devils. I could see a Tin Lizzie chugging along the two-laner. Suitcases were strapped to the running boards. Someone’s going home for the holidays, I thought to myself. I wished they would stop . . .
Wall Drug earns much of its fame from its self-promotion. Billboards advertising the establishment can be seen for hundreds of miles throughout South Dakota and the neighboring states. In addition, many visitors of Wall Drug have erected signs throughout the world announcing the miles to Wall Drug from famous locations, treating it as a geodesic datum. By 1981 Wall Drug was claiming it was giving away 20,000 cups of water per day during the peak tourist season, lasting from Memorial Day until Labor Day, and during the hottest days of the summer.
Most of Wall Drug’s advertisement billboards can be found on an approximately 650-mile-long (1,050 km) stretch of Interstate 90 from Minnesota to Billings, Montana. Wall Drug spends an estimated $400,000 on billboards every year.
Here’s some pix:
Got a kick out of the sign in front of the restaurant I ate at the night before: