This is a paid piece from the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.
Simplified: The Brandon Historical Society is looking to preserve one of the town's oldest buildings, and they're looking for community partners to help them achieve their goal.
Why it matters
- The building in question is a more than 100-year-old barn on the west side of town. It's estimated to have been built sometime between 1910 and 1920.
- The land it sits on was recently purchased by Van Buskirk Companies with the intent of building a housing development.
- Brandon Historical Society President Jeremy Risty recognizes the need for more housing in the area and the value of the property on which the barn is located, but he's hopeful he can help find community support to raise money to keep the historical structure in place.
"It would be a shame if the building got torn down," Risty said. "I understand it doesn't bring with it any financial incentives, but hopefully as a collective we're maybe willing to look past that and see both the aesthetic and historical value here."
Tell me more about the barn
The original farm surrounding the barn would've been adjacent to the Big Sioux River, near what's now the Big Sioux Recreation Area.
The barn itself has its original quartzite foundation – with stone most likely taken from Rowena or East Sioux Falls, Risty estimates.
- It's a sizable structure, Risty added, and his hope is that it could maybe be incorporated into a walking path given its proximity to the Big Sioux Recreation Area.
At the very least, he thinks the barn would be an asset to future homeowners in the development.
"I think part of the appeal of Brandon is that it's still a small town," Risty said. "It does still have historical, agricultural roots, and this barn could be an appealing neighbor to that development."
For Van Buskirk's part, it's all going to come down to what the historical society brings forward as a solution.
"It's going to be a balance between trying to help support the community but at the same time moving forward with growth in that area," said Brian Jackson, land development manager with Van Buskirk Companies.
What happens next?
It's all about raising awareness, Risty said.
Because the historical society has limited capacity, he's really looking for other community groups to help find solutions.