Landmarks : The Hudson Scout Cabin

Posted by Michael Zimny on

The Hudson Boy Scout Cabin, in Hudson, South Dakota, was built by local Boy Scouts in 1940. Just off the Fourth Street business district on Wheelock Street, it stands as the lone example of field stone architecture in town. A sign in front marks its location and recognizes the town's most famous resident, Amanda Clement, the first woman to work as a paid baseball umpire.

Not presently in use, the cabin is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a fine example of buildings constructed with field stone in South Dakota and for its association with the Boy Scouts of America in Hudson, and the civic role they played in the community.

hudsonsign.JPGThe sign in front also identifies Hudson as the hometown of Amanda Clement, baseball's first paid woman umpire.

Accordind to the registration form filed with the National Register: "Although the stone provided great challenges for those early settlers engaged in tilling the land, the stone provided material for the construction of foundations for many barns and commercial buildings as well as some homes and other public facilities. By the late 1800's and early 1900's eastern South Dakota started featuring a significant growth in construction utilizing the hard stone that geologists call Sioux Quartzite which is found throughout much of the southern Coteau des Prairies ("slope of the prairies"), which rises between South Dakota and Minnesota. 7 Counties and Cities around the Sioux Falls area in southeastern South Dakota were the main users of this building material because the quartzite quarries were in close proximity. Along with the expanded use of quartzite came the growth of cement masons also."

The cabin's interior, a wide open space, is still in pristine condition, with wood ceiling, exposed rafters, wood wainscoting over the interior field stone, and original maple floors. 

signcabin.JPG

According to the Register, the Hudson Scouts utilized many fundraising activities including “collecting papers, rabbit hunts, cleaning basements, selling old lumber” to raise the funds for the lot and building materials. Construction took two years to complete and “represents the efforts of a few adult leaders such as Elwin Miller and Gaile "Pappy" Villier and many Boy Scout volunteers who wanted a meeting place of their own.”

In December of the second year of Scout meetings at the new Cabin, America was brought into WWII by the attack on Pearl Harbor. For many of the Hudson Scouts, their sense of civic participation took them overseas to fight. 

After doing their part to defeat the Axis powers, “many of these original scouts returned to Hudson, operated local businesses and became Scout Masters.” The Hudson Boy Scout Troop 88 was active until 1988. Boys interested in scouting must now attend functions in nearby towns.

The little Cabin still stands though. For all it's apparent innocence, its stands as a reminder of a hardy generation of Scouts who — with plenty of challenges ahead — had developed the range of tools, from self-reliance to team spirit, to face them.

Source

Vogel, Mike. "Hudson Boy Scout Cabin." National Register of Historic Places. 9 May 2009. Web. 17 Feb 2015.

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