History in the City Park
The City Park and Bathing Beach were originally established in 1913. The first bathhouses were made of wood in 1914 (one still exists today located at 10th and Clark). The Big Sioux River bathhouse, made of quartzite, was built in 1934 and named after Gina Campbell Smith, whose vision and determination led to the huge popularity of the beach. The bathhouse was built as a Civil Works Administration project.
The rose stone Amphitheater was built in 1936
also as a Civil Works Administration Project.
Garfield Avenue Settlers' Bridge
Connecting the City Park to the Dell Rapids Campground this bridge is a major identifying piece of history in our community. The Bridge was originally built in 1878, the only one spanning the Big Sioux River. However, it was short lived, in 1881 during the spring flooding, an ice jam slammed into the bridge, destroying it, and taking it downstream. By the 1920's a bigger more substantial bridge was needed to support the increasing traffic to the area. A cantilever type bridge was built in 1929 and dubbed The Old Settlers Bridge. The bridge was said to be the most beautiful in the state. In 2014 it was again decided the Garfield Avenue Bridge needed to be more robust for today's traffic needs. The City decided to replicate the iconic bridge that is literally a post card bridge and is listed on the historic register.
Photo Credit: Sioux River Red Rock Trail Facebook Page