Herrick, South Dakota



The week before Thanksgiving I was in South Dakota visiting my family.  I had an afternoon to drive around and shoot some photos.  I headed to Herrick, just east of Burke, listening to korn country 92.1. I love Keith Urban’s song; Blue Ain’t Your Color.  If you don’t know this song, it’s a damn shame.  Here’s the video.

I spent a lot of time in Herrick growing up.  I “worked bees” two summers. That was highly educational, messy and sometimes painful work.  I got stung 17 times one day (my forearms looked like Popeye’s). I played softball in the field behind the truck.  I think I might’ve even knocked back a few beers at parties in the outfield on occasion. I had a friend who lived on a farm in Herrick and since I was a “city kid” riding the bus to Anita’s farm was a grand adventure.  We could drive at fourteen.  We didn’t have to ride the bus too long.  So, I had a blast driving around Herrick in beautiful, autumn, late afternoon light and thinking about my Herrick Days.

Next time, perhaps a whole series of photos devoted to Bernie’s Inn, the historic watering hole in Herrick.  Would that be a possibility?  Let me know.

29 thoughts on “Herrick, South Dakota

  1. I graduated from Burke in 1962. Would love to read more of your writings. Can’t wait to see what you have to say about Bernies ! A little corner of my heart is still in South Dakota !

    • I love that these images evoked memories for so many people. I turned 50 in October and I’m a little nostalgic about the part of the world that shaped me. It’s always fun tripping around Herrick, Burke and Gregory. It’s my favorite part of the world to photograph. There will be many more posts. I do have an older post of Herrick from a few summers ago if you look in my archives.

    • Good to see my Aunt Emily is a subscriber; I’m glad I signed up. My family and I lived on a farm just a few miles SW of Herrick and I attended school there and graduated BHS in 75. Lisa, you do a great job of chronicling our lovely small town, I enjoy your blog; thanks for your work.

  2. I didn’t know Herrick existed until I married Dennis Carlson, whose mom was a Frank. So his whole clan on both sides grew up in this area. Your pictures of Herrick are great. And I would love to see some of Bernies. What a place. 🙂

  3. Hi Lisa, I enjoyed your pix very much! I was your babysitter when you were very young.
    My maiden name was Robyn Lenker and my dad was a pharmacist in Burke.
    How are your parents doing and also Laurie? Please greet them for me.

    • Your name is very familiar but I can’t quite remember you. Sorry. The babysitters I remember of my young childhood had really long, straight hair and played and sang Carol King songs on the piano…or was that one of the Dobesh girls? Oh, the elusiveness of memory…

  4. I enjoyed the article on Herrick! Do you have others from the area? I moved from Burke over 20 years ago and do not get back as often as I should!

    • If you do a search on my site I’ve written a lot of about Burke, prairie images, pictures of the Sutton Ranch and much more. Burke is always tagged so any posts about growing up in Burke should be easy to find. I’m glad you enjoyed the images. It was so much fun was shooting them. I wish I had shot more, the light was fading and I needed to get back to Burke. Thank you for commenting.

  5. Thank you so much for this! I grew up on a farm west of Herrick. My maiden name was Zimmerman. Getting very homesick looking at these pictures! Would love to see something on Bernie’s! I’ve tried to explain Bernie’s to my husband, but he can’t picture it! Is it still open?

    • Yes. Go back for a visit sometime. The first time my husband visited Burke, we were out at the Longbranch until pretty late with my sister and her husband and someone rode a horse up Main Street at about 2am. Sometimes you just have to experience it–that’s why I love to shoot and post photos. I think my words get in the way sometimes, the images along allow us to play with our own memories. Plan a visit, or better yet…move there and open a business that employs many and draws young people back to the area…just a thought. 🙂

  6. Very good job, Lisa! I have been to Herrick many times but never looked at it from your perspective. You could write a lot of articles like this about all the dying towns across SD.

    • PS: Lisa, I grew up in Burke during the 50’s,60’s and 70’s. My father and brother were also beekeeper.

      • My brother and I worked for Charlie Lyons and that crew (you all know who you are) they provided a remarkable education. I could write a book just about those summers working bees. I remember my Mom coming to pick Mark and I up and we were smoking cigars. Dad would’ve had a better sense of humor about it. Mark was 10, I was 13 and most days Mom let me drive to Herrick even though I didn’t have my learner’s permit yet. It’s remarkable how the world has changed. The kids these days have absolutely no idea…I can’t believe I say things like that now.

  7. Robyn, was your brother, Jerry Lenker? If memory serves, I was a classmate of his in HS. We used to hang out together in GS & HS. Are your parents still alive? If so, say hi from me.

  8. We can’t forget the dances in Herrick! I graduated from Burke in 1961 and love hearing all the stories and reminiscing! And where was the pumpkin patch there….memories!

  9. I was so surprised to read this! I grew up in Herrick, my parents were Ted and Jessie ULLRICH! We moved when I was 10. Best years of my life in Herrick! Wish we could all have that carefree lifestyle! So enjoyed your article!

    • I love hearing this. I’m glad you have such fond memories of Herrick. Us “small town kids” rshare an experience that is unique. My husband is from a small town in Massachusetts and even though he was by the sea and I was on the prairie we share a lot of experiences and values. We both love village or small town life.

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