Wall Drug Store, South Dakota
Wall Drug is a tourist attraction located in the town of Wall, South Dakota. It is a sprawling shopping mall consisting of a drug store, gift shop, restaurants, and various other stores. Unlike a traditional shopping mall, all the stores at Wall Drug operate under a single entity instead of being individually run stores. The small-town drugstore made its first step towards international fame when it was purchased by Ted Hustead in 1931.
Hustead was a Nebraska native and pharmacist who was looking for a small town with a Catholic church in which to establish his business. He bought Wall Drug, located in a 231-person town in what he referred to as “the middle of nowhere”, and strove to make a living. The business was very slow until his wife, Dorothy, got the idea to advertise free ice water to parched travelers along the road. From that time on business was brisk. Wall Drug grew into an enormous cowboy-themed shopping mall/department store. Wall Drug includes a western art museum, a chapel based on the one found at New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque, Iowa, and an enormous 80-foot Apatosaurus that can be seen right off Interstate 90. It was designed by Emmet Sullivan who also created the dinosaurs at Dinosaur Park and Dinosaur World.