When Interstate 90 was young

A Daily Republic file image of Interstate 90 under construction in 1966 at a location that was then south of Mitchell. Today, thanks to a development boom over the past 15 years, the interstate runs through Mitchell.

These aerial Daily Republic file images, which are scanned from 4×5 negatives, were shot in 1966 when Interstate 90 was being built near Mitchell. As you can see, there was no development around the I-90 area back then. But today, as we noted in a recent story, the area south of Interstate 90 accounts for about one-third of Mitchell’s sales economy.

A Daily Republic file image showing an aerial view of Interstate 90 under construction in 1966.


7 thoughts on “When Interstate 90 was young

  1. I think the top image got reversed in printing. If you flip the image horizontally the interstate runs off to the east with the ravines, Firesteel Creek, etc. to the top or north.
    The bridges under construction go over Burr Street and the KORN studios and tower are on the east side of the uncompleted Burr Street and south of the uncompleted interstate. The long curve is the railroad track. The photo then looks from the southwest to the northeast.

    • You must be right. We farmed out the scanning of these images, because we don’t currently have a scanner that can handle old 4×5 negatives. The negatives must have been scanned with the wrong side up.

      We puzzled over the images when we received them, trying to figure out the orientation. We were stumped and chalked it up to how different the area looked then compared to now. Guess we should have thought it through a bit more.

      I have now flipped the images and I can see what you’re saying. In the flipped image at the top, north would be to the left, and south to the right. Highway 37 runs across the photo horizontally. The creek bed is apparently Dry Run Creek.

      Is that correct?

  2. Brings back memories. I was a TV announcer along with Paul Evans in those years. 1966 was also the year I was married there in Mitchell. Remember the entire build of I-90 through South Dakota. Watched it grow and am amazed at the building around the area in recent years. Back in those years we thougt Mitchell would keep growing north but that has drastically changed. Thanks for the pictures.

  3. so now am i looking at the correct orientation?…if correct, i can make out (barely) a second tower along old hiway 16 across from where i spent the first 7 yrs of my life. also, there is a second set of train tracks running along that ravine north and east of the interstate, but somewhat not easily noticeable. the train would stop at our farm, pick us up, and we would travel to marion sd where it would stop in front of my grandfather’s feed store.

  4. thanks again for publishing the picture. it’s amazingly clear, even in the fully enlarged mode. great memories. also, that orderly arrangement of narrow white buildings near the north-side intersection of the railroad tracks with i-90 is what we called the “mink farm” as i recall. some mink would escape and cause plenty of havoc for chickens at neighboring farms.

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