Three Corners: Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska
IT SURE WAS WORTH THE TROUBLE IT TOOK TO GET THERE
Originally published in the Seward County Independent, July 25, 1990
In one of my recent Scribblings I hummed my usual theme song, "See Nebraska First" and told of our recent trip to Sioux County. Our trip was made with three things in mind: to see Three Corners, to attend the 25th anniversary of the Agate Fossil Beds' becoming a national monument, and to see Alliance's freakish take-off on the world-famous Stonehenge in England.
This week I'll talk about one of the most inaccessible monuments--if it can be called that --in the country: Three Corners, where Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska come together.
When they installed the marker, they forgot to build a road so tourists and others might visit. A helicopter could set you down there in no time, but by car I suggest you forget it unless you are the inquisitive type, such as I have been known to be.
I expected a nicely marked road to this location, but when I arrived in Harrison--the closest town--and asked where to find the road to Three Corners. I had a feeling I had asked a foolish question.
I asked a friendly waitress how hard it was to get there, and she led me to believe I'd better pack my Boy Scout duffel bag and hunt up my old compass. But she said she would try to find someone to brave the wilds and take Claire and me to the aforementioned Three Corners.
She tried four people and none could go. The fifth person asked, "Is this person's name Harold Davisson?" Unbeknownst to me, she had called the one fellow I was sure could take me to the place. I hadn't thought I should impose on this retired rancher again since I had asked many favors in the past.
When the waitress told me to whom she was talking, I said, "Tell them we'll be right over." The fellow knows Sioux County like a book. As luck would have it, the land on which the marker is located belongs to a relative of his, so it was all downhill from there.
The owner of this ranch met us down the road a couple of miles and led our little old red car (he was driving a 4x4 pickup) down the unmarked trail through gates that were not padlocked, through wheat grass several feet tall and to the marker. A dandy chain link fence encloses the marker to prevent cattle from rubbing against it and eventually breaking it off.
Claire and I had traveled 45 miles from Harrison over an unmarked trail to see this simple marker, and we would not have missed the experience for the world. But I suggest you use a 'copter or forget it.
But by all means, do drive into the county north and west of Harrison. We promise you will have a great time if you are the least interested in the historical aspect of Nebraska. South Dakota has its Badlands, and so does Nebraska. South Dakota has colored bluffs, and so does Nebraska. Over every hill, around every curve is something different.
One thing Claire and I particularly enjoyed was an old sodhouse that had given up to the weather. It looked as if several walls had just collapsed and the people moved out, for the shelves in the kitchen still contained various items. When I go back to Sioux County, I'm going to hunt up the rancher who owns that old soddy and buy one of those old sod blocks. What a boost it would give my museum.
If you want to see early Nebraska, your starting point is Harrison. More Indian activity took place there than anywhere else in this area. Fort Robinson is not completely in Sioux County but is within a stone's throw of it. Every ridge or butte you pass, you can easily imagine a tribe of Indians headed in your direction. If you are a reader of Westerns, this is your country just as it is mine.
Harrison, the county seat of Sioux County, has seen better and more prosperous days. Almost any time of the day you could shoot a cannon down Main Street and not hit a thing. It does boast a beautiful courthouse and a great high school.
Andrews and Glen were the last towns to give up. Other towns such as Bodarc, Canton, Cottonwood, Curly, Montrose and Orella gave up earlier.
Sioux County is home to many friendly people. You will notice I have not mentioned names as I want to reserve their doorsteps on which to land when my little red car says, "Harrison of Bust." Since I have a chunk of an old sod house in mind, this could be almost any time.
Images & Attachments
|Historical||Tri-State Boundary Marker||View Record|