Vivian, South Dakota

Vivian is a small town, like Belvidere, on the South Dakota plains. We diverted there in September largely because Vivian is my wife’s name. The town, like almost all smaller places, is clearly suffering from rural depopulation. Services have been captured by larger places and concentrated there. Once a place loses its school, post office, active grain elevator, church, and store…then it has lost most of the structural components of community. The inhabitants must struggle uphill to keep there sense of place, of home. The town becomes just a collection of houses.
Vivian is clearly struggling. There are positive signs, flowers in the streets, a tiny museum, a newish cafe. But still most of the few active commercial enterprises are outside of town on the local county highway. Hopefully, the home of the Bearcats continues to be a vibrant community.
Unused tracks at the end of the main street
Once the Fire Department..
weekday afternoon

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