Labor Day marks the last hurrah of summer


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With summer vacation coming to a close and many students back in school, Labor Day weekend serves for most as the last hurrah of summer, acting as a small buffer between the first few days of school and the rest of the academic year.

But Labor Day is much more than an extended weekend. The observance dates back to 1885, when the holiday was initially recognized in the state of New York in an effort to celebrate the working man and the growth of American Industry. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During that year, four more states, including, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment.

By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday. But Labor Day has some roots in South Dakota as well. Did you know, in response to support for a national holiday, Sen. James Henderson Kyle of South Dakota introduced a bill to make Labor Day a legal holiday that was to be celebrated on the first Monday in September? The bill was approved June 28, 1894.

Today, for many, Labor Day is marked by a day off, intended for the nation’s work force to take a day to rest. If you will be spending your Labor Day weekend in the Black Hills, there is plenty to do and see. Don’t forget to stop by the Powder House and enjoy a delicious meal. We also have lodging available in our cabins and hotel.

Among many popular activities over the holiday weekend, Crazy Horse Memorial will host its annual open house where admission to the memorial is waved in exchange for 3 cans of food per person. American Indian artists will be featured throughout the Welcome Center, as well as other educational displays and interactive events taking place on the property. Don’t miss the annual night blast to commemorate the death of Crazy Horse, which will take place the evening of September 6th.

4-wheeler enthusiasts can enjoy the beauty of the Black Hills with the 33rd annual Dakota Territory Challenge, which will take place September 3-7. Participants can explore the Black Hills by trail or give their 4-wheeler a challenge with a rock crawl. The event headquarters will be at Whispering Pines Campground, located at the junction of US Highway 385 and Silver City.

 For the car enthusiast, the City of Custer will host its annual Studebaker Car show and Swap meet, September 4, 5 and 6th. Event headquarters will be located at the Super 8 Motel in Custer.

In addition to those special events, Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park and Needles Highway are perennial favorites to hit up during your Black Hills Vacation. Cruise through Iron Mountain Road and gain a unique view of Mount Rushmore through a single lane tunnel. No matter how you choose to spend your holiday weekend, be sure to stop by the Powder House for a great meal or good night’s sleep. Our cozy cabins or hotel are a great place to rest up after a day of sightseeing.

The Powder House Lodge and Restaurant is located 4 miles North of Mount Rushmore on Highway 16A in Keystone South Dakota. We’d love to see you and we wish you a happy Labor Day weekend


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