- Associated Press - Monday, June 25, 2018

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - Time after time, throughout an entire decade or so, Sam Pitzl, 44, would drive down Main Street in Eden and notice how time had changed the scenery.

The once-busy street in the rural Marshall County town wasn’t as busy as it once was.

“Main Streets are dying in these small towns,” Pitzl told Aberdeen American News .

That’s why he decided to give purpose to a building so old that it was moved in when railroads in small towns throughout the Dakotas went under. It served its purpose as an old bar and barbershop until it closed and sat empty for 10 years or so.

At least that’s how he remembers it.



After renovations, the building now houses one of his businesses, Sam’s Five & Dime, as well as Country Cuts & More and an office for Western Agency insurance.

There’s one thing that Eden (and surrounding area) residents crave all year long, and that’s the wings at the Club Eden next door. But come summer that meal can be followed by ice cream from South Dakota State University at Sam’s Five & Dime.

Wing Wednesdays are just one of the two days the shop is open every week Memorial Day through Labor Day. The other is Saturday.

In all, the open hours total just nine every week, Pitzl said.

The inside of Sam’s Five & Dime is reminiscent of the times when nickel and dime stores were a thing, Pitzl said. And that’s where the name came from.

“I just wanted to go back to (a simpler time). Everything’s big now that I wanted to go back to when things weren’t so corporate,” he said.

Pitzl has been a collector of antiques for at least the last few years. And if there’s something old he can salvage from a nearby town - like an old jukebox that came from Claire City - he will.

He’s pulled tin and wood from old, abandoned buildings, and later used them to complete the interior’s rustic look.

According to John Haberkorn, SDSU dairy plant manager in Brookings, not much of the university’s ice cream makes it to northeastern South Dakota.

“We don’t go too far because the students deliver everything,” he said. That’s one way the ice cream is unique.

“The students do all the work,” he said.

Pitzl picks up his ice cream, he said.

In addition to his full-time job and ice cream gig, Pitzl also hand-crafts custom wood decor.

___

Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com

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