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Through The Lens The Padley Hotel, Geddes, S.D. In much of our early exploring of abandoned places we traveled mostly rural roads and sticking to the country side. When we did that we started coming across small communities in South Dakota, many that I had never heard of and I have lived in S.D. my whole life. So, we started mapping out these little communities to revisit them. We found that there were many that held hidden gems and a great deal of lost history, in these once thriving towns. Some of these communities were booming once upon a time because of the railroad, but as passenger traffic was lost and major road arteries were built by-passing many of these towns they started to decline in population with some being on the verge of becoming ghost towns. Geddes, S.D. is one of these locations. On main street sits a three story, brick building, it’s magnitude in size is astonishing. I contacted an old friend that I knew had grown up in Geddes to learn more about this building. The Padley Hotel was built in 1907 as part of the railroad expanding its’ territory, the thought that Geddes was destined to become a regional city. The manager of the Padley Hotel was quite the shady character, who had contacted women out of state to be maids and cooks and once they arrived found they were to be prostitutes for the traveling salesmen that were staying there. He was eventually arrested and convicted and did time in federal prison. The hotel later became a hospital when a Dr. Fyle purchased it in 1917. He was very well respected and loved by the community. He went missing in the winter of 1923 and was found a year later, still inside his vehicle in a small river or creek near Yankton, S.D., apparently having missed the curve of the road. The Geddes Hospital became a hotel once again and when it closed in 1964 it was known as the Castle Hotel. When we entered through the front door the first thing you see is French doors and arched entry way and windows, the lobby is bare but off to the side through another doorway would’ve been the grand dining room with its original metal tiled ceiling still trying to hang on. A World Herald newspaper dated 1947 lay chewed up on the floor. We make our way up the stairwell to the first floor. So HISVOICEvNOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017v21 20vHISVOICEvNOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 vHOTEL continued on page 22

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