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vLENS continued from page 22 swimming pool and a recreation center. These amenities were actually a necessity due to the remote and isolated location. Indeed, the isolation was also a necessity dictated by the mission of the Depot and the nature of items warehoused there. Black Hills Ordinance Depot was conceived, built and opened during World War Two with the mission of receipt, storage, issue and maintenance of ammunition. The depot also housed several hundred Italian prisoners of war beginning in 1943. The facility performed its mission through three wars and was eventually closed. All types of ammunition were stored here from small arms ammunition to artillery rounds, bombs and chemical weapons. The sprawling nature of the base along with its remote location in southwestern South Dakota provided a relatively safe buffer in case of a deadly mishap. After Jack shared the history of Fort Igloo we exchanged where we were from. Ryan told him he grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and I told him I’ve lived most of my life in a little town called Tyndall in the far southeastern part of South Dakota. We also shared what we did for a living. It turned out Jack grew up in Michigan, and his daughter in law was from Tabor. I asked for her name which he shared. When I had a photography studio in Yankton with my mom years ago, we had done her senior pictures, family pictures, and even her wedding. After telling this to Jack and him remembering these two crazy woman photographers at his son’s wedding, well Jack looked over at me and said, “Ms. Pechous go take your pictures, but because of liability stay out of the buildings.” What was the chances of that, small world right! We do as Jack has said, in fact we do a basic drive through of this portion of the base shooting pictures out of the truck and never getting out. Mainly because it has gotten awfully late in the day and we have several hours of a drive back but also out of respect for Jack and his family. Jack had also told us as he pointed across the road, that the church once stood not all that long ago but because of trespassers and vandals it was burnt down, this is the case of several buildings that are no more. Curiosity seekers are advised not to trespass on this private land which is now used largely for cattle grazing. Much of the base is fenced with two rings of security and the main entrance which is flanked by the symbol of the US Army Ordnance Corps as well as a symbol of the present ranch environment. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity given to us by Jack, but also I take away the sense of privacy and security that Jack and his neighbors have strived for. They have the ominous greeting of no trespassing, as a way to safe guard their homes and their livelihood of raising cattle, but also to protect what is left of the history of Fort Igloo. n HISVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2018v23

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