Brookings is a city in Brookings County, South Dakota, United States. Brookings is the fourth largest city in South Dakota, with a population of 22,056 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Brookings County, and home to South Dakota State University, the largest institution of higher education in the state. The mayor is Tim Reed. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.04 square miles (33.76 km²), of which, 12.94 square miles (33.51 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.25 km²) is water.
As it turned out, none of the three towns were chosen to be passed through by the railroad. When the businessmen of Medary and Fountain found out that the railroad had no plans of laying tracks through the two towns, they began a push to find a central location. In a sense, their attitude was 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!' Many private meetings and much effort on the part of the men of Medary and Fountain led to the railroad deciding to lay its tracks through what would become the city of Brookings.
In a letter sent to Chicago on September 30, 1879, Land Commissioner Charles E. Simmons communicated the layout of the series of towns in Brookings County to be passed through by the railroad. These towns were to be Aurora, Brookings, and Volga. Many merchants of Medary and Fountain packed up their businesses and belongings and moved to Brookings, which was surveyed and platted on October 3 and 4, 1879. Fountain ceased to exist after this turn of events, while Medary and Oakwood continued to exist for a while but eventually faded away. A monument still stands at the site of the old Medary as a reminder of the people who once lived there.
Points of interest:
- McCrory Gardens and South Dakota Arboretum
- South Dakota Art Museum
- South Dakota Agricultural History Museum
- Children's Museum of South Dakota
- Coughlin Campanile
- South Dakota State University
- Frost Arena
- Coughlin-Alumni Stadium