Lake Preston, South Dakota

Lake Preston was not on our list of places simply named 'Preston', but in her search for the ghost town of Preston South Dakota, Kelly chatted to Wayne from Lake Preston over the summer of 2020


My name is Wayne Ellingson. I am forty-five years old and from Lake Preston, South Dakota in the Upper Midwest United States, where we have been social distancing since 1889! I was born and raised on a farm just East of Lake Preston, eventually leaving for college and was a police officer for 20 years before becoming a fraud investigator for a well known American bank. I am also a genealogist and and love cooking and metal detecting.

Lake Preston is a small town of around 600 people. Its namesake is the large lake that lies to the North of the city.

My favourite place in Lake Preston is my parent's home as they still live there and have all their lives. The Ellingson's have been in Lake Preston since 1886.

Lake Preston is proud of its hunting and fishing heritage which has brought hunters from all over the US to the area. It's also rich in farming history, and 90% of the land is cropland (corn and soybeans and alfalfa). I have written a history on Lake Preston, which at first was called 'Preston' as the lake was dry for many years but filled in the 1880s.

Lake Preston had the first public swimming pool in South Dakota, which gave rise to the local high school mascot to be nicknamed 'Divers':,637?