Delmage Post Office

In 1881 before Rutland became a town, the Delmage Post Office was established by John Arthur Delmage. He lived in Section 35, now owned by Dale Hammer. Delmage moved the post office to Section 34 just one mile east on the Emil Hammer farm.

When the homesteaders were staking claims, the Johnson brothers homestead on the Glenn Eggebraaten farm. One of the brothers, Ed, who had a tree claim on the Emil Hammer farm, cut down some of the trees to build himself a home. Old timers relate how the two Johnson brothers homesteaded, each on an adjoining parcel of land. They built their home on the 80-rod line so they could both be on their own property, a feat of ingenuity.

Twice a week on Tuesday and Friday a Wentworth mail carrier brought the mail north, stopping at the Gilman brothers to feed and water the horses, then traveling on to the Delmage Post Office. Vincent Delmage, a descendant, later acquired the Delmage, S.D. rubber postal stamp.

Ed Johnson was called "Green Lake Johnson" because he was close to Green Lake. He built a 40x20 foot store that was known variously as Green Lake Store, Scrub Town, Johnson's Store. His brother Lars Johnson, owner of the quarter, owned the store and was postmaster. He was a single man, lank and raw, and always dirty. His store was a heap of disorder and dirt. A relative, possibly a nephew, started a store in Rutland, being among the first to open a store there. Lars was financially interested, and when Green Lake post office was discontinued, he moved to Rutland and worked in this store. Later the building became known as Delmage Social Hall. Many social events were held at the Hall.

Another event was a masquerade ball on New Year's night in 1907. In April of the same year a clothespin social was a decided success even though the weather was windy and disagreeable. Besides several selections by the band, Prof. Gerenell gave a beautiful vocal solo. Charles Askins acted as auctioneer and sold baskets, thirteen in number, and received $14.30 for them, which went to pay the band. The highest basket sold for $2.25.

After Ed Johnson married, he remodeled the store/hall into a home. Part of this building is still used today as the Emil Hammer home. Anna Anderson Eggebraaten recalls that the east wall of the living room was the front of the store as it had a lot of windows before it was remodeled. The original front door of the store is still used.