KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

1,700 Miles: Woonsocket, RI To Woonsocket, SD

Bookmark and Share

The state of Rhode Island could easily fit in a number of South Dakota counties. But, the smallest state in America has influenced the Mount Rushmore State in one way.      

CJ Prior, a railroad worker from Rhode Island, founded the city of Woonsocket, South Dakota. It's a small city located south of Huron. He named it after his native city, Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
Seventeen hundred miles separate the two cities and one Rhode Islander just finished his journey between the only two Woonsockets in America.  

“Seventeen Hundred. But, who's counting? I am,” said Bill Fagan as the water tower Woonsocket, SD, loomed over the horizon ahead of him.   

It was a trek like no other, miles upon miles of walking, day after day, sometimes more than 30 a day.

Bill Fagan has no plans of crossing the country or hiking the Appalachian Trail.

“That's an admirable thing to do but it just didn't mean anything to me,” said Fagan.

Fagan's destination is not one people normally think of, a city of well under a thousand, Woonsocket, South Dakota.

But for Fagan, it's the finish line for his four year, on again off again, challenge.

The Woonsocket-to-Woonsocket excursion wouldn't have gotten passed Connecticut without his wife off 44 years.   

“Alright be careful crossing the street,” said Fagan as he kissed his wife Janice.

“You don't take on a walk like this if you don't have a dedicated and committed and very understanding spouse,” said Fagan.   

There's about 1,700 miles between the two cities but the walking Rhode Islander says there is more in common between the two cities than you might think.  

“Woonsocket, South Dakota And Woonsocket, Rhode Island; Great people in both places,” said Fagan.  

Fighting many elements along the way, South Dakota's wind slowed Fagan's 15 minutes per mile pace.

“I’m thinking, hey! Maybe Woonsocket doesn't want me to get there? It keeps blowing me back to Mitchell,” joked Fagan.  

Fagan expected a calm entrance into Woonsocket without any hoopla. But, after finishing his final 13-mile stretch, the city of Woonsocket welcomed a fellow man from a different Woonsocket, in style.

“I can't tell you how much I appreciate the outpouring of support from the community. I didn't expect this,” said Fagan.

“I can't even express it. I'm so full of emotion. It's unreal,” said Janice Fagan.

While the journey of a lifetime ends, Bill Fagan has no plans for any similar walks in the future.
“Well, I'm not going to walk back,” said Fagan.
< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >

SF Sets New Building Permit Record: $610M  story with video

The City of Sioux Falls will be ringing in the New Year with a new multi-million ...

Woman Gets DUI In Hamlin Co. Crash

Authorities say a Bryant woman was driving under the influence when she crashed her car into a utility ...

Search Resumes For AirAsia Jet

Officials say ships and planes are resuming their search for AirAsia Flight 8501 ...

High Demand For Gift Cards During Holidays   story with video  Dec. 28

Update: SF Police Investigate Armed Robbery  Dec. 28

Family Says Hartford Man Died From Flu  Dec. 28

SFPD Arrests Man For Sunday Morning Murder  Dec. 28

Walmart Buys Unused & Unredeemed Gift Cards  Dec. 28

Data: Iowa School Buses Flagged For Safety Issues  Dec. 28

South Dakota Stores See Sales Spike From Tax Break  Dec. 28

South Dakota December Hog Inventory Up 4 Percent  Dec. 28

SD State Parks To Host First Day Hikes  Dec. 28

SF Police To Take Underprivileged Children Bowling  Dec. 28

Grants Available For Youth Conservation Education  Dec. 28

Mammoth Site Scientists Help Study Rare Bison  Dec. 27

1 Dead, 2 Injured In Corson Co. Collision  Dec. 27

Recent Snowfall Causing Delays & Scares   Dec. 27

Hamlin Co. Deputy: "No Ice Is Safe Ice"   story with video  Dec. 27

Hendricks Residents Welcome New Theater  story with video  Dec. 27

1 Dead, 1 Injured In Collision Near Philip  Dec. 27

KDLT News Archive

Family Says Hartford Man Died From Flu

An elementary school counselor from West Central ...

SFPD Arrests Man For Sunday Morning Murder

Sioux Falls Police are investigating a murder that ...

Walmart Buys Unused & Unredeemed Gift Cards

Up to $750 million in gift cards will go unused this ...

Update: SF Police Investigate Armed Robbery  Dec. 28

Woman Gets DUI In Hamlin Co. Crash  Dec. 28

Search Resumes For AirAsia Jet  Dec. 28

High Demand For Gift Cards During Holidays   story with video  Dec. 28

SF Sets New Building Permit Record: $610M  story with video  Dec. 28

KDLT News Archive

SDSU's Upset Bid At UNI Falls Short  story with video

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – For the second time in as many games, South Dakota ...

Coyotes Crush Milwaukee  story with video

VERMILLION, S. D. —South Dakota junior guard Casey Kasperbauer made ...

Stampede Shock Sioux City In Shootout  story with video

Sioux Falls, SD—After going over two years without a ...

PARKSTON CLASSIC: Ethan Outlasts Sully Buttes  story with video  Dec. 27

MIKE MILLER CLASSIC: Washington Rolls While Mitchell Falls  story with video  Dec. 27

Stampede Rally Past Fargo In Shootout  story with video  Dec. 27

Skyforce Snap Austin's 10-Game Win Streak  story with video  Dec. 27

ENTRINGER CLASSIC: Madison & Deuel Win Nailbiters  story with video  Dec. 27

KDLT Sports Stories
Back To Top