A Look Back: Aberdeen Magazine’s First Issue
Aberdeen Magazine debuted in 2013. Now that it’s 2023, we’re taking a look back at the issue that started it all.

A Look Back: Aberdeen Magazine’s First Issue


ReadissueoneIn March of 2013, the premiere issue of Aberdeen Magazine hit the stands. Though the publication we’ve all come to know and love has gone through its fair share of changes (our first issue was only 20 pages!), our main mission has remained the same. We’re here to shine the spotlight on the people, places, and events that make Aberdeen a special place to live. Take a look back at our very first issue and check out the hot topics from a decade ago.


3 4 Page 05Did you know our ‘What’s New’ section used to be called ‘The Buzz’? The front end of Aberdeen Magazine is still dedicated to providing the fast facts about new businesses, upcoming events, and noteworthy people. 

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt 

In the 2010s, Aberdeen entered the frozen yogurt scene. Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, formerly located in the Lamont Plaza Building, opened in 2012. It was the first of two dedicated frozen yogurt shops in town, the other being CherryBerry. Both shops have since closed.

Presentation College Black and White Ball 

On March 2, 2013, Presentation College held its annual Black and White Ball. The event has been a fundraiser for student scholarships since 2002. The 2022 event, now known as the Denim and Diamonds Gala, was held on September 24. 

Doggy Daycare 

Northern Plains Animal Health began offering a dog daycare service. Since then, the service charge has only increased by $1, and patrons can still enjoy the same amenities offered in 2013. 

The Historic South Main Depot Lives On 

The M & SL.L. Depot was sold in 2013. It has since been completely renovated, repurposed and houses several businesses.

Bread on the Rise 

Palm Garden Cafe and Chocolate Shoppe previously housed Burckhard’s Bakery. The bakery had been around since 1906, and they closed briefly in the 1990s before Pete Burckhard took over. Now, Palm Garden offers Thai cuisine. 

3 4 Page 08TASTE

Recipes have been a staple in Aberdeen Magazine. Many magazine contributors have covered this section, but Troy McQuillen’s delicious dishes are simply unforgettable. The very first recipe, sweet cinnamon bread pudding, was a nice, warm dessert that could help anyone get through the final dregs of winter weather. 


The cover of our first issue featured our very own Lady Justice statue, seated atop the Brown County Courthouse. Publisher Troy McQuillen dove deep into researching the statue’s history, and former Managing Editor Barb Andrews completed the writeup of our first cover story. The 10 foot 8 inch statue has looked over Aberdeen since 1903, and over time this copper statue took on a gold appearance, thanks to some brave painters who restored her in 1953 and 1988. 

There was some speculation that our Lady Justice might actually be Lady Liberty, and that we received the wrong statue when she was first ordered. Barb continued her research and discovered that the statue was ordered in 1903 from the W.H. Mullins Manufacturing company in Salem, Ohio. She found a four-digit number linked to a purchase of $200 (almost $3,400 in 2023). A historical society in Salem was able to confirm that the number, 6875, was the item number for “Justice with Scales at Side”. The mystery has been solved! 

Today, Aberdeen Magazine tries to incorporate historic stories in every issue we can. Our new ‘Then and Now’ section highlights historic Aberdeen photos and compares them to photos taken in the same location today. Patrick Gallagher, one of our long-time writers, has also covered a wide variety of historic locations and events. 


This section used to cover art shows, fundraisers, and other important events that were happening in Aberdeen. Now, much of this content is included in our ‘What’s New’ section, and details about local galleries are listed in our artist spotlights. In 2013, we covered the NSU Faculty Art Exhibit, former Mayor Mike Levsen’s “State of the City” address, and the Boys and Girls Club Awards Banquet. 

3 4 Page 12STYLE 

A beautiful, colorful spread of spring accessories graced our pages for the first Style Feature. Each and every one of these items were available for purchase at local shops Lily’s Floral, Natural Abundance, Red Rooster Coffee House, and the Dacotah Prairie Museum’s gift shop. In our more recent issues, we have highlighted the Aberdeen Magazine Spring and Fall Style Shows. These fashion shows, organized by our very own Julie Lillis, show off our local boutiques’ newest arrivals. 


The first issue of Aberdeen Magazine was released right before Arbor Day, so naturally we feature some eco-friendly articles. The Donate, Sell, Repurpose, and Dispose list helped spring cleaners decide what to do with their unwanted items. Ann Andrews of Ann’s Touch offered some tips on how to decide what items are worth hanging on to, and Stucke Resource Group helped with the safe disposal of old computers. 

In the Arbor Day feature, City Forrester Aaron Kiesz shared the importance of the holiday, and our 10 Really Great Reasons to Plant a Tree list is just as relevant today as it was back in 2013. 


Foote Creek Bed and Breakfast and Moccasin Creek Country Clubs were the first two locations featured in the ‘Day Trips and Staycations’ section. You don’t always need to plan a big, out-of-state trip in order to have a great time. 


Eliot Lucas’s comic series, The Aberdabber, has appeared in many issues of Aberdeen Magazine. The comic brings humor to the little details of our day-to-day lives, like how Groundhog Day really doesn’t apply to those of us residing in the Midwest. 


The first (and only) ‘Issue of the Issue’ covered Pit Bull ownership. Nowadays, Aberdeen Magazine focuses on the positive side of news. Perhaps this is a section we could revisit, but our brand-new news publication, The Aberdeen Insider, is a great place to check out the latest coverage on Aberdeen’s hot topics. //