Athens is a small university town in the Spearfish Lake Tales. It is only about 300 miles south of Spearfish LakeDW51 but part of the Great Lakes are in the way and Randy Clark is known to prefer to drive around the south side of Lake Michigan, through Chicago. We also know in the same state as Franklin.DW52 and only 50 miles away.
Athens is the home of two universities. The proximity is comparable to how the University of Michigan dominates Ann Arbor, yet Eastern Michigan University happens to be right next door.
- Athens University is the older university and possibly the town is named for it, invoking connotations of Ancient Greece. It is probably the bigger and more prestigous and likely dominates the smaller town as often happens in college towns.
- Western State is another, smaller college in the same town. Undoubtedly there were historical rivalries that led to the distinction, but now is appears to be the choice of those wanting a college education in Athens without the bigger price tag.
Much housing in the town is occupied by students or staff of one or the other school. While Judy Niven spent one semester in a dorm, she and Ken Sorensen got married and moved into a small apartment in the town. Like many apartments devoted to students, it is rented furnished.TNG10