South Dakota Ghost Towns



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South Dakota Counties
Aurora
Beadle
Bennett
Bon Homme
Brookings
Brown
Brule
Buffalo
Butte
Campbell
Charles Mix
Clark
Clay
Coddington
Corson
Custer
Davison
Day
Deuel
Dewey
Dodge
Douglas
Edmonds
Fall River
Faulk
Grant
Gregory
Haakon
Hamlin
Hand
Hanson
Harding
Hughes
Hutchinson
Hyde
Jackson
Jerauld
Jones
Kingsbury
Lake
Lawrence
Lincoln
Lyman
Marshall
McCook
McPherson
Meade
Mellette
Miner
Minnehaha
Moody
Pennington
Perkins
Potter
Roberts
Sanborn
Shannon
Spink
Stanley
Sully
Todd
Tripp
Turner
Union
Walworth
Yankton
Ziebach
Your webmaster is Steven Stymiest.

If you find a broken link, please notify the webmaster immediately.  Ghost Towns are being moved from the list below to their respective county pages, please check county pages as they are completed.

Like most of the states in America’s heartland, South Dakota is filled with ghost town sites, ghost towns, and near ghost towns. During the later 1870s, a major gold rush to the Black Hills usurped Native American lands, and problems developed between the Indians and the American interlopers. After the gold rush subsided in the early-mid 1880s, and the worst of the armed confrontations between the Native Americans and new settlers was resolved, farms exploded across the prairie. These in turn caused towns to pop up, and railroads to reach across the landscape. A large portion of these towns were established along the railroad corridors, and spaced from six to ten miles apart. According to old sources, that is because most farmers could drive their farm wagons to and from town in one day. During the past 100 years many of those towns have disappeared, along with many of the railroads. This is linked to more efficient transportation via cars and trucks. Wicked winters, valuable farmland, and lack of government owned property, except in the southwestern part of the state have also contributed to the demise of many of South Dakota’s ghost towns. Again as in many areas, the owners of property seldom like to keep abandoned and dilapidated structures around, as they have to pay taxes on them. This has contributed to the demise of many small villages, which have since reverted to farmland. In addition to farming and railroad ghosts, remember the Black Hills Gold Rush contributed hundreds of mining camps and scores of larger towns, many of which are long gone. There were also scattered military posts, stage-coach stops, and trading posts. If you know of any ghost towns in South Dakota that are not listed here, or know the current status of towns listed with little or no information, please contact the webmaster…

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