Browsed by
Category: South Dakota

Here’s What It Costs to Buy an Old South Dakota Church

Here’s What It Costs to Buy an Old South Dakota Church

We were out photographing some historic and abandoned places in April of 2016 and we had just decided to call it a day and head for home when we discovered this place by accident. Technically, this address is listed as Elk Point, South Dakota, but really it’s a spot along the Interstate 29, just a mile north of the Vermillion exit, about thirty miles northwest of Sioux City.

Read More Read More

Capa’s Catholic Church, Just Before the End

Capa’s Catholic Church, Just Before the End

In July of 2015, we stopped in Capa, South Dakota to get some photos of a place with only one remaining resident.  It was a beautiful place with plenty to photograph, but we discovered the former Catholic Church, which had been unused since 1940, had recently collapsed.

Recently, Iowa photographer Dick Evans contacted us and offered to send some photos he took in Capa shortly before the church collapsed, which we’ve posted below.

Read More Read More

Mining Relics and the Majesty of Spearfish Canyon

Mining Relics and the Majesty of Spearfish Canyon

One of America’s greatest scenic byways winds through the Black Hills between Spearfish and Lead, South Dakota, featuring waterfalls, thousand-foot cliffs, and roadside turnoffs where travelers can stop and photograph the sights. Spearfish Canyon is so beautiful, some scenes from Dances with Wolves were filmed here.

Read More Read More

Bad Luck and Bad Judgment Leave Owanka Nearly Abandoned

Bad Luck and Bad Judgment Leave Owanka Nearly Abandoned

Not quite six miles south of Interstate 90 in the undulating green hills of Pennington County lies Owanka, South Dakota, a near ghost town with a story of bad luck and bad deeds that led to its present depopulated state. According to a number of sources, the present population of Owanka is two, although there are two more residents who ranch on the outskirts of town, effectively doubling the population.

Read More Read More

The Final Chapter in Capa, South Dakota

The Final Chapter in Capa, South Dakota

We visited Capa in July of 2015, near the end of a four day trip to explore some abandoned places in North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. So many times, when visiting vacant, out-of-the-way places on the high plains, we find a regular, criss-cross grid of gravel roads, intersecting every mile or two, and we can easily drive right up to our desired places, but that was not the case in Capa.

Read More Read More

The Remains of Cottonwood, South Dakota

The Remains of Cottonwood, South Dakota

On Highway 14, about halfway between Wall and Philip, lies sleepy Cottonwood, South Dakota. We visited Cottonwood at the suggestion of our friend Maya Greywolf who had been momentarily captivated by these abandoned places while passing through on a roadtrip. We had little idea what to expect, but we were thrilled at the photo opportunities when we arrived.

Read More Read More

128 Years of Postal Service in Rockham, South Dakota

128 Years of Postal Service in Rockham, South Dakota

Rockham is in Faulk County, South Dakota, about 80 miles northeast of Pierre. I visited Rockham while on a trip to shoot several neighboring places — Miranda, and Lily — and they all turned out to be beautiful places to photograph.

Read More Read More

The Lonely Streets of Miranda, South Dakota

The Lonely Streets of Miranda, South Dakota

Miranda, South Dakota is in Faulk County, about forty miles southwest of Aberdeen. The scenery on the way to Miranda was awesome; like being adrift on a sea of prairie in places, with barely a power line or telephone pole to be seen. Miranda is an unincorporated community of about a half dozen inhabited residences, and upon arrival I was pleased to discover it had a number of vacant and abandoned places to shoot.

Read More Read More

Going Back to Hillhead

Going Back to Hillhead

After I visited Hillhead in 2014, it was pointed out to me that I missed the building that was once the school. So, when I was planning a trip to shoot some places around Aberdeen in June of 2015, I decided I would travel through Hillhead again on the way back home and see if I could get a shot of the school.

Read More Read More

Crandall’s Landmark Standard Oil Station

Crandall’s Landmark Standard Oil Station

If you decide to visit Crandall, South Dakota, this much is certain — you will be treated to some awesome prairie vistas on the way to this out of the way place near the convergence of Day, Clark, and Spink Counties. Crandall is an unincorporated community with fewer than a handful of residences remaining. The former gas station is historically significant as the last Standard Oil Station in the United States to use manual gravity pumps.

Read More Read More

Lily, South Dakota: Population 4

Lily, South Dakota: Population 4

According to the 2010 Census, four residents remain in Lily, South Dakota, a charming little town in Day County, about 45 miles southeast of Aberdeen. It’s in lakes country and it is a beautiful drive. There are a number of fading structures in Lily (so many in fact that I didn’t even shoot them all) including a former gas station, and a church that looks like it was converted to a shop or possibly a home.

Read More Read More

On the South Dakota Prairie

On the South Dakota Prairie

We took a trip in the summer of 2014 to photograph some vanishing places in South Dakota and Nebraska, and these few photos would be the last we took on that two-day adventure.

Read More Read More

Discovered Dereliction Near Vale, South Dakota

Discovered Dereliction Near Vale, South Dakota

This is a guest post from Kim Taylor of Discovered Dereliction, who was kind enough to share some photos from an adventure in South Dakota.

This solemn beauty is near Vale, South Dakota. I discovered it on one of my numerous back road trips looking to capture the many wonders of the Dakotas.

Read More Read More

Zell, South Dakota

Zell, South Dakota

Zell is a tiny town in South Dakota, straddling the county line between Faulk and Hand counties. This former convent and the neighboring church are featured in our book hardcover coffee table book, Churches of the High Plains.

Read More Read More

Okaton Ghost Town

Okaton Ghost Town

Okaton, South Dakota is just off Interstate 90, about forty miles southwest of Pierre, and it is a unique breed of town — part near-ghost town, part abandoned roadside attraction.

Read More Read More

The Rusting and Abandoned Klondike Bridge

The Rusting and Abandoned Klondike Bridge

This is Klondike Bridge near Larchwood, Iowa. A bridge was first built at this spot in 1901, but it proved inadequate to handle the traffic that followed, so in 1913, Lyon County contracted Western Bridge and Construction Company of Omaha to build the Klondike. The bridge was constructed in 1914 and opened for full-use in January of 1915. It is closed to all but recreational traffic today, but it carried interstate traffic across the Big Sioux River between South Dakota and Iowa until 1977, when a new bridge was constructed to the north.

Read More Read More

Porter Sculpture Park

Porter Sculpture Park

This is Porter Sculpture Park, a roadside attraction in South Dakota, just off Interstate 90 about 20 minutes west of Sioux Falls.

Read More Read More

Owanka, South Dakota

Owanka, South Dakota

Owanka, South Dakota was settled in 1880 in Pennington County, about thirty miles east of Rapid City, and was once home to a number of businesses including a grain elevator, bank, several hotels, stores, cafes, and it even had its own newspaper. Owanka had water problems though, and the railroad eventually left. Later, many of Owanka’s buildings were moved to other places, including the Owanka Town Hall. I refer to it as a “town” hall, but in reality, Owanka never incorporated. The Zip Code is 57767.

Read More Read More

Prairie Outpost: Hillhead, South Dakota

Prairie Outpost: Hillhead, South Dakota

This is Hillhead, in Marshall County, about 18 miles northeast of Britton, South Dakota. I’ve seen references to Hillhead, South Dakota online in which it’s listed as a ghost town, and technically it is since the remaining original buildings have been abandoned, but there are inhabited dwellings in the immediate vicinity of the old town site.

Read More Read More

Hammer, South Dakota

Hammer, South Dakota

This is Hammer, South Dakota, on the Lake Traverse Reservation in Roberts County, South Dakota.  In my best estimation, the actual townsite now consists of one inhabited home, and a number of abandoned structures.

Read More Read More