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.

Okaton, South Dakota

Not far down the interstate is another tourist attraction called 1880 Ghost Town which is a popular stopping point for travelers.

Okaton, South Dakota

For years the Westlake family ran a ghost town-type attraction here, too, but today only the abandoned relics of the roadside stop remain, mixed in with a few occupied homes and some abandoned ones too.

Okaton, South Dakota

There are still billboards on the interstate urging travelers to stop for gas in Okaton, but at the time of our visit there weren’t any businesses in town… just the Westlake’s former gas station.

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

I sat down on this bench for a bit. It was welcome shade from the hot, South Dakota sun which was beating down on us that day. I could imagine a traveler getting a cold drink and taking a break here.

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton is a frequently photographed place, I suspect due to the easy access combined with the incredible shots to be had. Do an internet search and you’ll find plenty.

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

The top of Okaton’s grain elevator caved in at some point.

Okaton, South Dakota



Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

The former Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Rail line is now abandoned.

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

This house is slowly caving in as you can see if you look at some older photos.  Author Kathy Weiser has a nice page with some photos here.

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

There is a formerly abandoned school in Okaton, but it looks like somebody is using it as a residence now, so we didn’t shoot it.

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

That’s Interstate 90 in the background.  It’s rare to find such an abandoned place so close to a major highway.

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

Okaton, South Dakota

If you like this stuff, plunk your email in the subscription box, come find us on our Facebook page, or on Twitter.

Okaton, South Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC



6 thoughts on “Okaton Ghost Town

  1. One of the houses, the one with the boarded Windows, is my Grandmother’s house. She lives in Murdo now, but I have been in many of these buildings when they were homes and businesses, and I’m in my 30s. I have many memories and stories about Okaton.

  2. I lived in the railroad depot and went to the school. I was friends earlene, Kay and susan wadean. Many old memories Daphne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 + ten =