Ghost Towns of South Dakota (M-P)

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DISCLAIMER: We are still working to find updated information for every town. We started in 2016 and with roughly 4,000 ghost towns in the United States, we hope to eventually have as much accurate information on each town as we can. If you notice any incorrect information, or if you have any information to help fill in the blanks for any towns, please feel free to contact us.

Macy

County: Butte
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Maitland

County: Lawrence
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Latitude / Longitude: 44°23′51″N 103°48′06″W / 44.3974841°N 103.8015891°W / 44.3974841
Elevation: 4,898 ft (1,493 m)
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Comments: Maitland, originally called Garden City and sometimes misspelled Midland, is a ghost town in Lawrence County, South Dakota, United States. It was a mining community that boomed during the Black Hills Gold Rush, but was abandoned by about 1915. The town was called Garden City from 1877 to 1902, at which point it was renamed for Alexander Maitland, a former Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, who took over the local Penobscot Mine. The mine was also renamed Maitland Mine. The mine and town are sometimes misspelled “Midland.”
Remains: Maitland, originally called Garden City, started out as a small gold mining settlement during the 1870s, forming during the Black Hills Gold Rush. The Rainy Day (abandoned after 1880), Beltram, Gold Eagle, Echo, Deadbroke, Columbus, and Penobscot (later Maitland) Mines surrounded the town. These mines were later worked by the Garden City Mining Company. In February 1877, property owners from the area held a meeting to organize the town. Garden City and the neighboring camp of New Chicago, located just to the north, consolidated and reorganized; the two towns then merged as Garden City.
Current Status: Maitland had several rich strikes and slow years. By 1915, the town was already largely abandoned; only the mill, a shaft house, and a handful of houses remained. Until that year, the Maitland Mine had had several different managers. By World War I, most of the mines and towns in the area had been abandoned mainly due to the war, complete exhaustion of ores, and financial hardship. In 1934, the Maitland Mine was reopened, and from 1935 to 1936, the Canyon Corporation operated the mine. For these purposes, the boarding house was restored and became a home for 20 men. 85 other workers commuted from neighboring towns. The mill was also restored and electricity was added. When World War II reached the United States in 1941, the mine was closed and has since been inactive. The mill burned down while it was being demolished in the 1950s. In the 1970s, the Maitland Slopes Company, a snowmobiling and tobogganing company was in operation near the area. Most of Maitland’s site is now owned by the Homestake Mining Company, and the area has become a timber farm. The only remnants of the town are Alexander Maitland’s house, the livery barn, and the office building.
Remarks: Maitland was located in the Black Hills of central Lawrence County, South Dakota. It was on False Bottom Creek about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) northwest of Central City, South Dakota, and southwest of Spearfish, South Dakota.

Manchester

County: Kingsbury
Zip Code: 57353
Latitude / Longitude: 44°22′46″N 97°42′10″W / 44.37944°N 97.70278°W / 44.37944
Elevation: 1,608 ft (490 m)
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Comments: Manchester was a small unincorporated community in Kingsbury County in the east-central part of the U.S. state of South Dakota. On June 24, 2003, the town was completely annihilated by a large F4-rated tornado, and has since become a ghost town. In 2004, the state of South Dakota officially disincorporated the town of Manchester.
Remains: Manchester was originally called Fairview; the present name honors a certain pioneer settler named Manchester. With the influence of the railroad, Manchester underwent rapid expansion, including the building of “numerous homes, a town hall, grocery stores, livery barns, a lumber yard, two grain elevators, a depot, a restaurant, a cream station, a bank, a pool hall, auto repair, blacksmith shops, gas stations, two churches, a system of township schools including Manchester High School, a hotel, a newspaper and a fabled town pump”.
Current Status: As of 2010, the Manchester town site lies barren and abandoned. All that remains of Manchester is the slab foundations of demolished houses along the dirt road grid that composed the town center and the famous Manchester town pump (which survived a direct hit from the tornado mostly intact). The lush trees which were planted in the 19th century to shelter the town’s homes and residents from the summer heat were all razed by the tornado, returning the area to a sea of empty farmland. There are no plans to rebuild, and the destruction of the town’s post office and all remaining structures (along with the flight of the few remaining residents) served to finally extinguish Manchester’s raison d’être, making it a natural disaster-induced ghost town.
Remarks: Although the town itself is empty and depopulated, many former official residents of Manchester continue to reside in the unincorporated farm areas between De Smet and Iroquois, South Dakota, and many others have relocated to other small communities nearby. The town has also not been officially “wiped off the map” yet, as it remains on both the government rolls and maps pending the next Federal census. On June 25, 2007 a granite monument was erected in the ghost town commemorating its history and honoring the residents who had lived there.

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Marietta

County: Fall River
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Martin Valley

County: Custer
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Mason

County: Butte
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Comments: Mason is a ghost town in Butte County, in the U.S. state of South Dakota.
Remains: Mason was laid out in 1912, and named in honor of a local family. A post office called Mason was established in 1912, and remained in operation until 1940.
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Maurice

County: Lawrence
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Comments: Now the site of the power plant for the Homestake Mine.
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Maverick

County: Pennington
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Comments: Existed around 1891
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Mayo

County: Custer
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Melvin

County: Custer
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Comments: Melvin is an ghost town in Custer County, in the U.S. state of South Dakota.
Remains: Melvin contained a post office from 1889 until 1890. The town was named for Melvin Perkins, the son of an early settler.
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Merritt

County: Lawrence and Pennington
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Latitude / Longitude: 44°08′27″N 103°34′07″W / 44.14083°N 103.56861°W / 44.14083
Elevation: 5,105 ft (1,556 m)
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Comments: Merritt is a ghost town in Lawrence County and Pennington County, South Dakota, United States of America.
Remains: Merritt was a small logging community that once included a school, post office, and a ranger station. It provided fuel and wood for the mines near Lead and Deadwood. It has since been abandoned. In the 1970s, all that remained of the town was a trout ranch.
Current Status: The old site is located on the county line between Pennington and Lawrence Counties in the US state of South Dakota, on the west side of US 385. Merritt is inside of the Black Hills. It was located at the southern end of the Black Hills & Fort Pierre Railroad. It was 18 miles north of Hill City. Its elevation is 5,105 feet (1,556 m).
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Middle Boxelder

County: Lawrence
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Minneapolis

County: Pennington
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Minnelusa

County: Pennington
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Comments: Minnesela (Lakota: mni šeyéla; “red water”) was the first settlement in and county seat of Butte County, South Dakota, United States. Minnesela was founded in 1882 and was located three miles southeast of present-day Belle Fourche. The railroad’s decision to bypass Minnesela and to continue on to Belle Fourche in 1890 caused the town to be abandoned by 1901.
Remains: In 1876, American pioneer John T. “Buckskin Johnny” Spaulding and his brother-in-law Thomas J. Davis built the first home, a two-story log cabin, two and a half miles southeast of present-day Belle Fourche. It was constructed from logs felled in the Black Hills between Crook City and Deadwood; the logs were then hauled to the site. The house was made up of a living room, parlor, kitchen, children’s room, and a main bedroom. This cabin housed Spaulding; Davis; Davis’s wife, Lucinda; and the Davis’ children. During the next five years, homesteaders gradually settled the area. After Spaulding left, his cabin was used by many settlers in the area until the late 1930s. Minnesela was plotted in 1881 by D. T. Harrison and Azby Chouteau. In early 1882, after the population of the area reached 100, the community decided to build the town on the east bank of Redwater River, at a location one-half mile south of Spaulding’s cabin.
Current Status: Seth Bullock and his business partner, Sol Star, moved into the area and built the SB Ranch at the confluence of the Redwater River and the Belle Fourche River in 1879. This ranch grew to become famous throughout the West for its thoroughbred trotting horse breeding, and in the spring of 1881, Bullock planted the first crop of alfalfa in the Western United States. In 1884, the Marquis de Mores created a stage line in order to connect Deadwood, South Dakota to the Northern Pacific Railroad, which passed through Medora, North Dakota. A few shacks, a stage barn, and a saloon were set up on the SB Ranch. The stage line failed after only a few trips, and the line shut down; however, the saloon remained open, to the disapproval of many Minneselan women. The last building on the De Mores station site burned down in 1888. Minnesela experienced severe winter weather; the snow sometimes covered windows 2-stories high. In 1886, a hot, dry summer and a powerful winter blizzard destroyed farmers’ crops and ranchers’ livestock.
Remarks: Minnesela is located on the Great Plains about three miles southeast of Belle Fourche, Butte County, South Dakota. It is about 10 miles north of the Black Hills. The town was located on the banks of the Lower Redwater River. The present marker is slightly to the east of the banks of the river.

Minnesela

County: Butte
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Latitude / Longitude: 44°38′30″N 103°51′32″W / 44.6416511°N 103.8588148°W / 44.6416511 -103.8588148
Elevation: 3,173 ft (967 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Established: 1876
Disestablished: 1901
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Mogul

County: Lawrence
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Montana City

County: Lawrence
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Montezuma

County: Lawrence
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Moon

County: Pennington
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Latitude / Longitude: 43° 56′ 47″ N, 104° 0′ 30″ W
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Comments: Moon is an extinct town in Pennington County, in the U.S. state of South Dakota. The GNIS classifies it as a populated place.
Remains: Moon was laid out in 1910, and named in honor of Jack Moon, its first inhabitant. A post office called Moon was established in 1911, and remained in operation until 1953.
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Morganfield

County: Union
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Moss City

County: Custer
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Comments: Its exact location is unknown. It was most likely in eastern Custer County. It had a post office during the Black Hills Gold Rush days, but its population was never determined.
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Myers City

County: Pennington
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Latitude / Longitude: 44°06′12″N 103°44′21″W / 44.1033164°N 103.7390858°W / 44.1033164
Elevation: 5,732 ft (1,747 m)
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Comments: Myers City, today called Myersville, is a ghost town in Pennington County, South Dakota, United States. Myers City was named for John Myers, who was a local miner and lumberman.
Remains: Myers City started out as a mining town near the Cochrane Mine (formerly the Jenny Lind Mine), which was discovered in 1878 by Frank Cochrane. Cochrane sold the claims to the local Alta Lodi Mining Company. The company built a 40-stamp mill in January 1880, but it wasn’t operated until the following summer. The mine and mill were connected by a tramway. In 1884, the Alta Lodi shut down for cleaning purposes and repairs, but it was never reopened. The mill was later moved to the nearby town of Lookout.
Current Status: In 1880, the census recorded 103 residents. By 1883, 150 people were living in Myers City, and at some point, the town had about 200 residents. The only preacher to ever give a sermon in a Deadwood bar, Reverend Rumney, is buried in the town cemetery. This sermon was given in Billy Nuttall’s #10 saloon. The town never had a post office or any saloons; most of its residents traveled to Custer or Rochford for drinks or mail. From 1892 to 1917, James Cochran worked 5 claims in the area, running a 16-ton Huntington mill. In 1902, Cochran sold the claims for $25,000, but he soon repossessed the property. From 1931 to 1936, after Cochran’s death in 1930, his son-in-law and grandson worked the claims and built a new mill. The last time the area was worked was briefly by a man named Driscoll in 1936. Some buildings are still standing.
Remarks: Myers City is located in the Black Hills of Pennington County, South Dakota, at 44.1033164°N 103.7390858°W. It is about 2.5 miles southwest of Rochford.

Mystic

County: Pennington
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Latitude / Longitude: 44° 4′ 37″ N, 103° 38′ 30″ W
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Comments: Mystic is an unincorporated community in Pennington County, in the U.S. state of South Dakota.
Remains: A post office called Mystic was established in 1895, and remained in operation until 1954. It was supposed that the local Indians believed the surrounding area to be full of mystery, hence the name. A former variant name was Sitting Bull.
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Nahant

County: Lawrence
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Latitude / Longitude: 44°10′36″N 103°45′20″W / 44.1766505°N 103.7554753°W / 44.1766505
Elevation: 5,682 ft (1,732 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Established: 1890
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Comments: Nahant or West Nahant (est. 1890) is a ghost town in Pennington County, South Dakota, United States. It flourished as a logging and, to a lesser extent, a mining town in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Remains: Nahant was founded in 1890, making most of its profit from the nearby Montana Mine. In 1902, the Globe Mining Company began operations. The McLaughlin Tie and Timber Company later arrived in the area and began logging. Since Nahant was close by, in May 1906, the McLaughlin began funding it with a payroll of $47,000 per month. The same year, the McLaughlin built a ten-mile standard gauge line to Moskee, Wyoming. A mining corporation known as the Ray Company mined briefly in the area. In 1909, the McLaughlin added a new line towards Tinton and Cold Springs. These lines caused a number of small logging camps that were all connected by telephone to spring up. Nahant included two separate rows of houses, a boarding house, a post office, a two-room school, a well, a large water tank, and a carpenter shop. The clubhouse included activities such as basketball and roller-skating. This basketball team became known for once beating Deadwood’s team. A nearby roundhouse held one of the engines being loaned by the McLaughlin from the CB&Q Railroad. Most of these buildings were built by the McLaughlin. In March 1909, 40 students attended the school. However, parents became displeased with the quality of their kids’ education, and the school closed the following June. At its peak, Nahant had 500 residents. In 1911, a mining company from St. Louis considered reopening some abandoned operations in the area, but the idea was scrapped.
Current Status: The town eventually died out, though the post office and hotel stayed in operation for a long time. The school building was relocated to a ranch near Brownsville. The only thing that remains of the town today is a single house.
Remarks: The McLaughlin Company became notorious for its failed operations. In April 1909, a fire completely destroyed the $40,000 McLaughlin Mill; the insurance only covered about half this amount. This fire was witnessed by people as far as Lead, which was 15 miles away. The lumber in the yards and the planing mill survived, but five railroad cars were destroyed, three of which contained a total of 975 wooden railroad ties. 90,000 board feet of lumber, a stripping shed containing thousands of ties, and six carloads of green logs were also lost. However, during the fire, none of the houses lost lighting. The McLaughlin never recovered from the financial losses and eventually closed due to low funds and poor management. Nahant is located in the Black Hills of Lawrence County, South Dakota, United States, at 44.1766505°N 103.7554753°W. It was on a hilltop near Montana City and Elkhorn.

Nasby

County: Lawrence
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Comments: Existed around 1910 as a booming logging camp.
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Nerve City

County: Lawrence
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Comments: Located about 1,500 feet (460 m) north of Balmoral.
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New Berlin

County: Lawrence
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New Chicago

County: Lawrence
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Comments: Was a camp later absorbed into Maitland, South Dakota.
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Newton City

County: Lawrence
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North Galena

County: Lawrence
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Comments: The exact location is unknown, but it was probably somewhere around Galena. It was also called Carter City.
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Novak

County: Lawrence
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Latitude / Longitude: 44°12′59″N 103°33′07″W / 44.2163745°N 103.5518578°W / 44.2163745
Elevation: 4,898 ft (1,493 m)
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Comments: Novak, also known as Cindell Spur, is a ghost town in Lawrence County, South Dakota, United States. It was an early mining camp.
Remains: Novak was founded next to Greenwood, South Dakota, as the latter began to decline, in the early 1900s. Investors in the Safe Investment Mine and Mill settled in Novak. Safe Investment grew to have a bad reputation, as investors realized that they were actually losing money. In 1903 and 1904, the Novak mine began to develop. By 1906, they had paid off their debt. As the mining company grew, so did the town. In 1907, there were no saloons or dance houses. Gambling occasionally went on in the boarding house. The Black Hills & Fort Pierre Railroad built a branch to the town. There were three houses built by the mining company and several other cabins, and a school that served six students. Novak used the cemetery in Greenwood instead of building its own. A nearby creek was used for water.
Current Status: The mine eventually ran its course and was no longer profitable. After the mining operations shut down, most of the residents left Novak. The school closed and the remaining children traveled to Benchmark for school. Until about the 1980s, Novak had two permanently occupied houses, but soon after that, the remaining residents either died or left, and Novak was officially abandoned. In 1974, the only remains of the town were two buildings and a large meadow.
Remarks: Novak is located in the northern Black Hills in Lawrence County, South Dakota, United States. Founded on the bank of Boxelder Creek, it is located along what is today Nemo Road. It is 2.5 miles away from Benchmark and 3 miles northwest of Nemo.

Nugget City

County: Lawrence
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Comments: Was in existence before or around 1898.
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Oak Flat

County: Lawrence
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Ochre City

County: Pennington
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Comments: Was a booming mining community around 1879.
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Okobojo

County: Sully
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Latitude / Longitude: 44° 38′ 57″ N, 100° 23′ 44″ W
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Comments: Okobojo (Dakota: okóbožu; “to plant in spaces”) is a ghost town in Sully County, South Dakota, United States.
Remains: The first settler in the area was Peter Brennan, who arrived in early 1882. His presence was technically illegal since the federal government did not begin opening land in the township until April 9, 1883. The town was laid out that spring. Most of the first settlers were industrial people from Iowa, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. Many of them did not plan to make a permanent settlement. The first building was a general store. The town also included a hardware store, several other stores, a hotel, a slaughterhouse, a printing office, a cemetery, and a town hall. By October, there were about 250 buildings in the surrounding area. The township was first called Pymosa, but it was later changed to Okobojo. The first school was built on the west side of the township in November 1883. The first newspaper emerged in May 1884 and ran until 1929, after it was moved to nearby Onida. That fall, a flouring mill was built; it closed later due to the high cost of fuel needed to run it. Military personnel from Fort Sully often visited the town.
Current Status: For the first few years, the township’s crops did well, but by 1886, severe weather conditions began to damage them. By 1890, crops were doing poorly, and much of the area was abandoned.
Remarks: Okobojo is located in Sully County, South Dakota, east of the Missouri River.

Old Ashton

County: Spink
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Ordway

County: Brown
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Latitude / Longitude: 45° 34′ 43″ N, 98° 24′ 43″ W
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Comments: Ordway is an unincorporated community in Brown County, in the U.S. state of South Dakota.
Remains: Ordway was platted in 1880. The community was named for Nehemiah G. Ordway, seventh Governor of Dakota Territory from June 1, 1880 until June 24, 1884. A post office was established in Ordway in 1881, and remained in operation until it was discontinued in 1944.
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Oreville

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Oro

County: Lawrence
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Otis

County: Custer
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Comments: The Custer State Game Lodge was built on the site of the town’s mill.
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Pactola

County: Pennington
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Latitude / Longitude: 44°04′25″N 103°29′02″W / 44.0735982°N 103.4838007°W / 44.0735982
Elevation: 4,462 ft (1,360 m)
Time Zone: Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Established: 1876
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Comments: Pactola, also known as Camp Crook, (1875–1950s) is a ghost town in Pennington County, South Dakota, United States. It was an early placer mining town and existed into the early 1950s when it was submerged under Pactola Lake. The town’s early name, Camp Crook, was named in honor of General George Crook, who started his headquarters in the town. Pactola wasn’t used until 1878 when the miners were asked by lawyer and journalist H. N. Maguire to find a more interesting name. Pactola is derived from the ancient Greek placer mining operations on the Pactolus River, an ancient river in Lydia.
Remains: The Rapid City Mining District was founded in July 1875. The Black Hills at this time belonged to the Lakota people. These miners founded Camp Crook, in honor of General Crook, who they were hiding from. In August 1875, they were discovered and removed from the Black Hills. After this, the town was used as a headquarters for General Crook as he began chasing miners away from the Black Hills, who were in violation of the Treaty of Fort Laramie. The miners returned after the hills were opened in February 1876. Claims along the river were quickly filed and filled up. Some of these claims were made for as much as $50,000. In March, a party of 80 men who had been passing through was stranded in the town by a blizzard. The leader of the party, James C. Sherman, decided to stay in the town in the hopes of gaining wealth from gold. To serve the placer deposits, a log flume was built. The town was booming by late 1876. About 300 miners lived in the area. A store opened the same year, and in 1877, one of the first post offices in the Black Hills was established. The Black Hills & Western Railroad soon laid tracks to Pactola. The first hotel in the Black Hills, known as the Sherman House, was founded that same year by Sherman. This hotel became a stage station along two different stage lines.
Current Status: Several companies tried to build more flumes and ditches to the creek, but the expenses were unaffordable. Eventually, the town dwindled and became largely abandoned. Before its complete destruction, only one of the first buildings had survived. New buildings around the site included a lodge, some cabins, and one store. The town was submerged under Pactola Lake in the early 1950s. Only one cabin survived the flooding and stands downstream of the lake.
Remarks: Pactola was located in the Black Hills of Pennington County, South Dakota. Pactola Lake is now over the town site. The lake is beside US 385 and is 11 miles north of Hill City. Before its flooding, the townsite was located in a meadow near Rapid Creek.

Pearl City

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Pedro

County: Pennington
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Latitude / Longitude: 44°25′12″N 102°07′08″W / 44.42°N 102.119°W / 44.42 -102.119
Elevation: 2,031 ft (619 m)
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Comments: Pedro is a populated place in Pennington County, South Dakota. Pedro once had a population of 300 and had its own newspaper, the Pedro Bugle, but is now a ghost town.
Remains: The community’s name was selected during a game of Pedro
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Remarks: Carrie Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie) worked for E.L. Senn (who owned as many as fifty-one newspapers in South Dakota at that time) in Pedro, which was not too far from her claim. By the summer of 1909, she was the manager working for Senn at the Pedro Bugle

Perry

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Pine Grove

County: Lawrence
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Comments: The only indication of the site is that it was within twenty miles of Deadwood.
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Pinkerton

County: Pennington
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Placerville

County: Pennington
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Pluma

County: Lawrence
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Poorman’s Gulch

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Postville

County: Meade
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Comments: Was in existence around 1891.
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Potato Town

County: Lawrence
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Preston

County: Lawrence
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Comments: Was in the same area as Balmoral, Dacy, and Cyanide.
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Purewater

County: Todd
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