Spokane, South Dakota

by Spaceman One-Seven July. 27, 2020 340 views

The Black Hills, formed millions of years ago by tectonic activity deep within the earth, turned out to be very rich sources of precious metals. In 1874, Custer wrote home that he had found gold in French Creek on a mapping expedition and the area was never the same. Thousands flocked to the Black Hills in hopes of becoming rich overnight; understandably, few ever came away with much. Towns sprung up overnight and fortunes followed the gold. The town of Custer, for example had a population of 10,000 in 1875, but when larger and more profitable gold strikes were announced in the northern Black Hills, Custer's population shrank to 14 almost overnight.

Sixteen miles from Custer, another settlement, Spokane, formed around the Spokane Mine in 1890. While miners hoped for gold, other metals and minerals were found and extracted but the mine played out in the 1930's and the settlement was all but abandoned by 1940. However, the some of the buildings are still standing.

Last week, I found Spokane and its abandoned buildings, and spent the good part of a day there. I was surprised that the town didn't have a sad or melancholy feel to it. Rather, the sense was that here was a town that had done its work, and, once completed, was being allowed to return to the earth. I sepia-toned the photographs because I thought it was appropriate for the subject.

This, I am told, was the mine manager's house. It had an upstairs and a basement.

Other buildings and sights from Spokane...

All the best,

Spaceman17

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Thomas Thompson 10 months, 3 weeks ago
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10 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Spaceman One-Seven Replied to Thomas Thompson 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Tom. It was the first time I visited an abandoned town, so I didn't know quite what to expect. I'm glad that the buildings were mostly whole and that there were almost no modern trappings, like graffiti. There are other abandoned towns here in the Black Hills, so I may try to find a few more.
Until then, take care.

10 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Jill Potts-Griess 10 months, 3 weeks ago
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10 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Spaceman One-Seven Replied to Jill Potts-Griess 10 months, 3 weeks ago

So good to hear from you guys... I visited Jewel Cave today (no tours yet), and Ranger Jennie asked if you guys were at CSP or anywhere around. Glad to hear from you, though, hope all is well with you, too.

10 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Leroy Mcgallian 10 months, 3 weeks ago
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10 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Spaceman One-Seven Replied to Leroy Mcgallian 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey, Leroy, thanks for the note. Can't believe it's the end of July - I've been up here 3 months already. Sturgis is right around the corner, and it's not too early to start thinking of Roundup at the end of September. It's been an odd summer - we've just encountered lots of things that we hadn't before, but we're soldiering on. I saw that one hurricane hit south of Corpus, so best wishes there; we get hail, not hurricanes, and we've had PLENTY so far this summer. Take care, please say Hi to all...

10 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
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