Whitewood Installs A South Dakota Historical Marker
Whitewood, SD - On July 3 at 11:00 am in the center of town, Whitewood will hold a dedication ceremony for their first South Dakota Historical Marker commemorating the first train from the East in the Northern Black Hills.
“Our entire community has been involved in this project. We held bake sales to earn the money needed to purchase the marker with people buying a plate of cookies for $20,” said Whitewood Chamber of commerce President Rita Bestgen. Through a grant, the Mary Chilton DAR Foundation provided half the cost of the marker. “We are very grateful to the DAR ladies for helping get this Marker,” said Besten.
Chris Nelson, W Historic Preservation Specialist with the South Dakota Historical Society, worked with community members to establish the evidence that the first train from the East in the Northern Black Hills pulled into Whitewood in November of 1887. Whitewood remained the “End of the Line” until the railroad main line was completed through St. Onge to Belle Fourche in 1890 and the branch line to Deadwood was completed the same year. One Whitewood Historic researcher commented about how difficult it was to get the wording on the Marker just right.. “To tell the whole story in so few words was hard. Chris was very helpful with this,” she said.
Over six years ago the Whitewood Library began gathering and filing historical photos, documents, resident stories, and other material on the town’s history. These files were used to document the information needed to complete the Marker application.
Whitewood’s Mayor Mitch Harmon will introduce the speakers at the July 3 ceremony. “This is a great day for our small town, and to and celebrate this patriotic weekend. It is so important to remember the role we played in the development of the Northern Black Hills." The public is invited.