Thursday, December 15, 2011

Johnson Siding...

A History of a Black Hills Sawmill

There are so many places across the region that have fascinating histories that it's hard to keep up with them.  And sometimes we drive right by familiar locations, not fully appreciating the history behind them.

Such is the case of Johnson Siding, nestled along South Dakota Highway 44 about 10 miles west of Rapid City.  Just over the county line in Pennington County, it's one of those places that we often hear about, perhaps frequently drive by, but without giving much thought to its history -- or how it got its name.

Fortunately, an Adjunct Instructor of History for Black Hills State University at the University Center in Rapid City has helped fill the void regarding Johnson Siding.

Erik Iverson researched and wrote the following article while enrolled in the Mountains of History (MOH) program supported by a grant from the U. S. Department of Education.  It was in collaboration with Black Hills State University, Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, the Chiesman Foundation, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Technology in Education (TIE) of Rapid City.  A resident of Rapid  City since 1984, Iverson graduated from Rapid City Central and earned a degree in Social Studies from Black Hills State University.  He has a Master's Degree in American History from Ashland University in Ohio and has taught in Rapid City Schools for 12 years.

Iverson's research into Johnson Siding is also a bit of family research.  His wife of nearly 20 years, Heidi, was a Johnson.  They have four children:  Emily, 14; Isaak, 11; Aaron, 9; and Aiden, 6. It was Heidi's great, great, grandfather Johnson whose name became indelibly linked to that special place called Johnson Siding.

Our thanks to Erik Johnson for allowing us to publish here his article entitled: