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South Dakota History

South Dakota History, volume 52 number 4

Price: $10.00

South Dakota History, volume 52 number 4


The annual historic preservation issue of “South Dakota History,” the quarterly journal of the South Dakota State Historical Society, features articles on how four major fires transformed Deadwood and how Rapid City rebuilt following the catastrophic Black Hills Flood of 1972.

David A. Wolff’s article “From Disaster to Prosperity: Four Fires that Changed Deadwood,” examines the aftermath of destructive blazes in 1879, 1889, 1894, and 1987. In each case, Deadwood residents and civic leaders responded creatively and made changes that helped stabilize the city. Wolff, an emeritus professor of history at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, is an expert on Black Hills history and the author of the 2021 book “The Savior of Deadwood: James K. P. Miller on the Gold Frontier,” published by the South Dakota Historical Society Press.  

In “The 1972 Black Hills Flood and the Remaking of Rapid City,” Corey Christianson details how the city responded in the wake of a disaster that resulted in over two hundred deaths and displaced thousands. The article shows how the city’s rebuilding efforts emphasized residents’ safety while also leading to a massive expansion of the city’s park system. Christianson is the collections management specialist for the South Dakota State Historical Society and a researcher for the Journey Museum in Rapid City.

Finally, Elizabeth J. Almlie, a historic preservation specialist with the South Dakota State Historical Society, looks back at the fiftieth anniversary of the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Almlie reflections on the office’s origins and notes some of its significant achievements during its first half century. Notably, SHPO has supported an annual historical preservation issue of “South Dakota History” since 2003.