National Historic Places of Custer County

Posted by Brian Gevik, Text by Gary Enright - Director - 1881 Courthouse Museum - Custer, Images courtesy 1881 Courthouse Museum unless otherwise noted. on

When historians get down to counting the number of places in South Dakota that are listed on the U.S. Department of Interior’s Registry of Historical Places, they will find that Custer County has the fourth largest number of the 66 counties in the state. The list of Custer County Historical Places ranges from ranches to places where Presidents stayed, to pig-tail highways, to stage coach stops, to old bank buildings, to nearly fifty other locations all in just this one county.

old custer county courthouse

One of the oldest buildings in the Black Hills to be listed on this National Register is the 137-year old Courthouse Museum in Custer. It was the first historical site to be listed on the National Register.

Dr. flick log cabin

Next was the Doctor Flick log cabin. Built in 1875 and listed in 1973, it is the oldest building in the Black Hills. The Flick Cabin and the Courthouse are among the oldest of the one-thousand three hundred and thirty-three listed places in the state.

cold spring school

The Cold Springs Country School building was also added to the list in 1973, on the same day as the Flick Cabin.

sd state game lodge

Many of the most historic structures in the Black Hills are located in Custer State Park, including the State Game Lodge, which was listed in 1983. 

grace coolidge memorial log building

The Grace Coolidge Memorial log building, now housing the YMCA in Custer, was dedicated by President Coolidge's wife Grace in 1927. It was designated as an Historical Place in 2001.

hermosa masonic lodge

The Hermosa Masonic Lodge was listed in 2009.

ccc camp hq

The building that housed the headquarters of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the Black Hills was added to the list in 1992.

beaver creek bridge

But not just old buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The concrete Beaver Creek Bridge, southeast of Custer City, was designated in 1984.

old jewel cave entrance

So was the old entrance to Jewel Cave National Monument located southwest of Custer City.


And so was this famous 'Pig Tail Bridge' on highway 87 in the Black Hills.

old first national bank

In downtown Custer City, the First National Bank Building, built in 1881, was listed as an Historical Place in 1982.

garlock building

The Garlock Building, now housing the Custer County Chronicle, listed in 2004. Several private residences in the town are also on the historic places list.

buffalo gap ca. 1890Courtesy: SD State Archives

One of the most unique designations is the entire downtown "Historic Commercial District" of the eastern Custer County town of Buffalo Gap, which was established in 1885.

welcome to custer sign

Custer City is the oldest settlement in the Black Hills. Its history goes back to 1874 when Gen. George Armstrong Custer established a military camp near where the town of Custer is now located. Gold miners moved in and occupied the site in 1875.

historic privately held ranch

If you're curious about what historic places are listed in your county or your state check it out on the National Register of Historic Places official Web site, hosted by the National Park Service, or at

"Personalities with Chuck Anderson"

Vintage radio interviews with well known and not so well known South Dakotans.

Personalities: Gladys Pyle - A Woman of "Firsts" in Politics and Government

Gladys Pyle was the first woman elected to the S.D. House, the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, and the first...

Remembering South Dakota Native Hubert Humphrey

Hubert H. Humphrey was one of the most prominent politicians and policy-makers in the United States from the mid...

Personalities: Col. Chuck "Sam" Gemar - South Dakota Astronaut

Chuck Gemar was born in Yankton and graduated from Scotland high school in 1973. He was accepted into the United...

Personalities: Jim McKinney, Fmr. SDSU Band Director

Jim McKinney came to South Dakota State University in 1975 and was SDSU's band director from 1983 until his...

Personalities: A Pearl Harbor Survivor's Story

Charles "Chuck" Isakson (1917-1997), a Webster native and longtime Huron resident, was among some 50 South Dakotans...

Personalities: Joe Foss

Radio host Chuck Anderson traveled to Joe Foss's Scottsdale, Arizona home in 1996 for an interview with one of the...

Personalities: Amy Burnett

Amy Burnett is one of the best South Dakota basketball players ever. Burnett grew up in Huron and led Huron High to...

Personalities: George Hall, Creator and Collector of South Dakota History

While many bookworms spend their time cocooned in public libraries and bookstores searching for the next great story,...