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SDPB's newest documentary, VANISHED SOUTH DAKOTA: TOWNS OF YESTERDAY, is now in production with a release date in 2019.  The documentary will tell the stories of the many towns which were once thriving centers of commerce but have since nearly (and in some cases totally) disappeared from the map. We are interviewing historians, town elders and those who stories have intersected with these now-lost centers of community life in South Dakota.

The public is invited and encouraged to share their stories, photos and video with us. In addition to the documentary itself, we are planning on producing an extensive collection of digital short video and blogs to accompany it.

Share your Vanished South Dakota story with us HERE.:

Vanished South Dakota

So You Think You Know Your SoDak Trivia?

Last Updated by Heather Benson on

As we travel across South Dakota for our upcoming Vanished South Dakota documentary, we are learning many fun and interesting facts along the way. See if you know some of the more obscure trivia from these lost towns!

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Vanished South Dakota: Our Inspiration

Posted by Heather Benson on

SDPB's upcoming Vanished South Dakota documentary was inspired by the public feedback for a Dakota Life short we aired in 2017. It is through the support and ideas from our members that great things can come to life--Thank you!

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Vanished South Dakota: The List (In Progress!)

Posted by Heather Benson on

As we put together our game plan for the Vanished South Dakota documentary, a list of towns is emerging that includes well-known and not-so-well-known spots across our state.

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Vanished South Dakota: Moritz

Posted by Heather Benson on

Moritz, South Dakota, located near Clear Lake, once boasted a lumberyard, general store, stockyards and even an outdoor movie place and dancehall. Today little remains except memories.

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Vanished South Dakota: Elrod

Posted by Heather Benson on

Little remains of the once thriving community of Elrod, SD. A silent memorial to the vanished town is the steps that used to welcome students into the Elrod School.

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Vanished South Dakota: Texas Town

Posted by Heather Benson on

A steamboat stop on the Missouri, a passageway for runaway slaves, a foothold in early Dakota Territory...learn what we found out on our second stop for our Vanished Towns of South Dakota documentary, Texas Town.

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Vanished South Dakota: Changing Boundaries

Last Updated by Heather Benson on

As the SDPB team does background research for our upcoming documentary Vanished South Dakota: Towns of Yesterday, we learn that not all maps are created equal (or even very nearly the same!)

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Spokane, South Dakota - Black Hills Ghost Town

Last Updated by Text by Gary Enright - Director - 1881 Courthouse Museum - Custer on

The failed mining town of Spokane, South Dakota, is one of about 200 ghost towns in and around the Black Hills.

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Images of the Past: Settlement Stories

Last Updated by Brian Gevik on

The first installment of Settlement Stories featuring the Germans from Russia of Freeman and Frawley Ranch aired Monday, January 15, 2018. Watch the entire episode here.

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Ghost Towns of South Dakota: Owanka

Last Updated by Michael Zimny on

Nestled in a scenic valley, Owanka is easily accessible and a short drive from Rapid City.

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