National Register Listings in
Buffalo County, South Dakota

The Black Hills of South Dakota are also home to the Crazy Horse Volksmarch, an annual event that allows visitors to hike up to the base of the Crazy Horse Memorial.
Buffalo County, South Dakota, has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. Before European settlement, the region was home to various Native American tribes, including the Lakota Sioux. These tribes thrived on the Great Plains, relying on bison for sustenance and utilizing the vast grasslands for hunting and gathering.

In the mid-1800s, American settlers began to arrive in the area due to the Homestead Act of 1862, which offered free land to those willing to cultivate it. This led to the establishment of farming and ranching communities in Buffalo County. However, conflicts between settlers and Native Americans, particularly during the Dakota War of 1862, disrupted the peace in the region.

Buffalo County was officially organized in 1883, taking its name from the bison herds that once roamed the area. The county seat was established in Gann Valley, which became a hub for trade and commerce in the region. Agriculture, mainly wheat farming and cattle ranching, became the primary economic activities.

In the early 20th century, Buffalo County experienced both growth and challenges. The expansion of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad in the early 1900s brought increased transportation opportunities and access to markets for local farmers. However, the Dust Bowl and Great Depression in the 1930s severely impacted the agricultural industry, leading to economic decline.

Today, Buffalo County continues to be a rural community with a strong agricultural heritage. The county remains sparsely populated, but its residents take pride in preserving their history and supporting local businesses and agriculture.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Buffalo County, South Dakota.

  • 1858 - Buffalo County was established by the Dakota territorial legislature.
  • 1861 - The first permanent settlement was established in the area.
  • 1863 - The county's first post office was established.
  • 1880 - The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad reached Buffalo County, leading to increased settlement and economic growth.
  • 1881 - The county seat was established in the town of Gann Valley.
  • 1920 - Buffalo County experienced a population boom as farmers moved to the area to take advantage of the fertile land.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression and drought had a significant impact on the county's economy, causing many farmers to lose their land.
  • 1950s - Improved irrigation techniques and technology brought some recovery to the agricultural sector.
  • 1970s - Buffalo County saw a decline in population as young people moved to larger cities in search of better job opportunities.
  • 1990 - The county courthouse in Gann Valley was closed, and the county seat was moved to Fort Thompson.