After left Badlands National Park, we wanted to go to the Park's south visitor's center at White River, located on the Pine Ridge Reservation and operated by Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority and staffed by Tribal members.Pennington County, South Dakota. It is located within Scenic Township, which had a 2010 census population of 58 inhabitants. The community is located adjacent to the Badlands National Park, about 50 miles southeast of Rapid City, along Highway 44.
In July 2011, the 12-acre town and surrounding area—about 46 acres total—was listed for sale at $799,000. The sale includes the post office, Longhorn Saloon, a dance hall, bunkhouse, museum, and two stores. It also includes a train depot that is on an abandoned line that was part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and is the subject of a 104-mile rails-to-trail project between Rapid City and Kadoka. In August 2011, a Philippines-based church called Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) bought the property, Pennington County records show.
None of these buildings appeared to be used, at least in the recent past. The saloon was built in 1906, and I'm sure has seen a lot of characters over the decades. The tiny little town is in the middle of no where. It's interesting to note that the two-cell "pokey" was just down the street one building from the saloon. I'd bet there's been many a cowboy spend a sobering evening in those cells.
Not sure what the above monument was all about, but one guess might be the former owner of the town Twila Merrill, who was a bronco-riding cowgirl from the '60s. Here is a link to a little story about Scenic & Twila: http://southdakotamagazine.com/scenic-where-characters-have-a-town
And I assume this was the office of the town's sheriff, with another jail cell off to the left in the pic below.
And this is the museum, which was closed, but was nonetheless, just plain interesting from the outside.
And below is the saloon, Sam 2 Bulls.
And above was the only business, and it was open. I walked in here and spoke with a couple of old timers and the manager, but just merely chatted. I did learn from one of the old timers that Lulu 2 Bulls was the Grand Mother of Sam 2 Bulls. Later at the White River visitor center, the Lakota Ranger on duty told me it was really his Mother, not Grand Mother. This same ranger talked to us for about an hour, as we asked him many questions about the culture & heritage of his tribe thru the years. He was more than willing to share his memories, as well as a noted disdain for the US Government, from a historical perspective.
Well, that about wraps up our blog about Scenic & White River in the Badlands. Till the next time, RVing Beach Bums.