Category: Sights  Listing Date: 2011-07-15
Scenic For Sale
Scenic, South Dakota for Sale
Scenic South Dakota is located on Highway 44 about 50 miles east of Rapid City in what is now Badlands National Park. South of Scenic about 20 miles on Highway 27 is the White River Visitors Center. Approximately 33 miles east and north of Scenic on Highways 44 and 377 is the Ben Reifel Visitors Center. Both of these visitor's centers are within Badlands National Park.
Scenic originated shortly after 1900. In 1907 the railroad had reached Scenic which was named by the crew laying the track. This is about the time the 1st building was built near those tracks.
Much of the town is in disrepair but you can feel the history as you peer into the old buildings through partially shuttered windows. The siding and signage of the old buildings are reminders of what Scenic once was. This was an "Old West" stopping off place for those passing through by rail. It was a gathering point for locals who were brave and hardy enough to put down roots in this rugged and extreme place in a new frontier.
Scenic, like so many other places from our past, are generally forgotten. Left to the elements to deteriorate to the dust on which they once stood or leveled by developers or speculators to be replaced by more modern accommodations.
Not a lot can be found about the history of the town of Scenic. We know that the town is approximately 12 acres surrounded by an additional 46 acres. This is information from a recent (July 2011) listing of the property for sale by the current owner, Twila Merrill who has owned it since 1963.
The town consists of the historic Old Longhorn Saloon, Longhorn Fuel & Food Convenience Store, Historic Train Depot, Dance Hall, Museum, a couple of jails, and other outbuildings. Scenic has a Post Office which sets on leased land.
Who will buy Scenic, South Dakota now that it is listed for sale? What will they do with it? Will it be restored and preserved as a reminder of the past? Will it be "modernized" and trivialized, and advertised as an attraction to the masses?
Time will tell what the next chapter in the history of Scenic will be. Whatever that chapter reveals, it should be preceded by chapters dating back to the beginning when Scenic was a refuge for the weary traveler and a place for callused hands to shake callused hands.