Highmore, South Dakota, is an unassuming town situated in the heart of the state. Despite its small size, the town has witnessed its fair share of significant historical events. Here are seven notable events that shaped the history of Highmore and its surroundings.
1. The Battle of Whitestone Hill
On September 3, 1863, a historic battle took place at Whitestone Hill, roughly 20 miles southeast of Highmore. The battle was fought between U.S. Army soldiers and Native American tribes, including the Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho. The U.S. Army emerged victorious, killing around 300 Native Americans and taking hundreds more captive.
2. The Arrival of Railroad
The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad arrived in Highmore in the late 19th century. The arrival of the railroad helped boost the town's economy, as goods and people could be transported more efficiently. The railroad also made Highmore a hub for agricultural commerce, which helped the town grow and expand.
3. The Highmore Tornado
On June 24, 2003, Highmore was hit by a powerful tornado that caused massive damage to the town. The tornado struck early morning, killing one person and injuring several others. It destroyed dozens of homes, businesses, and public buildings, including the National Guard Armory.
4. The Great Depression
The Great Depression of the 1930s had a significant impact on Highmore and the surrounding area. Like many rural communities across the country, Highmore struggled to cope with the economic hardships caused by the depression. Many families faced severe poverty, and many businesses closed down.
5. World War II
During World War II, many young men from Highmore and the surrounding area joined the military to fight for the country. The war had a profound impact on the community, with many families losing loved ones in battle. However, the war also helped boost the town's economy as businesses and factories received government contracts.
6. The Establishment of the Highmore Herald
The Highmore Herald is Highmore's local newspaper, which was established in 1886. The newspaper played a critical role in keeping the community informed about local and national events. Today, the Herald continues to chronicle the town's history and serve as a source of community news and events.
7. The Construction of the Oahe Dam
The Oahe Dam is located about 75 miles north of Highmore and was constructed between 1948 and 1962. The dam created Lake Oahe, which is the fourth-largest man-made reservoir in the United States. The dam helped provide hydroelectric power and irrigation to the region, thus positively impacting the region's economy.
In conclusion, Highmore may be a small town, but it has played an essential role in shaping the history of South Dakota. From battles to natural disasters, economic boom, and times of hardship, the town's history is rich and varied. These are just some of the historical events that have taken place near Highmore, SD, and they show how the town and its residents have persevered through challenging times and continue to thrive today.
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