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Butte County: Center of the Nation


PIERRE, S.D. – Butte County takes its name from the isolated, sharply-rising hills that decorate the area’s landscape. Hosting the location marked as the center of the nation, the county includes a variety of unique attractions. 

If shopping is on the agenda while in Butte County, travel to Belle Fourche and stroll along historic State Street, the antique capital of South Dakota, to discover an array of antique shops and galleries. 

Since the 1800s, Butte County has served as a junction connecting Montana and Wyoming to South Dakota’s border. The newly constructed Tri-State Museum in Belle Fourche pays tribute to this connection and the region’s western heritage. 

The Belle Fourche project, which diverts water into the Belle Fourche reservoir, was established as a storage method for irrigation water. This project has created a great location for fishing and water recreation. An interpretive area on the dam’s south side holds exhibits and displays about the dam’s construction. 

Visit a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp near the dam that also served as a World War II prisoner of war camp. 

For a historical side-trip, journey to the Newell Museum, a general museum featuring a one-room school. The museum hosts guided tours, open houses, and conducts regional research.

The Uniquely South Dakota series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight unique aspects and attractions in each of South Dakota’s 66 counties. This profile was researched and compiled by Shayla Waugh, public relations intern for the Office of Tourism.


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