You are here

Sanborn County: Small-Town Charm


PIERRE, S.D. – Sanborn County, located in south central South Dakota, is home to the communities of Artesian, Forestburg, Letcher and Woonsocket.

Created and organized in 1883, Sanborn County was named for George W. Sanborn, the division superintendent of the Milwaukee Railroad. At the first election in 1884 when Forestburg, Letcher and Woonsocket were all bidding for the county seat, legend has it that Woonsocket came out on top only because of the votes of the railroad workers on the line.

Within county limits, explore picturesque Woonsocket, which is built around Lake Prior. This scenic spot welcomes the visitor to this small town of just over 700 residents. Take in the lake’s small island, connected to the mainland by bridge. Along the stroll, you’ll enjoy the new walkway around the perimeter of the lake, as well as a gazebo that sits on the island. Summers around the lake can be spent swimming or using the recreational facilities that are available.

Hunting and fishing are popular activities here as well. Pheasants and whitetail deer abound here for the fall hunting season. The James River, which runs the length of the county, provides the fishing enthusiast with a selection of walleye and perch to pursue.

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 Jennifer Anderson, public relations intern for the Office of Tourism.


View all our media articles in the newsroom.