According to liuxers.com, Butte County, South Dakota is located in the western part of the state and is bordered by Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, and Custer counties. With an estimated population of just over 10,000 people as of 2020, Butte county is one of the least populated counties in South Dakota. The county seat is Belle Fourche, which has a population of about 5,000 people.
Butte County covers an area of 1,745 square miles and has a variety of terrain that includes rolling plains and rolling hills. Much of the land in the county is used for agricultural purposes with wheat being the primary crop grown here. Other crops grown include corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. The county also contains several large ranches that are used to raise cattle and horses.
The economy in Butte County relies heavily on agriculture as well as tourism. Tourists come to the area to enjoy its natural beauty such as Badlands National Park and Black Hills National Forest. There are also several recreational activities available including hunting, camping, fishing, hiking trails, and horseback riding trails throughout the county.
The education system in Butte County consists primarily of public schools operated by Butte County School District 1-1 which consists of six elementary schools: Belle Fourche Elementary School; Northside Elementary School; Southside Elementary School; Eastside Elementary School; Westside Elementary School; and Northstar Elementary School. All six schools offer kindergarten through fifth-grade classes with some offering additional classes up to eighth-grade level. The district also operates two middle schools for grades six through eight: Belle Fourche Middle School and Northstar Middle School; along with two high schools: Belle Fourche High School and Newell High School for grades nine through twelve respectively.
History of Butte County, South Dakota
Butte County, South Dakota has a long and interesting history that dates back to the early 1800s. The area was first explored by fur trappers in the 1820s before being settled by white settlers in the 1850s. The county was officially organized on May 7, 1883 and named after the nearby Butte Mountains.
The first settlers of Butte County were farmers who planted wheat, corn, hay, potatoes, and other crops when they arrived. As time went on, more people began to move to the area and establish businesses such as general stores, saloons, banks, hotels and more. This period of growth continued until the Great Depression when many businesses in Butte County were forced to close their doors due to economic hardship.
During World War II many of Butte County’s young men served in various branches of the military while those remaining at home worked hard to produce food for both themselves and those serving overseas. After the war ended there was a period of growth for Butte County as new businesses opened up and new infrastructure was developed throughout the county. This included a new airport that opened in 1962 which served as an important hub for business travelers visiting from out of town.
Today, Butte County is still home to several agricultural operations that produce wheat, corn, hay and other crops while also hosting several recreational activities such as hunting, camping and hiking along with horseback riding trails throughout the county. There are also several historical sites located throughout Butte County including Fort Meade National Cemetery which is a memorial dedicated to all who served during wartime; Badlands National Park which features stunning landscapes; Black Hills National Forest which offers plenty of outdoor activities; and much more.
Major cities and towns in Butte County, South Dakota
Butte County, South Dakota is home to several cities and towns that serve as the county’s main centers of commerce and activity. The largest city in Butte County is Belle Fourche, located in the northern part of the county. Belle Fourche was founded in 1883 and is now home to over 5,000 people. Popular attractions in Belle Fourche include the Historic Franklin Hotel, the Black Hills Playhouse, and the Butte County Historical Society Museum.
The second-largest city in Butte County is Sturgis which is located near the western border of the county. Sturgis was founded in 1878 and is now home to nearly 7,000 people. Sturgis is best known for its annual motorcycle rally which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year from all around the world. Other attractions in Sturgis include Bear Butte State Park, Fort Meade National Cemetery, and several other parks and museums.
The third-largest city in Butte County is Spearfish which is located near the southern border of the county. Spearfish was founded in 1876 and now has a population of over 11,000 people. Popular attractions in Spearfish include Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway which offers stunning views; Dake Mine which features a historic gold mine; Terry Peak Ski Area for winter activities; and Spearfish City Park for outdoor recreation during warmer months.
The fourth-largest city in Butte County is Lead which is located near the eastern border of the county. Lead was founded as a mining town back in 1876 but today it serves mainly as a tourist destination with its numerous historic sites such as Homestake Gold Mine, Deadwood Historic District, Adams Museum & House, Black Hills Mining Museum and much more. Other small towns found throughout Butte County include Nisland, Newell and Vale among many others that offer plenty of local charm to visitors looking to explore this rural area of South Dakota.
Airports in Butte County, South Dakota
According to Countryaah, Butte County, South Dakota is serviced by several airports that offer both domestic and international flights. The largest and busiest airport in the county is the Rapid City Regional Airport which is located just outside of Rapid City. This airport has two runways and serves as a hub for American Airlines, Allegiant Air, United Airlines, Delta Airlines and more. It offers direct flights to major cities such as Denver, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Chicago and Los Angeles among others.
The second-largest airport in Butte County is Black Hills Airport located near Spearfish. This small regional airport serves mainly private planes but also offers scheduled flights to Denver International Airport operated by Boutique Air.
The third-largest airport in Butte County is Belle Fourche Municipal Airport which is a public-use general aviation facility located near Belle Fourche city limits. The airport offers a single runway and serves mostly private planes but also has a few scheduled flights to nearby cities such as Pierre and Rapid City operated by Great Lakes Airlines.
Finally, there are several smaller privately owned airports scattered throughout Butte County including Hill City Municipal Airport near Hill City; Sturgis Municipal Airport near Sturgis; Deadwood Municipal Airport near Deadwood; Lead Municipal Airport near Lead; Nisland Municipal Airport near Nisland; Newell Municipal Airport near Newell; Vale Municipal Airport near Vale and many more. All these airports offer travelers in the area with convenient access to all parts of Butte County.