Argonne Ghost Town in Argonne, South Dakota

Located on a seemingly unnamed dirt track, Argonne, South Dakota, has been a ghost town since the closure of its elementary school in the 1970s.  Today all that’s left of the town is a small sign, a derelict grain silo, and the vault of a former bank.

Louis Gotthelf, a Prussian-born medical doctor, founded the town as St. Mary’s in 1886 along the Northwestern Railway line. Almost immediately the town struggled to grow. The Gotthelf family became one of the first to leave, moving to Parker, South Dakota, in 1889.

In 1920, St. Mary’s was renamed Argonne in honor of the men who died at the Battle of Meuse-Argonne in France during World War II. At the time, the town had about 100 residents eventually dwindling to only eight in 1970.

Today few places seem as remote in the United States as Argonne, yet the ghost town is only a 15-minute drive from a county seat of approximately 900 people.

It may be cliched to characterize the site of a ghost town as possessing an eerie, haunting beauty. Nevertheless, those conditions prevail at Argonne, particularly as one wanders about the semi-forested, triangular-shaped grove (clearly delineated on Google Maps) where much of the ghost town is set.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top