Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer travel season, especially for places such as Keystone. Thousands of visitors arrive, kids in tow, to shake off the winter doldrums, get outdoors and see the sights of the Black Hills.
If you live within 400 miles of the Black Hills, it’s a good chance for a weekend family getaway. Often families who live farther away schedule longer vacations around the holiday to get an extra paid day off.
With a piercing train whistle and the husky whoosh of steam, the 1880 Train pulls into the Keystone train station several times a day between May and September. After a shopping break, and a new load of passengers, the train heads back to Hill City. It's an experience that modern visitors still find fascinating.
The hulking locomotive looks a bit out of place amid the shorts-and-sandals crowd of summer Keystone. But in fact, the 1880 Train is right at home in the Black Hills. The railroad line between Keystone and Hill City was constructed in the 1890s (not the 1880s, but that's another story) and served the region’s miners, merchants and tourist for decades.
Came across this trailer for "North by Northwest" one of Alfred Hitchcock's classics. Mount Rushmore has a starrring role.
Keystone, South Dakota, April 22, 2015 - The Keystone Chamber of Commerce welcomes Dolsee Davenport as their new Executive Director. The board of directors had several qualified candidates apply and interview for this coveted position, and Davenport certainly stood out from the crowd. She is expected to start the position on May 5, 2015.
When the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway Naming Committee set out to name the tunnels in the Keystone-Custer State Park area, we’re guessing they never even considered names such as Sound Your Horn or Falling Rock.
Good thing. Their aim was to reduce, not increase, confusion over identifying the tunnels. There are seven tunnels, and it gets confusing -- especially if you are reporting an accident. That’s why the South Dakota Department of Transportation formed the committee.
A Success Story
The annual Death by Chocolates community event and fundraiser was held February 14th at the Community Center. This event is the result of Lou Rohde, Helen Rohde, their family and friends vision and hard work. They give unselfishly of their time and energy to help others and make Keystone a better place to live. Through their effort over $1,200.00 was raised and donated to a charitable project that donates goats to widows in Uganda, Africa.
You are Invited!
Please plan to attend
The National Park Service and Mount Rushmore National Memorial is pleased to announce the 90th anniversary celebration of the inception of the idea, vision and efforts that have become the Shrine of Democracy. In 1925 Doane Robinson and others started a process that has impacted our community and region in ways that they could scarcely imagine. Please join us as we commemorate the people and events that produced this icon of the American Dream and symbol of our freedom.
Keystone Congregational United Church of Christ
The First Congregational Church of Keystone was organized in a small log schoolhouse on August 11, 1895, embracing the denomination’s tenets of a vital, involved congregation. In March 1896, members voted “to proceed at once with the erection of a church building, the probable cost of said building, duly furnished, being estimated at $2000.” The congregation’s own skilled stone masons and carpenters built the church in six months.
These days, Keystone is bustling with activity on any given summer afternoon. Visitors streaming across Winter Street, checking out the shops on Swanzey, waiting for the 1880 Train to arrive from Hill City. But in 1940, Keystone was still a sleepy little mining town with gravel streets, modest houses and a couple of stores.
We were reminded of this recently while looking through the Library of Congress online photo collection. The site has a handful of pictures of downtown -- we're using that term somewhat loosely -- Keystone in 1940. The pictures were taken by John Vachon, according to the captions, which unfortunately offer little else in the way of detail. By the looks of the photos, firewood was a big concern for Keystone residents.
In 1940, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial carving was still underway. Gutzon Borglum died in March of 1941, and the carving ceased in October of that year. The nation was still struggling to shake off the Great Depression. And on Dec. 7, 1941, with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States was at war for the better part of the decade.
By the 1950s, he postwar baby boom, new prosperity and the advent of the family road trip turned Keystone into a much different town -- a bit more like the bustling burg that it is today.