Spokane, SD


 


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Topographic map of the Spokane area.

Topographic map of the Spokane area. The school is in the center - the little black box with the flag on it.

Tucked away in the rugged Black Hills of Custer County, Spokane is another in a seemingly endless supply of ghost towns in South Dakota.  Yet it is distinctive in that there are several buildings still standing and enough ruins of other structures to guess what they were.  There's also the requisite ghost town junk, such as old cars in the middle of the woods and crumbled foundations with trees growing out of them.

Spokane grew up around the Spokane Mine, which started as a silver mine in 1890.  It is fairly large as these towns go and is spread out over almost a square mile.  There are old foundations, walls, collapsed wooden buildings and other relics scattered throughout the area, including up in the woods.

The most distinctive building is the one room schoolhouse, which still shows up on the USGS Topographic map. Although completely dilapidated, you can still see the chalkboards and coat hooks.  It is a large school, so there must have been quite a few students there.

 

Former middle school math teacher Alpha6 checks out the schoolhouse. I'd teach here, but it needs a technology upgrade.
Alpha6 checks out the school house.

Other than that, information on this town and the mine itself is mighty sparse. We love to explore these old places we've never heard of, then go back and do some research on them to satisfy our curiosity.  But Spokane is keeping its secrets, at least for now.

There are two geocaches here.   "Ghost Town:Spokane" is a  multi cache in the "downtown" area.  "Black Hole" is a letterbox cache down by the mine. That one is pretty tough.

There are several more caches within walking distance and the Black Hills is covered with them. In fact, KidsRN and myself think that the Black Hills is the best geocaching area in the US.  It's got everything.

Despite the scarce information, this is a great place to walk around, poke your head inside and wonder what it was like here and what happened to it.  The buildings are really run down and are part of a Forest Service Historical area, so be careful. Keep your eye out for the grave of a miner who was murdered here.

The GPS coordinates for trailhead parking are 43.842947, -103.384160.  Click on the coordinates to pull up an interactive Google map.

Good haunting....The Cachemanian Devils