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Three more state properties listed on National Register of Historic Places

Three more South Dakota properties were recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to the South Dakota State Historical Society. 

The properties listed in November are the Doland Commercial Historic District in Doland, the Jefferson School in Huron, and the Midland Depot in Midland.

The National Register is the official federal list of properties identified as important in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture. The State Historic Preservation Office of the State Historical Society works in conjunction with the National Park Service, which oversees the National Register program, to list the properties. 

"South Dakota's history is rich in American Indian culture, pioneer life, and change," said Jay D. Vogt, state historic preservation officer and director of the State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. "The more than 1,300 state individual properties and districts listed on the National Register are important for their role in South Dakota's culture, heritage, and history. And when properties get listed, it shows that their owners take pride in their role in preserving that culture, heritage, and history."

Buildings, sites, structures, and objects at least 50 years old possessing historical significance may qualify for the National Register, according to Vogt. Properties must also maintain their historic location, design, materials, and association. Listing on the National Register does not place any limitations on private property owners by the federal government. 

Following is more information about these newly listed properties.

Doland Commercial Historic District, Doland
Located on the west side of N. Humphrey Dr. between 1st St. and 2nd St., the Doland Commercial Historic District also includes the buildings on the four corners of 2nd St. The period of significance noted in the National Register nomination is 1900-1969. However, because a fire in 1913 destroyed most of the original wood-frame buildings, many of the current buildings were rebuilt that same year. The brick buildings that now comprise the district were built to be fireproof and permanent.

The district is historically significant in the area of commerce. It demonstrates the economic development and permanent settlement of Doland and how it became the commercial hub of the surrounding agricultural area. The presence of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway allowed the town to attract businesses which enabled it to become an important regional trade center.

Jefferson School, Huron
Jefferson School, located at 855 Utah Ave. SE in Huron, was built in 1927. The property is listed under the Schools in South Dakota (1999) Multiple Property Listing for historic significance in the context of education. It represents the development of education during the school standardization and consolidation movements in Huron. The school’s excellent integrity makes it an important structure for conveying these developments.

Jefferson School is also eligible for its architectural significance. Designed by renowned Huron architect F.C.W. Kuehn, the school embodies distinctive characteristics that define the standardized consolidated school. These include the flat roof, decorative brick cladding, two main entrance towers, and symmetrical U-shaped floorplan. In addition, the school also has distinct Art Deco features throughout its elevations.

The school is currently owned by the Huron Church of the Open Bible and is being used for religious purposes. Properties owned by religious institutions are usually not eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. However, the school was built on the grounds before the church and served as a school from 1927 until 2013 and, therefore, remains significant under the historic themes of education and architecture.

Midland Depot, Midland
The Midland Depot was built in the 400 block of Main St. by the Chicago and North Western Railroad (CNW) in 1907. The last passenger train went through Midland on October 24, 1960. The depot was purchased by the Midland Pioneer Museum Association and moved 600 feet to the northwest, its current location, in 1973. The building was repurposed as a museum and houses many historical artifacts pertaining to Midland’s history. 

The depot was nominated for its significance under Transportation, Exploration/Settlement, and Architecture. The Midland Depot illustrates the historic trend of railroad development across South Dakota in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It also highlights the towns that were established in association with railroad development.

The CNW developed four architectural plans for its depots. The Midland Depot is plan number 4, the “Standard Combination with Living Rooms Overhead.” Eleven of these were built along the line, all nearly identical.

Many of South Dakota’s depots have been demolished or severely altered. Only five wood-frame depots in the state are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Midland’s depot is in excellent condition and remains much as it was when constructed in 1907.

For more information on the National Register or other historic preservation programs, contact the State Historic Preservation Office at the Cultural Heritage Center, 900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501-2217; telephone 605-773-3458 or website (click on National Register of Historic Places in the right column).

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing, and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.

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