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Black Hills Speedway images, items donated to State Historical Society



More than 4,600 negatives, slides, photographs, and other materials concerning the Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City were recently added to the South Dakota State Historical Society-Archives collections.   

  “Automobile racing and racetrack images from the 1970s are new to our collections,” said Chelle Somsen, state archivist. “We are fortunate to have these meticulously detailed negatives, slides, and photos, which provide insight into South Dakota’s automobile racing history.”   

The photographs, dating from 1971 to 1974, include images of the operations of the racetrack, extra promotional activities, the drivers and crews, the support staff, and the races. The donation also features Black Hills Speedway yearbooks, programs, newspaper clippings, and magazine articles.   

The Rapid Valley Race Track was in operation by the 1940s. George and Lois Davis purchased the track in 1968 and changed the name to the Black Hills Speedway. Black Mountain Photography was authorized to operate at the speedway between 1971 and 1974 where they took images of the track, pits, and the people involved with the speedway.   

To donate archival materials to the South Dakota State Historical Society please contact Matthew T. Reitzel, manuscript and photo archivist, at 605-773-3615 or  

The State Archives is located at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The State Archives is currently open by appointment only Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST. Contact the State Archives at 605-773-3804 or  

Pictured is the 1972 yearbook cover of the Black Hills Speedway. (Photo courtesy South Dakota State Historical Society-Archives)  

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 since 2013, 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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