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Joseph Reynolds Ranch and Patterson Homestead Listed to National Register of Historic Places

The Joseph Reynolds Ranch near Rochford and the Patterson Homestead in Nemo have both been listed to the National Register of Historic Places. 

The National Register is the official federal list of properties identified as important to 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 these properties. Buildings, sites, structures, and objects at least 50 years old possessing historical significance may qualify for the National Register.

“After a long and thorough research process by our historic preservation specialists, our Board of Trustees and the National Park Service agreed that these properties are great applicants to the National Register,” said South Dakota Historical Society Historic Preservation Assistant Katie Goss. “These property owners approached us wanting to get their property listed to the National Register, and we thank them for their desire to preserve our state’s rich history.”


The Joseph Reynolds Ranch in Rochford, Pennington County, was listed on Nov. 4 to the National Register of Historic Places. The ranch was nominated for its association with the settlement of the Black Hills. The ranch yard contains several historic buildings including a circa 1877 timber-framed barn located along a segment of the Cheyenne-to-Deadwood trail. Joseph Reynolds was born in Kentucky and farmed in Iowa before leaving for the Colorado gold fields in the 1860s. Over the next 15 years, he earned a living freighting and placer mining, among other jobs. After reading a newspaper article about Colonel George Custer’s 1874 expedition into the Black Hills, Reynolds and four companions departed for Dakota Territory where he established this ranch. Ranching was the family’s main business, and Joseph is credited with bringing some of the first purebred cattle into the Black Hills.

The Patterson Homestead in Nemo, Lawrence County, was listed on Nov. 7 to the National Register of Historic Places. The homestead was also listed for its association with the settlement of the Black Hills. James Patterson came to the Black Hills via Iowa around 1888. In 1900, he and wife Tena were running a boarding house out of a rented log dwelling. The log house is comprised of hewn log walls joined with relatively complicated half-dovetail notching. This would later become their homestead. By 1910, James had purchased the log house and had switched to farming. In 1913, the Homestake Mining Company built a new sawmill at Nemo. The Patterson family, which now included five children, began supplying the company store with fresh vegetables. James received final patent on the homestead in 1922.

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.

South Dakota also has a State Register of Historic Places, which lists properties that people want to be listed to the National Register but might not meet the qualifications of 50 years or older or having historic significance related to a person, architecture, etc.

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. For memberships or questions, 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.