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Jolley Historic District in Clay County Listed to National Register of Historic Places

The Jolley Historic District in Vermillion has been added 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. 

“The Jolley Historic District is an excellent example of multiple styles of architecture being built in one neighborhood. There are more than 10 different styles within the district built over almost 100 years,” said Ted Spencer, state historic preservation officer. “This district is a snapshot of how development patterns changed over the decades, and it holds significance for its history in community planning and development for Vermillion.”

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

The Jolley Historic District is primarily a residential district located east of historic downtown Vermillion. The district is large, consisting of 242 residential buildings, two churches, one school, and 153 secondary buildings, for a total of 397 buildings. Of these buildings, four were previously listed in the National Register. These include the Gunderson House, Linden House, Colton House, and Inman House. Some of the significant architectural styles found there include Queen Anne, Italianate, Second Empire, Fold Victorian, Neo-Classical Revival, Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, Craftsman Bungalow, Minimal Traditional, and Ranch. The construction dates of these properties range from 1880 to 1965.

The Jolley Elementary School, built in 1958, is in the center of the district. Both churches in the district are located at the north end near east Main Street, and the district is flanked by the University Historic District. Both churches, the university, and the school were instrumental in drawing families to the area. The neighborhood became home to a wide variety of people and families with occupations that ranged from doctors, dentists, lawyers, politicians, and business owners, to tradesmen and farmers. The primary employer of the neighborhood was the university. The area was home to several faculty and staff members, as well as students over the years.

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. For questions or memberships, 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.