Four South Dakota properties — including the American Legion cabin in Pierre — were recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to the South Dakota State Historical Society.
The properties listed in late June are the Pierre American Legion Cabin, the Gale Buildings in Canton, the Shady Lawn School No. 8 near De Smet, and the East Side Fire Station and Branch Library in Sioux Falls.
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.
American Legion Cabin, Pierre
Located at 520 S. Pierre St. in Pierre, the Pierre American Legion Cabin was built in 1942. It is listed for its significance in the areas of social history and architecture.
Its importance under social history is two-fold:
First, the National Youth Administration (NYA) constructed the cabin as part of a New Deal program. It is the only known NYA-constructed building in Pierre. Additionally, it is one of only two known New Deal buildings still standing in Pierre.
Second, the Pierre Post 8 of the American Legion has been headquartered out of the building for the last 77 years. Pierre Post 8 has been involved in efforts that promote the welfare of society locally, statewide, nationally and internationally.
Architecturally, the Pierre American Legion Cabin is the largest log structure in central South Dakota and the largest known Rustic Style building located outside of the Black Hills.
Gale Buildings, Canton
The Gale Buildings are located at 101 and 103-107 S. Main St. in Canton. Their period of historic significance begins with Frank A. Gale’s construction of the Gale & Ward Bank in 1880 through the last phase of historically-significant architectural remodeling in 1916. In 1882, Gale purchased the adjoining property and built a commercial building designed to be similar to the bank in height, finish and style of architecture.
The buildings are listed for their significance by four different criteria: First is Community Planning/Development as they are two of the first commercial buildings erected to solidify the location of the city of Canton at its present site. Next, they are recognized in Commerce for their long role in the city’s commercial history. They are also significant for their association with Gale. Not only was he an active early resident of Canton, influential in the city’s commercial and political history, but he is also known for participating in key territorial political events leading up to South Dakota’s statehood in 1889. Finally, the structures are also important for their Architecture as a representation of Italianate commercial construction early in Canton.
Shady Lawn School No. 8, near De Smet
This one-room school house located in rural Kingsbury County was built in 1891. Shady Lawn School No. 8 retains integrity of location, setting, design, workmanship, materials, feeling and association. The original floor plan is intact.
It is listed under the Schools in South Dakota (1999) Multiple Property Listing for historic significance in the context of education. It is significant because it represents the development of rural education, and it is recognized for design and construction as an excellent statewide example of an early rural schoolhouse constructed at the end of the 19th century. Both exterior and interior features represent the evolution of teaching tools available and the daily routine of children and teachers as they attended school.
East Side Fire Station and Branch Library, Sioux Falls
The East Side Fire Station and Branch Library was built in 1916 and is located at 600 E. 7th St. It is locally significant under the areas of Politics/Government and Education.
It is associated with the growth of Sioux Falls during the first half of the 20th century, including that city’s expansion of municipal services to satellite locations. It was also the first city station designed for motorized vehicles. The library wing similarly housed the first branch of that institution for the city. The library and the nursery school that subsequently occupied the wing represent historically significant elements of educational development in Sioux Falls.
At the time of construction, the balance of the block was occupied by an abandoned stone quarry. In 1917, the city acquired the quarry and converted it into Library Park, now called Heritage Park.
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 history.sd.gov/Preservation (click on National Register of Historic Places in the right column).