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Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce

Press Trips

Client Information
Company: Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce
Address: 415 Fifth Avenue
City: Belle Fourche
State/Province: South Dakota
Zip/Postal Code: 57717
Country: United States
Phone: 888-345-5859
Fax: 605-892-4633
Web Site: http://www.bellefourche.org
Email: chamber@bellefourche.org
Company Media Contact: Teresa Schanzenbach
Phone: 888-345-5859
 
 
The Real Old West
 
Experience authentic Old West in Belle Fourche, with cattle, buffalo, bucking bulls, rodeos, and real cowboys. This town serves as a major shipping point with vast amounts of livestock ranges in a tri-state area and home to the Annual Black Hills Roundup PRCA Rodeo, a three-day event that brings in cowboys and cowgirls from far and wide. Belle Fourche, "beautiful fork," was named by French trappers and refers to the rivers that meet in this Black Hills valley.

Early day Belle Fourche was a cow town, catering to the needs and wishes of the cattlemen and cowboys. One street, now 5th Avenue, is still called “Saloon Street” by old-timers.

Belle Fourche is the Center of the Nation, and the Antique Capital of the State of South Dakota, boasting 15 shops in the small town of 4,600 people. With 3 rivers forking there, Belle Fouche offers fishing, hunting, rodeos, and a historic walking tour of downtown.


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Area Attractions
 

Also in the Northern part of South Dakota--

Deadwood 

Discover the Old West when gaming was as serious as life and death. Past home of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane, each lived and died there. Experience living history, with a re-enactment of Wild Bill's shoot-out. Tour the brick streets and the historic architecture, for a little gambling, shopping, fine dining, family fun, exotic night life, and exquisite lodging. The entire town is a National Historic Landmark and the only one in South Dakota with legal gaming. Take advantage of the events and sports year-round.

Lead

The gold rush brought many people to the Black Hills region, including Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane. Since gold has been mined here for well over 100 years, one can take a tour of some of the oldest mines in the country. Homestake, the longest continuously operated gold mine in the world, extends 8,000 feet beneath the surface in Lead. You can also view a large open pit that reveals where miners dug and funneled gold on ore cars. At the Broken Boot Gold Mine, tour the old days of mining - a time when candlelight, black powder, pick axes, wheelbarrows and ore cars were used. Pan gold, visit the hands-on museum and catch a glimpse of the Wild West, just minutes from down-hill skiing.

Sturgis

For 60 years this town has been known as the motorcycle capital of the United States, and not for manufacturing. It is a gathering place of classic and modern bike owners who ride into Sturgis every August to rally, race, trade Harley-Davidson parts and party. South Dakota's biggest (and loudest) event draws hundreds of thousands of people every year to Sturgis.

Whitewood

A fertile valley in the northern Black Hills, Whitewood is a community that takes its name literally. It is known and named after the groves of birch and aspen trees in the nearby hills. Although primarily a farming and logging community, this friendly residential town is home to Whitewood Creek Guest Ranch and a group of local artists who display and sell their art in the summer.

 

BOOK A TOUR

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While You're There
 

A South Dakota Tour


As if the Northern communities of South Dakota weren’t enough, when touring the state, other must-see attractions include the World famous MOUNT RUSHMORE. Known as the “Four Faces on the Mountain”, Mount Rushmore is the perfect stop on a family trip. While there, be one of the few to witness theCrazy Horse monument being carved out of the mountain.Just a few minutes from Rapid City, enjoy educational lectures, a photo gallery of the construction, and an evening lighting ceremony. On the way down the mountain, stop at Reptile Gardens and view the alligator wrestling, a bird show, a snake show, and many more attractions, too numerous to mention. In areas surrounding the “Four Faces”, visit Bear Country, The Maze, Flintstone Village, the Cosmos, and the historic mountain towns of Custer, Hill City, and Keystone.

From rolling plains to majestic mountains, a diverse landscape decorates South Dakota. These magical lands also hold a diverse population. More than 62,000 American Indians live in South Dakota. Most of them are Dakota, Lakota or Nakota people, also known collectively as Sioux.

This nation traces its roots to the "Oceti Sakowin" or "Seven Council Fires." Each of the allied bands within this nation spoke one of three different dialects. The Santee spoke Dakota; the Yankton, Nakota; and the Teton, Lakota.

Tradition holds the forces of nature as holy and emphasizes the importance of balance among all things in the universe. This balance remains an instrumental piece of life, as to the cardinal virtues of "woksape" (wisdom), "woohitika" (bravery), "wowacintanka" (fortitude) and "wacantognaka" (generosity).

Experience a culture as vast, vibrant and enduring as the land itself.

Southern and Eastern attractions include Edgemont, Hotsprings, Murdo, Pine Ridge Reservation and the Badlands, and Wall.

For more information, links, or to book a vacation, click here:

       BLACK HILLS CENTRAL RESERVATIONS

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History
 

Belle Fourche is French for "beautiful fork" because it is situated on the "forks" of Redwater River, Hay Creek, and the Belle Fourche River. The town of Belle Fourche was only a dream until the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad reached the Black Hills and began looking toward the plains to the west.

Seth Bullock, frontier marshal and rancher, quietly worked to persuade officials to build a depot on the site of De Mores, an early day stage station. A large amount of land was donated as a right-of-way across his SD ranch. Only a saloon remained at De Mores. On December 28, 1890, this was joined by the depot, and the new town of Belle Fourche was underway. The thriving little town of Minnesela, three miles away, which was established in 1881, had expected to become railroad headquarters but was bypassed. Four years later, it also lost the county seat of Butte County to Belle Fourche which had imported over a hundred "citizens" to vote in the election. Minnesela is now a ghost town.

The new settlement was soon platted and lots were sold. Free lots were offered to businesses moving in from Minnesela and in spite of the hatred generated by the struggle, many merchants accepted.A hotel was soon opened, followed by livery stables, grocery, hardware and clothing in stores. The Belle Fourche Bee, first published in 1891, was the first newspaper and is still operating today.

The first church services were held on the depot platform using planks placed on beer kegs as seats. The Congregational Church was the first church built in the new town, opening January 1891. The first post office opened in 1892 with David Hawkins as postmaster. Also in 1892, the first schoolhouse was constructed - a brick building costing fewer than one thousand dollars. This later served as a public library and now stands empty.

Cattle continued to pour into the shipping yards from the tri-state area of Wyoming, Montana and western South Dakota. In 1883 the town claimed the world's record as a shipping point for range cattle when 4,700 carloads were sent to eastern markets. Belle Fourche is still an important market, though cattle and sheep travel mostly by trucks today.

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Activities
 
The beautiful, historic downtown main street of Belle Fourche can be enjoyed by a guided, narrated tour accompanied by a comprehensive brochure of the town’s history. Find historical buildings including a John Spalding’s cabin, inhabited by one of the area's first white settler, still in its original condition since the late 1890's. Artists and art lovers will appreciate Belle Fourche’s wealth of bronze sculptures featuring rodeo legends from years past.

Nearby, excellent Walleye fishing can be found at Orman Dam. In addition to having great fishing, Orman Dam is home to agate and rare fish fossils. Belle Fourche offers deer, elk, antelope and wild turkey hunting, and the owner of Jumpoff Buffalo Ranch will host Buffalo hunts.

Belle Fourche has been named the Antique Capital of South Dakota and boasts 18 dealers in the area.

Round Up Rodeo, 85 years running, offers an entire weekend of fun for the whole family. Events include Team Roping, Women’s Barrel Racing Competition, Saddle Bronc, Bare-Back Bull Riding, and great entertainment. Other fun attractions in town during the rodeo include a carnival,  parade and Western Arts Roundup, featuring local artists' sculptures, paintings, leather work and spurs. Each year the Rodeo features famous musicians for a live concert, free to the public.

                                                                        

Local ranch owners will take tourists for an afternoon of riding and roping, brandings and even dinosaur excavation.

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Lodging and Dining
 

Belle Fourche features multiple affordable motels and campgrounds and eateries.

For more information, click on this link:

Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce


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Maps
 

                                                                                 South Dakota Map


 

 





 

 

 

 

Belle Fourche and Surrounding Areas

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