IN HISTORY: Rapid City Founded, Feb. 24, 1876
After the discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874, John Brennan and Samuel Scott along with a small party of men, came to the area that is now Rapid City in February 1876.
They camped in the Cleghorn Springs area, did some exploring and decided to lay out the site of the present Rapid City. A square mile was measured off and the six blocks in the center were designated as a business section, now the thriving Downtown Rapid City. Committees were appointed to bring in prospective merchants and their families to locate in the new settlement. There was a steady influx of new families in the new community. Six months later, in August 1876, more than 100 people called Rapid City (then known as Hay Camp) their home.
Rapid City was incorporated as a city after an act of the South Dakota Legislature in February 1883.
Named for spring-fed Rapid Creek which flows through the city, Rapid City became the second largest city in the state in the twentieth century.
Founded as the gateway to the Black Hills, for gold mining, now the city serves as a gateway to gems more valuable including attractions, National and State Parks, and of course Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Find more information and resources on Rapid City's history on the Black Hills Knowledge Network.