Little Dane Church

Little Dane Church, St. Onge, South Dakota (Lawrence County)
Little Dane Church, St. Onge, South Dakota (Lawrence County)

Little Dane Church was the first Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran church in the St. Onge, South Dakota area.  It was built in 1889, a couple of years after the cemetery was consecrated.  The church got its name since most of the congregation were from Danish ancestry.   In 1929, a large summer storm damaged the church, and due to the depression, there wasn’t money to repair it and services stopped being held here.  In 1969 the church was restored by descendants of the original parishioners and now it’s used for an annual service and for weddings and funerals.  There were some additional restorations in 2013 that included the bright red red shutters and a new wooden door shown in the photos.  It’s located not far from where the Sturgis motorcycle rally is held each year.

Little Dane Church, St. Onge, South Dakota (Lawrence County)
Little Dane Church, St. Onge, South Dakota (Lawrence County)
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St. Agnes Catholic

St. Agnes Catholic Church, Cox, South Dakota (Harding County)
St. Agnes Catholic Church, Cox, South Dakota (Harding County)

Established in 1911, this small catholic church is in a very rural area of western South Dakota and is included in the Diocese of Rapid City.  I wasn’t able to find any additional historic information online, but I did find photos from a few years ago that showed the church having a steeple in the recent past.

First Congregational

First Congregational Church, Turton, South Dakota (Spink County)
First Congregational Church, Turton, South Dakota (Spink County)

The National Register of Historic Places lists the First Congregational Church in Turton to have been built in 1893.  The plaque on the church shows 1892, but either way an older pioneer church in South Dakota.  The “Country Gothic” style features a center tower and steeple with an open belfry and spire.  The church was locked when I stopped by, so I included an interior photo taken through the window.  Its history says that services were discontinued in 1963.

St. Peter Lutheran

St. Peter Lutheran Church, near Midland, South Dakota (Jackson County)
St. Peter Lutheran Church, near Midland, South Dakota (Jackson County)

St. Peter Lutheran Church is in a farm area in Jackson County, South Dakota.  I haven’t had much luck finding more about its history.  I have seen an older photo and it looks like some slight alterations have been made on the front of the building since that one was taken.  There’s a cemetery on-site and some folks were mowing the grounds when I stopped by, so it’s safe to say the church is still in use today.

Golden Valley Norwegian Lutheran

Golden Valley Norwegian Lutheran Church, South Dakota (Harding County)
Golden Valley Norwegian Lutheran Church, South Dakota (Harding County)

A large number of homesteaders from Norway began to settle in this quiet part of South Dakota in the early 1900s.  As the sign indicates, Golden Valley Norwegian Lutheran Church was built in 1921.  It’s a frame building with a gabled roof  in the “rural Gothic” style seen in some of the other churches in the area.  There’s a small cemetery to the left of the church and an outhouse to the right. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places about 30 years ago and is now privately owned.

Welsh Presbyterian

Welsh Presbyterian Church, Plana, South Dakota (Brown County)

Welsh Presbyterian Church is in Plana, South Dakota.  I stopped by here just before sunset as a strong thunderstorm was heading in, so the the light was excellent.  The church was built in 1887 by Welsh immigrants.  A sign on the front of the building says that it closed in 1941 and in 1995 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.