Saturday, May 9, 2015

History of St. Onge

Completing the official Spearfish Area Historical Society program roster for the 2014-2015 season Joanna Jones and Jeannine Guern presented the "History of St. Onge" to over 80 people at the Spearfish Senior Citizen Center on May 5.   Joanna and Jeannine are co-authoring a book on the history of St. Onge, which they hope to complete in 2015.
Research indicates that St. Onge got its name from Henry P. Saintonge, who was involved in delivery and sales to the area and was an early post master.   Several key events and attractions to St. Onge include:
v  Rough Rider Rodeo - for 50 years from 1947 to 1997, this rodeo was well known for great bronc and bull riding and talented rodeo clowns.  Hundreds of folks sat on the sloped hillside to watch.  The rodeo was the first location for women's barrel racing. 

v  Plowman, Knight and Bullock (yes, that would be Seth Bullock) Race Tracks - early horse racing in the Northern Hills.

v  Woodman Building - built in 1910, this sandstone building supported liquor sales, kerosene sales and the upper story was a dance hall providing live music and dance for decades.

v  Little Dane Church - NE of St. Onge, this picturesque Scandinavian church has been an inspiration for many.  A restoration was completed in 2013.

Little Dane Church, north of St. Onge (Photo courtesy of John Mitchell -