PIERRE — The Pickstown Fire and Police Station was added in March to the National Register of Historic Places, according to the South Dakota State Historical Society.
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. "Properties 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.
The Pickstown Fire and Police Station was built in 1947 at 108 Lewis Ave. in Pickstown. It is listed for its role in local government and civic service. The town was founded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the construction of the Fort Randall Dam on the Missouri River. It was built for the use of the workers and staff who were building and maintaining the dam, which was the first of the major Missouri River dams built under the federal Pick-Sloan program.
The Fire and Police Station provided critical public services for the federal town from its construction in 1947 up through the town's incorporation in 1985, when town hall functions were added to the building’s use. The building had space for fire and police staff and equipment, an ambulance, and a detention cell. It also housed a federal weather observation point.
According to copies of the station's blueprints, the ground floor included vehicle bays, offices for the fire and police chiefs, a squad room, detention cell, and bathroom. The second floor included a large dormitory room, large bathroom with two showers and two stalls, and a dining room with adjoining kitchen.
Phase II of the town's construction was scheduled for completion by the end of May 1948. In addition to the fire and police station, constructed were over 200 family duplex residences and multi-unit garages, an administration building, a warehouse, a retail shopping center, a telephone building, four utility buildings for trailers, a service station, site grading and street improvements, and electrical, sewer, and water systems. Final town construction was completed in 1950, and the Fort Randall Dam was completed in 1954-55.
Other properties also listed in the National Register in March are the Bryant Masonic Lodge 118 in Bryant, the James and Wilhelmina Anderson House in Lily, and the Chil and Julia Chilson House in Webster.