This is a picture of the interesting Depot Museum, which is in the former train station. A 2nd photo of the main back room can be seen by clicking on the link under the photo. The museum can either be seen in 5 minutes or the full 2 hours that it is open each day, depending if one wants to see all the exhibits. There are exhibits on the service (military) legacy of Kadoka residents with some artifacts, uniforms, flags and other items, an exhibit of the now closed hospital in Kadoka, a hair salon exhibit, an exhibit on households in Kadoka, a school exhibit as well as pictures of the first school in Kadoka, located in a converted saloon (bar). There are also cowboy items, items about Kadoka, some banking items from the Belvidere Bank (which had a branch in Kadoka. The town of Belvidere is smaller than Kadoka and seems quite boring to me--sorry, residents of Belvidere).
Joyce, a life long resident of Kadoka, was volunteering at the museum when I was there. She kindly turned on the lights in several of the rooms and explained some of the exhibits. According to the guest book, there have been some consecutive days where nobody came to visit. Since there is a steady stream of traffic on I-90, one can assume that quite a few people missed a nice stop and probably didn't even know about this museum. While this is no Metropolitan Museum of Art, Louvre, or the British Museum, it is a nice museum and something that most towns of 700 people lack. The museum staff is also much more attentive than any of those big museums.
WARNING: The museum is only open from 6 pm to 8 pm.
This is the Kadoka School located at the end of the downtown area. Jackson County used to have dozens of schools but now has only 4 (or is it 5)? The school graduates between 15 and 30 high school graduates a year. It is the only school with high school grades in the entire county. There are newer additions to the school that are to the right of the photo (but not visable in this photo).
The first school in Kadoka was in a converted saloon. There is a picture of it displayed in the Depot Museum. The words "Saloon" was painted over in white paint but it is still visable in the photo in the museum. Next to the library in downtown is a building which looks very similar to the first school/former saloon.
These are 4 photos of downtown Kadoka. It is not very big. For the other 3 photos, there is a link just under the photo here.
The 2nd picture is of the post office.
The 3rd picture is the general store/grocery store.
The 4th picture is one of the oldest buildings in Kadoka. It used to be a hotel but is not a hotel now. There is a picture of this building in the Depot Museum.
Site of nuclear missile
The U.S. used to have Minuteman II missile that could reach the USSR in less than an hour and create nuclear mayhem. All of them have since been dismantled after signing of a treaty. Under the terms of the treaty, one missile site in both countries can be preserved for historical purposes.
The preserved site for the US side is close to Kadoka. There are 4 sites of interest related to the missiles. The first site (not pictured) is a visitor's center immediately south of I-90 exit 131. You can arrange for tours of the missile silo. They are given either at 10 am in the winter or 9 am beginning after Memorial Day (late May) See http://www.nps.gov/mimi/ There is a sign on the I-90 highway for the visitor's center (exit 131) but there are not any signs for the missile silo (exit 116) or the launch control facility (exit 127).
The 2nd photo (click on to link under the photo to the right) is a schematic drawing, including underground portions of the complex. This drawing is in the South Dakota Air and Space Museum near Rapid City (exit 67).
The 3rd photo is a sign explaining the Minuteman II missile. The 4th photo is a picture of the missile (nuclear warhead is not in place).
One can view a missile silo setup at Ellsworth Air Force Base (next to the South Dakota Air and Space Museum where they sell air force base tickets). However, that silo was not actually used. An actual silo, the only one in the U.S. which is preserved under a peace treaty, can be seen immediately south of exit 116 of I-90 (no sign marking site). However, you must go to the visitor's center (exit 131) to sign up for the once a day tours. Otherwise, you can only walk up to the fence. The visitor's center said the Ellsworth AFB silo has more to see even though it is not completely authentic. At the missile silo (exit 116), they only allow you to look through the glass ceiling down into the silo, according to the National Park ranger.
Delta 1 missile control
See the description under the Delta 1 armored car for directions. (exit 127, I-90, visable from the highway, on the north side of the highway which is on the right if you are travelling westbound to Rapid City).
Delta 1 armored car
This is a picture of an armored car on the grounds of Delta 1, the only preserved Minuteman II launch control facility, which is near Kadoka (exit 127, about 0.5 miles or 1 km north of the highway.) You can see the buildings from the highway. Even during the Cold War, it's location was not secret. However, even now, there are no signs directing you to this tourist attraction.
Delta 1 AFB exhibit
This is a schematic drawing of how the missile launch control buildings were arranged. Note some of the underground structures. In this part of South Dakota, there were Minuteman II ICBM's which carried nuclear warheads. All of them have been dismantled under a treaty with the USSR, now Russian Federation. Only one site was preserved for historical purposes under the terms of the treaty. The U.S. site is near Kadoka.
This drawing appears in the South Dakota Air and Space Museum which is near exit 67, next to the Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City. The air force base houses the squadron that operates the B-1B bomber. That bomber was designed for low altitude bombing missions but also has some stealth (low radar observability) features such as the wing blending into the fuselage. The museum is free but there is a fee if you want to tour the air base.
Here's a sign directing one to the Kadoka Airport. The runway is a grass strip but it does have a rotating beacon (light). Security is up to the standard necessary. You can walk on to the runway. However, there are no jets in Kadoka for terrorists to mess with.
The second photo (see link under airport sign photo) is a sign at the city limits of Kadoka. Note the population.
railroad tracks through Kadoka
These tracks are no longer in use. They were used until the late 1950's when passenger service ended. A grain carrying service was begin in the late 1970's that lasted a few years.
These tracks are next to the former train station, now Depot Museum.
Depot Museum hospital display
There is a section where instruments from the hospital in Kadoka are displayed. That hospital has since closed. There are no hospitals in the entire county. There is a small hospital in Philip, SD but it is not a Level One trauma center. For serious trauma, one has to go to Rapid City, about 90 miles to the east. This is quite far so be careful and enjoy the hospital exhibit but don't get into a home accident or car crash.
Depot Museum clothes
The Depot Museum at the end of the downtown business district by the tall grain elevator has a room devoted to clothing of people in Kadoka. There are a few interesting items in this room. Click on the photo to enlarge it.
Badlands Petrified Gardens crack in fence
At the time of writing, there is one other VT page about Kadoka. It is written by Sagespot. There is a much better guide and photos about the Badlands Petrified Gardens. I recommend seeing those VT pages.
The place was closed when I saw a tiny bit through a crack in the fence.
Badlands Petrified Gardens
This is a privately owned museum located immediately south of exit 152 (I-90). The sign says it opens at 7 a.m. but I suspect this may be the summer hours with later opening in the winter. It appears as if the family lives there. I got there about 7 p.m. at which time it was closed.
Badlands Naional Park
This is a closer picture of some of the rock formations of the Badlands National Park. Kadoka and Wall are the two closest towns. The main road through the park starts near Kadoka and eventually ends up south of Wall.
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
- Budget Travel
Badlands National Park sign
This is a picture of the Badlands National Park which is located slightly southwest of Kadoka. Kadoka is the closest town to the national park. The road then bends towards Wall, S.D. So, one could stay in either Wall or Kadoka if visiting the park. The national park charges admission to enter. The national park is known for its rock formations which you can see in the distance.
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