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1880 Train

1880 Train

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  • Date Posted: May 2, 2014
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  • Address: 1880 train, Black Hills National Forest, 222 Railroad Avenue, Hill City, SD 57745, USA

Hill City, South Dakota

1880 Train

History of Hill City South Dakota:

Hill City is located about 26 miles southwest of Rapid City, South Dakota on Highway 16 and on U.S. Route 385 connecting Deadwood to Hot Springs.

Hill City is the oldest city in Pennington County, South Dakota. The population of Hill City is about 800 residents. Hill City once depended on mining as its primary industry. Today, it is more of a tourist destination for travelers visiting the Black Hills.

Arikara Indians inhabited the area now known as the Black Hills as far back as 1500 A.D.. Evidence exists that humans lived in the region, however since 7000 B.C.. Lakota Sioux moved into the Hill City region in the 1800’s and called the area Paha Sapa.

In 1874, Major General George Custer led an expedition to the Black Hills and discovered gold in the French Creek, 13 miles south of Hill City. Hill City began to be settled by miners in 1876.

The first locomotive steam engine was brought across the prairie to the region in 1879 by a bull team. By 1881, the Home-stake Mining Company had created the first narrow guage railroad throught Black Hills. The standard guage Burlington branch that became known as the 1880 TRAIN route was built between Hill City and Keystone, South Dakota. Side Note: The 1880 TRAIN was not completed in 1880, but rather was named the 1880 TRAIN because the fellow who first conducted the train in 1957 said it was like riding the train in the 1880’s.

Ghosts and Hauntings on the 1880 Train:

Employees in the authentic train car called The Highliner Eatery, have reported seeing the ghost of a man dressed in a brown suit who disappeared suddenly into thin air.


Black Hills Central Railroad (n.d.). Ride the 1880 Train. Retrieved January 25, 2011 from

The Shadowlord (1998). The Shadowlands Haunted Places Indexs: South Dakota. Retrieved January 24, 2011 from

Wikipedia (2011). Hill City, South Dakota. Retrieved January 25, 2011 from,_South_Dakota

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