Rapid City is the second-largest city in the U.S. state of South Dakota, and the county seat of Pennington County. Named after the Rapid Creek on which the city is established, it is set against the eastern slope of the Black Hills mountain range. Rapid City had a population of 59,607 at the 2000 census. Rapid City is known as the "Gateway to the Black Hills" and the "Star of the West".
The public discovery of gold in 1874 by the Black Hills Expedition brought a mass influx of settlers into the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Rapid City was founded, and originally known as "Hay Camp", in 1876 by a group of disappointed miners, who promoted their new city as the "Gateway to the Black Hills." Black Hills became a popular tourist destination in the late 1890s. The city benefited greatly from the opening of Rapid City Army Air Base, later Ellsworth Air Force Base, an Army Air Corps training base. As a result, the population of the area nearly doubled between 1940 and 1948, from almost 14,000 to nearly 27,000 people.
Because of the importance of tourism in the area, and its extensive market area, Rapid City has many cultural resources usually found only in much larger urban areas. Among these are the Dahl Arts Center, Chapel in the Hills, and the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
The Dahl Arts Center has served as a premier western South Dakota arts center for contemporary visual arts, arts education and performing arts since it opened in October 1974. It is a public facility, gifted to Rapid City by Mr. & Mrs. A.E. Dahl, owned by the City of Rapid City and is managed by the Rapid City Arts Council. The Dahl houses a flexible use event center, five visual arts galleries, an interactive children's gallery, the Cyclorama Mural of American History, gift shop, classrooms for artists of all ages and abilities and Emerging Artist performing space.
Chapel in the Hills is a stave church located near Rapid City, South Dakota. The Chapel in the Hills is an exact replica of the Borgund stave church in Norway. The Borgund stavkirke was built around the year 1150 and is considered the most completely preserved stave church still standing in Norway. The site includes an authentic log cabin museum that was built in 1876 by Edward Nielsen, a Norwegian immigrant gold prospector from Hole, Ringerike, Norway. There is also a stabbur, a grass-roofed house, that serves as the visitor center and gift shop.
The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center is a 150,000-square-foot exhibition center, in Rapid City, South Dakota. It contains a 10,000 seat, multi-purpose arena. It was built in 1977. The grand opening event was a concert by Elvis Presley on June 21, 1977.
On June 9–10, 1972, extremely heavy rains over the eastern Black Hills of South Dakota produced record floods on Rapid Creek and other streams in the area. Nearly 15 inches of rain fell in about 6 hours near Nemo, and more than 10 inches (250 mm) of rain fell over an area of 60 square miles (160 km2). According to the Red Cross, the resulting peak floods (which occurred after dark) left 238 people dead and 3,057 people injured. In addition to the human tragedy, total destruction was estimated in excess of $160 million (about $821 million in 2009 dollars), which included 1,335 homes and 5,000 automobiles that were destroyed. Today the flood plain features golf courses, parks, sports arenas, and arboretums where neighborhoods and businesses once stood.
Dinosaur Park, Storybook Island, and the Journey Museum are amongst the most popular attractions in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Dinosaur Park is a tourist attraction in Rapid City, South Dakota, United States. Dedicated on May 22, 1936, it contains seven dinosaur sculptures on a hill overlooking the city.
Storybook Island is an admission free children's theme park in Rapid City, SD. Families love this park with plenty of running space and characters that all kids should learn about from stories and nursery rhymes.
The Journey Museum and Learning Center is a museum in Rapid City, South Dakota, United States with 7 acres of gardens. It is set up as a journey through the history of the Black Hills, starting with the Native American creation stories, moving into the 2.5 billion years of history in the rock record with the geology exhibit, paleontology, archaeology, Native American inhabitants, and concluding with the pioneers that traveled west.
Catherine Bach, Tomi Lahren, and Poker Alice are 3 notable women that have either resided or our from Rapid City.
Catherine Bach (born Catherine Bachman; March 1, 1954) is an American actress. She is known for playing Daisy Duke in the television series The Dukes of Hazzard. She grew up on a ranch in South Dakota, and graduated from Stevens High School (1970) in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Tomi Lahren (born August 11, 1992) is an American television and online video host, and a conservative political commentator. She currently hosts Tomi for TheBlaze. She was previously the host of On Point with Tomi Lahren on One America News Network. In 2016 the New York Times described Lahren as a "rising media star" and BBC News called her "the young Republican who is bigger than Trump on Facebook."
Alice Ivers Duffield Tubbs Huckert (1851 – 1930), better known as Poker Alice, was a famous gambler and poker player in the American West. By the time Ivers was given the name Poker Alice, she was drawing in large crowds to watch her play and men were constantly challenging her to play. Saloon owners liked that Ivers was a respectable woman who kept to her values. These values included her refusal to play poker on Sundays. She died in Rapid City in 1930.