Headed up toward Belle Fourche (pronounced "Belle Foosh") to take a look around. Stopped in St. Onge, a worn out shell of a town that is one of the very oldest communities in the region. Some dates carved on beams in the buildings go back to the 1830s. The town was founded by French fur traders. There are some vacant stone buildings on the main street. This 1890s house is for sale for around $38K. 4 lots, a garage, a well, city water and mobile home hook-ups. May say something about the potential of the community. A little further up the road is the site of the former town of Minnesela. About the time of the 1876 gold rush, this is one of the first cabins in the area. Over the next five years other homesteaders moved into the area and in 1882 a town was staked out. In no time this town became pretty prosperous with a flour mill, bank, hotel, church, school, several stores, and two newspapers. This was essentially the only town on the prairies north of the Hills at the time. Seth Bullock, a Canadian who once was the Sheriff of Deadwood (and later became the first Superintendent of the Black Hills Reserve) had a ranch a few miles away at the meeting some branches of the Belle Fourche river. Like so many towns in the area, Minnesela's future depended on getting the railroad to come through. In 1890 one railroad began laying tracks north. Minnesela residents were elated and in their greed decided to expand the size of the town to try to make money thinking the railroad would pay well for yard and depot sites in the town. At a meeting with railroad officials, Minnesela residents learned that the RR expected the town to donate the land. Sometime during the negotiations a RR representative must have let it slip that they were looking at an unclaimed 80 acre tract nearby to set up their operations for free. One of the people there slipped out of the meeting and raced to the land office in Rapid City to make a claim. Immediately after the meeting the RR guy figured out what was going on and commandeered an engine and chugged down to Rapid to try to get there first. When he arrived he met the horse rider who already claimed the land coming out of the land office. The RR offered $500 for it but the rider said the price was $5,000 (which later went to $10,000). So, the railroad said screw the whole thing, by-passed Minnesela, and set up in present day Belle Fourche on land donated by Bullock. Thus began the exodus from Minnesela. Some buildings were sold. Free lots in Belle Fourche were given to any business moving from Minnesela. After a suspicious fire burned a bunch of stuff in Belle Fourche, what remained of Minnesela was relocated to BF. A typical story of a small town that initially flourished and then died of greed after only 12 short years.