Aberdeen, South Dakota facts for kids
|Aberdeen, South Dakota
Location in Brown County and the state of South Dakota
|• City||15.60 sq mi (40.40 km2)|
|• Land||15.50 sq mi (40.14 km2)|
|• Water||0.10 sq mi (0.26 km2)|
|Elevation||1,302 ft (397 m)|
|• Estimate (2015)||28,102|
|• Density||1,683.3/sq mi (649.9/km2)|
|• Metro||42,391 (US: 283rd)|
|Time zone||Central (UTC−6)|
|• Summer (DST)||Central (UTC−5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1253581|
Aberdeen (Lakota: Ablíla) is a city in and the county seat of Brown County, South Dakota, United States, about 125 miles (201 km) northeast of Pierre. The city population was 26,091 at the 2010 census, making it the third largest city in the state. Aberdeen is the principal city of the Aberdeen Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Brown and Edmunds counties and has a population of 40,602 in 2010. Aberdeen is considered a college town, being the home of both Northern State University and Presentation College.
Before Aberdeen or Brown County was inhabited by European settlers, it was inhabited by the Sioux Indians from approximately 1700 to 1879. Europeans entered the region for business, founding fur trading posts during the 1820s; these trading posts operated until the mid-1830s. The first "settlers" of this region were the Arikara Indians, but they would later be joined by others.
The first group of Euro-American settlers to reach the area that is now Brown County was a party of four people, three horses, two mules, fifteen cattle, and two wagons. This group of settlers was later joined by another group the following spring, and, eventually, more settlers migrated toward this general area, currently known as Columbia, South Dakota. This town was established on June 15, 1879. The town was settled in 1880, and incorporated in 1882.
Creation of the town
Aberdeen, like many towns of the Midwest, was built around the newly developing railroad systems. Aberdeen was first officially plotted as a town site on January 3, 1881, by Charles Prior, the superintendent of the Minneapolis office of the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad, or the Milwaukee Road for short, which was presided over by Alexander Mitchell. Mitchell, Charles Prior's boss, was responsible for the choice of town names, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, after which the town of Aberdeen, South Dakota, was named. Aberdeen was officially founded on July 6, 1881, the date of the first arrival of a Milwaukee Railroad train. Aberdeen then operated under a city charter granted by the Territorial Legislature in March 1883.
As Aberdeen grew, many businesses and buildings were constructed along Aberdeen's Main Street. However, this soon became a problem due to Aberdeen's periodic flooding, which led to it being referred to as "The Town in the Frog Pond". At first, this unique condition presented no problem to the newly constructed buildings because it had not rained very much but, when heavy rains fell, the Pond reappeared and flooded the basements of every building on Main Street, causing many business owners and home owners much turmoil. When this flooding happened, the city had one steam-powered pump that had to be used to dry out the entire area that had been flooded, which would take days, if not weeks – and more often than not, it would have rained again in this time period and caused even more flooding, even in the basements that had already been emptied of the water. When the water was gone from the basements, the city still had to deal with the mud that also resulted from the heavy rains.
The city decided in 1882 to build an artesian ditch to control the "Frog Pond" effects; the plan was later upgraded and developed into an artesian well in 1884 to combat the heavy rains and keep the basements from flooding. The artesian well was designed by the city engineers to prevent flooding and develop a water system. However, during the digging of the well, the water stream that was found underground was too powerful to be contained. The water came blasting out with violent force and had the entire Main Street submerged in up to four feet of water. The engineers realized the previous flaws of the artesian well plan and soon added a gate valve to the well to control the flow of water, giving Aberdeen its first working water supply.
Aberdeen had four different railroad companies with depots built in the newly developing town. With these four railroads intersecting here, Aberdeen soon became known as the "Hub City of the Dakotas". When looking down on Aberdeen from above, the railroad tracks converging in Aberdeen resembled the spokes of a wheel converging at a hub, hence the name "Hub City of the Dakotas". These four railroad companies are the reason why Aberdeen was able to grow and flourish as it did. The only railroad still running through Aberdeen is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
1999 South Dakota Learjet Crash
On October 25, 1999, a Learjet 35 carrying golfing star Payne Stewart crashed in a field near Aberdeen. All on board died.
Aberdeen is located in northeastern South Dakota, in the James River valley, approximately 11 miles (18 km) west of the river. The James River enters northeastern South Dakota in Brown County, where it is dammed to form two reservoirs northeast of Aberdeen. The city is bisected by Moccasin Creek, a slow-moving waterway which flows south and then northeast to the James River.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.60 square miles (40.40 km2), of which 15.50 square miles (40.14 km2) is land and 0.10 square miles (0.26 km2) is water.
Aberdeen has been assigned the ZIP code range 57401−57402.
Aberdeen experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb/Dfa) influenced by its position far from moderating bodies of water. This brings four distinct seasons, a phenomenon that is characterized by hot, relatively humid summers and cold, dry winters, and it lies in USDA Hardiness Zone 4. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 12.0 °F (−11.1 °C) in January to 71.3 °F (21.8 °C) in July, while there are 13 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs and 37 days with sub-0 °F (−18 °C) lows annually. Snowfall occurs mostly in light to moderate amounts during the winter, totaling 38 inches (97 cm). Precipitation, at 21.7 inches (551 mm) annually, is concentrated in the warmer months. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −46 °F (−43 °C) on January 12, 1912 and February 8, 1895 to 115 °F (46 °C) on July 6 and 15, 1936, although a −42 °F (−41 °C) reading occurred as recently as January 15, 2009.
|Climate data for Aberdeen, South Dakota (Aberdeen Regional Airport), 1981–2010 normals|
|Record high °F (°C)||63
|Average high °F (°C)||22.5
|Average low °F (°C)||1.5
|Record low °F (°C)||−46
|Precipitation inches (mm)||.47
|Snowfall inches (cm)||6.4
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||5.8||6.3||7.7||7.4||9.9||11.1||9.9||8.2||7.6||7.2||6.8||6.5||94.4|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||6.7||6.0||5.2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0||1.0||4.7||6.7||32.3|
|Source: NOAA (extremes 1893–present)|
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration maintains a National Weather Service office in Aberdeen. Their area of responsibility includes northern and eastern South Dakota and two counties in west-central Minnesota.
Aberdeen is the county seat of Brown County. The original county seat was, however, Columbia. During the days of the railroad construction, plans were laid to bring the railroad through Columbia, then the county seat. When word of this spread, land in and around Columbia soared in price due to speculation. When the time came for the railroads to purchase land, the increase in land prices led them to change their decision and instead to route the rail lines through Aberdeen. However, once Aberdeen became a town in 1881, there was a long-running controversy concerning which town would be the county seat, which continued until 1890, when it was declared by the newly formed South Dakota state constitution in 1889 that a majority vote could move the county seat if the county seat in question had originally been established by less than a majority vote. The result of the vote declared that Aberdeen would be the county seat once and for all, so all of the records were once again transferred to Aberdeen's courthouse; during the battle for county seat, the records had been moved from Columbia's courthouse to Aberdeen's courthouse (which was built from 1886 to 1887), and back again to Columbia's in what seemed to be a never-ending cycle of the transferring of records. This was typically done in the form of nighttime raids from the two towns.
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2010, there were 26,091 people, 11,418 households, and 6,354 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,683.3 inhabitants per square mile (649.9/km2). There were 12,158 housing units at an average density of 784.4 per square mile (302.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.8% White, 0.7% African American, 3.6% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.
There were 11,418 households of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.1% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.4% were non-families. 36.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.86.
The median age in the city was 36.4 years. 22.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.1% were from 25 to 44; 24.4% were from 45 to 64; 16.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.6% male and 52.4% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 24,658 people, 10,553 households and 6,184 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,902.1 per square mile (734.4/km²). There were 11,259 housing units at an average density of 868.5 per square mile (335.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.61% White, 0.37% Black or African American, 3.17% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. 0.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 53.7% were of German, 15% Norwegian and 8.5% Irish ancestry.
There were 10,553 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.4% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.86.
Age spread: 21.8% under the age of 18, 14.1% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.
As of 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $33,276, and the median income for a family was $43,882. Males had a median income of $30,355 versus $20,092 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,923. About 7.6% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.6% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.
There are several Roman Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints churches in the area, as well as one synagogue.
Arts and culture
The Aberdeen area has several cultural organizations.
The Aberdeen Area Arts Council publishes a small monthly newspaper, ARTiFACTS, with information on area events.
The Aberdeen Community Theatre was created in 1979 and performs at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Aberdeen. The Capitol Theatre opened in 1927 and donated to the Aberdeen Community Theatre in 1991; since then more than $963,000 has been spent on renovating and preserving the historical aspect of the Capitol Theatre. Today, the Aberdeen Community Theatre performs five mainstage productions and three youth productions per year.
The South Dakota Film Festival established in 2007 is held annually in the fall. The festival has been host to Kevin Costner, Graham Greene, Adam Greenberg, CSA and many more stars of film and television. The festival's first feature film screened was Into The Wild, shot partially in SD. The festival is held at the historic Capitol Theatre.
The Northern State University Theater Department puts on plays during the school year.
The ArtWorks Cooperative is a partnership of artists who work to market their artwork in a gallery setting. The ArtWorks Cooperative sells artists' work and provides an environment that will benefit the artist in terms of artist-to-artist communication, and public interest.
There are four galleries in Aberdeen: Presentation College's Wein Gallery, Northern State University's Lincoln Gallery, the Aberdeen Recreation & Cultural Center (ARCC) Gallery and the ArtWorks Cooperative Gallery located in The Aberdeen Mall.
Parks and recreation
- Family Aquatic Center
Completed in the summer of 2007, this complex includes a zero entry pool, competition lap pool, lazy river, numerous water slides, play sand area, and a concession area.
- Wylie Park Recreation Area
Wylie Park Recreation Area features go-kart racing, sand volleyball courts, access to Wylie Lake, camping area, picnic areas, and is connected to Storybook Land. Wylie Lake is a small man-made lake, open in the summer months for swimming, lying on the beach, and paddle boating.
- Storybook Land
Storybook Land is a park with attractions from several different children's storybooks. The park contains a castle, as well as a train that takes visitors through the park. There are two barns which contain petting zoos. Humpty Dumpty's Great Fall Roller Coaster was added to the park, summer 2015. Newly added is the Land of Oz, that features characters and attractions from L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Baum was a resident of Aberdeen in the 1880s, but left after the failure of the newspaper The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, where he wrote a column, Our Landlady.
- Richmond Lake Recreation Area
The Richmond Lake Recreation Area is used by all types of outdoors enthusiasts. Three separate areas in this park cater to the needs of campers, swimmers, naturalists, boaters and anglers. Campers stay in the South Unit, while the 200-acre (0.8 km2) Forest Drive Unit is a great place for wildlife viewing. The Boat Ramp Unit provides access to the more than 1,000-acre (4 km2) lake.
Richmond Lake Recreation Area's small campground offers a quiet camping experience. The park also features a wheelchair accessible camping cabin.
The park's extensive trail system features over 10 miles (16 km) of trails, including both accessible and interpretive trails. Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders can observe the abundance of prairie plants and wildlife of the area up-close.
The park has multiple private and public boat ramps as well as an accessible fishing dock. Richmond Lake has a population of walleye, northern pike, bass, perch, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and bullheads within its waters. An entrance fee is required to gain access to the water and park itself.
- Kuhnert Arboretum
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