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Lead, South Dakota
Aerial photo of Lead
Aerial photo of Lead
Location in Lawrence County and the state of South Dakota
Location in Lawrence County and the state of South Dakota
Country United States
State South Dakota
County Lawrence
Incorporated 1890
Area
 • Total 2.06 sq mi (5.33 km2)
 • Land 2.06 sq mi (5.33 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
5,213 ft (1,589 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 3,124
 • Estimate 
(2019)
2,943
 • Density 1,430.03/sq mi (552.04/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
ZIP code
57754
Area code(s) 605
FIPS code 46-36220
GNIS feature ID 1265276
Lead Historic District
Lead, South Dakota is located in South Dakota
Lead, South Dakota
Location in South Dakota
Lead, South Dakota is located in the United States
Lead, South Dakota
Location in the United States
Location Roughly bounded by the Lead city limits
Area 580 acres (230 ha)
Built 1880
Architectural style Greek Revival, Hip cottage
NRHP reference No. 74001892
Added to NRHP December 31, 1974
Roundhouse and other buildings in Lead, South Dakota
Buildings on Lead's western side

Lead ( LEED) is a city in Lawrence County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 3,124 at the 2010 census. Lead is located in western South Dakota, in the Black Hills near the Wyoming state line.

History

The city was officially founded on July 10, 1876, after the discovery of gold. The city was named for the leads or lodes of the deposits of valuable ores. It is the site of the Homestake Mine, the largest, deepest (8,240 feet [2,510 m]) and most productive gold mine in the Western Hemisphere before closing in January 2002. By 1910, Lead had a population of 8,382, making it the second largest town in South Dakota.

Lead was founded as a company town by the Homestake Mining Company, which ran the nearby Homestake Mine. Phoebe Hearst, wife of George Hearst, one of the principals, was instrumental in making Lead more livable. She established the Hearst Free Public Library in town, and in 1900 the Hearst Free Kindergarten. Phoebe Hearst and Thomas Grier, the Homestake Mine superintendent, worked together to create the Homestake Opera House and Recreation Center for the benefit of miner workers and their families. Phoebe Hearst donated regularly to Lead's churches, and provided college scholarships to the children of mine and mill workers.

In the early 1930s, due to fear of cave-ins of the miles of tunnels under Lead's Homestake Mine, many of the town’s buildings located in the bottom of a canyon were moved further uphill to safer locations.

Lead and the Homestake Mine have been selected as the site of the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory, a proposed NSF facility for low-background experiments on neutrinos, dark matter, and other nuclear physics topics, as well as biology and mine engineering studies.

In 1974, most of Lead was added to the National Register of Historic Places under the name of the "Lead Historic District". Over 400 buildings and 580 acres (230 ha) were included in the historic district, which has boundaries roughly equivalent to the city limits.

Geography

Homestake Mine Pit
The Homestake Mine pit in Lead, South Dakota

Lead is located at 44°21′3″N 103°45′57″W / 44.35083°N 103.76583°W / 44.35083; -103.76583 (44.350967, -103.765784).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.06 square miles (5.34 km2), all of it land.

Lead has been assigned the ZIP code 57754 and the FIPS place code 36220.

Lead's proximity to Deadwood, South Dakota, often leads to the two cities being collectively named "Lead-Deadwood".

Two prominent man-made features of Lead's geography are the giant open cut, which was used for surface gold mining by the Homestake Mine, and the resulting ridge nearby built with the non-producing material from the cut.

Climate

Climate data for Lead, South Dakota
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 69
(20.6)
67
(19.4)
79
(26.1)
84
(28.9)
89
(31.7)
96
(35.6)
101
(38.3)
98
(36.7)
96
(35.6)
87
(30.6)
74
(23.3)
67
(19.4)
101
(38.3)
Average high °F (°C) 33.6
(0.89)
35.9
(2.17)
41.7
(5.39)
51.4
(10.78)
61.5
(16.39)
71.7
(22.06)
80.3
(26.83)
79.0
(26.11)
69.1
(20.61)
56.8
(13.78)
43.2
(6.22)
35.7
(2.06)
55.0
(12.78)
Daily mean °F (°C) 24.1
(-4.39)
25.7
(-3.5)
31.5
(-0.28)
40.8
(4.89)
50.6
(10.33)
60.3
(15.72)
68.1
(20.06)
66.7
(19.28)
57.1
(13.94)
46.1
(7.83)
33.9
(1.06)
26.5
(-3.06)
44.28
(6.824)
Average low °F (°C) 14.5
(-9.72)
16.2
(-8.78)
21.3
(-5.94)
30.2
(-1)
39.6
(4.22)
48.8
(9.33)
55.9
(13.28)
54.4
(12.44)
45.0
(7.22)
35.3
(1.83)
24.5
(-4.17)
17.3
(-8.17)
33.6
(0.89)
Record low °F (°C) −32
(-35.6)
−40
(-40)
−20
(-28.9)
−5
(-20.6)
8
(-13.3)
24
(-4.4)
31
(-0.6)
30
(-1.1)
12
(-11.1)
−12
(-24.4)
−19
(-28.3)
−33
(-36.1)
−40
(-40)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.25
(31.8)
1.32
(33.5)
2.07
(52.6)
3.37
(85.6)
4.01
(101.9)
3.90
(99.1)
2.56
(65)
2.02
(51.3)
1.82
(46.2)
1.99
(50.5)
1.50
(38.1)
1.31
(33.3)
27.11
(688.6)
Snowfall inches (cm) 17.9
(45.5)
19.6
(49.8)
25.6
(65)
24.8
(63)
6.5
(16.5)
0.8
(2)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
1.8
(4.6)
10.7
(27.2)
17.7
(45)
19.5
(49.5)
145
(368)
Source: Western Regional Climate Center

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,487
1890 2,581 73.6%
1900 6,210 140.6%
1910 8,392 35.1%
1920 5,013 −40.3%
1930 5,733 14.4%
1940 7,520 31.2%
1950 6,422 −14.6%
1960 6,211 −3.3%
1970 5,420 −12.7%
1980 4,330 −20.1%
1990 3,632 −16.1%
2000 3,027 −16.7%
2010 3,124 3.2%
2019 (est.) 2,943 −5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
2015 Estimate

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 3,124 people in 1,420 households, including 828 families, in the city. The population density was 1,516.5 inhabitants per square mile (585.5/km2). There were 1,694 housing units at an average density of 822.3 per square mile (317.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.6% White, 0.3% African American, 2.0% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.9%.

Of the 1,420 households 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.7% were non-families. 35.1% of households were one person and 10.8% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.82.

The median age was 40.5 years. 23.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.3% were from 25 to 44; 31.5% were from 45 to 64; and 12.7% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.3% male and 49.7% female.

Recreation

In the summer, there are numerous trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horse back riding. The George S. Mickelson Trail, which runs from Edgemont to Deadwood, runs through the city. Several man made lakes, including Sheridan Lake provide fishing and swimming. Spearfish Canyon to the north has many places to rock climb.

During the winter there are two ski areas just a few miles outside of Lead. Terry Peak and Deer Mountain are both full service ski areas.

Notable people

Gold-quartz placer nugget, Lead SD
Gold-quartz placer nugget, found near Lead. About 1 cm wide.
  • Richard Bullock (1847–1921), American pioneer
  • Sean Covel (b. 1976), film producer
  • James B. Dunn (1927–2016), South Dakota legislator
  • Thomas D. Edwards, Consul General of the United States to Ciudad Juarez
  • Stan Gibilisco, writer
  • John Miljan (1892–1960), actor
  • Charles Moyer (1866–1929), labor leader and former president of the Western Federation of Miners
  • William H. Parker (1905–1966), former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department
  • Len Rice (1918–1992), baseball player
  • Mina P. Shaughnessy (1924–1978), professor at the City University of New York and pioneering scholar of basic writing
  • Mike Steponovich (1908–1974), football player with the Boston Redskins
  • Charles Windolph (1851–1950), recipient of the Medal of Honor and the last surviving white participant in the Battle of Little Bighorn
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