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Lemmon, South Dakota
A monument of Ed Lemmon resides in Boss Cowman Square.
A monument of Ed Lemmon resides in Boss Cowman Square.
Location in Perkins County and the state of South Dakota
Location in Perkins County and the state of South Dakota
Country United States
State South Dakota
County Perkins
Incorporated 1908
Area
 • Total 1.10 sq mi (2.84 km2)
 • Land 1.10 sq mi (2.84 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
2,569 ft (783 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 1,160
 • Density 1,069.22/sq mi (413.00/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
ZIP code
57638
Area code(s) 605
FIPS code 46-36340
GNIS feature ID 1256086
Website lemmonsd.com

Lemmon is a city in Perkins County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 1,160 at the 2020 census.

Lemmon is named after George Ed Lemmon, a cattleman, who founded the town in 1906.

The City of Lemmon received the South Dakota Community of the Year Award in 2012.

Geography

Lemmon is located at 45°56′22″N 102°9′36″W / 45.93944°N 102.16000°W / 45.93944; -102.16000 (45.939375, -102.160128). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.04 square miles (2.69 km2), all of it land.

Lemmon's north border is the Adams County, North Dakota, state line. To the east of Lemmon is Corson County and Standing Rock Oyate.

History

Lemmon's history as a town started in 1902 with the U.S. government's forced leasing of approximately 800,000 acres of Standing Rock Indian Reservation lands to cattle rancher George Ed Lemmon.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,255
1920 1,126 −10.3%
1930 1,508 33.9%
1940 1,781 18.1%
1950 2,760 55.0%
1960 2,412 −12.6%
1970 1,997 −17.2%
1980 1,871 −6.3%
1990 1,614 −13.7%
2000 1,398 −13.4%
2010 1,227 −12.2%
2020 1,160 −5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
2019 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, 1,227 people, 567 households, and 319 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,179.8 inhabitants per square mile (455.5/km2). The 732 housing units averaged 703.8 per square mile (271.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.3% White, 0.1% African American, 1.9% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.7% of the population.

Of the 567 households, 20.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.7% were not families. About 39.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.73.

The median age in the city was 50.8 years; 17.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.3% were from 25 to 44; 31.2% were from 45 to 64; and 27.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.6% male and 52.4% female.

Climate

Climate data for Lemmon, South Dakota
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 69
(20.6)
70
(21.1)
81
(27.2)
93
(33.9)
96
(35.6)
109
(42.8)
109
(42.8)
105
(40.6)
105
(40.6)
95
(35)
82
(27.8)
67
(19.4)
109
(42.8)
Average high °F (°C) 29
(-1.7)
33
(0.6)
44
(6.7)
58
(14.4)
69
(20.6)
78
(25.6)
86
(30)
85
(29.4)
75
(23.9)
60
(15.6)
42
(5.6)
30
(-1.1)
57.4
(14.12)
Average low °F (°C) 9
(-12.8)
13
(-10.6)
21
(-6.1)
32
(0)
43
(6.1)
52
(11.1)
58
(14.4)
57
(13.9)
46
(7.8)
35
(1.7)
22
(-5.6)
11
(-11.7)
33.3
(0.69)
Record low °F (°C) −33
(-36.1)
−33
(-36.1)
−27
(-32.8)
−4
(-20)
10
(-12.2)
32
(0)
40
(4.4)
33
(0.6)
18
(-7.8)
−4
(-20)
−18
(-27.8)
−33
(-36.1)
−33
(-36.1)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.35
(8.9)
0.51
(13)
1.01
(25.7)
1.62
(41.1)
2.85
(72.4)
2.89
(73.4)
2.80
(71.1)
1.99
(50.5)
1.41
(35.8)
1.33
(33.8)
0.70
(17.8)
0.42
(10.7)
17.88
(454.2)
Source: The Weather Channel (Historical Monthly Averages)

Sites of interest

Petrified Wood Park in Lemmon, South Dakota

Lemmon is home to the world’s largest Petrified Wood Park. This tourist attraction fills an entire block of the downtown area and is built entirely of petrified wood, fossils and stone. Construction began in 1930 and continued until 1932 under the supervision of Ole S. Quammen. It was in private ownership until 1954 when it was donated to the city by Quammen's heirs. The park features a wishing well, a waterfall, and a castle. The castle weighs 300 tons and boasts towering spires and turrets. Also in the park are two separate museums, both built entirely of petrified wood. The larger of the two is circular has a petrified grass floor along with petrified logs. Dinosaur claws, bird tracks and fossilized snakes can be seen in the petrified wood. Also in the museum are antiques and artifacts from the Lemmon area. The formations in the park number over 100 and are up to 20 feet tall.

The Boss Cowman Rodeo and Celebration is the second weekend in July, and is one of the largest rodeos in the state.

The Grand River Museum is located on Highway 12. The Museum features exhibits on creation science, fossils, Native Americans, cowboys and ranch life, a full-scale tipi and a model of the Ark. Admission is free.

Lemmon has a 9-hole golf course, an airport, two convenience stores, a hardware store, a grocery store, an American Legion, and many other businesses. It is home to the Powderhorn family restaurant, the Alaska Cafe, Benny's steakhouse, the R bar, and the Chinese Garden. Lemmon also has 7 churches, 3 financial institutions, a library, a movie theater, a clinic, a nursing home, an eye clinic, a dentistry office, and a veterinarian clinic. There are also 3 hotels in town, the Dakota Lodge, the Lemmon Country Inn, and the In Town Motel. The Lemmon Sale Barn is just to the west of town, with sales every Wednesday.

Many Lemmonites are employed at Wheeler Manufacturing, which produces jewelry products. Gregorian, Inc., and Dakota Woodcrafts also employ manufacturing workers. Other major employers are the school system B &C Plumbing and Heating and ranches.

Education

Lemmon's school district includes a high school and an elementary school. The Progress country school operated in Meadow until the summer of 2010, when it was destroyed by a tornado. The small rural school district was then consolidated into the Lemmon and Faith districts.

Notable person

  • Kathleen Norris, poet

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