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Scenic, South Dakota facts for kids

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Scenic, South Dakota
Country United States
State South Dakota
County Pennington
 • Total 134.2 sq mi (347.6 km2)
 • Land 133.9 sq mi (346.9 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)
2,900 ft (884 m)
 • Total 10
 • Density 0.6/sq mi (0.3/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 605
FIPS code 46-57820
GNIS feature ID 1268730

Scenic is an unincorporated community in Pennington County, South Dakota, United States. It is located within Scenic Township, which had a 2010 census population of 58 inhabitants. The community is located adjacent to the Badlands National Park, about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Rapid City, or about one hour by car, along Highway 44.


The community was so named for the "scenic" setting of the town site.

As an economic decline hit the town in the 21st century, Twila Merril acquired more and more of the town property until she owned most of it.

In July 2011, the 12-acre (4.9 ha) town and surrounding area—about 46 acres (19 ha) total—was listed for sale at $799,000. The sale includes the post office (ZIP code 57780), Longhorn Saloon, a dance hall, bunkhouse, museum, and two stores. It also includes a train depot that is on an abandoned line that was part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and is the subject of a 104-mile (167 km) rails-to-trail project between Rapid City and Kadoka.

In August 2011, Filipino religion, Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) bought the property for nearly $800,000, Pennington County records show. The church never disclosed why it acquired the property. In 2014 Daniel Simmons-Ritchie of the Rapid City Journal wrote that Iglesia ni Cristo "has done little with the town since its purchase." Following his expulsion during the 2015 Iglesia Ni Cristo expulsions, Gino Maningas, a INC district officer in Concord, California, claimed that "There is a hidden agenda, midwest (sic) just like Texas, is rich in oil and natural resources. It's being rented out for oil exploration."

In April 2015, a Iglesia ni Cristo minister moved to the area and soon afterwards began holding services in Scenic for 10-15 congregants who live nearby.

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