PIERRE, S.D. - Stretching from the Black Hills in the southwest for 140 miles to the northeast corner, Meade County covers the largest area of any South Dakota county. It is home to the towns off Blackhawk, Box Elder, Faith, Sturgis and Summerset.
As one of the ranching areas of western South Dakota, Meade County finds its principal economic industry in agriculture, where a great deal of livestock is raised. Other agricultural ventures are carried out in the northern part of the county, where the Belle Fourche Irrigation Project supplies water to more than 57,000 acres of land.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is the most well known event occurring in Meade County. Established in 1938 by Clarence Hoel and members of the Jackpine Gypsie Motorcycle Club, the rally draws over a half a million people to the area each year. This year marks the 67th anniversary at the rally and will be held from August 6-12, 2007.
Another highlight of Meade County is the Fort Meade Museum, which displays many remnants of the historic peacekeeping post and loyally preserves them. The museum is also part of the yearly Cavalry Days, which feature a mock Sturgis bank robbery, stew cook-off, parade and horse-drawn tours of Fort Meade.
A natural attraction of the area is Bear Butte. This geological formation is one of several intrusions of igneous rock in the Black Hills that formed millions of years ago. The mountain is sacred to many Native Americans who come here to hold religious ceremonies.
The Uniquely South Dakota series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight unique aspects and attractions in each of South Dakota’s 66 counties. This profile was researched and compiled by Jennifer Anderson, public relations intern for the Office of Tourism.
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