South Dakota Land for Sale

Land for Sale

Land speculation and the discovery of gold in the Black Hills played significant roles in the early formation of South Dakota. In fact, land speculators founded the cities of Sioux Falls in 1856 and Yankton in 1859. Many of the early settlers from the Eastern United States and Northern Europe migrated to these towns in search of South Dakota land for sale.

The number of settlers seeking land in the state increased significantly after the completion of an eastern railway link to the territorial capital of Yankton in 1872 and the discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874.

The arrival of the railroads ushered in the great Dakota Boom decade of the 1880s. The population of Sioux Falls increased from 2,000 in 1880 to more than 10,000 just 10 years later.

As the Dakota Territory’s population increased, it was divided, and South Dakota was admitted to the Union in November of 1890 as the 40th state. One month later, in December of 1890, the Wounded Knee Massacre occurred on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This was the last armed conflict between the United States Cavalry and the Sioux nation.

Starting in the late 1800s, ranchers began purchasing large tracts of land in order to establish cattle ranching empires. In the 1990s, a new breed of out-of-state investors began showing a strong interest in South Dakota land, mainly for recreational purposes.

Today, however, there is an even greater reason for interest in South Dakota land for sale—the massive expansion of the Williston Basin oil and gas field. The Williston Basin extends from Canada southward into Montana, North Dakota and the northern part of South Dakota. The Basin continues to expand farther south in South Dakota, as a recent oil discovery was made near Bear Butte, just east of Rapid City. Some geologists have predicted that the Williston Basin will become one of the largest and most prolific petroleum fields in the United States. Obviously, land anywhere near these exploration activities could represent an interesting opportunity to an investor.

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