Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Okaton ghost town

Right alongside Interstate 90 is one of South Dakota's fun ghost towns to explore. Maybe Okaton isn't quite a complete ghost town, but there sure aren't many people still living there.


Okaton is at Exit 183 between Murdo and Belvidere in western South Dakota. With roughly five streets, it doesn't take long to explore the whole town. However, finding angles to photograph can use up an entire afternoon.

Here you can see how close the traffic on the Interstate is.


Okaton has attempted to promote it's "ghostliness" to travelers, but with limited success it appears.




A large grain elevator sits next to the long-abandoned railroad tracks. A few years back a tornado took the top off.


The evening I stopped by to take these photos a group of pierced and tattooed young people with California plates was scouting the grain elevator as a potential night's shelter from the looks of things. I made some small talk with them, received some strange stares and thoughts of the Manson Family popped into my head. I left the ghost town to them and their diaper-wearing black lab. I'm sure they're gone by now.

8 comments:

lsdavis0 said...

We stopped in Okaton once when we were really low on gas and didn't think we could make it to Murdo. Now whenever we drive by I wish that we were low on gas so that we would have to stop there again! It's such an interesting (?) place!

patty said...

We almost always stop in Okaton on our way west just to see whats happening. Interesting place! Was wondering what happened to the elevator.

Chad Coppess said...

Who knew that Okaton was such a popular stop!

Karen Lindquist said...

Okaton holds a special place in my heart. My Gramma and Grampa lived there. Every Christmas Eve my mother's family would gather there. There were 10 children my grandparents had and when we got together it was a party. All were married and had many children. There were always Christmas Carolers who came by that night. It was cold but the house was always full of food, laughter and fun. Some of my favorite memories! I visit the house every time I am in the area. No one lives there, but the feelings are still there. It will always be home for Christmas in my heart at Okaton!

Chad Coppess said...

Thanks for sharing the memories Karen. That was fun to read.

Marvin Brink said...

I grew up in Okaton. In fact my dad owned the store and gas station and he built the house that is next to the store. My dad had a feed store back when I was 4,5 and 6 years old. I have pictures of cars parked up and down the roads all over the town,as he would have a FREE day and people from all over would come for free donutes and coffee. My Grandma ( Clara Finck) would make the best dropped glazed donutes and have them on the FREE day. I have pictures of kids that are like 4 to 6 years old holding brown paper sacks and there was live baby chicks in these sacks that my dad gave away to kids and adults. It was so much fun, even though I was so young. I went to grade school in Okaton thur the 8th grade. So I have a lot of memories also. Karen Lindquist and I had the best grandpa and grandma that liver there. I'm so glad that I have the memories and LOTS of pictures of Okaton. I myself don't like it that they call it a ghost town, as it is not a ghost town. I have lots of stories of Okaton...

Chad Coppess said...

Thanks Marvin! More great stories from a town that refuses to die.

Anonymous said...

Marvin, what can you tell me about the field of old truck in Okaton? Do they have an owner?