Box Elder, South Dakota
Box Elder is a city in Pennington County, South Dakota, United States. It is a suburb of Rapid City and is located near the Ellsworth Air Force Base. The population of Box Elder was 6,800 at the 2010 census. The city has a diverse economy, with a mix of retail, manufacturing, and service businesses. It is also home to the Rushmore Crossing Shopping Center, which is one of the largest retail centres in western South Dakota. Box Elder is a small city, with a friendly atmosphere and a strong sense of community.
Geography Of Box Elder
Box Elder is located at an elevation of around 3,800 feet above sea level. The city covers an area of around 14 square miles and has a population of around 6,800 people. The city is located just outside of the city of Rapid City and is located in close proximity to the Ellsworth Air Force Base.
The city is surrounded by rolling hills and prairies, with the Black Hills located to the west. The Black Hills are a group of small mountains that are known for their natural beauty and are home to many recreational activities such as hiking, camping, and rock climbing.
Box Elder is situated in the Black Hills area, a range of rocky mountains that rise dramatically from the Great Plains. The city is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, including the Badlands National Park, which is known for its rugged terrain and spectacular formations.
The city is located near several major highways, including I-90 and US-16, which provide easy access to other parts of the state, including Rapid City and the Black Hills.
Box Elder Economy
The economy of Box Elder, South Dakota is diverse, with a mix of retail, manufacturing, and service businesses. The city’s largest employer is the Ellsworth Air Force Base, which is located just outside of Box Elder. The base is a major contributor to the local economy, providing jobs for many residents and generating significant economic activity.
Retail is also an important sector of the economy in Box Elder, with the Rushmore Crossing Shopping Center being one of the largest retail centres in western South Dakota. The center features a variety of stores and restaurants, including a Walmart Supercenter, Target, and Best Buy.
Manufacturing is also a significant contributor to the local economy, with companies such as Black Hills Corporation, a public utility company, and Badlands Tank Manufacturing, a producer of industrial tanks, having operations in the city.
The city is also home to a number of small businesses, including restaurants, shops, and service providers, which provide a range of products and services to the local community. Additionally, the city is served by a number of professional services such as law firms, accounting firms, and real estate agencies, which support the local economy.
Overall, Box Elder is a small city with a stable economy, with a significant presence of the military and retail sectors.
Climate Of Box Elder
The climate of Box Elder, South Dakota is classified as a semi-arid continental climate, or a “steppe climate”, characterized by warm summers and cold winters. The city experiences a significant amount of precipitation throughout the year, with an average of around 17 inches annually. Box Elder typically receives the most precipitation in the months of May and June, and the least in the months of December and January.
Temperatures in Box Elder can vary greatly between seasons, with average high temperatures in the summer months (June-August) in the upper 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit and average low temperatures in the winter months (Dec-Feb) in the teens Fahrenheit. Snowfall is also common in the winter, with an average of around 40 inches annually.
It’s worth noting that the city’s proximity to the Black Hills would make it a bit more humid than the rest of the state, and also the area experiences occasional strong winds, particularly in spring and fall.
History Of Box Elder
Box Elder, South Dakota has a rich history that is closely tied to the development of the region and the Ellsworth Air Force Base. The area where Box Elder is located was originally home to the Lakota Sioux tribe, who lived in the region for centuries before European settlers arrived.
The city’s history began in the early 20th century, when the United States government established the Rapid City Army Air Base in 1942, which later became the Ellsworth Air Force Base. The base was named after General Richard Ellsworth, a World War II hero, and played a significant role in the Cold War. The base was a major training center for B-29 and B-36 bomber crews, and was also home to the 28th Bomb Wing, which flew B-1B Lancer bombers.
As a result of the base’s establishment, many people moved to the area, looking for jobs and opportunities. The city of Box Elder was officially incorporated in 1960, with a population of around 1,200 people. Since then, the city has grown and developed, becoming a bustling community with a diverse economy and a strong sense of community.
Today, the Ellsworth Air Force Base continues to play an important role in the city’s economy and culture. The base provides jobs for many residents and generates significant economic activity in the region. Additionally, the city’s history is preserved at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum, which is located on the base and showcases the history of the base and the role it played in the Cold War.
Box Elder and nearby Attractions
Box Elder, South Dakota is located near several popular attractions, including the Black Hills region, which is known for its natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Some of the nearby attractions include:
- Ellsworth Air Force Base: Located just outside of Box Elder, the base is a major contributor to the local economy and a popular destination for visitors interested in military history. The base is open to the public and features the South Dakota Air and Space Museum, which showcases the history of the base and the role it played in the Cold War.
- Black Hills National Forest: This forest is located to the west of Box Elder and offers a wide variety of recreational activities such as hiking, camping, and rock climbing. The forest is home to many natural landmarks, including Mount Rushmore
National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Custer State Park, which is home to a herd of bison.
- Badlands National Park: This park is located to the south of Box Elder and is known for its rugged terrain and spectacular rock formations. The park offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
- Rapid City: Box Elder is located near the city of Rapid City, which is the second-largest city in South Dakota and offers a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Visitors can also visit the Journey Museum and Learning Center, which tells the story of the Black Hills region and its people.
- Reptile Gardens: This is a popular tourist spot, which is home to over 200 species of reptiles and other animals from around the world. Visitors can see crocodiles, alligators, snakes, and lizards up close, and learn about the animals through guided tours and educational programs.
Overall, Box Elder offers a perfect base for exploring the natural beauty and historical attractions of the Black Hills region, and the nearby Rapid City offers a variety of activities and entertainment options.