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Nemo School

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1926. 12743 Nemo Rd.
  • (Photograph by Michelle Dennis)

When the Homestake Mining Company relocated its sawmill to the small town of Nemo in 1913, there was soon a need for a larger primary and secondary school. Built in 1926, the two-story building contained six classrooms, a library, science lab, home economic room, storage rooms, and restrooms. High school students occupied the second floor, which also contained the science lab and library. Dominating the facade is the central projecting bay, which contains the main entrance. Nine-over-nine, double-hung sash windows on the front and rear elevations flood the classrooms with light. The hipped roof was originally covered in cedar shingles but replaced with corrugated steel in the 1960s and, later, asphalt shingle.

After the sawmill closed in 1939, many families left Nemo and school enrollment dropped drastically. The town, which is located midway between Rapid City and Deadwood, was purchased in 1946 and developed as a guest ranch by Frank Troxell and his family. The school continued to operate until 1990, although beginning in 1970 the older students were bused to schools in Lead and Deadwood. In 1995, new owners renovated the schoolhouse as a vacation rental. The interior retains much of the original woodwork, hardware, light fixtures, blackboards, and some of the tables and desks.


Shedd, Larry, “Nemo School House,” Lawrence County, South Dakota. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 1996. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

Swisher, Kaija. “The Historic Nemo Schoolhouse.” Black Hills Pioneer (Spearfish, SD), December 7, 2012.

Writing Credits

Michelle L. Dennis



  • 1926

  • 1995



Michelle L. Dennis, "Nemo School", [Nemo, South Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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