Hill City, SD

"The heart of the Black Hills"

Jay Hendrickson, now 97, founded Hill City’s CCC Museum and still volunteers there and at the Lions Club. (Credit: Janet Wetovick-Billy)

Hill City is right smack in the middle of the Black Hills — hence its moniker. What makes Hill City special is that residents and business-owners really live from their hearts — and it shows through their hospitality and ambassadorship to the thousands of visitors that experience that welcoming spirit each year, as well as support for each other and the community as a whole. And in the incredible level of volunteerism of residents who are members — and volunteers — of multiple organizations. Hill City thrives because of its volunteers who assist at all of our events — Black Hills Film Festival, Wine Brew BBQ , Quilt Show, Sculpture in the Hills, Olde Tyme Christmas and so many more throughout the year.

Stories About Hill City

Hill City Cafe owner Patty Houska feeds the Hill City firefighters after each fire they are called out to battle — each and every time. She also opens her restaurant and feeds the High School students every year after post-prom. She also donates food to the food pantry and also to the Hill City Senior Center.

On Saturday June 6, 2015 a major flash flood wreaked havoc on much of downtown Hill City and blocked off traffic into the city as torrents of water surged through the streets. As soon as the rain stopped, the very next morning, most of the town’s business-owners and residents were on Main Street with emergency officials sweeping and clearing the streets of water, debris and mud. A point of pride was that the town was back up and running by 8 A.M. Sunday morning.

Crystal Wiese — a young mother — single-handedly raised over $40,000 in just a few months to provide an artificial turf “grass playground” for the school children. Several years earlier, at her encouragement, Hill City’s organizations, parents and residents were encouraged to donate to the school’s music teacher’s goal of providing a music instrument to each child.

Noting that the school kids only had a muddy-potholed track on which to run for years and years, a former businessman took it upon himself to gather colleagues and friends and together with the town’s help raised nearly $1 million to fund a six-lane, all-weather running track, a new concession stand and restroom building, as well as 300-seat bleachers where previously none existed.

Visitor Information Center Staff have personally escorted visitors to their destination — such as the 1880 Train or to a campground — when visitors were unable to reach their destination.

We have many business-owners and volunteers who quietly go about their lives giving of their time and treasure and who don’t seek any recognition or reward. People like Sue Anderson who volunteer all week long — Cornerstone Mission, Garden Club, Hill City Senior Center, Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information Center or Hill City Arts Council — who still find time to also help with other good causes, like organizing drives for donating purses and items to the Women’s Shelter or making pillowcases and quilts for the PillowCase Roundup for children who need them or quilts for veterans.

Beautiful flowers welcome guests. (Credit: Janet Wetovick-Billy)