There's An Underwater Ghost Town Hiding Under This Reservoir In South Dakota
Today, this reservoir is used for flood control and the enjoyment of everyone who visits it. Swimming, canoeing, camping, you name it. People love to visit here for some outdoor recreation. But what many people don’t know is that there is a hidden town buried deep underneath the lake. The mysterious town underneath Pactola Lake holds an intriguing history that few are aware of. Even with how clear the water is here, you normally can’t see it unless the water is low enough – and even then, not much of it remains.
The reservoir is Pactola Lake, created from the Pactola Dam, and the town – of course – was known as Pactola. The name came from a river in Turkey where an ancient Greek mining operation was once held centuries ago. When the town had just begun it was a mining establishment known as Camp Crook. The town had been around since 1875 but in the 1950s, it would vanish. As we dive into the story of this submerged town, we’ll uncover the fascinating history that lies beneath the surface of Pactola Lake.
Have you ever been to this underwater town? Let us know in the comments section.
This isn’t the only place that nature has overtaken in South Dakota. Take a look at these other places in the state that are being slowly reclaimed by the earth itself.
More to Explore
town underneath Pactola Lake
What are South Dakota's lesser-known attractions worth visiting?
Explore South Dakota's hidden treasures by visiting these off-the-beaten-path attractions:
- Storybook Island: Experience a whimsical, family-oriented park in Rapid City, featuring storybook characters and play areas.
- Ingalls Homestead: Step into Laura Ingalls Wilder's former home in De Smet for a fascinating look at pioneer life.
- Porter Sculpture Park: Visit this one-of-a-kind outdoor art gallery near Montrose, displaying creative and unusual sculptures.
- Dinosaur Park: Travel back in time to Rapid City's prehistoric era with life-sized dinosaur statues along Skyline Drive.
- Sica Hollow State Park: Explore this mystical, historic area in Sisseton, rich in Native American legends and natural beauty.
What are some enjoyable outdoor activities to experience in South Dakota?
Discover 11 exciting outdoor activities to enjoy in South Dakota:
- Climb Black Elk Peak for a stunning view of The Black Hills National Forest from South Dakota's highest natural point.
- Stroll around the scenic Sylvan Lake and unwind in its picturesque surroundings.
- Immerse yourself in the beauty of McCrory Garden in Brookings, a 25-acre garden with numerous flowers, trees, and shrubs.
- Cycle along the 19-mile Sioux Falls Trail Loop, following the Big Sioux River and finishing at Falls Park.
- Take in the impressive landscape of the Badlands from a convenient overlook.
- Spot bison and elk at Wind Cave National Park, home to one of the world's longest, most intricate caves.
- Tackle the 109-mile George S. Mickelson State Trail, featuring stunning views and gentle elevation changes.
- Uncover the natural attractions of Spearfish Canyon, such as Bridal Veil Falls, Roughlock Falls, and Devil's Bathtub.
- Stroll through Good Earth State Park and enjoy the hiking trails and vistas of the Big Sioux River.
- Hike to the top of Bear Butte for panoramic views.
- Experience various activities like canoeing, waterskiing, fishing, and swimming at Lewis & Clark Recreation Area.