User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

29° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



 Winter Storm for November 30, 2015

Snow Outlook

Severe Weather

State Radar

Click here for local closings & delays

Send photos to

Storm Center Update | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Minuteman Missile Site May Get Upgrade

November 14, 2011, 10:07 PM by Derek Olson

Minuteman Missile Site May Get Upgrade
PHILIP, SD - In the 1960s, an open field near Wall, SD, was a vital link in the Cold War by serving as home to ten Minuteman Missile silos.

Today, that same area is a National Historic Site designed to teach visitors about a national security effort that was largely underground and out of sight.

To many it may only look like ranchland, but the stretch of prairie was at the frontline of one the most dangerous potential conflicts the world has ever known.

"This facility down here controlled ten Minuteman II nuclear tipped missiles that were stationed around here in about a 16-mile radius," park interpreter and historian Butch Davis said.

At the end of the Cold War, there were nearly 100 of the sites across the Midwest. Now, more than 20 years later, the Wall site is the only one that's open to the public.

"As far as Minuteman sites go, we're the only one in North America that anyone can visit," Davis said.

It's a popular destination, drawing more than 48,000 visitors in 2010.

"We have people from all over the United States, we have people from all over the world visit," Davis said.

Since 2004, the site has been using two temporary trailers to house the administrative offices and visitor's center.

"We're in a temporary facility right now. We don't have a lot of space," Davis said.

But, legislation introduced by Senator Tim Johnson would transfer 25 acres of land to the park so a new facility could be built.

"We need that in order to better provide visitor services. This place is kind of small. If you can imagine, in the summer this being overrun with folks waiting just to get into the movie, to get their tickets," park superintendent Ruben Andrade said.

If approved by Congress, plans are to build a center that's nearly 8,000 square feet.

"The whole purpose of that would be to better tell the story, provide a place where the visitor can make a connection to this site and the Cold War story," Andrade said.

"Cold War history is also South Dakota history. This was a major part of what was going on in the United States from the early 60s up until the 90s," Davis said.

For now, it serves as a quiet reminder of South Dakota's role in U.S. history.

Tours of the launch control center and missile silo are available seven days a week, all year round. The facilities are located a couple miles east of Wall off interstate 90.

For more information visit the National Park Service Minuteman Missile website.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A misspelling was corrected in this story.

Previous Story

Next Story




You may also like

Ronald Neels Sentenced To 75 Years In Prison

11/23/2015 5:59 PM

For more than a decade, nobody knew Ronald Neels was sexually abusing a victim inside his home near Garretson. The victim never said anything about th...

Full Story | Watch
Harrisburg High School Wins $100,000

11/25/2015 9:01 AM

Students at Harrisburg High School are celebrating Wednesday morning.

Full Story
Tyrese Ruffin's Mother Speaks Publicly For First Time

11/25/2015 6:18 AM

In her first and only television interview, Doohen talked about her son, who she called the joy of her life.

Full Story
LHS Student Charged With Making Bomb Threat

11/23/2015 10:53 AM

Sioux Falls Police said a 16-year-old student wrote a message on a bathroom mirror.

Full Story
Sioux Falls Police Investigate Multiple Stabbings

11/23/2015 12:12 AM

Sioux Falls Police are investigating two stabbings late Sunday night.

Full Story