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Old 06-23-2008, 02:44 PM
 
7 posts, read 38,288 times
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Hello!

I was hoping someone could suggest a nice small town, preferrably in the western part of the state. My husband and I have small children and want to raise them where there is a sense of community. I prefer not to be in a suburb or in an area that is growing quickly...we'd like an everyone knows everyone kind of place. We're not into arts or entertainment but community sports, 4-H, etc.. would be nice. Little to no crime, low cost of living, active church community...it's fine if the town is hours away from a large city since we don't shop much and when we do it is in bulk. We homeschool so I am not worried about that, although I have noticed that the quality of local schools in small towns is often indicative of the community spirit (so I would question a great community with awful schools, know what I mean?). I guess I should clarify that by small town I mean preferably under 2,000 people. But I'm not married to a specific number.

We live in Tennessee right now and while there are things we love (fireflies, TN mountains, weather) it is becoming stifling. We are used to moving around so adjusting will not be a problem for us. We are hoping to find a small home we can pay cash for so my husband can work seasonally. We just want an area where we can have our garden (I'm a bit nervous about that challenge since I've been spoiled in the south!), chickens and goats, and a clothesline and people don't look at us like we have three heads!

So I guess basically I'm looking for a miracle here . Does such a place still exist?
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:07 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,496 posts, read 25,455,792 times
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Hill City, South Dakota (SD) Detailed Profile - relocation, real estate, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, news, sex offenders

Here's one nice little town. From the site, you can browse around until you find something that suits you and your family.

Hill City, Custer, Hot Springs, etc are all nice smaller towns.

All the towns in the Hills will be busy during the summertime so if that doesn't appeal to you, look eastward a bit. You can find them on the same site and if you find something, just ask and one of us may be able to help you.

And welcome to the forum.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 9,786,717 times
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You have described nearly every small town in Western South Dakota! Are you sure you haven't been here before?!?! There are plenty to choose from too so take your time to research them. Some good ones that I know of near the Black Hills region are Newell, Fairburn, Hermosa, Faith, Edgemont, Pringle, and Philip. The list goes on too.

I guess it depends. Do you want a town in the Black Hills, near the Black Hills, or away from the Black Hills. Also, how far away from Rapid City would you want to be?
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:15 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
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Oh yes~that's it!!! I was trying to think of "Philip". It's kind of a nice town that's farther east.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:40 PM
 
7 posts, read 38,288 times
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Thank you both so much! Will spend some time looking at the towns you indicated. We aren't visiting until this fall so we aren't set on being near the Hills. We started our search in the western part of the state because of the milder climate and we're sick to death of tornadoes! We are certainly open to other areas if you think there is another town that would fit better. I am wondering if I might need to look at towns that are a bit larger...We basically just want to narrow down our list so we spend our visit productively.

My husband actually just informed me today that if the new bill regarding the GI Bill passes then he is considering going back to college. If that happens, we would likely look within commuting distance of SD State in Rapid City. I'm not sure how serious he is, though. We basically want to be far enough away from a large city to avoid any possibility of suburban sprawl in the next fifty or so years! At the same time I don't want my kids to be too isolated. We love to fish, hunt, camp, work in our garden, and basically just hang out and have BBQs with friends. We're pretty boring! My husband grew up on a farm and would like to buy a few acres eventually, so that is a consideration.

I am so excited for our visit this fall! We're heading out in late September.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,047 posts, read 23,044,204 times
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Excellent time of year to visit. The tourists have went home. haha

I lived in the Black Hills for years and looking now, I'd say, "Hot Springs, Custer, Hill City, and Spearfish" have kept their charm. Spearfish has grown quite a bit but it's a college town and it's expected. But Hot Springs, Custer, and Hill City are really nice, small towns.

Hot Springs has a really nice VA and is 45 minutes from Rapid City.

Custer is about 30 minutes from Rapid City.

Hill City is about 20 minutes from Rapid City.

Maybe a little more on Custer and Hill City. But both are commutable to the College in Rapid City.

Rapid City itself has sprawled in every direction. A good sprawl as the city and county keep tabs on it to keep it well under control.

By the way, 'Thank your husband for his service!'
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:55 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
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I have been through the Black Hills on several different occasions and think that Hill City and Custer are the best communities. Both are scenic and clean communities. Hot Springs is also a good community and has its own charm. A couple of college buddies came from Custer and they had good things to say about it. Custer, Hill City, and Hot Springs have small enough schools where the kids would not get lost in the crowd but still have opportunities.

Hill City is a smaller town. I do not know as much about it compared to Custer and Hot Springs. My recollection is that it is a relaxed and quiet area.

Hot Springs is a larger town with basic medical services and is not too far from Rapid City for additional medical services. The city has a Pamida (a discount store common in small towns in the Midwest) and a grocery store.

I personally like the southern part of the Black Hills due to them having an unspoiled character and traditional small town character as opposed to having more clutter in the northern part of the hills. The northern part is also good, but has more urbanized areas. I-90 between Rapid City and Sturgis and within a few miles of Spearfish proper to me seems like it sprawls and will likely fill up with more development in the future (even with the Homestake Mine going up and more people migrating to the area).
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:46 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,496 posts, read 25,455,792 times
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I second what Elk Hunter said. Thank your husband very much for his service and thank you for the sacrifices you have made.

If he's serious about going back to college, it does put a limit on the towns you will want to live near. Here's a list of the towns I can think of right now that have colleges, but I know I'll forget about some and someone else can add to it~~~

Sioux Falls

Vermillion

Brookings

Mitchell

Rapid City

Spearfish (Very nice campus there)

Each town is probably larger then what you're searching for, but you can use the site to check out the town and it'll show you the towns that are near it.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,047 posts, read 23,044,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrontPorchSwing View Post
-snip-

My husband actually just informed me today that if the new bill regarding the GI Bill passes then he is considering going back to college. If that happens, we would likely look within commuting distance of SD State in Rapid City. I'm not sure how serious he is, though. We basically want to be far enough away from a large city to avoid any possibility of suburban sprawl in the next fifty or so years! At the same time I don't want my kids to be too isolated. We love to fish, hunt, camp, work in our garden, and basically just hang out and have BBQs with friends. We're pretty boring! My husband grew up on a farm and would like to buy a few acres eventually, so that is a consideration.

I am so excited for our visit this fall! We're heading out in late September.
He'll be happy to see this.

New GI bill passes. (http://www.military.com/military-report/new-gi-bill-passes-congress?ESRC=miltrep.nl - broken link)
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:51 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 9,786,717 times
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I agree with Chris. If you're looking for more isolation the Southern Hills would fit better than the Northern Hills. There is a lot of development between Rapid City and Spearfish and it doesn't look like it will slow down anytime soon.

Hermosa is a great choice for a small town that is within commuting distance to Rapid City. Hermosa probably has about 500 people, if even, and is only 20 minutes south of Rapid City. Also consider Fairburn, Buffalo Gap, Hayward, and Spokane. Hot Springs is a very clean town in a beautiful area but the commute to Rapid City is about 45 minutes so I don't know if thats a possibility with you. I'm sure you'd be comfortable in most any Black Hills town. They're all very beautiful and unique.
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