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September 4, 2015 - September 06, 2015
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History of Platte
Settlements in the Platte area in northern Charles Mix County date back to the early 1880s. Soon after these settlements were established, North Dakota and South Dakota were admitted to the union in 1889.
For close to 12 years, Charles Mix County was the only county in the state without a railroad. This changed when the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Co. constructed the railroad line that stopped at what was to become Platte. Lots for the town were available for sale in March of 1900. Soon after, the railroad arrived and buildings were moved from settlements in Castalia, Old Platte and Edgerton.
A school building was re-constructed in 1924 after a fire destroyed an earlier school. Just as Platte was beginning to develop, the Great Depression hit and the drought of the 1930s greatly affected the area. There was an out-migration of many people in an effort to escape the poor conditions and find employment. However, the town pulled itself together and began to construct what is known today as Platte.
In September of 1947, the former residence of Senator Edwin Johnson was purchased for $11,000. This two-story house served as the only hospital space until 1955, when a one-story addition was added. Since that time, many changes and expansions have been made to improve the Platte Health Center Avera campus to a 17-bed hospital, a 48-bed nursing home, a recently expanded medical clinic, and the Platte Dental Clinic.
Fort Randall Dam was completed in the early 1950s and Lake Francis Case has become a recreational attraction, bringing many visitors to the area. Three state parks are located in the immediate area and are beneficial to the Platte economy.
In 1966, the opening of the Platte-Winner Bridge gave travelers a new route to and from the Black Hills. The easier travel route has greatly impacted and benefited the Platte business community.
In recent years, the town has completed several projects to improve the quality of life for its residents. Water mains and sewer lines have been replaced, streets curbs and gutters were created, and nearly all of the streets now have a hard surface.
The Platte community is rooted in its history, but it is also progressive in making changes that appeal to its residents and meet the needs of its businesses and visitors.