Belle Fourche awarded Historic Preservation Grant to restore band shell

The city of Belle Fourche was recently awarded a $15,000 matching grant to assist with the repair of the interior wooden shell of the Herrmann Park Band Shell. Pioneer photo by Lacey Peterson

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BELLE FOURCHE — The Belle Fourche Band Shell, located in Herrmann Park, was recently awarded a $15,000 matching grant from the South Dakota State Historical Society.

The band shell was among four projects awarded historic preservation grant funds. The other communities awarded grants were St. Onge, Sioux Falls, and Mitchell.

The state historical society made the announcement Friday, declared by Ted M. Spencer, state historic preservation officer.

“This historic preservation grants program is designed to encourage restoration or rehabilitation of historic properties and is one more way we can promote and protect our history and culture,” Spencer said. “In 2020, we awarded $111,050 among seven projects which had matching funds of $374,441. The resulting total public-private investment is $485,491.”

The grants are awarded through the State Historical Society’s Deadwood Fund grant program. Deadwood gaming revenue funds earmarked by the state finance the grant program, administered by the society’s State Historic Preservation Office at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

The band shell in Herrmann Park was built in 1954. In 2016, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places for the entertainment and recreational activity opportunities it has provided to the community for more than six decades. It has served as a focal point for outdoor band concerts, speeches, performances, and other gatherings since its construction.

The band shell is also listed on the register as a local vernacular adaptation of a band shell — a resource type made popular throughout the country in the 1920s and 1930s. Although not built until later, it embodies the features of earlier, larger band shells. The band shell, according to the register, exemplifies the half-dome shape and illustrates a local builder’s ability to engineer the structure, using local materials and developing tools when necessary. 

Local resident Dr. John Chassell donated $4,000 towards the construction of the band shell. This, along with $1,200 from the park’s trust account, paid for its construction. Local contractor Carl Anderson and Son built the structure.

The structure was awarded a $15,000 Deadwood Fund Grant to assist with repair of the interior wooden shell.

Belle Fourche Mayor Gloria Landphere said this renovation has been a long time coming.

“We’ve been looking at it for a while,” she said. “And now we’re going to be on our way. We’re going to get this all renovated and … it’s a real exciting time.”

Landphere said there’s some paperwork to finish up and that the hope is to have the work started as soon as possible.

The following projects also recently received grants to supplement their work:

St. Onge: Anderson-Ridley Barn, built 1902, received $11,000 to assist in mortar/wall repair of a sandstone barn.

Sioux Falls: Porter Peck House, built around 1887, received $15,000 to assist in porch rehabilitation/stabilization.

Mitchell: Western National Bank, built 1906, received $20,000 to assist in repointing and window repair/replacement.

These new recipients represent a total award amount of $61,000 and matching funds of $145,275. The total public-private investment is $206,275. These figures are reflected in the 2020 statistics above.

Deadwood Fund grants are awarded twice a year, with grant application deadlines of Feb. 1 and Oct. 1. Applications are reviewed at the spring and winter meetings of the State Historical Society’s board of trustees. For more information on the Deadwood Fund grant program, contact the State Historic Preservation Office at the Cultural Heritage Center, 900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501-2217; telephone (605) 773-3458; or website information on State Historical Society membership, call 605-773-6000 or visit

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