South Dakota Dinosaurs

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Creston Dinosaur
Creston, SD
The Creston Dinosaur may have been the earliest roadside dinosaur ever built. It was created by Emmet A. Sullivan. It was made with scrap metal, wood, and concrete in 1933. It was designed to stop traffic for the Creston General Store which no longer exists. The dinosaur stands 20 feet high and is 60 feet long. Over the years, it fell into serious disrepair with exposed framework and graffiti. In 1998, it was restored by students from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. They saved what they could but had to build a new neck, back and feet. For more, see this website. [map]

Dinosaur Park
Rapid City, SD
The Dinosaur Park was built in 1936 with WPA funding. Emmett A. Sullivan got the idea from the Creston Dinosaur (described above) and, with consultation from South Dakota Natural History buffs, made five life-sized concrete statues which were accurate for the time. Originally, the dinosaurs were painted grey. Sullivan also built the dinosaurs in Beaver, AR.

The original five statues consist of: a Brontosaurus (80 feet long, 28 feet tall), a Tracodon (33 feet long, 17 feet 6 inches tall), a Stegosaurus (11 feet long, 7 feet tall), a Tyrannosaurus Rex (35 feet long, 16 feet tall), and a Triceratops (27 feet long, 11 feet tall). At some point, two smaller statues were built across the street at the gift shop: a Protoceatos and a Dimetrodon (bottom row above). The dinosaurs are lit up until 10 pm during tourist season. For more, see this website. [map]

Wall Drug Dinosaur
Wall, SD
The Wall Drug Dinosaur was built around 1967. It was installed next to I-90 to attract business to the Wall Drug tourist attraction downtown. The dinosaur is an 80-foot-long Brontosaurus with red eyes which are lit at night. The statue was designed and built by Emmett A. Sullivan who built the Rapid City dinosaurs (see above). For more, see this website. [map]

Wall Drug Dinosaur
Wall, SD
This animatronic Wall Drug Dinosaur is located inside the Wall Drug store. It was built around 2006. For more, see this website.

Custer, SD
These Dinosaurs are located at Ken's Minerals & Trading Post. The statues have been here since at least the 1960s. They appear to be modeled after the Rapid City dinosaurs above. They may even have been produced by Emmett A. Sullivan. [map]

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