Kadoka, SD

The City of Kadoka was originally named Willard but was eventually renamed Kadoka, which originated from “Hodoka”, meaning “Hole in the Wall”. The Indians thought Kadoka was a fitting name because it sits at the mouth of a gap leading into the Badlands. With a population of 760 in Kadoka, there’s a town to welcome those entering Badland territory.


The Train Depot was built in the spring of 1907, and town lots were sold on April 7, 1907. Kadoka was incorporated on May 4, 1908, and the Independent School District was organized in July of 1908. The High School building was dedicated two years later with grades 1st thru 10th being taught. In 1913, 11th grade was added, followed by the 12th grade. The present school building was built twenty-six years later. On July 28th, 1916 the County Court House was dedicated in Kadoka, as an election was held to determine the county seat and Kadoka received 410 of the 610 votes cast.

Recreation / Community Events

The final train passed through Kadoka in 1980. The Depot now serves as a Museum and is open daily throughout the summer months from 6 pm to 8 pm every evening. The Kadoka Depot is listed in the National Register of Historic Places that will take you back in time. There is no admission charged at the Depot Museum. Located on the south end of Kadoka’s Main Street, discover a walk through the life and times of Kadoka’s many settlers. The Badlands Petrified Gardens is located at Exit 152 and Incredible Metal is found at 23191 Swift Horse Road. Public facilities in Kadoka include a nine hole golf course, a city park with outdoor pool, lighted baseball and softball fields, auditorium and rodeo grounds. Hunting, fishing, hiking and rockhounding are popular leisure activities for local residents and visitors alike.

Contact Information

Source: City of Kadoka

Categories: Cities, Western SD

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