The Queen City
With a mild climate, abundant outdoor opportunities, an active university community, quality medical services and relatively low cost of living, Spearfish has emerged in recent decades as one of the region’s most livable small cities.
With a 2012 population of 10,718, Spearfish is the 11th largest city in South Dakota. The economy is balanced between education, natural resources, online services, medical and retirement industries. That's reflected in the roster of largest employers includes:
- Spearfish Regional Health
- Black Hills State University
- TMone, an outsourcing firm
- Spearfish Forest Products
- David Dorsett Senior Living Center
Called the Queen City because it is surrounded by three crown-like peaks -- Lookout Mountain, Spearfish Mountain and Crow Peak -- Spearfish is known for its scenic vistas and for Spearfish Creek, which runs through the center of the city.
Spearfish is located at the mouth of Spearfish Canyon, one of the most scenic places in the Dakotas. The highway that runs through the canyon is listed as an American Scenic Byway.
The arts community includes working sculptors, painters, potters, writers and performers. The Matthews Opera House is a year-round entertainment venue, and Spearfish City Park hosts the annual Arts in the Park, one of the largest such events in South Dakota.
Next door to the park is the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives, a history museum and working fish hatchery. Its displays highlight the history of fish stocking in the American West.
The unusual name comes from the Native Americans who fished the waters of Spearfish Creek using spears. The city itself was founded in 1876, in part to serve the miners and prospectors up the hill in Deadwood and Lead.