11 miles east of Belle Fourche, sits St. Onge, South Dakota. Home of the St. Onge Livestock Market, St. Onge Bar, a Post Office, and the one and only 87 year old Pat Shannon. Pat is an absolute South Dakota gem, I would have liked to visit with her all day long. I ran into Pat while she was heading to get her free coffee at the St. Onge Bar, which also serves as a convenience store, cafe, off sale liquor, and a full bar. And known for it’s “Prime Rib Friday Nights”. We got to visiting and I forgot to take her photo, so I tracked her down back at the bar where she was drinking her coffee, snacking on some crackers and getting an envelope ready to mail for a chance to win the lottery.
St. Onge was founded in 1881, and named after Henry P. Saintonge, a pioneer settler. The population of St. Onge was 363 in 2017, but according to Pat that number is much lower nowadays. I walked around town and took photos of a few older buildings still standing. One is the 1902 Furois building pictured below. There is a very interesting read about the Furois Family of St. Onge on the Spearfish Area Historical Society website. There is also a book by Jeannine P. Guern titled Forgotten Or Unknown – A History of St. Onge available on Amazon and if you stop at the St. Onge Bar you can pickup a copy there too.
If you are traveling out west on Highway 34 and happen across St. Onge. Stop and say hello to Pat while she is having her coffee at the St. Onge Bar.