The South Dakota Ghost Town That Just Couldn’t Keep It’s Name
OK, I need your imagination. You know, that thing that isn't digital, that's hidden back there behind your eyes? Yep, that's it. Here we go.
It's the early part of the twentieth century, say, oh about 1915 or so. You're getting ready to hop into the ol' Model T and you're off to visit your Uncle. Where does he live again?
Well, it might be Airmont, South Dakota. Or was it Hilltop, South Dakota? Or did he say in that letter he lived in Hillhead, South Dakota? It's hard to remember, but the truth is, it doesn't matter.
All three places are...the same place. Let me explain.
Airmont, South Dakota was settled back in 1915 up in Northeast South Dakota, not too far from Veblen. A Post Office opened up and life was good, real good. Except for one thing. Folks were getting Airmont all confused with Fairmont, North Dakota, up the road about 30 miles or so. What to do??
OK, we'll just change the name, change it from Airmont to something totally different, Hilltop. There, that's settled, no more confusion. Except....
What's that? There's a Hilltop out in the Black Hills of South Dakota? Oops, 2 Hilltop's in one state will never work. Okee Dokee, one more name change and let's make this one stick!
It was about 1917 that Hilltop (formerly Airmont) became Hillhead. Not all that much of a change, everyone could live with it and again, life was good.
For a while.
According to ghosttowns.com the population peaked at less than a hundred folks in the 1920s, but has long since been abandoned, and poof! gone. Or almost gone. A couple uninhabited buildings are all that's left of Airmont. I mean, Hilltop. I mean, Hillhead.