Construction of the Oahe Dam on the Missouri River began in 1948 bringing workers from across the country to the small town of Fort Pierre, South Dakota. The area population grew dramatically over the next year as these workers and their families moved to the area and it didn’t take long for local business persons to start supplying the needed services.
The Silver Spur originally opened on March 17th (Saint Patrick’s Day), 1949, and was operated by “Irish” O’Leary. The “Spur,” as soon came to be known, quickly became a favorite of the working class as well as the locals. Because of the round-the-clock work schedules of the dam builders it was not uncommon to see the Spur fully occupied as the youth arrived for school just down the street.
On August 17, 1962, Oahe Dam was officially dedicated by President John. F. Kennedy. The giant generators also started producing electricity that year. With construction complete, many of the workers moved on to other projects but many ended up making Central South Dakota their home. Fort Pierre eased back into a slower pace while many businesses closed up shop, but not the Spur!
Over the next 40 years the Spur changed ownership many times. In fact, at one point it was even owned by the local Catholic Church. Many thought it had finally met its demise during the Missouri River flood of 2011, but the place kept on “Bucking!”
Local contractor Buell Maberry and his family purchased the Silver Spur property in 2012 and set about a total restoration and remodel. After more than a year of hard work the Silver Spur officially re-opened January 2, 2014, nearly 65 years after the original opening.