The Black Hills Ordnance Depot
(BHOD) was a munitions
storage and maintenance facility formerly operated by the Ordnance Corps
of the United States Army
. The depot was located in Fall River County
, in far southwestern South Dakota
about eight miles south of the town of Edgemont
BHOD was established and constructed in 1942, to help meet the Army's increased ordnance handling needs caused by World War II
. Because of the relative remoteness of the location, nearly all of the facility's civilian workforce lived in federally owned housing at the depot; this residential community was known as Igloo, a name derived because the characteristic shape of the munitions storage buildings constructed at the site has a similar appearance to igloos
. The Igloo community included public schools, a hospital, post office, church, and shopping and entertainment facilities including a theater, swimming pool and a recreation center.
Among Igloo's residents was a young Tom Brokaw
, who spent a few years living on the base as a boy.
The level of employment at BHOD varied over the years, increasing during periods of war. During typical peacetime periods of the 1950s, between 650 and 750 workers were employed at the site, and the community population was around 1800 people.
BHOD was renamed "Black Hills Army Depot"... Read More