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Finding Nemo (11.19.22)


Custer, South Dakota

November 20, 2022


Nemo is an unincorporated community in Lawrence County, South Dakota. The population was 546 at the 2010 census. It is at an elevation of 4,580 feet, a bit lower than at Custer at 5,315 feet.


According to the Federal Writers' Project, the origin of the name Nemo is obscure.





This tiny mountain town sets on the edge of Paradise Valley, overshadowed by Steamboat Rock mountain, about midway between Rapid City and Deadwood. Nemo was first established in 1877, but began to flourish in 1898 when Homestake set up camp to harvest timber for use in their gold mine near Lead. The gold mines are gone, along with their need for lumber, but Nemo continues today as a pleasant, beautiful respite from life's fast pace.

Nemo is frequently used as a base for camping, trout fishing, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, deer hunting and back country treks. The Centennial Trail (hike, bike, horse) passes nearby.


Services include a general store, gas, food, lodging, post office, church, guest ranch and trail rides.




As of the census of 2010, there were 546 people, 164 households, and 109 families in the town. There were 260 housing units. The racial makeup of the town was 81.7% White, 3.3% African American, 11.7% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.4% of the population.


There were 164 households, of which 14.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.4% were married couples living together, 0.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.5% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.01 and the average family size was 2.41.





The median age in the town was 33.3 years. 15.0% of residents were under that age of 18; 35.6% of residents were between the ages of 18 and 24; 7.1% were from 25 to 44; 28.6% were from 45 to 64; and 13.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 60.1% male and 39.9% female.


As of 2010 the median income for a household in the town was $78,226, and the median income for a family was $79,758. Males had a median income of $20,135 versus $32,188 for females. The per capita income for the town was $24,646. 39.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.3% of those under age 18.








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