Cyanide Barn-Abandoned South Dakota


This barn sits just off the Mickelson Bike Trail  between the trailheads of Dumont and Rochford, South Dakota. The 100-mile trail sits on an old railroad grade and runs through some very scenic vistas. The 10 mile stretch from Dumont to Rochford is mostly downhill and makes for a pleasant family ride, which is how I came to photograph this barn.  We also saw a mountain lion cross the trail ahead of us about 45 yards away, so you may see some wildlife as well.

Okay, back to our subject.  This shed is interesting because the unique pattern on it’s sides and roof were made because the lids from old cyanide barrels were used to cover the entire outside of the structure. Cyanide is used in the extraction process for gold, so there were obviously a good number of them available.  I’m not sure if there were any health issues associated with using these, but this might be a case of when reduce, re-use, and recycle may not have been such a great idea.


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