Early Sturgis entrepreneurs, many of them proprietors of saloons and brothels, were said to “scoop up” the money of the cavalrymen and miners. Other stories are that the early town was so lucrative and so much disposable income was available to those entrepreneurs they literally had to “scoop up” all the profit. Then as now, it sure is a great and gun friendly place to run a business!
Firearms have played a huge role in the history and taming of the Sturgis area. The early French fur trappers in the area used them for survival. The rough and tumble crowd that made their way through for the gold rush relied on them for protection. The cavalry and other military officers stationed just outside Sturgis at Ft. Meade used firearms to tame the area. Sturgis even owes its name to a former military officer who served at Ft. Meade, Samuel D. Sturgis.
Sturgis became a business friendly “city” with the help of Joseph J. Davenport. Davenport and his son, Jarvis D. Davenport built and ran the Sturgis Water Works, Co. from 1891 until Jarvis died in 1976. It was one
of the last privately held utilities in the state. The elder Davenport was an early pioneer of the City of Sturgis. His interests included banking, real estate development, conceiving of, and building, the
e Sturgis Water Company, (Sturgis Water Works, Co.), politics, fraternal organizations, regional organizations, hunting and family. The younger Davenport followed in his father’s footsteps with his interests. While running the family business, Jarvis was active in politics locally and internationally, founded the Black Hills, Badlands, and Lakes, the Mount Rushmore Society, and started the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few of his accomplishments. Both men provided the City of Sturgis with solid infrastructure to continue it’s growth and vitality. Jarvis’s granddaughter, Katherine Ward Martel is extremely active in molding the future of Sturgis. She is on the Board of Directors for the Sturgis and Meade County Historical Society, supporter of the State of South Dakota Tourism, Sturgis Economic Development, and South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Katherine an avid firearm enthusiast splits her time between New York and South Dakota as a very successful restaurateur.
Sturgis eventually became a household name because of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The first rally was held by Indian Motorcycle riders on August 14, 1938, who wanted to race Harley-Davidson riders, at the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club. The success of the rally is largely due to the hard work and dedication Tom Monahan, creator of the “Official Logo” and founder of Tom’s T’s. Great venues like Sturgis Photos and Gifts, Sturgis Buffalo Chip, Full Throttle Saloon, The Knuckle Saloon, Loud American Roadhouse, Iron Horse Saloon and Indian Motorcycles of Sturgis, have made it easy for hundreds of thousands of rally goers to call Sturgis their home away from home for 10 days a year.
Today Sturgis is a quiet town (except when its’s very noisy) little town of 7,000 residents. Located on Interstate 90 at exits 30 and 32. The town is also well placed at the foot of the Black Hills. It is centrally located between Rapid City, Custer State Park, Deadwood, Spearfish and Gillette, WY. With immediate access to endless prairie, lakes, state parks and more; hunting, fishing, camping, biking, off-roading and hiking are abundant. Whatever type of game or recreation you are after, you can find in the Black Hills.
Sturgis Guns is located on one of the highest traffic streets in Sturgis. Because of the nature of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, many businesses in Sturgis are only open seasonally. Sturgis Guns is proud to be a year-round business, giving the great residents of Sturgis great prices and customer service all year.
For information about Sturgis, visit http://www.visitsturgis.us.