Sturgis, named for Col. Samuel Sturgis of the U.S. Seventh Calvary, was established in 1878 as a "no holds barred" supply center for Fort Meade. Laid out by Jeremiah Wilcox, an in-law of Colonel Sturgis, Sturgis had an ample representation of saloons and gambling dens. In fact, Sturgis became known as "Scooptown," because of the regularity with which these establishments "scooped" the pay from Fort Meade soldiers' pockets. Now home to a thriving and active community, Sturgis has changed over the years but remains a colorful and fascinating area rich in history and character.
In 1938, motorcycle enthusiast J.C. "Pappy" Hoel got a few friends together for a weekend of friendly competition, picnicking, and a tour of the Black Hills. Today, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is known worldwide.