Ever wonder where the exact geographical center of the U.S. is? When looking at the nation as a whole, Alaska and Hawaii included, in 1959, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey announced the center was 20 miles north of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, in a cow pasture. A red stake was driven into the ground at the determined point.
In 2007, it was agreed that it would be better to erect a monument in nearby Belle Fourche, where it would be more convenient to visitors, especially taking into consideration that the survey itself is acknowledged to be within a 10-20 mile area of the designated point.
Curious as to how they found the center? I thought the description of a “center of gravity” method was interesting. A little long to repeat here, if you are interested read the article about half way down this page online from the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce: “Center of the Nation”
And in case you wondered…. the name Belle Fourche comes from when the area was French owned. The French explorers, admiring the confluence of the Belle Fourche and Redwater Rivers with Hay Creek, named it “Beautiful Fork”.