In Murder in Custer State Park, Merritt spends a great deal of time in Custer City going to the grocery store, researching costumes at the 1881 Courthouse Museum and dining out with friends.
Located on the western edge of Custer State Park, the charming town of Custer City (known as 'Custer') is a gateway to the Black Hills. Founded in 1875, Custer is the oldest settlement in the Black Hills. The population grew to 10,000 people in May of 1876, a thriving population based on mining. However, the town lost all but fourteen of its residents when gold was discovered in the northern Black Hills near the town of Deadwood. It has seen its share of ups and downs, but this Black Hills original stands resilient, with a population of 2,000 and a vibrant culture. Custer City is a hub of tourism, the gateway town and supply center for Custer State Park and other area attractions.
The 1881 Courthouse Museum was a tremendous help when Merritt was researching costumes for General George Armstrong Custer. They have numerous exhibits on the Black Hills and colorful history of Custer City.
Custer has many museums, shops and restaurants. I recommend a stop at the Museum of Woodcarving, Lunch at Cattleman's and a stroll downtown.
For groceries: Custer County Market, Dakota Mart
For more information about Custer, SD: