Est. 1876 - "Many Minds, One Town"



During the "Black Hills Gold Rush," which began in 1874 and then reached a peak in 1876-77, numerous towns were established in the Dakota Territory of the United States. One of these towns was called "Sanity," named as such in order to be a "safe haven for the troubled mind, in these times of madness, which shines brighter than any gold!"

So declared Herman Humphrey, co-founder of the town as well as its first mayor and Grand Master in the Temple of Sanity. (Herman Humphrey is pictured to the left, center, in front of the middle window, standing with other citizens to celebrate the establishment of Sanity.)

The Temple of Sanity was a friendly society with history said to "trace back to the Renaissance." Its mission was to "bring together the greatest minds into one," thus the motto of Sanity, South Dakota would eventually become "many minds, one town." The organization believed in the advancements of science, the understanding of the self, and was seen by many at the time to be highly progressive as it welcomed anyone "with an open mind" into their ranks. Similiarities have often been made between The Temple of Sanity and Trancendentalism.

While most other towns established during this period would die out, turning into ghost towns in the process, Sanity thrived as a modest frontier outpost at first before booming into full blown township at the beginning of the 20th century with a population in the hundreds.

During the Blizzard of 2013, Sanity was completely buried and frozen over as a result of record snowfall, subzero temperatures, and piercing winds. Months later, after no one had heard from the town for some time, rescue teams were sent out only to find to their surprise that the entire town itself had simply vanished along with the melting snow and ice. The buildings were gone, the roads were gone, the citizens were gone; all without a trace and as if they were never even there before.

Stranger still, over time, people began to literally forget about the town and its citizens. Records of them having ever existed also completely disappeared from the history books. Sanity, South Dakota has since fallen into the realm of unreality and I'm the only one who remembers...