Learn more about the historic flight of Explorer II


After the first railroad tracks were laid through the future site of the community, White Lake was formed when pioneer John Hanten originally platted the town in 1882.  In the next few years, homesteaders were pouring into the area to make their claims. establish new businesses, start their families, and form a city government.  South Dakota became a state soon thereafter in 1889.


White Lake School, home of the WiLdKats, offers an award-winning education for Grades K-12.  The school is an integral part of the community, with student academics and sports attracting regional interest.

         White Lake Public School website

Only 37 miles to the east, Dakota Wesleyan University and Mitchell Technical Institute offer a wide range of collegiate, vocational, and continuing education training courses.

Visitor Attractions

In 1935 the flight of Explorer II set a new world altitude record of 72,395 feet, made national heroes of the two aeronauts, and put White Lake on the map as landing spot of this lighter-than-air craft.  Visit the markers commemorating this historical event, both at the landing site just south of town and in Hanten Park.

Located 12 miles north of White Lake near the new wind farm, Patten School was built in 1914.  The school was unique at the time being constructed with neo-classical columns, earning it a place in the cherished National Register of Historic Places.

Places of Worship

St. Peter's Catholic Church
Fr. Robert Lacey
101 South Ellis Street
Phone 605-249-2700

Saturday Mass 5:30 pm

Trinity Lutheran Church
Rev. Richard Milbrandt
304 South Johnson Street
Phone 605-249-2333

Weekly Services each Sunday 9:00 am

United Methodist /
Presbyterian Church

Pastor Lucas Boomsma
110 East Delevan Street
Phone 605-249-2410

Weekly Services each Sunday 9:00 am

Park Facilities

Hanten Park is an idyllic refuge in the heart of White Lake.  A variety of fun events, such as kids games, movie nights under the stars, and family picnics take place in the summer.  If you like to swim, then jump in the swimming pool !  Carl Fuhr Field is home to ball games and fall football.

Send Us A Message

We appreciate your interest in the community of White Lake and its many attractions!  Please send us any questions you may have about business, lifestyle, community, or recreation in White Lake!

Learn more about the historic flight of Explorer II

Experience White Lake

There's so much more to our beautiful city than our namesake large natural lake north of town.  See why we call White Lake our home!

Visit the Kenny Kinyon Design Gallery

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All Rights Reserved

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