Tornado in Delmont

Thomas Lenehan House, the

Thomas Lenehan House, the “Onion” House. Photograph from South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, 2014.

A tornado that hit Delmont, SD in Douglas County on Mother’s Day this past weekend did a great deal of damage throughout the town.  There was damage done to the Thomas Lenehan House aka the “Onion” House, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The 1902 Queen Anne house is thought to be the only residence in South Dakota to have an onion dome turret.  Hopefully, restoration of the house is still feasible.

The whole top of the 1912 Zion Lutheran Church is gone.  The church was not listed in the National Register, but probably could have been…

Thankfully no lives were lost, but there were injuries, a third of the town was damaged, and they will be rebuilding for a long time to come.

A few of the news articles on the event:

From the Daily Republic in Mitchell, SD:

From ABC News KCAU-TV on the church:

From the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls:

Follow-Up: January 2017

The Onion House has new owners, the Historical Society of Delmont, and they’ve recently been awarded a Deadwood Fund Grant from the SD State Historical Society to make repairs to the dome and adjoining wall.  Thankfully, those assisting with storm recovery sealed the house up tight right after the storm and the house has been in stable condition since then.


The Lenehan House, July 2016, photograph by the author.



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