Black Forest Inn History
Guests at the Black Forest Inn, situated in the heart of the Black Hills, often ask about its history. It was constructed in 1953 as a restaurant and bar with a reputation for good food and fun under the direction of owner Bernice Musekamp. Bernice came to South Dakota in 1914, carrying a pet pigeon, little more than the clothes on her back, and a determination to live life to the hilt. She once said, "My father bought a ranch in eastern South Dakota, and I got my first job cooking there. I didn't even know about boiling water, so I cooked twenty four hours in advance. What I spoiled, I threw to the chickens. Chickens are crazy for burned beans."
Bernice’s original site was less than two miles away in the valley that is now Pactola Lake. She called her place Moosecamp Park, a variation on the spelling of her last name. When the valley was acquired to become the Pactola Dam reservoir, Bernice moved her business, now known as the Black Forest Inn, to the existing site nestled among the pines. The first meal served there, prepared by Bernice on her wood burning cook stove, was Easter Sunday, 1954. The lodge was an instant success; specialties included fried chicken, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, biscuits, salads, and cake or pie. Ordinary folks and dignitaries alike came in droves. In the 1980s the Black Forest Inn was converted to a bed and breakfast.
Each successive owner has tried to continue the hospitality first exhibited by Bernice Musekamp and have added their own special touches. There are seven graciously appointed guest rooms with private baths, antiques, handmade quilts, and a resident stuffed bear to welcome each guest. In addition to comfortable accommodations, delicious breakfasts made from scratch each morning are a specialty.
Current owners are Ron Moore and Bruce Behrens who have a combined total of over 25 years in the hospitality business. Guests are invited to stay, relax, and enjoy the peace and serenity of the centrally located Black Hills setting.