Service Center

Known Name(s)

Service Center


415 So. 1st Ave. Sioux Falls, SD

Establishment Type(s)

Tourist Home

Physical Status



During the years the Service Center was listed in The Green Book, it was actually located at 718 S. 2nd Ave (as explained below). 718 S. 2nd Ave was described as a "home" in 1932. Today, this lot and an adjacent lot are occupied by small apartment buildings from around the late 1970s (estimated by style).  

Source: Argus Leader (Sioux Falls SD), May 1, 1932. 

Detailed History

The Booker T. Washington Service Center was originally established in 1926 at 415 S. 1st Ave by local Black residents, including Harvey and Louise Mitchell, with support from St. John's Baptist Church. The center provided temporary housing and boarding options for Black travelers and new residents, recreational and social space, and meeting space for groups like church auxiliaries, the local NAACP branch, and the Federated Club of Colored Women. It operated at this first location until a severe fire leveled the building in January, 1932.

In May 1932, the Service Center re-opened at 718 S. 2nd Ave., which is where it was actually located during the time it was listed in The Green Book. At that time, the center's president was Louise Mitchell and its resident managers were Littleton Bass and Ada E. Booker. The Center sold that property shortly after World War II (between 1945 and 1947 city directories). The last location used by the Center is still extant at 702 E. 6th St. In 1948, the organization had a grand opening in that remodeled house, and Mrs. Bernice Hamilton served as matron/manager until at least 1954.

Source: Argus Leader (Sioux Falls SD), May 1, 1932, February 15, 1948, September 8, 1954; Sioux Falls City Directories, 1935-1947.

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