Cedar Pass Lodge History

Cedar Pass Lodge first opened for business in 1928, predating the establishment of Badlands National Monument by eleven years. Mr. Ben Millard, a local businessman, along with his sister, Mrs. Clara Jennings, and later his son, Herbert, opened Cedar Pass Camp to provide services to tourists braving the area's dusty, undeveloped roads.

The Camp once consisted of a grocery store, gas station, dancehall and cabins that brought people from a hundred mile radius to listen to Lawrence Welk and similar bands.

Millard expanded Cedar Pass Lodge to include the dining room, the Historic Cabins and a counter for curios. He enjoyed giving nightly geology talks to Lodge guests and was awarded the honor and title of the first "interpreter" in Badlands National Park.

Ben passed away in 1956 and was afforded another National Park Service honor in 1957. Millard Ridge, the high ridge rising above the Cedar Pass area where the Lodge and park headquarters are situated is named in Ben's honor.

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