Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Sturgis in Meade County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Bear Butte

Mountain of Plains Indians

 

—Cheyenne (Nowawaste) Sioux (Mato Paha) —

 
Bear Butte Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, October 9, 2010
1. Bear Butte Marker
Inscription. This 4,422 foot high volcanic bubble rises 1,200 feet above the plains, a guide for centuries to Indians, fur traders, soldiers, cowboys, and travelers. It was visited or passed by Verendrye, 1743; Lt. G. K. Warren, 1855; Hayden, the scientist and Reynolds, 1859; Custer, 1874; and since by a galaxy of geological scientists.

This was a sacred mountain to the Cheyenne, the first Indians known to white man to live adjacent to it and here Sweet Medicine, their spiritual leader, received four sacred Cheyenne arrows and the code of ethics many centuries ago. Many a prayer has been said on its rugged slopes and many a smoke signal from its lofty summit has told watchful eyes, of travelers on the Bismarck-Deadwood Trail to its north and other sojourners within its vista.

Near here in 1857 a great council of the Indians determined to hold the Black Hills inviolate from the white man and for two decades this policy dictated their defensive actions.

Custer's annihilation at the Little Big Horn in 1876; the establishment of Camp Sturgis, July 1, 1878 on its Northwest slope spelled the passing of the red man and his brother the buffalo. Today Bear Butte stands, an outpost of the Hills, still a shrine to the Cheyenne, who come here to worship and a monument to man made history and to natures weird handiwork.
 
Erected
Bear Butte Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, October 9, 2010
2. Bear Butte Marker
With Bear Butte in the background.
1955 by Meade County Commissioners and State Highway Commission.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 44° 24.982′ N, 103° 26.467′ W. Marker is near Sturgis, South Dakota, in Meade County. Marker is on 206th Street (State Highway 34) 0.2 miles west of 131st Street (State Highway 79), on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sturgis SD 57785, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bear Butte (Mato Paha) Indian Camp (approx. 2.1 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps Camps (approx. 2.1 miles away); Camp J.G. Sturgis / Scooptown (approx. 5 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Bear Butte State Park. (Submitted on August 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
2. Protect Bear Butte. (Submitted on August 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
 
Categories. LandmarksNative Americans
 
Bear Butte Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, October 9, 2010
3. Bear Butte Marker
Looking east on Highway 34
Bear Butte , Sacred Sioux mountain as seen from State Road 79 image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 1965
4. Bear Butte , Sacred Sioux mountain as seen from State Road 79
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 982 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.   4. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement