“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Garretson in Minnehaha County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)


Garretson Marker (Side One) image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, October 6, 2008
1. Garretson Marker (Side One)
Inscription. Two events in the 1870s in eastern Minnehaha County, Dakota Territory, provided the stimulus leading to the beginning of the town of Garretson. The first was the founding of the now-vanished village of Palisade, often referred to as Garretsonís “Mother City”. Located high above Split Rock Creek two miles south of this marker, Palisade began when C. W. Patten built a flour mill there in the early 1870ís. The second event was the migration into nearby townships of scores of pioneer families who arrived in oxen-or horse-drawn covered wagons. These newcomers claimed homesteads and provided an immediate customer base for new businesses in Palisade.

In 1889 the Sioux City and Great Northern Railroad planned to join its tracks with the Willmar and Sioux Falls Railway at the village of Sherman a few miles north of this marker. However, Sioux City investors used their influence to shift the railroad junction to a site only two miles north of Palisade. One of the investors, A.S. Garretson, then offered to furnish commercial lots and to pay the cost of moving mercantile buildings from Palisade to the new junction location. Among those taking advantage of his offer were a druggist, doctor, barber, and owners of a general store, lumber yard, hardware and implement store, dray line, grocery store, and bank. The headlong removal
Garretson Marker (Side 2) image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, October 6, 2008
2. Garretson Marker (Side 2)
of business places from Palisade doomed the village and in turn created the town of Garretson, namesake of the shrewd promoter and financier.

(Continued from other side)

A quartzite stone quarry opened in the early 1890ís and provided material for several impressive Garretson buildings, including two banks, an opera house, and general and department stores. By 1915 city fathers boasted that a cigar factory and the elegant Grand Hotel were among the 63 businesses in Garretson.

Continuing to attract residents and tourists today are three parks that feature Sioux quartzite outcroppings. Split Rock Park began as a Works Project Administration project in the 1930ís. Three attractive quartzite structures were constructed: a dam, a bathhouse, and a picturesque bridge. Devilís Gulch Park is the site of both prehistoric and historic tales and legends. Dakota Indians called the quartzite canyon “Spirit Canyon” and told of an ancient conflict between a trouble-making warrior and a brave from the spirit world. Many years later the 1876 getaway by bank robbers Jesse and Frank James from pursuing lawmen became a celebrated tale. Palisades State Park borders the site of former Palisade village and has become a picnic and camping mecca.

Now in its second century, the town of Garretson is a vibrant community with a promising
Garretson Marker From a Distance image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, October 6, 2008
3. Garretson Marker From a Distance
future and a second economy and is a regional tourist destination.
Erected 2001 by Garretson Area and Minnehaha County Historical Societies.
Location. 43° 43.131′ N, 96° 30.261′ W. Marker is in Garretson, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is on 5th Street (Local Route 5th) ľ mile west of Main Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Garretson SD 57030, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 1908 Palisades Bridge (approx. 2.2 miles away); Minnehaha County (approx. 7.8 miles away).
Also see . . .  Split Rock Park. (Submitted on October 6, 2013, by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota.)
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
Quartzite Bathhouse image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, October 6, 2008
4. Quartzite Bathhouse
Quartzite Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, October 6, 2008
5. Quartzite Bridge
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 303 times since then and 77 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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