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

American Island

This was until 1953

American Island Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, February 11, 2017
1. American Island Marker
On Sept. 17, 1804, Lewis and Clark camped on the west bank below the Island and passing it on the 18th said: "Passed an Island about the middle of the river at 1 mile this island is about a mile long and has a great proportion of Red cedar on it." In 1811 the Astorians called it Little Cedar and in 1843 Audubon called it Great Cedar Island. In 1855 Lt. Warren, western topographer, called it 2nd Cedar Island and so it appeared on Colton's 1857 Atlas. Dakota Surveys of 1875 showed it but did not name it and it was Andrea's Atlas of 1884 that first called it American or Cedar Island. March 2, 1889 Congress gave it to the City of Chamberlain as a park. By 1911 the channel on the west side was closed when the Milwaukee made a fill. For many years it was connected to the East bank by a pontoon bridge and in 1905 by a railroad pile and barge bridge which was converted to steel in 1918. The State Highway bridge (the piers still show up stream) was built in 1925 and golf course, race track, athletic field and picnic grounds were developed by Chamberlain and used until the waters of Ft. Randall Dam covered it in 1953. Well timbered, it was a stopping place for explorers, fur traders, steamboat men and recreationers for a century and a half and is now only a memory for the generations who made such good use of it. Forts Aux Cedres and Pilcher's
American Island Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, February 11, 2017
2. American Island Marker
Factory or Ft. Recovery used it as a woodlot, farm, and pasture in the 1820s.
Erected 1958 by Mr. and Mrs. M.A. Brown of Chamberlain and State Highway Commission.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
Location. 43° 48.753′ N, 99° 21.333′ W. Marker is in Oacoma, South Dakota, in Lyman County. Marker is on Business I-90 2 miles east of 339th Ave, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oacoma SD 57365, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lewis & Clark Memorial Bridge at Chamberlain (approx. 2 miles away); Lewis and Clark Bicentennial 1804-2004 (approx. 2 miles away); Missouri River Bridges of South Dakota (approx. 2 miles away); Dignity (approx. 2 miles away); Sojourn at Camp Pleasant (approx. 2 miles away); Purple Heart Memorial Highway (approx. 2 miles away).
Categories. Settlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on February 13, 2017. This page originally submitted on February 13, 2017, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 505 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 13, 2017, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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