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

Turtle Effigy

Turtle Effigy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, July 18, 2017
1. Turtle Effigy Marker
Effigies are patterns on the land made by the careful placement of stones. There are over one hundred effigies in South Dakota. Created by American Indians, little is understood about the effigies. Archaeologists believe some mark significant places, people, or events. Other effigies may have aided hunting or held spiritual power. Many different stories are often associated with an effigy. The historical marker on this site shares one of the legends associated with the turtle effigy.

One effigy may look different from one researcher's sketch to another due to changes in the rock's visibility, alterations made to the effigy, or differences in interpretation.

Human effigies were recorded near Punished Woman's Lake in 1883. The effigies no longer exist.

How to reach the site

The landowners invite you to respectfully visit the site. Please be considerate of their land and close all gates behind you. Proceed up the driveway and park on the top. Please keep your vehicle off the grass, but do not block the driveway. Enter through the small metal gate to the left. Follow the ridge through the green gate on the hill and continue to the fenced-in area about 100 yards up the hill. The disturbance of relocation of any effigy stones is prohibited. Please be aware
Turtle Effigy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, July 18, 2017
2. Turtle Effigy Marker
of snakes and livestock.

James E. Todd (left) began exploring stone effigies in the 1880s. He later became the state geologist. Doane Robinson (right), South Dakota State Historian from 1901-1925, wrote about many of the state's stone effigies.

Erected by South Dakota State Historical Society, a Preserve America grant, and the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad Corporation. Images courtesy of the South Dakota State Historical Society.
Location. 44° 26.029′ N, 100° 21.845′ W. Marker is in Pierre, South Dakota, in Hughes County. Marker is on Highway 1804 0.8 miles west of Grey Goose Rd. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pierre SD 57501, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sioux Indian Mosaic (a few steps from this marker); The Oahe Dam & Lake (approx. 0.9 miles away); A Changing Landscape (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Lewis and Clark Expedition (approx. 0.9 miles away); Lindbergh Landing Site (approx. 1˝ miles away); Fort Pierre Choteau Trading Post (approx. 3.2 miles away); Fort Pierre Chouteau: Military Occupancy (1855-1857) (approx. 3.2 miles away); Archaeology at Fort Pierre Chouteau (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pierre.
Categories. Native Americans
Credits. This page was last revised on January 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 17, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 84 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 17, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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