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

The Oahe Dam & Lake

The Oahe Dam & Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, July 18, 2017
1. The Oahe Dam & Lake Marker

This huge structure and its lake, 200 miles long, will cover a multitude of Historic Sites. Oahe is a Dacotah (Sioux) Indian word meaning "Something to stand upon," a foundation, and so it was that in 1875 Thomas L. Riggs, Congregational Missionary, named his Mission 9 miles upstream. The vast Bottom, upstream on the east, was called Peoria Bottom for the Peoria Belle, a supply steamer for General Alfred Sully's troops who camped there in 1863 enroute to fight the hostile Santee Sioux farther north. In 1855-56 when General W. S. Harney came to Ft. Pierre Choteau, across the river, his pre-fab winter camp site, supplying logs for the crude huts where many of his troops wintered. In 1867, Harney located a new Agency site upriver about 9 miles, many of the buildings later being used by Christian Indians, including Yellow Hawk (Cetangi) and Spotted Bear (Mato-Gleska) and several others who took homesteads in the bottom. In the 14th century it was the abiding place of an Indian culture that predated the Aricara and in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was the site of a score of Indian Villages and a large moated and palisaded fortress, 11 miles upstream. It was also the site of the "Big Hut," an Indian gathering place for ceremonials called by the Dacotah Ti-tanka-ohe.
Erected 1957 by
The Oahe Dam image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, January 17, 2018
2. The Oahe Dam
In Memory of Thomas L. Riggs by his Sons and the State Historical Society.
Location. 44° 26.646′ N, 100° 22.531′ W. Marker is near Pierre, South Dakota, in Hughes County. Marker is on State Highway 1804 1.8 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. A Changing Landscape (a few steps from this marker); The Lewis and Clark Expedition (within shouting distance of this marker); Sioux Indian Mosaic (approx. 0.9 miles away); Turtle Effigy (approx. 0.9 miles away); Lindbergh Landing Site (approx. 2.4 miles away); Fort Pierre Choteau Trading Post (approx. 3.7 miles away); Fort Pierre Chouteau: Military Occupancy (1855-1857) (approx. 3.7 miles away); Archaeology at Fort Pierre Chouteau (approx. 3.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pierre.
Categories. Churches & ReligionNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
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 46 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on January 17, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota.   2. submitted on January 18, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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