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

Early Sioux Falls

 
 
Early Sioux Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 21, 2016
1. Early Sioux Falls Marker
Inscription. Over history the falls have been revered by many different Native American cultures. No formal archaeological digs have been performed at the falls area, but stone tools have been found throughout the region. The area surrounding the falls was likely used as a camp or living area by nomadic hunters, perhaps as long as 10,000 years ago. Mound builders lived in the Big Sioux River Valley from about 500 A.D. to 800 A.D. The mounds of this area were traditionally for ritual burials. The Oneota moved into this area after 800 A.D. They lived an agricultural lifestyle, traveling less frequently than other people.

By the 1600s, contact between Europeans and Native people revolved mainly around trade. In the 1700s, the Lakota people moved into this area from the east. Native people reportedly used the falls of the Big Sioux River as a seasonal rendezvous. This area was first indicated on maps in the early 1700s.

In 1856, Dr. George Staples read explorer Philander Prescott's description of the falls in Jacob Ferris's The States and Territories of the Great West. Staples and five partners formed the Western Town Company. Together, they left Dubuque, Iowa, with aspirations for founding a town near the falls. In the spring of 1857, the members of the Western Town Company were joined by members of the Dakota Land Company.
Marker detail: Blood Run artifacts image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Blood Run artifacts
Blood Run is an area once occupied by Native Americans that is located southeast of Sioux Falls, near present day Spring Creek Country Club. This image shows artifacts found in the area in the late 1800s.
The Dakota Land Company was based in St. Paul, Minnesota, and had founded several towns along their journey from St. Paul to the falls. Together they established what was to become Sioux Falls City.

By 1865, the military had established Fort Dakota along the Big Sioux River, just above the falls, near present-day Eighth Street. Fort Dakota eventually consisted of 18 buildings, some of which were reuses of earlier buildings from the land companies. Most of the buildings were located on the west side of the river. The stable was built into the west bank, was 160 feet long, and had room for 50 horses. The ice house was directly across the river from the stable on the east bank.
 
Erected by Big Sioux River Recreation Trail and Greenway, and Siouxland Heritage Museums.
 
Location. 43° 33.006′ N, 96° 43.461′ W. Marker is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker can be reached from North Cherapa Place south of East 6th Street. Touch for map. Marker is located along the Big Sioux River Recreation Trail, overlooking the river. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 North Cherapa Place, Sioux Falls SD 57104, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Urban Renewal (here, next to this marker); Recreation
Marker detail: Government Surveying party in 1875 image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Government Surveying party in 1875
(here, next to this marker); Flooding (a few steps from this marker); Quarries (a few steps from this marker); Railroads (within shouting distance of this marker); Industry (within shouting distance of this marker); Manchester Biscuit Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Raven Industries (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sioux Falls.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large composite plaque, mounted at eye-level on a tall stone pillar.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesIndustry & CommerceNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Marker detail: Fort Dakota in 1866 image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Fort Dakota in 1866
Early Sioux Falls Marker (<i>wide view; Big Sioux River in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner
5. Early Sioux Falls Marker (wide view; Big Sioux River in background)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 12, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 12 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 12, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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