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“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)
 

Quarries

 
 
Quarries Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 21, 2016
1. Quarries Marker
Inscription. 1.2 billion years ago intense heat and pressure transformed pure quartz sandstone into quartzite rock. The sandstone originated from sand deposited on the floor of an ancient ocean. Later, as glaciers moved across the area, large portions of the quartzite were exposed.

Early settlers to Sioux Falls found many uses for the stone. Quartzite buildings were constructed here as early as the 1850s. In the late 1800s, quartzite quarries could be found in towns throughout Minnehaha County, such as Dell Rapids, Rowena, East Sioux Falls, and Sioux Falls. Several streets were paved and many of the most prominent buildings in Sioux Falls were constructed of the stone. Quartzite was also shipped by rail to cities like Chicago, Detroit, Omaha, and Sioux City.

The beds of quartzite, a metamorphic rock, in this region originate in southwest Minnesota and spread across most of Minnehaha County. A geologic survey done by the federal government in 1889 estimates that the quartzite beds may be up to 3,000-4,000 feet deep. The rock, which can vary in color from light pink to dark purple, is one of the hardest stones in the world.

Many of the earliest quarries boomed during the 1880s and early 1890s, but suffered greatly during the economic panic of 1893. Several closed and others began to fade into history. The Works Progress
Marker detail: Sitting by quartzite by the falls image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Sitting by quartzite by the falls
The Minnehaha County Courthouse, Sixth Street and Main Avenue, was built into quartzite bedrock, ca 1900
Administration reopened some of the quarries in the 1930s during the Great Depression, but this revival was short-lived. Many of the local quarries in operation today primarily manufacture construction materials such as gravel or aggregate for concrete mix or railroad ballast. A quarry for manufacturing of architectural stone and decorative elements is still operating in Jasper, Minnesota, today.
 
Erected by Big Sioux River Recreation Trail and Greenway, and Siouxland Heritage Museums.
 
Location. 43° 33.015′ N, 96° 43.455′ 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 57103, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Flooding (here, next to this marker); Recreation (a few steps from this marker); Urban Renewal (a few steps from this marker); Early Sioux Falls (a few steps from this marker); Railroads (within shouting distance of this marker);
Marker detail: Paving a street in Chicago with quartzite from the Sioux Falls Area, ca. 1910 image. Click for full size.
August 21, 2016
3. Marker detail: Paving a street in Chicago with quartzite from the Sioux Falls Area, ca. 1910
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.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Sioux Quartzite, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
 
Also see . . .
1. Historic quarry thrives at in-town location. The pink hue pops even in the blackest asphalt around Sioux Falls, S.D., deriving from the region’s rich quartzite deposits. The vibrant color traces back to several area quarries, including Concrete Materials’ Sioux Falls Quarry, which has provided construction materials to the surrounding area since the early 20th century. “We’re essentially an in-town quarry,” says Patrick Sweetman, Concrete Materials CEO. Rail service should continue to and from the Sioux Falls Quarry for the next 11 years, and Concrete Materials has about 11 years worth of reserves remaining. A reclamation plan will be developed in the coming years for the existing quarry. (Submitted on October 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Marker detail: Workers pose in front of a quartzite wall at the East Sioux Falls quarries, ca. 1910 image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Workers pose in front of a quartzite wall at the East Sioux Falls quarries, ca. 1910
 

2. The Gold of Minnehaha County. Natural stone has been a fundamental resource in construction throughout history. The utilization of natural stone can be seen in historic as well as modern architecture and design in communities across the United States. Native to the upper Midwest, Sioux Quartzite is an incredibly hard stone (7.5-8 on the MOHS scale; nearly as hard as a diamond) with colored hues of pink to maroon. It is found in a relatively small area at the juncture of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. (Submitted on October 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNatural ResourcesSettlements & Settlers
 
Marker detail: Looking south down Phillips Avenue as workers pave the street, 1888 image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: Looking south down Phillips Avenue as workers pave the street, 1888
Quarries Marker (<i>tall view; Big Sioux River and Raven Industries building in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 21, 2016
6. Quarries Marker (tall view; Big Sioux River and Raven Industries building in background)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 15, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 50 times since then and 4 times this year. Last updated on October 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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