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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Sioux Falls in Minnehaha County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The City of East Sioux Falls

 
 
The City of East Sioux Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, September 25, 2017
1. The City of East Sioux Falls Marker
Inscription.  

From 1887 to about 1913, this area, bordering the Big Sioux River, was the thriving community of East Sioux Falls. The city boasted a hotel, several boarding houses, saloons and retail stores, a town hall, a cricket team, at least three church congregations, many modest homes and a population of almost 600. Founded by C.W. Hubbard, the city was first called Ives. It was a company town set up to quarry the great deposits of Sioux Quartzite and to cut the stone into paving and building blocks. When the post office was established in 1888, Ives was renamed East Sioux Falls. The new name may have sounded more suburban to those courting eastern investors.

The city prospered. Large quantiles of stone were shipped by the Illinois Central Railroad to Detroit. St. Louis, Chicago and other distant cities. Sioux Falls and other are communities also used the stone in many magnificent examples of 19th century architecture.

The industry attracted Welsh, English, and Scottish stonecutters and their families. Their numbers soon outgrew the housing provided by the company. Many moved to Sioux Falls and Rowena, as East Sioux
The City of East Sioux Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, September 25, 2017
2. The City of East Sioux Falls Marker
Falls bore a striking resemblance to a mining boom town. Unlike its quit, sedate neighbors, East Sioux Falls had a bawdy, wide - open appearance, where drinking, fighting and carousing were more than occasional diversions.

(Continued on other side)

(Continued from other side)

The work of the stonecutters was highly skilled but dangerous, for they risked contracting a lung ailment from breathing the fine "Jasper dust. A residue of the cutting process. Many cutters died young or were severely disabled by the "stonecutters' consumption."

In the summer of 1890 South Dakota's first electric railway, the South Dakota Rapid Transit and Railway Company made its maiden run between Sioux Falls and East Sioux Falls. The electric line carried cutters to and from the quarries, while others took the "trolley" out to East Sioux Falls on weekends and holidays for picnics in the wooded park along the river, or just for the fun of the ride. On July 4, 1892, 3,500 revelers flocked to the park to be entertained by bands, songs, skits and sports.

The financial "Panic of 1893" and growing completion from other materials led to decreased demand for the more elegant, and more costly, quartzite. By 1910, the quarries were producing only a small amount of crushed rock for concrete making. In 1913, the town government self-dissolved. By the 1950s,
The City of East Sioux Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, September 25, 2017
3. The City of East Sioux Falls Marker
a store was the only business left, and in 1991 the remaining houses, empty shells, were razed. Once vibrant, now silent, all that remains are some railway spurs, empty quarries, the base for a crusher, stone foundations, and the past.
 
Erected 1994 by Minnehaha County and South Dakota State Historical Societies and Mary Chilton DAR Foundation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 43° 31.632′ N, 96° 36.534′ W. Marker is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is on State Highway 42 0.7 miles east of E 26th St, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sioux Falls SD 57105, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Arrowhead Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Helen Gale McKennan (approx. 5.7 miles away); Sioux Falls Municipal Band (approx. 5.7 miles away); Lady Liberty (approx. 5.7 miles away); Pillars of the Nation (approx. 5.8 miles away); Magma (approx. 5.9 miles away); Illinois Central Depot (approx. 6 miles away); Lost Bird (approx. 6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sioux Falls.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 27, 2018. It was originally submitted on January 27, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 190 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 27, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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Jun. 5, 2020