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

Square Buttes

Double Ditch State Historic Site

Square Buttes Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Connor Olson, November 2, 2019
1. Square Buttes Marker
Square Buttes is a prominent and imposing landmark along this stretch of the Missouri River. The buttes take their name from their corresponding physical characteristics and robust form that is visible on the horizon eight miles to the north. Anthropologist Alfred Bowers learned from his informants that the buttes served as a visible marker or traditional landmark separating Hidatsa territory lying to the north from Mandan territory extending to the south. Square Butte Creek, a western Missouri tributary, was known as Hunting Creek in Lewis and Clark’s time and was named as such on the 1908 expedition route map.

A host of notable travelers ascending or descending the Missouri River have recorded on the “Square Hills” or buttes. Among the earliest was the artist George Catlin who captured them in a painting during his 1832 visit. Two decades later, Lt. G.K. Warren of the US Army Topographical Engineers encountered and mapped them in early July 1856 as part of his expedition to the Nebraska and Dakota territory is that also included a visit to Fort Clark later in the month.

Photo Captions
Upper right:
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Plan map illustrating the extent of traditional Mandan and Hidatsa territory, based on Bears Arm map (Courtesy of the National Archives)
Lower right: Enlargement of Lt. G.K. Warren’s 1858 Military Map of Nebraska and Dakota showing the “Square Hills” (Courtesy of National Archives)
Bottom left: View of Square Buttes looking to the south

Erected by State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationNative Americans. A significant historical year for this entry is 1804.
Location. 46° 56.254′ N, 100° 53.973′ W. Marker is near Bismarck, North Dakota, in Burleigh County. Marker can be reached from North Dakota Route 1804. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bismarck ND 58503, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Double Ditch State Historic Site (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stone Shelter (about 500 feet away); Mandans and the Practice of Farming (about 700 feet away); Mandan Origin Stories (about 700 feet away); Homes (about 700 feet away); Hunting and Gathering (approx. 0.2 miles away); Archaeological Excavations in 1905 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bullboats (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bismarck.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 11, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 1, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 67 times since then and 9 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on August 1, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?

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May. 22, 2022