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

Bear Butte

Mountain of Plains Indians

 

— Cheyenne (Nowawaste) Sioux (Mato Paha) —

 
Bear Butte Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, October 9, 2010
1. Bear Butte Marker
Inscription.  This 4,422 foot high volcanic bubble rises 1,200 feet above the plains, a guide for centuries to Indians, fur traders, soldiers, cowboys, and travelers. It was visited or passed by Verendrye, 1743; Lt. G. K. Warren, 1855; Hayden, the scientist and Reynolds, 1859; Custer, 1874; and since by a galaxy of geological scientists.

This was a sacred mountain to the Cheyenne, the first Indians known to white man to live adjacent to it and here Sweet Medicine, their spiritual leader, received four sacred Cheyenne arrows and the code of ethics many centuries ago. Many a prayer has been said on its rugged slopes and many a smoke signal from its lofty summit has told watchful eyes, of travelers on the Bismarck-Deadwood Trail to its north and other sojourners within its vista.

Near here in 1857 a great council of the Indians determined to hold the Black Hills inviolate from the white man and for two decades this policy dictated their defensive actions.

Custer's annihilation at the Little Big Horn in 1876; the establishment of Camp Sturgis, July 1, 1878 on its Northwest slope spelled the passing of the red man and his brother
Bear Butte Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, October 9, 2010
2. Bear Butte Marker
With Bear Butte in the background.
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the buffalo. Today Bear Butte stands, an outpost of the Hills, still a shrine to the Cheyenne, who come here to worship and a monument to man made history and to natures weird handiwork.
 
Erected 1955 by Meade County Commissioners and State Highway Commission. (Marker Number 80.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: LandmarksNative Americans. In addition, it is included in the National Historic Landmarks series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 1, 1790.
 
Location. 44° 24.982′ N, 103° 26.467′ W. Marker is near Sturgis, South Dakota, in Meade County. Marker is on 206th Street (South Dakota Route 34) 0.2 miles west of 131st Street (South Dakota Route 79), on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sturgis SD 57785, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 8 Inch Towed Howitzer (M115) (approx. 1˝ miles away); Fourth Cavalry Group Veterans Memorial (approx. 1˝ miles away); Fort Meade Museum (approx. 1˝ miles away); It Started Here (approx. 1.6 miles away); Charles D. Roberts (approx. 1.6 miles away); Bear Butte (Mato Paha) Indian Camp (approx. 2.1 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps Camps (approx. 2.1 miles away); Charles Nolin, Pony Mail Carrier (approx. 3˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sturgis.
 
Also see . . .
Bear Butte Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, October 9, 2010
3. Bear Butte Marker
Looking east on Highway 34
 Protect Bear Butte. (Submitted on August 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
 
Bear Butte , Sacred Sioux mountain as seen from State Road 79 image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 1965
4. Bear Butte , Sacred Sioux mountain as seen from State Road 79
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 11, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,277 times since then and 40 times this year. Last updated on July 16, 2021. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.   4. submitted on August 10, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 27, 2021