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

Crossroads of Culture

— Missouri National Recreational River —

Crossroads of Culture Marker image. Click for full size.
July 18, 2021
1. Crossroads of Culture Marker
Inscription.  The Missouri River creates a crossroads of cultures and creativity. The river has been an artery to the upper plains for thousands of years. The Missouri River was first explored in earnest by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the early 19th century, followed not long after by Americans and Europeans hoping to capture and chronicle the "American West."

The diversity of the historic Missouri River traveler can be seen below on this interpretive panel. The river served, and stills serves as the connecting point for local legends, inspired artists and explorers from both near and far!

Lower captions (left to right):
Karl Bodmer was a Swiss artist. Bodmer traveled the Missouri River from 1832 to 1834 chronicling life along the river. His iconic painting and sketches preserve the imagery of the river and those who lived near it. Bodmer's paintings are seen on the left.

Legend states that Lewis and Clark wrapped a new born baby in an American flag and pronounced he would grow up to be a great leader. The legend maintains that the baby would grow up to be the man pictured above; known as
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Struck by the Ree. He would lead the Ihanktonwan Nakota or Yankton Sioux along the Missouri River for over 30 years.

Felix Vinatieri, an Italian immigrant, band leader and composer so impressed Lt. Colonel Custer during his visit to Yankton in route to the Black Hills that Custer convinced Vinatieri to lead the 7th Cavalry Band. Vinatieri served Custer during the Black Hills Expedition as well as the ill-fated Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. Vinatieri was aboard the Yankton steamboat Far West providing medical treatment to the survivors of the battle.

John James Audubon, the artist and naturalist, travelled up the Missouri river in 1848 to collect information on the Great Plains animal and plant life. Audubon travelled with an ornithologist, taxidermist and artist. His seminal Birds of America, a collection of 435 life-size prints, is still a standard against which 20th and 21st century bird artists are measured.

George Catlin created what are perhaps the most recognized images of the American Indian along the Missouri River and the vanishing west during his travels up the river in the 1830's. Catlin's work in the region included paintings of the Omaha, Ponca and Yankton Sioux. His images are on the right.

Erected by National Park Service U.S. Department
Crossroads of Culture Marker on Meridian Bridge image. Click for full size.
July 18, 2021
2. Crossroads of Culture Marker on Meridian Bridge
of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicNative AmericansSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1832.
Location. 42° 51.908′ N, 97° 23.64′ W. Marker is in Yankton, South Dakota, in Yankton County. Marker can be reached from Meridian Bridge, 0.4 miles south of West 4th Street (State Highway 50). Located on the lower level of the Meridian Bridge, closer to the north side of the river. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Yankton SD 57078, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Flood of 1881 Leaves Lost Settlements in its Wake (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); William H. McMaster (about 500 feet away); Meridian Bridge Connects Continent from North to South (about 500 feet away); USS Scorpion (SS-278) (about 600 feet away); Yankton: Territorial Capital (approx. 0.2 miles away); Yankton Riverboats (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Lewis & Clark Expedition (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Intersection of Third & Walnut (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yankton.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 24, 2021. This page has been viewed 89 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 24, 2021. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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May. 27, 2023