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

Swan Lake

Swan Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
October 9, 2021
1. Swan Lake Marker
Inscription.  November 13, 1866, James C. Bunker and his survey crew reached Swan Lake and surveyed the lands adjacent thereto. The Yankton to Sioux Falls stage road then ran around the west side of the Lake.

In 1869, William W. Aurner and his sisters-in-law, Helen S. and Anna J. Bachelor, filed on the NW, SW & NE quarters of Section 9 adjacent to the Lake on the north. Valentine P. Thielman perfected title to the SE quarter in 1871 and on May 13th filed a plat of Swan Lake laying about one half mile north of this marker. The 1871 Legislature created Turner County and named Swan Lake, County Seat. The County was organized on June 13th with Aurner, Thielman and Lewis H. Elliot as County Commissioners. By October, 1875, the Swan Lake Era was published and advertised S. Olney, Druggist; Thielman, Real Estate; Alfred Flagg, Lawyer; Jorg Jorgenson, Blacksmith and Gustav Gilbert, Merchant. Aurner was the first postmaster, 20 Sept. 1869. Joseph Allen was postmaster, 1 April 1878. The coming of the railroad to Hurley in 1882 upset Swan Lake as the metropolis. Allen became postmaster at Hurley, 12 April 1883. But until then Swan Lake was the stage line
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hub of Southeastern South Dakota. An ad in the Yankton P & D tells the story. "Yankton & Swan Lake, John N. Moore, Proprietor. Stages Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Connects at Swan Lake with stages to Parker, Sioux Falls and Vermillion." Swan Lake clung to its County Seat through three elections against Marion, Parker and Hurley but the 1885 Legislature, acting on a legal technicality, awarded Parker the County Seat subject to a new election. Parker won, Swan Lake was doomed. It would still be an attractive location for a town.
Erected 1966 by Boy Scout Troop 48, S.M. Don Olmstead, A.S.M. R.G. Adams, Sioux Falls, S.D. (Marker Number 429.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Settlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the South Dakota State Historical Society Markers series list. A significant historical date for this entry is November 13, 1866.
Location. 43° 13.527′ N, 97° 6.068′ W. Marker is near Viborg, South Dakota, in Turner County. Marker is on Swan Lake Drive east of 455th Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Located in a small park area on the north side of Swan Lake. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Viborg SD 57070, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First General Store in Turner County
Swan Lake Marker, from the north image. Click for full size.
October 9, 2021
2. Swan Lake Marker, from the north
(approx. 0.4 miles away); First School House in Turner County (approx. half a mile away); Turner County Poor Farm (approx. 10 miles away); Irene Veterans Memorial (approx. 10.3 miles away); J.W. "Father" Turner (approx. 11.8 miles away); Turner County, South Dakota Veterans Memorial (approx. 11.8 miles away); Southeast South Dakota Experiment Farm (approx. 16 miles away).
Swan Lake Marker, from the south image. Click for full size.
October 9, 2021
3. Swan Lake Marker, from the south
Swan Lake image. Click for full size.
October 9, 2021
4. Swan Lake
Swan Lake Park Dedication Stone image. Click for full size.
October 9, 2021
5. Swan Lake Park Dedication Stone
Credits. This page was last revised on October 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 10, 2021. This page has been viewed 229 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 10, 2021. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 25, 2024