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

Medicine Creek Rest Area

 
 
Medicine Creek Rest Area Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 12, 2016
1. Medicine Creek Rest Area Marker
Inscription.  Flowing just north of here, Medicine Creek runs through the center of Lyman County, emptying into the Missouri River 27 miles (43 kilometers) to the northeast. The place-names of this Central South Dakota area read like an index to early state history -- Medicine Creek, for example, took its name from a butte in Eastern Lyman County reputed to be the site of Indian ceremonials.

County and community names provide a look into territorial politics and plains expeditions. Lyman County derived its name from Major W.F. Lyman, a member of the 1872 Territorial Legislature which created the county, even though Lyman never lived in this area.

Hughes County, across the Missouri to the north, was named after another territorial legislator. Mellette County, southwest, honored the last territorial and first South Dakota governor. Stanley and Sully Counties, both north of here, were named after army generals of the pioneers era. Jones County, to the west, is a bit different; settlers named it after their home county in Iowa.

Railroads contributed their share of place-names to the country. The Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul
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chose a route west across South Dakota which generally parallels that taken by Interstate 90. As a result, many towns which sprang up have railroads names: Vibian, three miles (4.6 kilometers) west, was named for the wife of a Milwaukee railroad representative. Draper, 17 miles (27 kilometers) west, is one of the few towns in America named for a railroad conductor.

To the northwest, an approximate 20-by-20 mile area of the Ft. Pierre National Grassland preserves the side-open look of the original Dakota prairie. Thirty-five miles (56 kilometers) north, Ft. Pierre and Pierre bear names recalling the furtraders who preceded settlement along the Missouri. Their names come from that of Pierre Chouteau, Jr., an agent of the American Fur Company in the 1930's. Ft. Pierre, on the west bank of the Missouri, has been continuously occupied site since 1817, originally as a fort or fur post before becoming a shipping center and cattle town. Pierre, the state capital, was founded on the east bank of the Missouri in 1880 when Chicago and Northwestern R.R. tracks reached the river.
 
Erected by The South Dakota Department of Transportation. (Marker Number 115.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1817.
 
Location.
Medicine Creek Rest Area Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 12, 2016
2. Medicine Creek Rest Area Marker
Marker can be seen at a distance
43° 53.932′ N, 100° 8.848′ W. Marker is near Vivian, South Dakota, in Lyman County. Marker is on Interstate 90 at milepost 221, on the right when traveling west. Marker is in the westbound rest area of I-90, about 4 miles west of Presho. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Presho SD 57568, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. World's Only Corn Palace - Mitchell (approx. 2.7 miles away); Purple Heart Memorial Highway (approx. 2.8 miles away); a different marker also named Medicine Creek Rest Area (approx. 2.8 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps Camp (approx. 2.8 miles away); How Come They Called it Presho (approx. 4˝ miles away); Lyman County, South Dakota Veterans Memorial (approx. 4.6 miles away).
 
Medicine Creek Rest Area Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, September 1, 2018
3. Medicine Creek Rest Area Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 22, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 24, 2016, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 340 times since then and 8 times this year. Last updated on February 20, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 24, 2016, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio.   3. submitted on February 20, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 25, 2024