Whetstone Valley Rest Area
The remains of a human and his flint tools, radiocarbon dated to around 7,000 years B.C., were found near Lake Traverse, northeast of here. As you view the valley below, you may be looking at one of the earliest inhabited areas in the western hemisphere.
The Dakota (Isanti), comprised of the Sissetonwan, Wahpetonwan, Mdewakanton and Wahpekute bands moved into this region around 1679. The Lake Traverse Reservation of the Sisseton-Wahpeton was established north of here by the Treaty of 1867, following the Dakota Conflict of 1862 in Minnesota. The Sisseton - Wahpeton Sioux tribal head-quarters, BIA, Tiospa Zina Tribal School and the Sisseton - Wahpeton Community College now occupy the Old Agency site. In 1890,
Fur traders arrived in the early 1800's establishing trading posts in the area. The missionaries followed in 1869. White settlement began in earnest in 1892. Homesteaders paid $2.50 per acre after living on the land for five years. Congress later repealed the cash requirement and gave the land to those who had stayed on the land the required time. The Whetstone Valley is now a rich and diverse agricultural community.
From the Coteau des Prairies, in a place much the same where you now stand. Joseph N. Nicollet, a French cartographer who mapped this area for the U.S. government between 1838-39, wrote: "In the summer season especially, everything upon the prairies Is cheerful, graceful and animated. The Indians with herds of deer, antelope, and buffalo give life and motion to them. It is then they should be visited, and I pity the man whose soul could remain unmoved under such a scene of excitement."
Our hope is that your visit to this Rest Area will enable you to appreciate the "life and motion" of the Coteau des Prairies its spectacular beauty, its history and its Proud culture.
Erected by State of South Dakota.
Location. 45° 24.153′ N, 97° 0.877′ W. Marker is near Wilmont, South Dakota, in Roberts County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Interstate 29 at milepost 213 and South Dakota Highway 15. This marker is located behind the main rest area building near the picnic area. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wilmot SD 57279, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wadsworth Trail (approx. 15.8 miles away in Minnesota); Browns Valley (approx. 15.8 miles away in Minnesota); Sam Brown Log House (approx. 15.8 miles away in Minnesota); Samuel Jerome Brown (approx. 15.8 miles away in Minnesota); Browns Valley Man (approx. 16.4 miles away in Minnesota).
Also see . . . Coteau des Prairies - Wikipedia. (Submitted on December 10, 2015, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota.)
Additional keywords. Coteau des Prairies
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 10, 2015, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 294 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 10, 2015, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.