Elk Point in Union County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
A Land of Plenty
Beginning their journey on a diet of salt pork, lard with flour, and Indian meal (ground corn), Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and the other members of the Corps of Discovery, went on to taste nearly everything the West had to offer - through necessity rather than choice. Wrestling their keelboat and pirogues up the Missouri River required tremendous physical effort - it also required up to nine pounds of meat per day for each soldier to maintain strength. Hunting quickly became an important duty. Here in the short-grass prairie of the High Plains, the abundance of buffalo, elk, deer, and wild fruit, led William Clark to call this region a "Land of Plenty."
The expedition killed its first buffalo (American bison) nearby on August 23, 1804. The party also found an abundance of elk and white-tailed deer in this region.
The Corps of Discovery entered what is today South Dakota at a time when the wild fruit was ripening. Black raspberries, black currants, and wild plums soon became an important addition to the expedition's diet.
"I walked on Shore & Killed a fat Buck. J. Fields… informed that he had Killed a Buffalow in the plain a head… Elk Swam the river, and was fired at from the boat.
William Clark, August 23, 1804
Erected by Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
Location. 42° 40.998′ N, 96° 41.609′ W. Marker is in Elk Point, South Dakota, in Union County. Marker can be reached from S. Harrison St. ¼ mile from W. Jefferson St.. Touch for map. This marker is located with others to recognize the Lewis and Clark expedition camped here in this park. Marker is in this post office area: Elk Point SD 57025, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Entering an Uncertain Land (here, next to this marker); U.S. Democracy Crosses the Mississippi River (here, next to this marker); The Lewis and Clark Expedition (here, next to this marker); Return to "Elk Sign" Campsite (here, next to this marker); Lewis & Clark Campsite / Eli Wixson Farm Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Elk Point (approx. 0.4 miles away); St. Paul Lutheran Church (approx. 5.4 miles away); Fort Brule (approx. 5½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Elk Point.
Related markers. list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Categories. • Exploration •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 19, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 17, 2017, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 319 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 17, 2017, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.