Sioux Falls in Minnehaha County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
In the Name of Progress
"The vast granite walls which have stood for years, rugged and wildly picturesque, a great and inspiring example of the handwork of God, are being smoothed away by the kiss of the hammer and the marvelous power of the explosives".
SF Press, November 20, 1907
You are standing near what was once the Lower Falls. Look at the photograph to the left to imagine your view if the Lower falls were still here.
Originally, there were three series of falls within Falls Park. The Upper Falls and Main Falls still exist. However, by 1913, the Lower Falls were eliminated. First, quarrying companies mined the Sioux Quartzite rocks and boulders for building stone and street pavers. In 1912, the remaining rock was removed to improve the flow of water for the hydroelectric plant.
Elimination o the Lower Falls was just one of many changes made to the Big Sioux River's course by industries. Creation of the mill pond dam and elimination of the river channel around the west side of Seney Island were other changes to the river that were made to benefit the Queen Bee Mill and Sioux Falls Light & Power.
The Lower Falls were a popular place to pose for photographs. In the Back ground above the falls, you can see the roof of the hydroelectric plant and the seven-story Queen Bee Mill.
Beginning of demolition of the lower Falls, July 6, 1912.
Blasting the Lower Falls for the hydroelectric plant tailrace, Nov. 20, 1912.
Tailrace complete, Feb. 18, 1913.
Location. 43° 33.49′ N, 96° 43.3′ W. Marker is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker can be reached from North Weber Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is located in Falls Park. Marker is in this post office area: Sioux Falls SD 57103, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Artisans at the Falls (here, next to this marker); The Promise of Electricity (within shouting distance of this marker); Monarch of the Plains (within shouting distance of this marker); Falls Park Bridge (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Frederick Manfred’s “Siouxland” (about 300 feet away); Prison Quarry (about 600 feet away); The Dubuque House (about 600 feet away); Legacy of Ice and Rock (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sioux Falls.
Categories. • Notable Events •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 18, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 16, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 102 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 16, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.