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

Namesake of the City

 
 
Namesake of the City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 21, 2016
1. Namesake of the City Marker
Inscription. Siouix Falls took its name from these falls which are located in the Big Sioux River. Surrounded by a sea of grass, the falls were a remarkable discovery for explorers. For the land speculators that followed the explorers, these falls provided an opportunity for wealth.

Joseph Nicollet, Lewis & Clark, James Allen, and Philander Prescott were early explorers of the American West sending first or second hand accounts of the falls back East. Land speculators read the reports of explorers. In 1856, two groups of speculators rushed to this area to claim the land near the falls. Each group believed that industries and settlers would be attracted to the area because the river could be used to run factories. The businesses and settlers would need to buy land from the speculators.

The optimism of the first speculators was thwarted by the Civil War, fear of confrontations with native tribes, and a depression which discouraged settlers and slowed the construction of railroads. The townsite was abandoned in 1862 when violent conflicts took place between settlers and native tribes nearby in southwest Minnesota.

About 15 years after the first speculators arrived, a new group of businesses and settlers began building Sioux Falls. Mills, quarries and other industries developed around the falls to use the river and rock.
Marker detail: Postcard image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Postcard
Boasting about the power of the Big Sioux River and its falls — and the potential money to be earned — was a common way to sell entrepreneurs on the idea of starting a business in Sioux Falls. The engraving and the postcard are examples of the way the city's location and resources were sold.
When railroad service arrived in 1878, the city flourished.

These falls present a remarkable feature of the river and country; The rock of these falls is massive quartz… The fall, as near as I could measure it, is 100 feet in 400 yards, and is made up of several perpendicular falls — one 20, one 18 and one 10 feet. The rock in the course and on the borders of the stream is split, broken, and piled up in the most irregular and fantastic shapes, and presents deep and frightful chasms, extending from the stream in all directions. There is no timber here on the borders or bluffs, and only a little on a small island at the head of the rapids.
Captain James Allen
September 13, 1844

 
Location. 43° 33.335′ N, 96° 43.367′ W. Marker is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker can be reached from North Weber Avenue 0.2 miles south of East Falls Park Drive, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located in Falls Park, along the walkway on the north side of the Queen Bee Mill Ruins, overlooking the mill race ruins. Marker is in this post office area: Sioux Falls SD 57104, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Harnessing the River (here, next to this marker); Foundation of the City (a few steps
Marker detail: Sioux Falls photograph image. Click for full size.
By Siouxland Heritage Museum Photo
3. Marker detail: Sioux Falls photograph
While the river and the falls drew speculators and early settlers to the city, Sioux Falls really began to grow once railroads arrived. The first railroad arrived in Sioux Falls in 1878. The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad began operating in Sioux Falls in 1880, locating its depot and switching yard near the falls. In the early 1900's the railroad built the bridge above the falls and developed the land that was once Seney Island into rail yards.
from this marker); Beginning of Great Changes (a few steps from this marker); Inland Seas (within shouting distance of this marker); The Queen Bee Mill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hive of the Queen City (about 300 feet away); The Sioux Quartzite (about 500 feet away); Legacy of Ice and Rock (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sioux Falls.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large, framed plaque, mounted horizontally, on waist-high metal posts.
 
Categories. ExplorationIndustry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers
 
Namesake of the City Marker (<i>wide view; looking northwest across Big Sioux River and Falls</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 21, 2016
4. Namesake of the City Marker (wide view; looking northwest across Big Sioux River and Falls)
Namesake of the City Marker (<i>wide view looking north; unrelated marker on right</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 21, 2016
5. Namesake of the City Marker (wide view looking north; unrelated marker on right)
Big Sioux River & Falls (<i>view from across river, looking back toward marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 21, 2016
6. Big Sioux River & Falls (view from across river, looking back toward marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 8, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 22 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 4, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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