Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Vermillion in Clay County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

From Lewis and Clark to the Future

 
 
From Lewis and Clark to the Future Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, April 1, 2009
1. From Lewis and Clark to the Future Marker
Inscription. Change came slowly to Spirit Mound after 1804. For 55 years the area remained the land of the Yankton Sioux, with fur traders conducting business from posts on the Missouri. The tallgrass prairie continued to thrive as it had for thousands of years before. In 1859 the Yankton moved to a reservation 70 miles upriver, and Congress created Dakota Territory in 1861.

The first homestead was filed on Spirit Mound in 1868. A pioneer recalled that looking north from the top of the mound, he could see only one tree. But the mound changed tremendously during the next 100 years. Settlers established two farmsteads, planted groves and divided fields with barbed wire. Land along the creek was pastured and a feedlot operated on the eastern slope. The prairie habitat disappeared, except for a five-acre remnant on the western side.

Preservation and restoration also came slowly. In 1986 a local group incorporated the Spirit Mound Trust, dedicated to saving the mound as a public resource.

The Trust's determined pursuit of this vision, under its long-term president, Larry Monfore, along with the Lewis and Clark Expedition bicentennial, led to the current project. Spirit Mound Historic Prairie results from a unique partnership among the Trust, the South Dakota Division of Parks & Recreation, and the National Park Service.

Spirit

Prairie Grass Restoration Efforts at Spirit Mound image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, April 1, 2009
2. Prairie Grass Restoration Efforts at Spirit Mound
Mound Historic Prairie will be a permanent resource for those who wish to honor our history and to enjoy the biological richness of the tallgrass prairie. Recreating the prairie primeval may be impossible, but will always be the project partnership's goal.

INSET - Larry Monfore 1939-2003
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
 
Location. 42° 52.053′ N, 96° 57.332′ W. Marker is near Vermillion, South Dakota, in Clay County. Marker is on State Highway 19 0.1 miles north of 312th Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. The sign is one of several at a small asphalt pull-off loop road with a sign stating "Welcome to Spirit Mound Historic Prairie". Marker is in this post office area: Vermillion SD 57069, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lewis and Clark Were Here...and Here... (here, next to this marker); Lewis and Clark Visit Spirit Mound (here, next to this marker); Spirit Mound (within shouting distance of this marker); Bruyer Church (approx. 7.8 miles away); St. Mary's Catholic Church (approx. 8.6 miles away); First Rural Electric Cooperative

Prairie Grass Restoration using Controlled Burns image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, October 27, 2008
3. Prairie Grass Restoration using Controlled Burns
National Park Service efforts to restore tallgrass prairies along the Missouri River involve controlled burns to encourage germination of prairiegrass seed.
(approx. 8.6 miles away); Homestead Rest Area (approx. 10.3 miles away); The Great Missouri River (approx. 10.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vermillion.
 
More about this marker. This is one side of a 3-sided informational sign at the park.
 
Regarding From Lewis and Clark to the Future. Tallgrass prairie restoration efforts are being conducted in many locations along the Missouri River, such as at Spirit Mound. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resource Conservation Service are three of the principal agencies undertaking these efforts in the middle Missouri River region.
 
Categories. AgricultureEnvironmentNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 14, 2011, by Rich Pfingsten of Forest Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 745 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 14, 2011, by Rich Pfingsten of Forest Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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