South Dakota - Fast Facts & Trivia

Badlands National Park

  • The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs contains the largest collection of Colombian and woolly mammoth bones discovered in their primary context in the world! This National Natural Landmark is the only in-situ (bone left as found) fossil mammoth display in America.

  • The Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo features more than 250 rare automobiles including the notorious Tucker and Edsel.

  • Close to the shore of Herman Lake, Prairie Village includes the original town of Herman in the Dakota Territory. Here is also the Art B. Thomas Hershell-Spillman carousel, which is equipped with a coal boiler and a steam engine.

  • The abundant water flow of Spearfish Creek in 1898 favored the establishment of a Federal Fish Hatchery. Known today as The D.C. Booth Historic Fish Hatchery.

  • Sioux Falls today exists as a city because the land speculators who established city rights there in 1857 were in search of the cascades of the Big Sioux River.

  • Mitchell is home to the world's only Corn Palace.

  • The flaming fountain on South Dakota State Capitol Lake is fed by an artesian well that is so rich in natural gas that it can be lit. The fountain shines incessantly as a memorial to all veterans.

  • The George S. Mickelson Trail is South Dakota's premier railway project. This award-winning tail stretches 114 miles from Deadwood to Edgemont.

  • The Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo Arena at Clear Lake was built on a drained duck pond. The former duck pond is today known as the America's Natural Rodeo Bowl.

  • Faith is famous for paleontologists. Several Hadrosaur, Edmontosaurus annectens were unearthed on a ranch north of Faith and one of the largest, most complete, and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex was excavated nearby.

  • The Silent Guide Monument in Philip was built by a shepherd in the late 1100s to mark a water hole that never got dry. The guide, made of flat stones, was originally fourteen feet high and could be seen up to thirty-five miles away.

  • The largest underground gold mine is the homestake mine in lead.

  • Mato Paha "Sacred Mountain" is the source of many Indian legends. 1400 feet above the surrounding prairie near Sturgis, and all by itself, Bear Butte is not hard to find. It was used by the Indians of the plains as a landmark and is still considered sacred to the plains people.

  • Black Hills National Cemetery "The Arlington of the West" is a final resting place for veterans of our nation.

  • Anne Hathaway Cottage at Wessington Springs is the only structure in the midwestern United States with a thatched roof. The cottage is styled after the original Anne Hathaway home in England.

  • Brookings is home to South Dakota State University, the country's largest university with 8,100 students and nearly 2,000 employees.

  • Rivers were the highways in the settlement of the western territory. Lewis and Clark called American Creek when they passed through the Chamberlain - Oacoma area in 1804 when they explored President Jefferson 's territory.

  • Yankton was the original capital of Dakota.

  • Henry Holland built an English-style mill in Milbank in 1886, three years before South Dakota became a state. Until 1907 it was used by settlers to grind wheat and corn and saw wood.

  • The first and oldest Dakota newspaper published in 1861 is the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan.

  • Built in 1924, the Meridian Bridge was the first structure built in South Dakota across the Missouri.

  • The Prairie Rattlesnake is the only venomous snake in South Dakota. The color of the Prairie Rattlesnake varies from light brown to green, with a yellowish belly. Dark oval spots with bright edges run in the middle of the back.

  • The U.S.S. South Dakota was the most decorated battleship during World War II.

  • Newton Hills State Park, south of Canton, is part of a geological feature called Coteau des Prairie. This narrow strip of rolling hills and forests was created by glaciers and stretches along the eastern edge of South Dakota. At its highest point, the Coteau rises to more than 2,000 feet above sea level.

  • For millions of years, Split Rock Creek has been cutting deep gorges through Palisades State Park near Garretson. Geologists say the Sioux quartzite tips are 1.2 billion years old! Glaciers have deposited a thin layer of debris on the quartzite. Between the layers are dark red pipestones. This is one of the few areas in the nation where pipestone is found. The mineral is considered sacred by American Indians.

  • The sculptor Gutzon Borglum began in 1927 with the hole on the 6,200-foot Mount Rushmore. The foundation of the sanctuary for democracy lasted 14 years and cost only $ 1 million, though it is now considered priceless.

  • The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are sculpted into Mount Rushmore, the world's largest mountain carving.

  • Fossilized remains of life 50 million years ago were arranged in unusual forms, which is Lemmon's award in the largest petrified forest park in the world.

  • Perhaps the most important fort for fur trade / military on the West American border, Fort Pierre Chouteau was the largest (nearly 300 square kilometers) and best-equipped trading post in the northern Great Plains. The trading activities established in 1832 by John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) American Fur Company as part of their expansion into the Upper Missouri region exemplified the trade alliance that was crucial to the success of the fur business.

  • Jack McCall was tried in 1877 for the shooting of Wild Bill Hickok, sentenced and hanged two miles north of Yankton. He is buried in an unmarked grave in the Yankton Cemetery.

  • In the place of a rich gold strike in 1875, Deadwood retains its atmosphere in the mountain town. While Deadwood is one of the most publicized mining cities in the Trans-Mississippi west, much of its fame is based on the famous or notorious characters that were passed through.

  • Tom Brokaw of NBC graduated from Yankton High School and the University of South Dakota.

  • Belle Fourche is the geographic center of the United States of America, named in 1959 and characterized by an official shield and a flock of sheep called "Stone Johnnie".

  • Bowdle is known for the tallest water tower in South Dakota.

  • Clark is the potato capital of South Dakota. Clark is home to the world famous Mashed Potato Wrestling Contest.

  • In 1803, US President Thomas Jefferson acquired the territory of Louisiana from France, a real estate business that was doubling the size of the United States at the time.

  • South Dakota is home to the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota tribes that make up the Sioux Nation.

  • Custer State Park is home to a herd of 1,500 wild bishttps://amzn.to/2Lsmr1uon. Bison can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. Historically, bison have played an important role in the lives of the Lakota (Sioux), who have relied on the "Tatanka" for food, clothing and shelter.

  • Jewel Cave is the third longest cave in the world. More than 120 miles of passages were measured. Calcite crystals, which sparkle when illuminated, give the cave its name.

  • With more than 82 miles of mapped passages, Wind Cave contains the world's largest exhibition of a rare formation called boxwork.

  • The Crazy Horse Mountain Carving will be the largest sculpture in the world (563 'high, 641' long, carved in the round). It is the center of an educational and cultural monument to and for the North American Indian.

  • Badlands National Park consists of nearly 244,000 acres of heavily eroded buttes, battlements and towers mixed with the largest, protected mixed grass prairie in the United States.

  • Badlands National Park is home to the fossil strata of the Oligocene fossil strata, which are 23 to 35 million years old.

  • Sage Creek Wilderness is the site of the reintroduction of the Black-footed Ferret, the most endangered land mammal in North America.

  • The name "Black Hills" comes from the Lakota words Paha Sapa, which means "hills that are black". From a distance, these pine-covered hills, rising several thousand feet above the surrounding prairie, appear black.

  • In 1898, the first commercial timber sale on federal forest in the United States was approved in the Jim and Estes Creeks area (near the town of Nemo).

  • Woonsocket is known as the city with the beautiful lake. Lake Prior sits in the middle of the city.

  • Harney Peak, at 7242 above sea level, is the highest point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.

  • The 9824-acre Black Elk Wilderness in the center of the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve was named after Black Elk, a sacred Oglala Lakota.

  • Sturgis is home to the annual Black Hills Classic Motorcycle Rally.
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