Traveling Across
South Dakota

South Dakota Home Page

Home

Did You Know
Jokes
Puzzles
Recipes
Tributes

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
DC
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

At the time of European exploration, South Dakota was inhabited by Native Americans of the agricultural Arikara and the nomadic Sioux (Dakota). By the 1830s the Sioux had driven the Arikara from the area. It was not until land speculators and farmers moved westward from Minnesota and Iowa in the 1850s that any significant settlements developed in South Dakota. Settlers were discouraged by droughts, conflicts with the Native Americans, and plagues of locusts. Rumors of gold in the Black Hills, confirmed by a military expedition led by George A. Custer in 1874, excited national interest, and wealth seekers began to pour into the area. However, much of the Black Hills region had been granted (1868) to the Sioux by treaty, and when they refused to sell either mining rights or the reservation itself, warfare again broke out.

Although gold did not make the fortune of South Dakota, it laid the foundation by stimulating cattle ranching when herds of cattle were brought to the grasslands of western South Dakota partly to supply food for the miners. Settlement in the east also increased and the period from 1878 to 1886, following the resumption of railroad building after the financial depression earlier in the decade, was the time of the great Dakota land boom, when the region's population increased threefold. Agitation for statehood developed; in 1888 the Republican party adopted the statehood movement as a campaign issue, and in 1889 Congress passed an enabling act. The Dakotas were separated; South Dakota became a state with Pierre as its capital.

Today, South Dakota, the Mount Rushmore State, is one of the least populated states in the country. The state's largest city, Sioux Falls, has only 100,000 people. Outdoor recreation is abundant from the Black Hills in the west to the plains and grasslands that cover most of the land and the Missouri River that wanders its way through the middle of the state. Great fishing and hunting can be found just about anywhere in South Dakota and the state is full of natural and historical attractions like Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, petrified forests, military outposts and battle sites like wounded knee. Whether you are looking for the bustling city atmosphere, the splendor of Mount Rushmore, or you want to find a secret fishing spot that you'll have all to yourself, South Dakota waits for you.

Cemeteries Cities Gardens
Highways Historical Buildings Lakes, Rivers, and Streams
Museums Scenic Places State and National Parks
Theme Parks Zoos


South Dakota Home Page | South Dakota Cemeteries | South Dakota Cities | South Dakota Gardens | South Dakota Highways | South Dakota Historical Buildings
South Dakota Lakes Rivers and Streams | South Dakota Museums | South Dakota Scenic Places | South Dakota State and National Parks | South Dakota Theme Parks | South Dakota Zoos

About Us | Contact Us | Did You Know Facts | Jokes | Puzzles | Recipes | Suggest a Site | Tributes

Copyright A View of America 1998 all rights reserved any and all content on this site is protected by law. Any use without written permission is strictly prohibited.