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Compass South Dakota (Fodor's Compass American Guides) (1998)

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Created by local writers and photographers, Compass American Guides are the ultimate insider's guides, providing in-depth coverage of the history, culture and character of America's most spectacular destinations. Covering everything there is to see and do as well as choice lodging and dining, these gorgeous full-color guides are perfect for new and longtime residents as well as vacationers who want a deep ...

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Overview

Created by local writers and photographers, Compass American Guides are the ultimate insider's guides, providing in-depth coverage of the history, culture and character of America's most spectacular destinations. Covering everything there is to see and do as well as choice lodging and dining, these gorgeous full-color guides are perfect for new and longtime residents as well as vacationers who want a deep understanding of the region they're visiting.

  • Outstanding color photography, plus a wealth of archival images
  • Topical essays and literary extracts
  • Detailed color maps
  • Great ideas for things to see and do
  • Capsule reviews of hotels and restaurants
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781878867476
  • Publisher: Fodor's Travel Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/24/1998
  • Series: Fodor's COMPASS American Guides Series
  • Edition description: 2nd Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.63 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Read an Excerpt

South Dakota History


Sodbusters and Pioneers


Like a wave on a prairie ocean, immigrants to the American frontier kept pushing westward in search of unbroken ground and a lease on the future. Most of those who came into South Dakota in the mid-nineteenth century followed the route of trappers and traders, heading west out of St. Louis and north through Nebraska via the Missouri River. They settled first in the southeastern corner of the state, in Vermillion, Yankton, and Sioux Falls, fanning out and building their homesteads along waterways: the Big Sioux, Vermillion, James, and Choteau rivers. Their vision for a new life included farms and houses, and to their eyes the land they first encountered was empty.


In 1862, the U.S. Congress passed the Homestead Act and sold 160 acres of unsettled land (for about 18 dollars in parts of the Dakota Territory) to men and women willing to meet a few government requirements. Once a pioneer had paced off 160 acres as his claim, the government compelled him to complete several steps to "prove up" -- or hold onto -- his claim. The first order of business was to construct a dwelling. Due to a lack of building materials, early dwellings were most often tarpaper shacks, dugouts carved from swells in the land, or sod shanties. "Sodbusters" cut long strips of three-inch (7.6-cm)-deep sod with a spade and then sliced the strips into manageable lengths. These were stacked like bricks into four walls, with openings for a window and a door. If the settler was lucky, trees growing on banks of a nearby stream or creek would provide enough wood to construct a crudely framed roof strong enough to support more sod.The completed sod shanty was windproof, fireproof, and structurally sound,
but it often failed to keep out rain.


Though few of these original structures can be found today, they once littered the landscape. The large number that were built, only to be summarily abandoned, provided mute testimony to the struggles of trying to make a life on a vast, treeless prairie, broiling hot in the summer, freezing cold in the winter, and for the most part, arid.


The deep, impacted prairie grasses rendered planting the first crops extremely difficult. No matter how sharp their blades, plows could rarely churn up earth so entangled with tough roots. After chopping at the earth with an ax, many settlers simply dropped seeds into the crevices, then waited in their little "soddies" for the grain to grow. If the first crop was spared by drought, hail, grasshoppers, and fire, a homesteader might have enough money by the end of the summer to buy seed to plant a few additional acres. With luck, the cultivated acreage would increase each year, allowing the family to grow a vegetable garden, buy a milk cow, purchase lumber for a real house, and get shoes for the children. The success of these pioneer families often relied as much on their own ability to endure in the face of solitude and misfortune as it did on the weather.


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Table of Contents

 


CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

INTRODUCTION

HISTORY

Early Indian Era

Explorers and Traders

Lewis and Clark

Mountain Men and Artists

Sodbusters and Pioneers

Broken Treaties

Gold Rush

Sioux Resistance

Settlers Move onto Reservations

Dakota Fever

Statehood

South Dakota Today

THE SOUTHEAST

History

Vermillion

Spirit Mound

Yankton

Lewis and Clark Recreation Area

Yankton Reservation

Rural Life Along the Highways

Hutterite Communities

Sioux Falls

North to Garretson

Mitchell and Vicinity

THE NORTHEAST

Joseph Nicollet

Settlement

Madison

Flandreau and Vicinity

Brookings

South Dakota State University

Oakwood Lakes State Park

De Smet

Huron

Hayti's Farkleberry Festival

Watertown Area

Little Fellow of Clark

Waubay National Wildlife Refuge

Hartford Beach

Fort Sisseton

Sisseton Area

Browns Valley Man

Aberdeen

Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Samuel Ordway Memorial Prairie

CENTRAL SOUTH DAKOTA

History on the Missouri

East of the Missouri

Chamberlain

Lower Brule and Crow Creek

Pierre

Lake Oahe and Its Dam

West Across the River

Winner

Northward Through the Prairie

Gettysburg

Mobridge

Sitting Bull Country

Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Reservations

SOUTH-CENTRAL AND BADLANDS

History

RosebudIndian Reservation

Murdo

Beef and Buffalo

Badlands National Park

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Battle at Wounded Knee

Tragedy Revisited at Wounded Knee

BLACK HILLS

Travel by Road and Trail

Weather

Rapid City: Gateway to the Black Hills

Sturgis

Spearfish

Deadwood

Lead

Scenic Drives from the Northern Black Hills

Rapid City to Rushmore

Hill City

Keystone

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Custer State Park

Wind Cave National Park

Hot Springs

THE NORTHWEST

Legend of Hugh Glass

Battle of Slim Buttes

End of the Hunt

Custer National Forest

Belle Fourche

Buffalo and Bison

Lemmon

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Time Zones

Area Code

Transportation

Climate

Lodging and Restaurants

Guest Ranches and Lodges

Chuckwagon Suppers

Museums and Galleries

Festivals, Events, and Rodeos

Winter Recreation

Volksmarches

Powwows

Aerial Tours

Motorcoach Tours

Black Hills Caves

Archaeology and Paleontology

Mountain Biking

Rock Climbing

Trail Rides

Water Sports Outfitters

National Parks

Important Addresses

RECOMMENDED READING

INDEX

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