The Pine Ridge Country of northwestern Nebraska is among the greatest historic places of the nineteenth-century American West. It was long the homeland and hunting grounds of the Lakota (Western Sioux). White fur traders began arriving during the 1830s and 1840s to exchange manufactured goods with the Indians in return for bison robes. In the 1870s many dramatic and tragic episodes played out across this landscape, sparked by the discovery of gold in the nearby Black Hills, and the resulting conflict between the U.S. Army and the Indians, known as the Great Sioux War of 1876-77. Numerous sites, structures, landmarks, and trails recall these eras, as well as the years of white settlement during the 1880s and 1890s.
1.Camp/Fort Robinson (1874-1948) Site of the death of Oglala Sioux leader Crazy Horse (September 1877); Cheyenne Outbreak (January 1879); black U.S.
cavalry garrisons (1885-1906); world's largest army remount depot ls (1920s-1940s); WWII German POW camp (1943-46); war dog training center (1942-45). Museum, Historical Markers. Restored and Reconstructed Buildings.
2. Red Cloud Agency (1873—77) Government agency for Red Clouds Oglala Sioux. Relocated to Dakota Territory, 1878, and renamed Pine Ridge Agency.
3. Sidney to Biack Hilis Trail (1874-81) First used to transport supplies from the railroad at Sidney to the northwestern Nebraska Indian agencies and military posts, the trail later extended to the gold mining camps in the Black Hills.
4. Last Camp of Crazy Horse (1877) After his surrender to the army in May, Oglala Sioux leader Crazy Horse camped in this vicinity before he was killed at Camp Robinson in September.
5. Crow Butte (1849) Crow Indian raiders took refuge atop this butte after stealing horses from the Bordeaux Trading Post in l849. Although surrounded by pursuing Brule Sioux, the Crows escaped in the night providing this landmark's name. Historical Marker on U.S. 20.
6. Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad (1885-86) The railroad reached Chadron in 1885, and Fort Robinson the following year. Historical Marker at Fort Robinson.
7. Grand Council (Allison Commission) (September 1875) Government commissioners met with thousands of Sioux, Cheyennes, and Arapahos in a failed attempt to buy the Black Hills. Historical Marker on County Road.
8. Whetstone Agency (1871-72) Third location of
the government agency for Spotted Tail's Brule Sioux.
9. First Chadron Townsite (1884-85) Tents and temporary buildings occupied the first Chadron townsite, which was abandoned when the railroad chose the location of present Chadron for its depot.
10. Northern Cheyenne Disarming (October 1878) After fleeing an Oklahoma reservation, Dull Knife's Northern Cheyennes were captured by soldiers and brought here to a cavalry camp, where they were, disarmed before being taken to Camp Robinson.
11. Red Cloud and Red Leaf Camps. (October 1876) Soldiers from Camp Robinson surrounded the camps, confiscated the Indian's guns and horses, and forced Red Cloud and Red Leaf's bands back to Red Cloud Agency.
12. Chadron Creek Trading Post (1842-45) Louis Chartran, namesake of present Chadron, operated a trading post here. Historical Marker on U.S. 385.
13. Fort Laramie to Fort Pierre Fur Trade Trail (ca. 1837-50) Trade goods and bison robes were hauled between Fort Laramie on the Platte River and Fort Pierre on the Missouri River over a trail followed the White River through this area. Historical Markers on U.S. 385.
14. Dawes County/Chadron (1885) Dawes County was organized in 1885, and Chadron was made the county seat that August.
15. Chadron to Chicago One Thousand Mile Horse Race (June 1893) Nine riders left the starting point at the Blame Hotel in downtown Chadron on a race to
Chicago. Historical Marker in Chadron.
16. Joseph Bissonette Trading Post (1871-77) Trading post for the Brule and Oglala Sioux.
17. Peter B. Nelson Store and Post Office (1878-86) Store, saloon, and post office serving travelers along the road from Fort Robinson to Pine Ridge Indian Agency in Dakota Territory. Nelson was the first white settler in Dawes County.
18. James Bordeaux Trading Post (1837-76) The Museum of the Fur Trade occupies the site of this American Fur Company post first operated by James Bordeaux. Museum, Historical Marker, Reconstructed
19. Whetstone Agency (1873-74) Fourth location of the government agency for Spotted Tail's Brule Sioux.
20. Spotted Tail Agency (1875-77) Final Nebraska location for Spotted Tail's Brule Sioux. Relocated to Dakota Territory, 1878, and renamed Rosebud Agency. Historical Marker in Hay Springs.
21. Camp Sheridan (1875-81) Military post established to guard the Spotted Tail Agency. Historical Marker in Hay Springs.
22. Fort Robinson to Camp Sheridan to Pine Ridge Agency Military, Freight, and Stagecoach Road (1874-86). Historical Markers; here and county roads.
23. Pine Ridge Agency to Camp Sheridan to Fort Robinson Telegraph Line (1881). A government telegraph line connecting the agency and the military camps paralleled the military. freight. and stagecoach road.