Lewis and Clark and the Legend of Stone Idol Creek
On their epic exploratory expedition Meriwether Lewis and William Clark stopped near here and noted two stones resembling human figures, and third like a dog. Capt. Clark writes on Oct. 13, 1804 "...a Creek on the S.S. (starboard) 18 miles above the Ricaras I call Stone Ido(l) Creek, this Creek heads in a small lake at no great distance, near what there is a Stone to which the Indians ascribe a great virtue... Known as "Pond River" in accounts by Sgts. Patrick Gass & John Ordway, this creek flowed 3 Mi. S.E. of here through what was known prior to Oahe flooding as "The Lakes". Stone Idol Creek noted by Capt. Clark is currently interrupted by Pocasse Causeway.
On the banks of this creek stood the stones that inspired Arikara legend and Clark's name for the creek. Clark writes of the legend in his notebook journal" those people have a curious Tradition of those Stones, one was a man in Love, one a Girl whose parents would not let (them) marry, the Dog went to morn with them (and) all turned to Stone gradually... Those people fed on grapes until they turned *to stone), & the woman has a bunch of grapes yet in her hand." When passing by these stones, the Arikara paid reverence and votive offerings.
Lewis and Clark Expedition Meet The
Oct. 8, 1804. Capt. Clark prepared camp as Capt. Lewis and interpreter Joseph Gravelines, a trader residing among Arikara tribes, visited the first and lower of 3 Arikara villages located on an island 18 Mi. S.W. of this location. It was the expedition's first contact with the Arikara Indians. The next day was cold and windy as the 3 Arikara village chiefs entered Lewis & Clark's camp to make arrangements for a formal council.
Oct. 10, 1804. At approximately 1 o'clock Chief Kahawissassa, Chief Pocasse, and "Chief Piaheto assembled under an awning near the Expedition's boat. Lewis & Clark delivered a speech and gave them clothes and flags. After formal council, an air gun was fired, astonishing the Chiefs. Hands were shaken in a friendly manner, and the Chiefs returned to their villages.
Oct. 13, 1804. The expedition halted west of this location for 2 hours to administer the court martial of Pvt. John Newman for "mutinous Expressions." He was sentenced 75 lashes and disbanded from the party. The party then proceeded on and made camp for the last time in South Dakota between the former Townsites of LaGrace (3.5 Mi. SW.) and Vanderbilt (5.5 Mi. W.).