From Lewis and Clark to the Future

From Lewis and Clark to the Future (HMQJP)

Location: Vermillion, SD 57069 Clay County
Country: United States of America

N 42° 52.053', W 96° 57.332'

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Change came slowly to Spirit Mound after 1804. For 55 years the area remained the land of the Yankton Sioux, with fur traders conducting business from posts on the Missouri. The tallgrass prairie continued to thrive as it had for thousands of years before. In 1859 the Yankton moved to a reservation 70 miles upriver, and Congress created Dakota Territory in 1861.

The first homestead was filed on Spirit Mound in 1868. A pioneer recalled that looking north from the top of the mound, he could see only one tree. But the mound changed tremendously during the next 100 years. Settlers established two farmsteads, planted groves and divided fields with barbed wire. Land along the creek was pastured and a feedlot operated on the eastern slope. The prairie habitat disappeared, except for a five-acre remnant on the western side.

Preservation and restoration also came slowly. In 1986 a local group incorporated the Spirit Mound Trust, dedicated to saving the mound as a public resource.

The Trust's determined pursuit of this vision, under its long-term president, Larry Monfore, along with the Lewis and Clark Expedition bicentennial, led to the current project. Spirit Mound Historic Prairie results from a unique partnership among the Trust, the South Dakota Division of Parks & Recreation, and the National Park Service.

Spirit Mound Historic Prairie will be a permanent resource for those who wish to honor our history and to enjoy the biological richness of the tallgrass prairie. Recreating the prairie primeval may be impossible, but will always be the project partnership's goal.

INSET - Larry Monfore 1939-2003

Series This marker is part of the Lewis & Clark Expedition series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 11:52am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14T E 667001 N 4748134
Decimal Degrees42.86755000, -96.95553333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 52.053', W 96° 57.332'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 52' 3.18" N, 96° 57' 19.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)605
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 46238-46248 312th St, Vermillion SD 57069, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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