Brief History of South Dakota

By | May 19, 2022

Population: 824,082 thousand people (2011)
Area: 199905.0 sq. km

South Dakota is named after the Dakota Indian tribe. The Missouri River, which flows through South Dakota, divides the state into two approximately equal parts – eastern and western. Another geographical region is also distinguished – the Black Hills. The east of the state is a wet flat area with fertile soils. The western part – the territory of the Great Plains – has a more arid climate and hilly terrain. The ancient low mountains of the Black Hills are covered with forests. The highest point is Harney Peak (2207 meters). Other than the Missouri, other major rivers are the Cheyenne, White River, and James.

Traditionally, South Dakota belongs to the states with a large share of the agro-industrial complex in the economy. Corn, wheat and beans are the main agricultural crops. There are also many cattle ranches on the plains of South Dakota.

By the time the Europeans appeared in South Dakota, several peoples lived at war with each other. In the 14th century there was an inter-tribal conflict that ended in the Crow Creek Massacre. Arikara, Lakota and Dakota are the main groups of Indians who inhabited the state. In 1743, a French expedition penetrated here. The La Veredry brothers, who led the campaign, declared the lands the property of France. South Dakota became part of the Louisiana Colony. In 1803, among the lands sold by France to the United States was South Dakota, where the Lewis expedition was equipped.and Clark. In the 1850s, the Sioux signed a treaty ceding their lands to the United States. A little later, the settlers pulled the ships, having learned about the discovery of gold deposits in the Black Hills. Until 1889, the region was part of the greater Dakota Territory, until South Dakota joined the United States as a state. Until the end of the 19th century, wars with the Indians did not stop.

The main attractions of South Dakota are not located in cities. Mount Rushmore, with carved bas-reliefs of four American presidents, is perhaps one of the most popular tourist sites in the United States. The unfinished Crazy Horse Memorial, which draws up to a million visitors, is executed in a similar style. The Badlands National Park showcases bizarre mountains surrounded by prairies. On the territory of South Dakota there are several karst caves (Jewel, Wind), each of which has a length of more than 200 kilometers. They are equipped for tourists and enjoy genuine interest.


Population: 13,600 thousand people (2010)
Area: 33.9 sq. km
Founded: 1880
City status since: 1883
Time zone: UTC-6, summer UTC-5
Altitude: 442 m
Zip code: 57501
Nearest airport: Pierre

The capital city of South Dakota is Pierre. It is the smallest (after Montpelier ) state capital in the United States. The city is located in the center of South Dakota, located on the left bank of the Missouri River. A few kilometers to the north lies the Oahe Reservoir, the largest in terms of area in the country. See South Dakota counties.

In 1880, opposite the fortified camp of the American army, Fort Pierre, a civilian settlement arose, named after the Frenchman Pierre Chouteau, a fur trader. Natives of the Scandinavian countries and Germany pronounced his name in their own way – Pyrrhus, and this name stuck. The settlement, a significant part of which were miners of furs, already in 1889 became the capital of South Dakota. The choice fell on Pyrrhus because of its location in the center of the region.

The public sector, as in virtually all American state capitals, is Pyrrhus’ main employer. Accordingly, in such a small city, the state capitol and other administrative buildings are the most interesting architectural landmarks. Most tourists use Pierre as a transit (or starting) point on the way to the Oahe reservoir. About 1.5 million tourists visit Oahe every year.

Sioux Falls

Population: 155,000 thousand people (2008)
Area: 145.9 sq. km
Time zone: UTC-6, summer UTC-5
Altitude: 448 m
Nearest airport: Joe Foss Field

Sioux Falls is located in eastern South Dakota. The cascades of the Big Sioux River gave the city its name. Waterfalls on the river were formed about 14 thousand years ago during the Ice Age. Europeans first appeared here at the beginning of the eighteenth century. In 1876 Sioux Falls was recognized as a city. From the end of the seventies of the 20th century to the present, the population of the city has almost doubled.

Sioux Falls has about seventy parks on its territory. The most famous park is Falls Park, where you can watch an amazing cascade of waterfalls. There are comfortable paths to watch the spectacular spectacle of falling water and ancient buildings built of quartzite.

The city has several multifunctional sports stadiums where various competitions are held. There is a local university and many other scientific and educational institutions.

One of the attractions of the city, which can be of interest to both adults and children, is the water park. There is an artificial wave pool, an artificial river where you can ride an inflatable boat, a golf course, a beach volleyball court, a go-kart track and many other fun attractions. A walk through numerous shops and boutiques will diversify the tourist program.

In July each year, Sioux Falls hosts a local Jazz and Blues Festival which is free to the public. Sioux Falls is full of life, full of bright colors, and it will delight the traveler with its unusual sights.

Brief History of South Dakota

Watertown, South Dakota

History and Climate of Watertown, South Dakota:

History: Watertown, South Dakota, has a history deeply connected to its development as a transportation hub, agricultural center, and a community shaped by the waves of European settlers.

  1. Native American Presence: Before European settlement, the region around Watertown was inhabited by Dakota Sioux Native American tribes. The area offered fertile land, abundant wildlife, and access to water resources, making it attractive for human habitation.
  2. European Settlement: The influx of European settlers in the late 19th century transformed the landscape. The town of Watertown was officially founded in 1879 by John Kemp Star, a Canadian entrepreneur. The arrival of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad played a crucial role in the town’s establishment, turning it into a transportation center.
  3. Agriculture and Industry: Watertown’s growth was closely tied to agriculture. The rich soil of the surrounding area supported farming, and the city became a hub for the processing and shipping of agricultural products. The introduction of flour mills and grain elevators contributed to the town’s economic prosperity.
  4. Transportation Hub: The town’s strategic location along transportation routes, including railroads and later highways, further solidified its role as a transportation hub. Watertown’s accessibility made it a center for commerce, attracting businesses and residents.
  5. Early 20th Century Development: In the early 20th century, Watertown continued to thrive. The city saw the establishment of educational institutions, including Lake Area Technical College, contributing to the community’s intellectual and cultural development.
  6. World War II and Postwar Era: The impact of World War II was felt in Watertown, with local industries contributing to the war effort. After the war, the city experienced postwar economic growth, and the population expanded.
  7. Cultural and Community Development: Watertown has actively preserved its historical heritage and invested in cultural and recreational amenities. The Mellette House, a historic home, and the Watertown Regional Library are examples of the city’s commitment to preserving its past and fostering community engagement.

Climate: According to Nexticle, Watertown, South Dakota, experiences a humid continental climate, characterized by distinct seasons, with cold winters and warm summers.

  1. Summer (June-August): Summers in Watertown are warm, with average high temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit. The city experiences longer daylight hours during this season, providing opportunities for outdoor activities, festivals, and events.
  2. Fall (September-November): Fall brings a gradual cooling of temperatures, with average highs ranging from the mid-50s to mid-60s Fahrenheit. The changing foliage in the region adds vibrant colors to the landscape, making fall a picturesque time for outdoor excursions.
  3. Winter (December-February): Winters in Watertown are cold, with average high temperatures ranging from the teens to low 30s Fahrenheit. Snowfall is common during the winter months, contributing to the winter landscape. Residents engage in winter sports, and the city embraces the festive atmosphere of the holiday season.
  4. Spring (March-May): Spring sees a gradual warming of temperatures, with average highs ranging from the mid-30s to mid-60s Fahrenheit. As snow melts, the landscape undergoes a transformation, and the city experiences a renewal of life. Spring is an inviting time for outdoor activities, gardening, and community events.

Watertown’s climate, marked by seasonal changes, aligns with the agricultural activities of the region. The city’s location in the northern Great Plains exposes it to the occasional severe weather, including thunderstorms and winter storms. Residents are accustomed to the variations in weather and adapt their activities accordingly.

Watertown, South Dakota, has a history shaped by its role as a transportation hub, agricultural center, and a community that has embraced economic and cultural development. The city’s climate, with its distinct seasons, adds to its character, providing residents with a variety of experiences and contributing to its appeal as a place with a rich history and a resilient, vibrant community.