- Updated: 06 May 2015
According to Jay D. Vogt, Director of the South Dakota State Historical Society, the Huron Indians never lived in South Dakota. However, when the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through the area in 1804-1806 the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota (aka Sioux) people as well as the Arikara people lived in what now is South Dakota. The Arikara people were an agricultural society and were later forced into North Dakota by the Sioux.
Today the closest Indian reservation to Huron is the Crow Creek Indian Reservation on the Missouri River south of the state capital Pierre. Crow Creek is the third smallest of the nine reservations in South Dakota. It is approximately 400 square miles, but 35 square miles are covered by reservoirs. To get there you take SD Hwy 50 North from I-90 toward Fort Thompson keeping a look out for the Crow Creek Reservation buffalo herd.
The South Dakota Office of Tourism has a wonderful brochure called “Native South Dakota” that lists all the reservations in the state, as well as the history of the native communities, where to purchase native American art and a list of the attractions at the various reservations. You can call 1-800-S-DAKOTA (1-800-732-5682) and request a brochure.
Since we will be spending time in South Dakota here is a little bit of information relating to the state. Is it any wonder that South Dakota is nicknamed Mount Rushmore State? The state flower is the Pasque flower, also known as the wind flower, prairie crocus, Easter Flower or meadow anemone.
We already know that their state bird is the ring-necked pheasant and not surprising the state sport is rodeo. Triceratops is the fossil of choice, In the southeast corner of the Black Hills National Forest, in Hot Springs, SD, there is the Mammoth Site that is the world’s largest mammoth research facility. There are special classes for kids and reservations are recommended. Check out the Mammoth website at: www.mammothsite.com .
Huron History Continued:
For those of you who live in the “snowy” parts of the U.S. and Canada this part of the history of Huron will probably fall in the category of your worst nightmare.
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about the winter of 1880-81 in her book, “The Long Winter” (Wilder, Laura Ingalls, New York, Harper & Row, 1940) and that name has stuck.
The snow started in October and didn’t let up until April when thawing began suddenly turning the prairie into one large lake. During the “long winter” the residents of Huron, as well as their neighbors in DeSmit, Iroquois and other surrounding towns, found themselves struggling, as supplies of fuel and other necessities could no longer be delivered by the railroads that they had come to depend on due to the huge drifts of snow.
Coffee grinders were pressed into use for grinding wheat into flour that was coarser than they were use to but was still usable to bake bread. Families and others who were not related moved in together to save on fuel. www.iroquoissd.com/local_history.htm www.files.usgarchives.net/sd/history/robinson/liii.txt
What’s To Do?
Huron has a “Ride Huron” program called “Spokes For Folks!” This program provides free courtesy bikes for loan to Huron visitors as part of Huron’s wellness initiative.
There are over 50 bicycles available for loan without charge at three locations in the community. The bike loan includes free use of a helmet and a bike lock. At the time of this writing there are 10 miles of bike trails in and around Huron and there may be more by the time of the International Rally.
Photograph by Jim Elmlinger #3296
So pick up a “Ride Huron” brochure that should be available at the Rally Information Desk. It lists all the locations where you can borrow a bike and the requirements such as ID and must be 18 or over or with a parent. The brochure has a map with the trails outlined and lists points of interest including the murals that are located around town.
So if you like to bike, but don’t have room to bring your bike, there is no longer an excuse to not get out there and get some great exercise!
Be sure to check your Blue Beret for more articles about our 2013 International Rally location in Huron South Dakota.