10 Interesting South Dakota Facts
Increase your knowledge with 10 interesting South Dakota facts. South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls, with a population of nearly 160,000, is South Dakota’s largest city.
1. The largest underground gold mine is the Homestake Mine in Lead. Tours are available today telling of the area and the mine’s rich history.
2. The Mammoth Site is of great scientific importance due to the primary (actual death area) accumulation of mammoth bones at the site. Most fossils are found where they have been deposited by stream beds or carnivores.
3. South Dakota facts that Sioux Falls exists as a city today because the land speculators who staked town site claims there in 1857 came in search of the cascades of the Big Sioux River.
4. Internationally famous, the Sturgis Rally and Races, held during the first full week of August, welcomes motorcyclists from all parts of the world to tour and show their skills competing in the hill climb and racing events. Throughout the years, the Rally has grown into a 15-day premier event with attendance of more than 650,000 racers, visitors, and celebrities!
5. The site of a rich gold strike in 1875, Deadwood retains its mining town atmosphere. While Deadwood is one of the most highly publicized mining towns of the trans-Mississippi West, much of its fame rests on the famous or infamous characters that passed through.
6. Newton Hills State Park, south of Canton, is part of a geological feature called the Coteau des Prairie. This narrow strip of rolling hills and forests was created by glaciers and extends along the eastern edge of South Dakota. At its highest point, the Coteau rises to more than 2,000 feet above sea level.
7. The Black Hills of South Dakota hold two national caves: Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument. Jewel Cave is presently the fourth largest cave in the world, with 57.4 miles of surveyed and mapped passages. The name “Black Hills” comes from the Lakota words Paha Sapa, which mean “hills that are black.” Seen from a distance, these pine-covered hills, rising several thousand feet above the surrounding prairie, appear black.
8. The other of South Dakota facts that Sculptor Gutzon Borglum originally planned to include a Hall of Records behind the faces but never completed the project. Creation of the Shrine to Democracy took 14 years and cost a mere $1 million, though it’s now deemed priceless.
9. The Crazy Horse mountain carving now in progress will be the world’s largest sculpture (563′ high, 641′ long, carved in the round). It is the focal point of an educational and cultural memorial to and for the North American Indian. The gigantic Crazy Horse is the world’s only mountain carving in progress.
10. Jewel Cave is the third-longest cave in the world. More than 120 miles of passages have been surveyed. Calcite crystals that glitter when illuminated give the cave its name. This is the other of South Dakota facts.