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Marks of History: Fort Pierre, South Dakota

11/4/2009
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PIERRE, S.D. - Fort Pierre, the oldest continuous white settlement in South Dakota, was named after American fur trader Pierre Choteau Jr. of St. Louis, Mo.

 
The site of the town was first visited by François de La Vérendrye and his brother in 1743 during an expedition on the upper Missouri River.  A monument marks the spot where the brothers buried a lead plate, claiming the territory for France.
 
Through the early 1800s, Fort Pierre at the mouth of the BadRiver, marks the first trading post there in 1817 where the Missouri River meets the BadRiver.  That also marked the first year of white settlement in the area. Many fur trading companies, including the French Fur Company and American Fur Company, owned and operated the fort from 1817 to 1864.
 
Fischers Lily Park, at the mouth of the Bad River in Fort Pierre, is where the old fort was constructed.  Located nearby is the site where the Lewis and Clark Expedition met with the Teton Sioux for the first time.  During the Black Hills gold rush, the Fort Pierre to Deadwood trail closely followed what is now Highway 34 westward.
 
The Marks of History series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism, designed to highlight historical markers all across South Dakota. Click on the special “Marks of History” link at www.MediaSD.com to access the complete list of articles.
 
The Marks of History series is part of Goal 1 of the 2010 Initiative to double visitor spending in South Dakota from 2003-2010 and Goal 4 to enhance history and arts as tools for economic development and cultural tourism in South Dakota. The Office of Tourism serves under the direction of Richard Benda, Secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development.
 
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Media Notes:
 
  • Information for this release was obtained from “Brevet’s South Dakota Historical Markers”.
  • The South Dakota Office of Tourism is not responsible for the text included on these markers. Some of the language used at the time of production may not be appropriate by today’s standards. Please view the markers at your own discretion.
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