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South Dakota Heritage Tourism

Updated on February 2, 2015

South Dakota is a state rich in historical, cultural and natural issues and sites to experience - Have you?

I've opened with a black and white photo of Deadwood, the town in the Black Hills of South Dakota founded after the discovery of gold there in 1874 following a military expedition led by George A. Custer.

"Deadwood" recently was a highly touted television series - did you watch it?

Seven large Indian Reservations occupy huge chunks of South Dakota land, along with the Black Hills and the Badlands, of course. Agriculture has been a prime element of the state's economy which is now led by the service industry. Ellsworth Air Force base near Rapid City is the second-largest single employer in the state. Can you say "South Dakota" without Mount Rushmore coming to your mind? I can't. Come join us to learn more about this under-appreciated state.

Photo courtesy of WIkimedia Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Dakota

"Deadwood" on Amazon

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Map of key geographic sites in South Dakota
Map of key geographic sites in South Dakota

Map of South Dakota geographical sites

17th most extensive state; 5th lowest in population density

The Indian Reservations are shown in red. Green is used for the Black Hills, Badland, etc. The rivers and cities are also shown clearly on this map that was adapted from the 'National Atlas of the United States.'

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Dakota

Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder

How many of her books have you read? ;-)

Author Laura Ingalls Wilder used her experiences growing up in De Smet, South Dakota for many of her books and stories... according to South Dakota sources, of course. Her daughter, also an author, Rose Wider Lane, was born near De Smet in 1886.

Photo courtesy of WIkimedia Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Dakota

Laura Ingalls Wilder on Amazon - Author of Little House on the Praire books

More South Dakota Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Badlands National ParkBlack Elk Wilderness in the Black Hills of South DakotaTerrain and geographic features map of South DakotaOfficial South Dakota quarterCoughlin Campanile at South Dakota State University in BrookingsSouth Dakota State Capital in PierreSioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota
Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park
Black Elk Wilderness in the Black Hills of South Dakota
Black Elk Wilderness in the Black Hills of South Dakota
Terrain and geographic features map of South Dakota
Terrain and geographic features map of South Dakota
Official South Dakota quarter
Official South Dakota quarter
Coughlin Campanile at South Dakota State University in Brookings
Coughlin Campanile at South Dakota State University in Brookings
South Dakota State Capital in Pierre
South Dakota State Capital in Pierre
Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota
Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota
B-1B Lance takes off from Ellsworth AFB
B-1B Lance takes off from Ellsworth AFB

Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, South Dakota

I have a special feeling for Ellsworth Air Force Base because I spent my Air Force ROTC Summer Camp there in 1960... very fond memories, even survival training held in the Black Hills.

A lot has changed since then, of course - there was not a B-1B Lancer there when I was... I did get to ride on a KC-130 tanker refueling our SAC B-47 bombers, however! ;-)

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Dakota

A pronghorn in Wind Cave National Park
A pronghorn in Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park was established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, the 7th in the national park system.

It was the first cave designated as a national park in the world.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Dakota

Please leave your Comments on this South Dakota Heritage Tourism lens - Thank you for your thoughts! ;-)

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    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 3 years ago from Burbank, CA

      I'm going to get in so much trouble from my North Dakota peeps for liking this page. Well..... at least it wasn't Montana!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 3 years ago

      Would love to visit South Dakota someday. Thanks for sharing.

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      MarcellaCarlton 3 years ago

      Beautiful scenery. An old Ghost town. Heads of Presidents carved into a mountain. What's not to like?

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @TanoCalvenoa: Lucky you, for sure! Thanks for leaving a comment! ;-)

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore, and Crazy Horse were what I saw during a week in summer of 1996 when I was in high school. I went to Rapid City, saw a bison walk right next to my car, and saw an amazing lightning storm on the plains. Awesome vacation.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @aesta1: Put it on your Bucket List, for sure! ;-)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is one place I still have to visit.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @AllisonsAttic: Thank you! ;-)

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      AllisonsAttic 5 years ago

      I love your lenses!!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @ismeedee: Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Neat! ;-)

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      Lovely photos!!!