South Dakota March 02, 2021
Huge Things Actually Happened In These 7 Small Towns In South Dakota
Aside from our world-famous landmarks, the Mount Rushmore State seems to get often overlooked for no good reason! While we are generally humble and will not advertise our strengths and successes, we have done so many incredible things that deserve to be showcased, especially in these 7 small South Dakota towns and communities.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Let's begin with the most famous and noteworthy: In an effort to get the state on the map, late South Dakota historian Doane Robinson spearheaded the idea for a national monument just outside of a small, former mining town.
The national monument is, of course, Mount Rushmore, which was constructed by Gutzon and Lincoln Borglum, and features the 60-foot-tall faces of George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. The project took 14 years to complete and cost a whopping $1M to build and still remains one of the greatest monuments in the country.
2. The town of Worthing, South Dakota (population 877), is home to the world's largest music festival.
While the world's largest music festival may sound a little rowdy (a la Burning Man or Woodstock), there is nothing to worry about here, as Lifelight is a free outdoor Christian music festival that attracts upwards of 350,000+ attendees each year.
3. Mitchell, South Dakota, is home to the world's one and only corn palace.
Mitchell (one of the larger towns on our list, thanks to its population of nearly 16,000) is known worldwide for its aptly named Mitchell Corn Palace, a unique castle made of nearly 275,000 ears of corn!
4. The "largest, most extensive, and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex specimens ever found" was discovered at the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.
Nicknamed "Sue," FMNH PR 2081 was first uncovered by Sue Hendrickson on August 12, 1990, and can now be seen at the world-famous Field Museum in Chicago.
5. One of America's most beloved authors was raised in De Smet.
The author we are referring to is, of course, Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose iconic "The Long Winter," "Little Town on the Prairie," and "These Happy Golden Years" were all set in the small town.
6. Our very own capital city is home to one of only 20 National Guard Museums in America.
The next time you visit Pierre, be sure to visit the artifacts and records at the impressive South Dakota National Guard Museum. You can thank us later!
7. A small South Dakota town found yet another way to put itself on the map when it created the world's largest motorcycle rally.
Typically, Sturgis, South Dakota, houses approximately 7,000 residents; however, when it's rally time, the population can climb to 750,000+.
For even more crazy South Dakota history, check out these
8 Insane Things That Happened In South Dakota You Won’t Find in History Books. Address: Rapid City, SD, USA Address: Sturgis, SD 57785, USA Address: Pierre, SD 57501, USA Address: Mitchell, SD 57301, USA Address: De Smet, SD 57231, USA Address: Cheyenne River Reservation, South Dewey, SD, USA Address: Worthing, SD 57077, USA