Pierre has been the capital of South Dakota since 1889. Visitors will find the city rich with both Native American and early American history, as well as a few interesting bits of other trivia.
Here are five facts about Pierre:
South Dakota's capital city, which was settled in 1817, was the first permanent settlement in South Dakota. The same area was once explored by Lewis and Clark from 1804 to 1806.
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The explorer's expedition in Pierre involved interaction with more than 50 American Indian chiefs and warriors. Though the meeting was contentious at first, peaceful negotiations and trading ensued upon the smoking of a peace pipe. Lewis and Clark actually raised the United States flag in Pierre as part of their journey.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition has been commemorated with a hiking trail that provides residents with a retreat from city life.
The capital city is home to one of only 20 National Guard Museums in the country. The museum is home to artifacts and records and represents the service of the Air National Guard and the Dakota Militia.
Pierre does not have an interstate highway running through the city. There are only five capital cities in the country including Pierre, that are not served by an interstate.
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4. The Fort Pierre Chouteau Site
is a popular tourist site in the city. The fort was a trading center for Euro-Americans and Native Americans and was known as the largest, best equipped trading post in the Great Plains.
In 1855 the U.S. military purchased the fort for military use. There are no visible remains of the fort today, but various historical artifacts have been excavated from the site.
Pierre was chosen as the state capital in the late 1800s after a battle with the city of Mitchell, which was near the majority of the state's population. Ultimately it was voter referendum that decided on the capital and Pierre prevailed.
The capitol building was later constructed in 1908 but later outgrew the size of the state government. The original building still stands today and is part of the capitol complex.
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