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Marks of History in South Dakota


PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota has a history all its own and the South Dakota Office of Tourism wants to share bits and pieces of it with state residents and visitors through a new series of press releases, Marks of History.

In 1951, the South Dakota State Historical Society underwent a project of identifying markers on the sites of the events that significantly contributed to the history of the state. The program identifies historically significant buildings, sites, structures, objects, persons, events and districts. The markers are mounted signs; often located along the roadside, are easily accessible to the public and reflect the importance of heritage in the different communities. Since the start of the historical marker program, there have been more than 700 historical markers sited. Several hundred of the markers have been resurveyed over the last five years to ensure accurate information for state residents as well as visitors.

The responsibility for developing historical markers is shared by the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, the South Dakota Department of Transportation and local communities or historical societies. Individuals or organizations must have available funds to purchase a marke.  

“It is important to know the history that comes with our state and to educate others about it,” said Jay Vogt, Director of the South Dakota Historical Society. “In many ways, our state was the crossroads of the West; there is much to know and a lot more to preserve so it can be enjoyed by future generations.”

Throughout this series of press releases, distributed on a weekly basis, the Office of Tourism will highlight many of the markers that lie within the state’s borders. The Office of Tourism and the State Historic Preservation Office jointly chose the markers to be featured in the series. Those chosen depended upon the condition of the marker, location, political correctness and making sure that there was an even amount chosen from each region in the state.

For more information on the State Historical Society or to learn more about the historical marker program, please visit or call 605-773-3458.

The Marks of History series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight many of the historical markings all across South Dakota. Click on the special “Marks of History” link at to access information from the articles that will continue to be released. 

The Marks of History series is part of Goal 1 of the 2010 Initiative to double visitor spending and Goal 4 to enhance history and arts as a tool 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.