You are here

Medicine Rock


PIERRE, S.D. – Medicine Rock was a landmark in its day, graced with deeply incised foot prints that were believed by Native Americans to have been made by the Great Spirit. 

The first recorded observation of the rock was in 1825 by the Atkinson-O’Fallon Peace Treaty expedition. However, several other explorers passed by the vicinity of the rock prior to that date, including Lewis & Clark and the Verendrye brothers, and it was considered sacred by several generations of Native Americans that came before them. 

Originally Medicine Rock was located on a hill 15 miles west of Gettysburg, S.D., near the mouth of the Cheyenne River. That site is now under water, but the sacred rock may be viewed at its current location in the Dakota Sunset Museum in Gettysburg.
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 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 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.


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.