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Where The West Began


PIERRE, S.D. – Many people believe the South Dakota west began in the Black Hills.  This is not necessarily the case.  Early on, the west began where a new settlement had ended.  Soon, the “new west” was defined by social customs and economics rather than geographic boundaries.

This marker, located on US Highway 14 in Huron, describes the start of the west.  A new climate, different farming practices, a change in topography and different lifestyles.  Farms got larger and primarily focused on ranching, towns and cities were spaced further apart, flat terrain turned into rolling hills, and boots and broad-rimmed hats became “the style”.

The West began out east.  To all of the first settlers, the Lakota Indians, early explorers, homesteaders and rugged pioneers who mapped, developed and learned to live with the land, this marker was respectfully dedicated.   

The Marks of History series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight historic 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.  The Office of Tourism serves under the direction of Richard Benda, Secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development.

Please Note:  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.